The Institute for the Study of Human Rights welcomes scholars wishing to engage in research in the area of human rights. The Visiting Scholars Program is designed to link the visiting scholars with the Columbia community by providing connections to faculty members and encouraging participation in conferences and seminars.
Read the selected biographies of some of our recent scholars below. (Note: Bios may not be up to date.) Click here for a list of additional visiting scholars.
To learn more about the Visiting Scholars Program and how to apply, click here.
Angana P. Chatterji is Co-chair, Project on Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights, Center for Social Sector Leadership-Haas, University of California, Berkeley. A cultural anthropologist, Dr. Chatterji’s scholarly work focuses on issues of gendered violence; nationalism and minoritization; religion in the public sphere; and cultural survival. Between 1989-2002, she worked with the Indian Social Institute, Planning Commission of India, and Asia Forest Network, on issues of community land tenure. Between 1997-2011, Chatterji served on the faculty in the Anthropology Department at the Ca. Inst. of Integral Studies, where she co-created a graduate curriculum in postcolonial anthropology. In 2005-2006, she convened a people’s tribunal in Odisha, calling attention to issues of majoritarian nationalism. In 2008-2012, Chatterji co-founded and was co-convener of the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Jammu & Kashmir, and her collaborative work called attention to the issue of unknown and mass graves. Chatterji is a founding-member of the South Asia Feminist Preconference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has served on human rights commissions and offered expert testimony at the United Nations, European Parliament, United Kingdom Parliament, and United States Congress. Chatterji’s publications include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa (2009); Land and Justice: The Struggle for Cultural Survival (forthcoming); a co-edited volume, Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; Notes on the Postcolonial Present (2013); a co-contributed anthology, Kashmir (2011); and the reports entitled, BURIED EVIDENCE: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves in Kashmir (2009), Communalism in Orissa (2006), and Without Land or Livelihood (2004), for which she was lead author.
Gina Cosentino is a human rights, environmental, conservation and international development leader with two decades of experience at the local, national and international levels, working with communities, NGOs, governments and the private sector. She has extensive experience in social and environmental sustainability and operationalizing best practices and human rights based approaches to conservation and development. She is also a leading practitioner in international human and environmental policy and rights norms, policy and standard-setting. More recently, she has worked as the Global Director of Indigenous and Communal Conservation at The Nature Conservancy, was the senior advisor to the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and to the President of the Metis National Council in Canada, and was the president of a boutique public affairs firm where she was listed on the Top 100 Public Affairs specialists in Canada. Gina’s work supports strengthening governance, sustainable livelihoods, and participatory approaches that strengthen the roles of Indigenous peoples in making decisions that will shape their futures and positively impact their lands, territories, waters and natural resources while promoting healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. Gina was an instructor in the department of political science at the University of Toronto. She is also a frequent television, print and social media political and social commentator.
Cristiana Grigore is a Fulbright scholar of Roma (Gypsy) ethnicity from Romania who graduated from Vanderbilt University in International Education Policy and Management in December 2012. Since then she has been a Research Scholar at Bard College, New York. She frequently writes and speaks about Roma in a global context. Her experiences have been featured by the International New York Times, CNN, Voice of America, NPR, Al Jazeera America etc. In 2007, Cristiana received a B.A. from Univ. of Bucharest, Romania, in Psychology. She co-founded a nonprofit organization, Link Education and Practice (LEAP), which promotes non-formal education to improve employability. Cristiana began to study ballet in graduate school, which fulfills her need for athletic and artistic expression.
Sandra Ristovska is a filmmaker and a PhD Candidate in communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in the role of visuals in achieving social change and human rights. Currently, she looks at the institutionalization and professionalization of video advocacy by human rights organizations as facilitated by unfolding changes in technology, journalism and law. Sandra is a recipient of the Top Paper Award from the Philosophy, Theory and Critique Division at the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Herbert Schiller Prize from the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). Her academic writings have appeared in The Communication Review, Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, the American Journal of Sociology, the World Policy Institute Blog and Public Books. Sandra is a co-chair of the Emerging Scholars Network of IAMCR, co-director of CAMRA, an interdisciplinary media collective, and an honorary, non-resident Research Fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University in Hungary. She recently worked as a cinematographer on a documentary exploring the film industry in Myanmar as affected by the political changes post 2011.