The Nile Project: Panelist Bios

Arts & Social Engagement:

Grisha Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Movement, Computation and Digital Media at the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the School of Dance at Arizona State University. A dancer, composer and choreographer in performance and experiential media systems, her work has been recognized nationally and internationally. Her current project, echo::system, is being presented at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and was recently presented at the Dubai ISEA2014, ArtXScience Pasadena City of ArtScience Festival, and the New Media Art Triennial at the National Art Museum in Beijing, China. She is a graduate of the College of Letters at Wesleyan University, and holds an MFA in Music Composition and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts. She danced as a member of Urban Bush Women, and subsequently founded the music performance group HOTMOUTH. Other notable awards and honors include grants from the Rockefeller Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund, The Creative Capital Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, and The New York Foundation Artists’ Fellowship (NYFA). She is a current member of the Board of Directors for Society of Dance History Scholars.

Mina Girgis founded The Nile Project in 2011 and is the President and CEO. An ethnomusicologist with background in hospitality experience design, Mina explores new ways to cultivate environments conducive to learning, making, and experiencing music. He specializes in curating and producing innovative musical collaborations across diverse styles. Mina earned his bachelor in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University and his masters in Ethnomusicology from the University of California Santa Barbara. Mina is a Synergos Pioneers of Egypt fellow, a Wired 2014 Innovation fellow, and a National Arts Strategies Creative Community fellow.

Dr. Nathan Phillips is professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University, specializing in tree physiology, global change biology, and the ecology of cities, and broadly interested in connections among the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences in addressing global environmental change. Nathan spent 2012-13 as scientist-in-residence at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design exploring linkages between climate science and art, and producing his first exhibited art work.

DJ Spooky (Paul D Miller, born 1970, Washington DC) is a composer, multimedia artist and writer. His written work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum amongst other publications. Miller’s work as a media artist has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture (2000); the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many other museums and galleries. His video installation “New York Is Now” was exhibited in the Africa Pavilion of the 52 Venice Biennial 2007, and the Miami/Art Basel fair of 2007. Miller’s award-winning book “Rhythm Science” was published by MIT Press 2004, and was followed by “Sound Unbound,” an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media, published in 2008. Miller’s latest book is The Book of Ice (Mark Batty Publisher). Over the course of his career, Miller has collaborated with vast array of recording artists, ranging from Metallica to Chuck D; from Steve Reich to Yoko Ono. Miller’s large scale, multimedia performance pieces include “Rebirth of a Nation” (now on DVD), and “Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica,” which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the Next Wave Festival 2009.

Dr. Marié Abe holds an MA and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a degree in sociology, anthropology, and ethnomusicology from Swathmore College. Her scholarship explores politics of space and sound, critical cultural theory, and Japanese popular performing arts. Other research interests include cultural advocacy, the global circulation of tango, the accordion and immigrant communities in California, anti-nuclear movement and music in Japan, and afro-futurism in the United States. Before coming to Boston University, Prof. Abe taught in the Department of Music and Asian Studies Program at UC Berkeley, and in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, where she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. She is currently working on a book-length ethnographic analysis of chindon-ya, a live musical advertisement practice in Japan. She is also a co-producer of the NPR radio documentary “Squeezebox Stories” (premiered in Fall 2011). Marié is an active performer of the accordion and piano, with frequent concert tours and collaborations with recording artists from the United States and Japan. She is currently performing with the Boston-based Ethiopian groove collective, Debo Band (Sub Pop/Next Ambience).

Water Politics in the Nile Basin

Dr. Jessica Barnes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environment and Sustainability Program at the University of South Carolina. Her work focuses on the culture and politics of resource use and environmental change in the Middle East. Publications include Cultivating the Nile: The Everyday Politics of Water in Egypt (Duke University Press, 2014), Climate Cultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Climate Change (coedited with Michael Dove, Yale University Press, forthcoming 2015), and articles in Critique of Anthropology, Social Studies of Science, Geoforum,Geopolitics, and Nature Climate Change. Jessica holds a PhD in sustainable development from Columbia University.

Dr. Farouk El-Baz is Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. He participated in NASA’s Apollo program (1967-72) as secretary of the lunar landing site selection committee and chairman of astronaut training in visual observations and photography. In 1973-82 he established the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC and served as Principal Investigator of the Earth Observations and Photography Experiment on the Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975. He became Vice President for Science and Technology at Itek Optical Systems in 1982, before joining Boston University in 1986. He pioneered the applications of space photography to deserts, with emphasis on groundwater exploration. He served in 1978-1981 as science adviser to the late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. His honors include NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award, the Nevada Medal, and the Egyptian Order of Merit – First Class. He served for six years as chair of the U.S National Committee for the International Union of Geological Sciences of the National Academies, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He presently serves on the Science Advisory Council of President El-Sisi of Egypt.

Dr. James McCann, a well-known scholar on the history of the food, ecology, and agriculture of Africa, was appointed Director, ad interim, of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in August 2011.  He joined the faculty of Boston University in 1984, and served as Director of the African Studies Center from 1992 through 2005. His book Maize and Grace won the 2006 George Perkins Marsh Prize as the best book in environmental history for 2005 from the American Society for Environmental History. His current book project is Stirring the Pot: The Tastes and Textures of African Cookery. Prof. McCann is also author of numerous articles and book chapters in the area of agricultural and environmental history.

Mina Girgis founded The Nile Project in 2011 and is the President and CEO. An ethnomusicologist with background in hospitality experience design, Mina explores new ways to cultivate environments conducive to learning, making, and experiencing music. He specializes in curating and producing innovative musical collaborations across diverse styles. Mina earned his bachelor in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University and his masters in Ethnomusicology from the University of California Santa Barbara. Mina is a Synergos Pioneers of Egypt fellow, a Wired 2014 Innovation fellow, and a National Arts Strategies Creative Community fellow.

Dr. Anthony Janetos joined Boston University in May 2013 as Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and Professor of Earth and Environment. Previously, Prof. Janetos served as Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, where for six years he oversaw an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists, engineers and social scientists committed to understanding the problems of global climate change and their potential solutions. Prof. Janetos has devoted his career to high-impact global change science and policy, earning international recognition for his scholarship and holding executive leadership positions at institutions including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, World Resources Institute, and the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment. He has written and spoken widely on the need to understand the scientific, environmental, economic, and policy linkages among the major global environmental issues, and he has served on several national and international study teams, including working as a co-chair of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. Prof. Janetos received his A.B. in Biology from Harvard University and his Master’s and Ph.D. in Biology from Princeton University.