Richard Prum is the William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology (Ornithology) at Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University. His research interests span diverse topics, including avian phylogenetics, behavioral evolution, feather evolution and development, sexual selection and mate choice, sexual conflict, and the evolution of avian plumage coloration. He has conducted fieldwork throughout the Neotropics and Madagascar and has studied fossil theropods in China. His recent research focuses on theoretical and molecular studies of the development and evolution of feathers. He is developing and applying new tools for the study of the physics and evolution of structural coloration. He is currently the director of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, an initiative at Yale that aims to foster communication, mutual understanding, collaborative research, and teaching among diverse scientific and humanistic disciplines.
Ayesha Ramachandran is an Assistant Professor of Comparative literature at Yale University. She works primarily with the English, French, and Italian literary traditions; however, her interests have extended to Portuguese, Spanish, Neo-Latin, Persian and early modern South Asian materials. Her work examines early modern maps, the history of science and technology, empires, and the rich visual archive of illustrated books. Her first book, The Worldmakers: Global Imagining in Early Modern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2015), charts transnational encounters and the early mechanisms of globalization from the late fifteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. It was awarded the MLA’s Scaglione prize in Comparative Literary Studies (2017), the Milton Society of America’s Shawcross Prize for the best book chapter on Milton (2016), and the Sixteenth Century Studies Association’s Founder Prize for the best first book manuscript (2015). Her current book project, Lyric Thinking: Humanism, Selfhood, Modernity, argues for the central importance of lyric form and language in shaping new intellectual possibilities for the self. Moving from Petrarch to Descartes, while also considering their afterlives in modernist writing, it draws together scholarship on theories of mind, cognition and meditation.