2023 Keynote Speakers


Gary Alan Fine

G.A. Fine is James E. Johnson Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University.

Gary’s current research has four distinct streams. He is interested in understanding difficult reputations and problematic collective memories of figures such as Joseph McCarthy, Charles Lindbergh, Warren Harding, and Benedict Arnold. This research was most recently published in Sticky Reputations: The Politics of Collective Memory in Midcentury America (2012). His current research involves shifting reputations and political positions of Southern segregationist politics and the examination of ruptures in political alliances. As an ethnographer he has recently published a book (Players and Pawns) on worlds of competitive chess, examining the development of status systems and reputation markets. He currently has a book in press on how visual art students receive professional socialization, through identity work and presentations of aesthetic intentions. His current ethnographic project involves observations of senior citizen progressive activists and the way in which history and experiences shapes social movements. His third stream of research involves the interpretation of rumor and contemporary legend, particularly political and economic rumor. Fine is the author of The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration and Trade Matter (2010). Finally, he writes on microsociological theory, focusing on small group culture, and has recently published Tiny Publics: A Theory of Group Culture and Action (2012). He is currently working on a book, The Hinge, about the role of small groups in civil society.

Laleh Khalili

Laleh Khalili is Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary College, University of London.

Laleh has worked extensively on transnational movements: of colonial forms of power and violence, of resistance, of ideas and practices, of people, and now of capital and cargo. She has addressed analyses of gender, racialisation, political violence and political economy. She has examined the representations and practices of violence in Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: the Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgency (Stanford 2013) as well as in the co-edited volume with Jillian Schwedler, Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Hurst 2010). He new book, Sinews of War and Trade (Verso 2020), examines the role of maritime infrastructures as conduits of movement of technologies, capital, people and cargo. Laleh’s work draws on archival and ethnographic methods and she has also conducted interviews with bureaucrats, military officers, former prisoners, refugees, and guerrillas. Her geographic area of interest is the Arab world, and she speaks and reads Arabic and Persian.