Beyond Borders

The ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts

‘Beyond Borders’, the ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts, hosts artists, writers, and intellectuals both from the USA and elsewhere. Our purpose is to think through and across borders of various kinds: between peoples, cultures, nations, religions—but also across borders of discipline, or the creative and the scholarly, or the academy and the world. Much of the world as we know it is shaped by social policy, yet policy often reinforces fragmentation. Our suggestion is that it may be time to change the frame of how we envision the world, and that artists and thinkers have a role in doing so. Today artists and intellectuals are not less necessary but more so, and we need to hear from them and encourage them. We are looking for powerful artistic and intellectual statements, to reshape our vision, our ways of seeing, hearing, thinking, and understanding.

2018 ISI Resident: Masha Gessen

The ISI is very pleased to announce that Masha Gessen has accepted our invitation to be the Institute's Resident this spring. Given that the topic of this year's seminar is dissent, Ms. Gessen was an obvious choice, given her reporting on and participation in dissent in Russia, both concerning LGBTQ rights and more generally.

We therefore are extraordinarily happy that she has agreed to accept our invitation. Most recently, Ms. Gessen has published The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award for non-fiction.

Details of Ms. Gessen's activities as ISI's resident are still being worked out, and will be announced as soon as they're settled. In the meantime, if you are interested in hosting Masha Gessen for a classroom visit, please feel free to contact us at