Steering Committee


Samir Gandesha, Director, Institute for the Humanities |

Samir Gandesha has been a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley (1995–97) and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Universität Potsdam (2001–2002). He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the relation between politics, aesthetics, and psychoanalysis. He has contributed chapters to numerous volumes including The Cambridge Companion to Adorno (2003), Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader (2004), The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought (2014), The Sage Handbook on Frankfurt School Critical Theory (2018), The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx (2018), as well as to a wide range of journals including Political TheoryNew German CritiqueConstellationsInternational Forum of PsychoanalysisThe American Journal of PsychoanalysisLogosKant StudienPhilosophy and Social Criticism, the European Legacy, the European Journal of Social Theory, Discipline Filosofiche, Estudios PoliticosZeitschrift für kritische TheorieRadical Philosophy, and Constelaciones: Revista de Teoria Critica.

He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations (Stanford, 2012). He is co-editor (with Johan Hartle) of Spell of Capital: Reification and Spectacle (University of Amsterdam Press, 2017) and Aesthetic Marx (Bloomsbury Press, 2017), also with Johan Hartle. He often writes for popular publications such as openDemocracyCanadian Dimension, the Vancouver Sun, and the Globe and Mail. He contributes a regular column to “Splinters”—a section devoted to short, sharp commentaries on contemporary socio-economic and political problems at openDemocracy. In the Spring of 2017, he was the Liu Boming Visiting Scholar in Philosophy at the University of Nanjing and Visiting Lecturer at Suzhou University of Science and Technology in China. In January 2019, he was Visiting Fellow at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe and in February 2019, he was Visiting Lecturer at Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas - FFLCH-USP (Universidade de São Paulo). He is currently editing a book entitled Spectres of Fascism (Pluto Press), co-editing (with Peyman Vahabzadeh) Crossing Borders: Essays in Honour of Ian Angus (Arbeiter Ring), and preparing a manuscript on the “Neoliberal Personality.”

Ian Angus, Professor Emeritus, Department of

Ian Angus is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Simon Fraser University.  He has taught modern European thought and Canadian intellectual history. He teaching has been in both these areas in the Humanities Department. In 2007 and 2008 he was Director of the Prague Field School, which is based in the Humanities Department. His intellectual formation began with the 20th century European philosophies of phenomenology and the Frankfurt school of critical theory. His first book, Technique and Enlightenment (1984) probed the historical sources of the ‘instrumental reason’ that legitimates the modern advance of technology and argued for a form of technology assessment that is not only ethical but pertains also to the construction of human identity. A significant turn in Angus’ work occurred when he began a critical engagement with the history of English Canadian social and political thought, which resulted in A Border Within: National Identity, Cultural Plurality and Wilderness (1997), which was widely reviewed in both the academic and popular press. (Dis)figurations: Discourse/Critique/Ethics (2000), Primal Scenes of Communication: Communication, Consumerism, Social Movements (2000), and Emergent Publics: An Essay on Social Movements and Democracy (2001)—have presented his positions with regard to contemporary political philosophy and communication theory. His most recent book Identity and Justice was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2008, Love the Questions: University Education and Enlightenment by Arbeiter Ring (2009), Undiscovered Country: Essays in Canadian Intellectual Culture by Athabasca University Press (2013), and the Spanish translation of Love the Questions: Amar las Preguntas: Acerca de la universidad y la educación, traducido por Viviana Elsztein Angus, con prólogo para la edición latinoamericana de Newton Duarte (Buenos Aires: Wolkowicz Editores, 2019). He's currently working on a manuscript on phenomenological Marxism for the 21st century.

Stephen Collis, Professor, Department of English|

Stephen Collis is a poet and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His many books of poetry include The Commons (Talon Books 2008; second edition 2014), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and To the Barricades (Talon Books 2013). He has also written two books of criticism and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug 2013). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books 2012), is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change. In September 2013 Coach House Books published DECOMP, a collaborative photo-essay and long poem written with Jordan Scott.

Paul Crowe, Department Chair, Department of

Paul Crowe’s research is divided between classical textual work, principally in the Ming dynasty (1398-1644) Daoist Canon, and studies of modern sprit-writing (Cant. fugei) altars in Hong Kong and Canada, and Chinese Buddhist organizations in British Columbia. The former work examines Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasty Golden Elixir alchemy traditions of the Jiangnan region of China in which Literati (Ru) and Buddhist ideas are blended. The latter area concerns altars dedicated to communication with Lü Dongbin, one of the famous “eight transcendents” widely revered in Hong Kong and south China. Crowe has a keen interest in cross-cultural dialogue between Chinese and European domains of thought. Crowe served as director of the SFU David Lam Centre for International Communication for seven years and is editor of the Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies and associated CJBS News Blog. Areas of teaching: Daoist history; contemporary Buddhist ethics; Confucian ideals in the context of modern Asia as they relate to education, feminism, property rights, constitutional democracy, justice; multiculturalism policy in Canada. Courses frequently include a comparative element based on reference to and discussion of European and North American philosophical traditions. Students are encouraged to write comparative papers drawing on the diverse fields of exploration constituting their undergraduate education.

Adel Iskandar, Assistant Professor, Global

Adel Iskandar is an Assistant Professor of Global Communication at Simon Fraser University. He is the author, co-author, and editor of several works including “Egypt In Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution” (AUCP/OUP); “Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network that is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism” (Basic Books); “Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation” (University of California Press); “Mediating the Arab Uprisings” (Tadween Publishing), and Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring” (Palgrave Macmillan). Iskandar’s work deals with media, identity and politics; and he has lectured extensively on these topics at universities in more than thirty countries. His forthcoming works deal with propaganda and cultural dissidence online. Prior to his arrival at SFU, Iskandar taught for several years at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC. He is a co-editor of the online publication Jadaliyya.

Shuyu Kong, Professor, Department of Humanities

Jointly appointed in Humanities and Asia-Canada Program, Shuyu Kong teaches and researches in Chinese literary and cultural studies and Asian Diaspora studies. Besides numerous articles in referred journals such as Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, Asian Cinema, China Journal, and Modern Chinese Literature & Culture, Shuyu is the author of two books: Consuming Literature: Bestsellers and the Commercialization of Literary Production in Contemporary China (Stanford University Press, 2005), and Popular Media, Social Emotion and Public Discourse in Contemporary China(Routledge, 2014). She also co-translated one collection of short stories from Chinese Beijing Women: Stories, (MerwinAsia, 2014). Shuyu Kong is also actively involved in international research exchanges and collaborations. She was a visiting fellow at National Chengchi University (2016), Zhejiang University (2015), Leiden University (2013), Australia National University (2012) and Chinese University of Hong Kong (2011).