Jenny Trinitapoli • Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Jenny TrinitapoliJenny Trinitapoli’s work bridges the fields of social demography and the sociology of religion. She has written extensively about the role of religion in the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2008, she has been the principal investigator of Tsogolo la Thanzi, an ongoing longitudinal study of young adults in Malawi, which asks how young adults negotiate relationships, sex, and childbearing in the midst of a severe AIDS epidemic. Trinitapoli is the co-author of Religion and AIDS in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Alexis Puzon • Center Supervisor

Alexis PuzonAlexis Puzon started her role as the CISSR Center Supervisor in December 2019. As the Center Supervisor, Alexis provides  operational, financial, and administrative support for CISSR. Before joining CISSR, she worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University as a Faculty Affairs-HR Coordinator. Prior to that, she worked in national and local political campaigns in the Midwest. She received her BA in History and Political Science with certificates in European Studies and Medieval Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she graduated with distinction. She is currently finishing her MA in Liberal Studies specializing in History at Northwestern University. Alexis is passionate about supporting interdisciplinary research with an international scope and enjoys helping faculty and students reach their research and scholarly goals.


Faculty Board


Alan L. Kolata • Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College, Department of Anthropology

Alan KolataAlan Kolata Leads ongoing interdisciplinary research projects studying human-environment interactions over the past 3000 years in the Lake Titicaca basin of Bolivia, on the north coast of Peru and most recently in Thailand and Cambodia. His recent research interests include comparative work on agroecological systems, human-environment interactions, the human dimension of global change, agricultural and rural development, and archaeology and ethnohistory, particularly in the Andean region. For an update on the research in Cambodia see the project description on the Center for International Social Science Research (CISSR) website.

Steven Pincus •  Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of British History and the College, Department of History

Steven Pincus is a historian of Britain and its Empire; he studies comparative revolutions, comparative empires, and northern Europe more broadly. Although he built his career as an archival historian, his research engages deeply with the social sciences. His 2011 book 1688: The First Modern Revolution re-evaluates the place of this revolution in history once viewed in a global context against other revolutions of the time, arguing that this revolution was more radical and influential than previously thought. He is currently writing a Global History of the British Empire from 1650-1784 and is the co-convener of two bi-weekly CISSR forums “History and Social Sciences” and “Empires and Atlantics.”

Paul Poast • Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Paul PoastPaul Poast’s research uses quantitative analysis and diplomatic history to understand international relations. Specifically, he is interested in how anarchy can complicate the ability of sovereign actors to make credible commitments, such as repaying debt, honoring an alliance, or upholding a bargain. His research is presently focused on four projects: the political economy of international security, alliance politics, research methods for international relations, and the international politics of the American Civil War. Poast is the author of The Economics of War (McGraw Hill-Irwin, 2006) and the developer of NewGene, a data management tool for creating data sets for use in the quantitative analysis of political science.

Paul Cheney • Professor Department of History  


Paul Cheney is an historian of Europe with a specialization in old regime France and its colonial empire. Before beginning his PhD training in history at Columbia University, he studied political economy at the New School for Social Research. He has taught at Columbia University, the European College of Liberal Arts (Berlin), and the Queen's University of Belfast. 

Emily Lynn Osborn, ex officio • Associate Professor, Department of History  

Emily Lynn OsbornEmily Lynn Osborn's first book, Our New Husbands Are Here: Households, Gender, and Politics in a West African State from the Slave Trade to Colonial Rule (Ohio, 2011) is a history of gender and state-craft in Guinea-Conakry. She is currently working on a book on technology transfer and diffusion in West Africa that focuses on artisans who work with aluminum; she has also published articles on colonial intermediaries, the history of containerization in West Africa, and the role of the color red in the slave trade.