People

Crystal FeimsterCrystal N. Feimster, a native of North Carolina, is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies, the American Studies Program and History Department at Yale University, where she teaches a range of courses in 19th and 20th century African American history, women’s history, and southern history. She has also taught at Boston College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Princeton.  She earned her Masters Degree and Ph. D. in history from Princeton University and her BA in History and Women’s Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill.  Her manuscript, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching  (Harvard University Press, 2009), examines the roles of both black and white women in the politics of racial and sexual violence in the American South.  She is currently working on two book projects: Sexual Warfare: Rape and the American Civil War and Truth Be Told: Rape and Mutiny in Civil War Louisiana.

She is also a member of the Global Connections and Violence Focus Program at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  The GCV Focus program is concerned both with armed conflict and violence, but also with the difficult spaces opened up by global connections and with the effects on individuals and groups caught up in burgeoning networks of free and unfree movement. By understanding the complex effects of global movement and status, the project’s researchers aim to address their challenging legacies.


Louisa LombardLouisa Lombard is an assistant professor of anthropology at Yale University. Her research, primarily sited in remote reaches of Central Africa, asks several questions. How are “stateless” arenas constituted, both now and historically? How should we understand people’s quests for privilege, entitlement, rights, and responsibilities when authority is plural and overlapping? When and why do people use violence and/or collaborate? She is the author of State of Rebellion: Violence and Intervention in the Central African Republic (Zed/Chicago 2016) and Hunting Game: Politics in the Central African Interior (under review with Cambridge University Press), as well as a number of articles on rebellion, armed conservation, and international peacebuilding. She is currently researching how military peacekeepers charged with protecting civilians in the midst of violent conflict understand their work and the moral dilemmas it entails.


Rohit De Rohit De is a lawyer and historian of modern South Asia and focuses on the legal history of the Indian subcontinent and the common law world.  As a legal historian he moves beyond asking what the law was; to what actors thought law was and how this knowledge shaped their quotidian tactics, thoughts and actions. In recent years, this has enabled his research to move beyond the political borders to South Asia to uncover transnational legal geographies of commerce, migration and rights across Africa, Southeast Asia and the Carribean.

Professor De’s book A People’s Constitution: Law and Everyday Life in the Indian Republic(Princeton University Press) explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from a colonial state to a democratic republic. Mapping the use and appropriation of constitutional language and procedure by diverse groups such as butchers and sex workers, street vendors and petty businessmen, journalists and women social workers, it offers a constitutional history from below. He continues to write on the social and intellectual foundations of constitutionalism in South Asia.

He is current research focuses around two major strands; the histories of political lawyering and the nature of the postcolonial state in South Asia. Prof De is also interested in comparative constitutional law and is an Associate Research Scholar in Law at the Yale Law School. He has assisted Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan of the Supreme Court of India and worked on constitution reform projects in Nepal and Sri Lanka. He writes on contemporary legal issues in South Asia.


Elisabeth Wood

Elisabeth Jean Wood, Franklin Muzzy Crosby Professor of the Human Environment and Professor of Political Science, International and Area Studies at Yale University, is currently writing two books, one on sexual violence during war and a second on political violence in Colombia (with Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín).

She is the author of Forging Democracy from Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador and Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador, and co-editor with Morten Bergsmo and Alf B. Skre of Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes and with Ian Shapiro, Susan C. Stokes, and Alexander S. Kirshner of Political Representation.

Among her recent articles and book chapters are “Rape as a Practice of War: Towards a Typology of Political Violence,” “The Persistence of Sexual Assault within the US Military,” “Ideology and Civil War: Instrumental Adoption and Beyond,” “Multiple Perpetrator Rape during War,” “Rape during War Is Not Inevitable: Variation in Wartime Sexual Violence,” and “The Social Processes of Civil War: The Wartime Transformation of Social Networks.”

Elisabeth is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At Yale she teaches courses on comparative politics, political violence, collective action, agrarian studies, and qualitative research methods. She received the Graduate Mentor Award for the Social Sciences in May 2013.


Jonathan WyrtzenJonathan Wyrtzen’s teaching and research engages a set of related thematic areas that include empire and colonialism, state formation and non-state forms of political organization, ethnicity and nationalism, and religion and socio-political action.  His work focuses on society and politics in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly with regards to interactions catalyzed by the expansion of European empires into this region.

His first book, Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity (Cornell University Press, 2015; 2016 Social Science History Association President’s Book Award winner) examines how European colonial intervention in Morocco (1912–1956) established a new type of political field in which notions about and relationships among politics and identity formation were fundamentally transformed. His current book project–tentatively titled The Long Great War and the Making of the Modern Middle East–demonstrates how multiple scales and forms of state-based and non-state based political order were imagined by various European and local actors between 1911-1931, why these came into conflict, and how these interactions influenced the definition of a proto-interstate topography from Morocco to Iraq. Against the dominant narrative of Europeans imposing artificial borders in the region after the war, this study exposes a much more complicated and violent story in which both local and European powers played major roles in forging a new political order in the Middle East and North Africa.


Elizabeth Nugent received her doctorate in politics from Princeton University with a specialization in comparative politics and a focus on the Middle East in June 2017. She also holds a B.A. in Arabic and an M.A. in Arab Studies, both from Georgetown University. Dr. Nugent’s research explores political behavior in authoritarian contexts, religion and politics, and the origins of coercive institutions, combining a variety of survey, voting, archival, and interview evidence, and incorporating quantitative, qualitative, and experimental methodologies. Before joining Yale’s political science faculty as an assistant professor in July 2018, Dr. Nugent was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She served as an AY2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow in Cairo, Egypt and has conducted fieldwork for a variety of projects in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.


Huseyin Rasit

Huseyin Rasit is Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Yale University and a Fellow in International Security at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School. His work is centered on topics of revolutions, state-building, and ideologies. In his dissertation, Huseyin examines diverse state-formation projects emerging out of political crises in Iraq and Syria.  More specifically, he attempts to explain why we observe projects as diverse as the Syrian Kurdish Revolution, Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, and ISIS by focusing on the impact of ideologies on political formations. 

Prior to Yale, Huseyin first worked as a software engineer in Turkey. After deciding to change fields and get into social sciences, he joined the master’s program in political science at Sabanci University.  During his time at Yale, he has held Smith Richardson Foundation Fellowship, Rosabeth M. Kanter Fellowship, Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund (with Jonathan Wyrtzen), U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center Grant (with Jonathan Wyrtzen), and DAAD Reserach Grant among others. He has conducted fieldwork in Iraq and Germany. 

Huseyin holds a B.Sc. with honors in Computer Science from Bogazici University in Turkey.