NEH Fellow

The center hosts National Endowment for the Humanities/Hannah Arendt Center Distinguished Visiting Fellow(s) every year. The NEH/HAC Fellow hosts a series of lectures and other events at Bard College. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this webpage do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH Fellow

Chiara Ricciardone, PhD and Micah White, PhD

2018 National Endowment for the Humanities/Hannah Arendt Center Distinguished Visiting Fellow

  • Micah White, PhD  is a lifelong social activist known for co-creating Occupy Wall Street, a social movement that spread to 82 countries, while he was an editor of Adbusters magazine. Widely recognized as a pioneer social activism, Esquire named him one of the most influential young thinkers alive today. Micah's first book, The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution, was published in 2016 by Knopf Canada and the German edition, Die Zukunft der Rebellion, will be released in May 2018 by Blumenbar. Micah is the Program Director of Activist Graduate School. Learn more about Micah at


  • Chiara Ricciardone, PhD
    Raised in Egypt and Turkey, educated at Swarthmore (BA 2005) and Berkeley (PhD 2017), Chiara Ricciardone’s research interests range widely. Most of her work to date has focused on the ancient Greeks and critical theory; she is particularly fascinated by the political and formal problem that difference poses for human beings, and how it might be possible to think of difference without hierarchy. Sometimes she despairs of knowing anything whatsoever, and then she turns to activism and art. Ricciardone is at work on a book of auto-fiction that suggests the self itself is a fiction, and perhaps no longer a useful one. She currently serves as Provost for the Activist Graduate School. Learn more about Chiara at

Student Workshop


Student Workshop
How do we change the world? This is the most pressing question facing humanity today. In the fall of 2018, NEH/HAC Distinguished Visiting Fellows Chiara Ricciardone and Micah White conducted a rigorous workshop on this question with ten Bard student activists. The class was filmed, edited, and is now available as the foundational course of the Activist Graduate School— an online school by and for activists.

The mission of the Activist Graduate School is to birth innovative activists and new social movements through critical thinking about activism. The premise of its first and foundational course, “How to Change the World,” is that we must re-examine our received assumptions about how protest works. Drawing on case studies as well as thinkers like Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Leon Trotsky, the class considers four different theories of change that range from the material to the spiritual: voluntarism, structuralism, subjectivism, and theurgism.

Online students receive access to the videos from the class along with a special evening symposium on “Why do Protests Fail?” filmed in NYC featuring the co-founder of Black Lives Matter. Online students read the same course materials and complete the same assignments as the in-person seminar, and post on discussion boards moderated by the professors.
In a final session, the students presented campaign proposals that grow out of the course material. These proposals were integrated into a final presentation for “Civil Disobedience and Citizenship, the 11th Annual Conference of the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College, October 11-12, 2018. Readings include: Hannah Arendt, Aristotle, Michel Foucault, Leo Tolstoy, Micah White