2023 Organizers and Chairs

Joshua Donovan is a tandem fellow in the history of migration at the German Historical Institute, Washington’s Pacific Office at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an interdisciplinary historian of the Global South whose research centers around migration, social identity, empire, and human rights in the modern Middle East and its diaspora. He received his PhD in History from Columbia University in 2022 and is currently working on his first monograph entitled “Imagining Antioch: Sectarianism, Nationalism, and Migration in the Greek Orthodox Levant, 1860-1958.” This book project tells a new history of religious and national identity from the perspective of the diverse and understudied Antiochian Greek Orthodox Christian community in Syria, Lebanon, and its broader diaspora. It recounts the complex and internally divisive process of subject formation in the face of Ottoman political reforms, French colonial partition, forced migration, and the creation of the independent nation-states of Syria and Lebanon. In addition to Imagining Antioch, Donovan has published peer-reviewed articles in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Studies in World Christianity.

Vitalij Fastovskij works on topics related to the cultural history of Eastern Europe including its transnational dimensions. His focus is on religious cultures, the history of terrorism and the history of imperial archaeology and orientology. His current project (habilitation) deals with migration and humanitarian aid during the Cold War. Fastovskij was a fellow at the International Research Training Group “Religious Cultures in 19th and 20th Century Europe” in Munich, a fellow at the GHI Moscow and at the Instituut voor Oosters Christedom in Nijmegen. As a postdoc he worked at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, at the University of Giessen and is currently employed at the University of Münster (on sabbatical).

Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in global migration and forced displacement and the history of the Ottoman and Russian empires and their successor states. His research interrogates the relationship between refugee mobility, political economy, and ethnic cleansing, which were critical to the making of the modern Middle East and Eastern Europe. In 2022-23, Dr. Hamed-Troyansky serves as Vice-Director of the Center for Middle East Studies.

Nino Vallen is a historian of Latin America and the Pacific World. He joined the GHI’s Pacific Office at UC Berkeley as a research fellow in Latin American History in 2022. He studied history at Radboud University Nijmegen and received his PhD from the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (2016), where he also worked as a research associate and lecturer (2014–22). He was a fellow of the International Research Training Group “Between Spaces” (2011-2013) and the Slicher van Bath De Jong Fund (CEDLA, Amsterdam, 2014). A colonial historian by training, his first monograph Being the Heart of the World: The Pacific and the Fashioning of the Self in New Spain, 1513–1641 (Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, 2023) studies mobilities in the early modern Spanish Pacific and their impact on the fashioning of new notions of self and other in New Spain. In his current research project, he explores the role of the Chinese migrant worker in the stories that people in South America told in disputes about the exploitation of natural resources during the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.

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