2020 Conference Speakers 

YASCHA MOUNK
Author, Political Scientist, and Lecturer
Closing Plenary Speaker 

KATHLEEN FITZPATRICK
Educator and Author
Opening Plenary Speaker 

MIDIA SHIKH HASSAN
Social Entrepreneur and Recipient of Queen's Young Leader Award
Association Breakfast Panelist 


Yascha MounkYASCHA MOUNK
Author, Political Scientist, and Lecturer 
Closing Plenary Speaker

Yascha Mounk is a writer, academic, and public speaker known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

Born in Germany to Polish parents, Mounk received his BA in history from Trinity College, Cambridge and his PhD in government from Harvard University. He is now an Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, where he holds appointments in both the School of Advanced International Studies and the Agora Institute. Yascha Mounk is also a Senior Advisor at Protect Democracy, a Senior Fellow at New York University's Reiss Center on Law and Security, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mounk formerly lectured on political theory as part of Harvard University’s government department.

He has written three books: Stranger in My Own Country - A Jewish Family in Modern Germany, a memoir about Germany’s fraught attempts to deal with its past; The Age of Responsibility – Luck, Choice and the Welfare State, which argues that a growing obsession with the concept of individual responsibility has transformed western welfare states; and The People versus Democracy – Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It, which explains the causes of the populist rise and investigates how to renew liberal democracy. His latest book has been translated into ten languages and was hailed as one of 2018's Best Books of the Year by multiple publications, including the Financial Times. A columnist at Slate, Mounk regularly writes for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, CNN, Die Zeit, and La Repubblica. He has appeared on radio and television in over ten countries. Mounk also writes “The Good Fight” column: articles on populism, resistance, activism, and the changing face of democracy for Slate magazine. Additionally, he is the host of a podcast, also called “The Good Fight,” which interviews political luminaries such as George Packer, Mark Blythe, Brian Klaas, and more.

“People have lost all faith in democracy—and rightfully so. But it’s not too late to fix it.” –Yascha Mounk


KATHLEEN FITZPATRICK
Educator and Author
Opening Plenary Speaker 

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is an American scholar of digital humanities and media studies. She is currently the Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University. Prior to assuming this role in 2017, she served as Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association.

Fitzpatrick is the author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011) and of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (Vanderbilt University Press, 2006). In her most recent book, Generous Thinking: The University and the Public Good (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), she explores the "ways that scholars might connect and communicate with a range of off-campus communities about our shared interests and concerns."

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is also the project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 17,500 scholars and practitioners in the humanities. She has written extensively on critical issues concerning the rise of digital humanities, including two articles which she contributed to the 2012 print edition of Debates in The Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), a compilation of writings on the theory, methodologies and pedagogy of the digital humanities. 

Fitzpatrick serves on the editorial or advisory boards of publications and projects including the Open Library of the Humanities, Luminos, the Open Annotation Collaboration, PressForward, and thresholds. She is a member of the board of directors of the Council on Library and Information Resources and of the Educopia Institute.

Fitzpatrick received her BA and MFA from Louisiana State University and her PhD from New York University.


Midia HassanMIDIA SHIKH HASSAN
Social Entrepreneur and Recipient of Queen's Young Leader Award
Association Breakfast Panelist 

Midia Hassan is an award winning social entrepreneur who studied health sciences, biochemistry and chemical engineering from the university of Ottawa. She is currently the Manager of MakerLaunch program that is designed to propel the growth of startups led by engineering students. Previously, Midia run social innovation and entrepreneurship program at the university of Ottawa.

She is also the co-founder and CEO of Dextra, which uses 3D printing technology to provide prosthetics to amputees living in refugee and poverty zones. Midia was invited to Buckingham Palace to be awarded the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Award by Queen Elizabeth II. She was awarded the 2019 CBC Trailblazer award and the 2019 Facebook Social Entrepreneurship Award winner. Midia represented Canada’s youth in the 2018 Commonwealth Head of Government meeting and the 2019 Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting.