The Faculty Seminar on Comparative Cultures constitutes resident faculty reflecting different disciplinary strengths.  The Seminar meets once monthly during the academic year to consider an annual theme. The seminar began in 1999 with four annual themes before themes were compiled in e-books from 2004 to the present.

  • 1999-2000:  “Emancipation and Liberation”
  • 2000-2001:  “Diaspora”
  • 2001-2002:  “Human Rights and Reparations”
  • 2002-2003:  “Violence and the State”

2004 - Empire and Cultural Conquest I

2005 - Empire and Cultural Conquest II

2006 - Representations of Genocide

2007 - Forgiveness: Political Considerations

2008 - The Bystander: The Politics of Disengagement 

2009 - Peace: Its Conceptions and Conditions

2010 - Age of  Witness: Testimonies, Memoirs, and Other Perspectives "From Below"

2011 - Public Intellectuals in the 21st Century

2012 - Just War: Theory and Practice

2013 - Webinar: The Global Crisis and Promise of Higher Education 

2014 - Webinar: The Quest for the Humanities

 The Seminar stimulates significant pedagogical and research collaboration, extending its reach to the Kean University academic community.  Examples include:


  • New courses: “Diaspora: A Senior Seminar,” “Western Religions: Christianity, Judaism, & Islam,” “Women & Resistance” “Freedom: Black and Jewish Perspectives,” “Holocaust, Genocide, and Modern Humanity”
  • Provost Committee on Multidisciplinary Affairs and 200-plus page report, Multidisciplinary Affairs at Kean University
  • Visiting scholars: Paula Rothenberg (William Paterson University); Clinora Hudson-Weems (University of Missouri, Columbia); Robert Smith (Barnard College); Chen Chen, author; Vincent Bakpetu Thompson (Connecticut College); J. Paul Martin (Columbia University); Aratai Rao,  human rights activist and UNICEF consultant, Leon V. Sigal (Social Science Research Council),  Rajeswari Sunder Rajan  (Wolfson College, Oxford University), Ambassador Dennis Ross (Washington Institute for Near East Policy),  Anthony Lewis (New York Times), and Michael Walzer (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ). The Seminar's webinar series offers monthly virtual encounters.
  • Roundtables comprising seminar members & students
  • Campus-wide lectures (on Iraq, North Korea, the Middle East, etc.)

 Membership (in formation – new members welcome)


Suzanne Bousquet (Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences)

James Conyers (Sociology/African Studies)

Dean Casale (English)

Emily Filardo (Psychology/Women’s Stud.)

Sue Gronewold (History)

Nira Gupta-Casale (English)

Gilbert Kahn (Political Sci.)

Dennis B. Klein (History/Jewish Studies),

Sem.chr., dklein@kean.edu

James Lerman (Progressive Science Initiative)

Julia Nevarez (Sociology)

Brid Nicholson (History)                                                         

Nazih Richani (Pol. Sci./Latin Am Studies)

Melodie Toby (Philosophy and Religion)

Jeffrey Tony (Vice President of Academic Affairs)

Jacquelyn Tuerk (Fine Arts)

Frank Wetta (History)                    

Janet Yedes (Communication)

Mia Zamora (English)