Cogut Institute for the Humanities


  • Portrait of Damien Mahiet

    Damien Mahiet

    Associate Director, Lecturer in Humanities
    Pembroke Hall, Room 109

    Damien Mahiet is Associate Director of the Cogut Institute and Lecturer in Humanities. He provides administrative support for the Collaborative Humanities Initiative and Doctoral Certificate as well as the institute’s communications and programs. His interests lie at the intersection of several disciplines, in the ways musical ideas and practices inform political thought and regimes in Europe and the United States. One particular focus of his research has been the diplomatic invention of the Concert of Nations. Trained in political thought (MA Sciences Po Paris) and musicology (PhD Cornell University), he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Mahindra Humanities Center in 2012–2013. His work has appeared in Eighteenth-Century Music19th-Century Music, Dance Research, History of European Ideas, and the Journal of International Political Theory. He co-edited L'Institution musicale (Delatour, 2011) and Music and Diplomacy from the Early Modern Era to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He serves as a review editor of the H-Diplo network.

  • Portrait of Lisa Noble

    Lisa Noble

    Cogut Institute Manager
    Pembroke Hall 114

    Lisa Noble is the Institute Manager. She manages operations including strategic and financial planning, facilities management, academic programs, communications, and supervising administrative staff. Lisa is an MBA candidate at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. She joined Brown in 2011 and most recently has been the Department Manager for the Anthropology Department. Lisa has been a buyer and production manager in the fashion business and has owned and operated an art gallery in New York City. She has served on the President’s Staff Advisory Council as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan Committee for the Department of Anthropology.

  • Portrait of Gregory Kimbrell, wearing a shirt of blue, brown, and white plaid and a sweater in blue and red horizontal stripes, standing before a shrub

    Gregory Kimbrell

    Pembroke Hall, Room 203

    Gregory Kimbrell is the Communications Manager. Across a variety of channels, he promotes the institute’s initiatives and events and the accomplishments of its faculty, fellows, and students. For 11 years, he organized events and managed event space and publicity for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries. He completed his MFA in Creative Writing at VCU and has since published two books of poetry: The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016) and The Ceremonial Armor of the Impostor (Weasel Press, 2019).

  • Portrait of Traude Kastner

    Traude Kastner

    Cogut Institute Assistant
    Pembroke Hall 116

    Traude Kastner handles most of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the institute’s dynamic event schedule throughout the year. In addition, she handles general administrative tasks for the department and coordinates the Mellon Graduate Workshops program. Traude hails from Vienna, Austria where she worked as the fellows coordinator at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. When she moved to Rhode Island, she worked at Bryant University’s Chafee Center for International Business before joining the Cogut Institute staff in 2008.

  • Portrait photo of Benjamin Safran

    Benjamin Safran

    Academic Programs Coordinator
    Pembroke Hall 118

    Ben Safran provides administrative support for the Institute’s academic fellowships and courses. They have a Ph.D. in music from Temple University and have presented research on protest music, campaign strategy, identity studies in music, music in childhood and youth culture, media studies, hermeneutics, ecomusicology, and 20th- and 21st-century concert music. Their scholarly work has been published in the Journal of the Society for American Music and Yale Journal of Music and Religion, while their compositions have been performed by musicians ranging from principal members of the Philadelphia Orchestra to grassroots activists performing a guerilla concert in a corporate headquarters lobby. They also serve on the board of environmental activist group Earth Quaker Action Team.