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The Lauder Institute typically supports two postdoctoral researchers per academic year. These accomplished scholars bring to Lauder prestigious academic credentials and varied scholarly interests, adding dimension to the Lauder faculty and course offerings. In addition to pursuing their own research, Lauder post-docs teach graduate courses at the Lauder Institute and advise Lauder student research. Some teach undergraduate classes at the Wharton School of Business.
The research interests of our postdoctoral fellows change every academic year. Over time, they have spanned geographic regions from Western Europe to Latin America to India to West, East, and Central Africa. As Lauder focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding regional and global systems and business practices, so do our postdocs. They have tended to integrate the methodologies of history, anthropology, economics, political science, public affairs, urban planning, public health, and other areas of study.
Jason Jackson’s research focuses on the origins and evolution of the institutional arrangements that shape relations between business and the state, assessing the implications of business-government relations for market competition, economic growth and industrial development. He is completing his Ph.D. in Political Economy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his dissertation is titled Institutions, Economic Interests and Policy Preferences: Insights from the Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment in India. He holds an AB in Economics from Princeton University, an MSc in Development Economics from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. He has received fellowships from the Social Sciences Research Council and the UK-based Overseas Development Institute, and has worked with a variety of private, non-governmental and international organizations in the Caribbean, South Africa and the United States such as UNIFEM, UNDP, the Caribbean Development Bank and Oxfam America on issues of trade and regional integration, industrial and technology policy, poverty, gender, migration and climate change.
Keren Weitzberg received her PhD in history from Stanford University in June 2013. She has traveled extensively in East Africa, where she has conducted archival research and oral histories. Owing to her use of diverse methodologies and her interest in the ways in which the past and present inform one another, her work sits at the intersection of the disciplines of history and anthropology. Her specializations include: the history of Kenya and its relationship to the Indian Ocean and the Horn of Africa; nationalism in Kenya and Somalia; and Islam in East Africa.
Keren is currently working on a book project, which is under contract with Ohio University Press for the New African Histories series, tentatively entitled Citizenship on the Borders: Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya. This work, which spans the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial eras, draws attention to linkages and networks that went beyond the policed boundaries of empire and nation-state. It shows that Somalis and other related groups have long been part of Islamic, nomadic, and lineage communities that spanned Northeast Africa and Arabia. These older forms of cosmopolitanism, kinship, and nomadic life came to co-exist and compete with the more recent territorial state. Keren’s research calls into question popular assumptions that Africans are a “local” people who can only be impacted by global forces, but cannot contribute to them. It also examines how the nation-state and the colonial state before it criminalized older forms of mobility and belonging.
Keren has published in the Journal of Northeast African Studies and has forthcoming work in The Journal of African History and the edited volume Kenya at Fifty: History, Policy, and Politics. Her second project will focus on the history of Jews in Africa. It will examine the intersections between blackness and Judaism and trace the diverse, diasporic dimensions underpinning the religion. It will also challenge assumptions that Africa is marginal to the history of Judaism.