Promotions Recognize Faculty Across the Disciplines
At the February meeting of the Board of Managers, 10 faculty members were approved for promotion.
Seven faculty members received tenure and promotion to associate professor:
Khaled Al-Masri explores 20th-century Arabic literature, 19th-century intellectual history of the Arab world, war narratives, literary and translation theory, post-war novels by Lebanese female writers, and more. His translations of contemporary Arabic poetry and short fiction have appeared in multiple literary journals in the United States and the United Kingdom, and he has translated two books from Arabic into English. He is the editor of a forthcoming anthology of Arabic short stories.
Alex Baugh teaches organismal biology courses, mentors students, and conducts primary research on vertebrate behavior. As an integrative biologist, he is interested in understanding how animals conduct their lives in their intimate natural environments. With his students, he investigates how hormones and the brain generate variation in behavior and they connect this variation to fitness consequences in the wild.
Nanci Buiza’s research and teaching focuses on contemporary Mexican and Central American literature, culture, and cinema, in particular, issues of migration, violence, postwar trauma, ethics, aesthetics, and affect theory. She has published peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, A Contracorriente, Istmo: Revista virtual de estudios literarios y culturales centroamericanos, and Iberoamericana, and has articles forthcoming in Hispanic Research Journal and Hispanófila. She is currently writing a book on postwar Central American literature.
Anthropologist Maya Nadkarni investigates the politics of memory and the challenges of historical subjectivity after the end of state socialism. Her research interests also include cultural memory and national identity; anthropology of postsocialism and Eastern Europe (Hungary); visuality, mass media, and visual anthropology; and anthropology of gender and the family. Her first book, Remains of Socialism, is forthcoming and examines the changing fate of the socialist past in Hungary.
Psychologist Cat Norris examines social behavior using neuroscience methods, such as event-related brain potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and psychophysiological measures such as electrodermal activity, facial electromyography, and electrocardiography. Her lab studies a broad range of topics, including emotion, ambivalence, race bias, imitation and empathy, meditation and attention, and social rejection. Among her recent research emphases are the good and bad of ambivalence and how meditation can improve cognitive outcomes.
Philosopher Krista Thomason explores ethics, moral psychology, Kant’s moral theory, social and political philosophy, and more. Among her other area of emphasis are philosophy of law, race and gender theory, ancient philosophy, continental philosophy, and bioethics. She has taught introductory, intermediate, and upper level courses in moral and political philosophy, including Human rights and Atrocities and Ethics and Economics. Last February, she published Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life, which provides a new account of shame as a morally complex emotion and explores some of the more difficult experiences of shame as well as its relationship to violence.
Computer scientist Kevin Webb researches networking and distributed systems, with a current focus on resource provisioning in large networks. His work on a system named Blender offers an "App Store" framework for network operators, enabling them to improve tenant performance by tailoring the network's behavior according to tenant needs. Webb also explores research that advances our understanding of how to best teach computer science; specifically, he’s involved in research on assessment that aims to iteratively and openly develop concept inventories for computer science education, with the hope of improving computer science teaching methods by better understanding how students conceptualize classroom materials.
One faculty member was promoted to associate professor (non-tenure track):
Theater artist Matt Saunders is a scenic designer and a creator of new performance work based in Philadelphia. He is a founding member and associate artistic director of the OBIE Award-winning, experimental theater company, New Paradise Laboratories (NPL). He has been involved in the creation of NPL’s work through both scenic design and performance for over 20 years. Other designs of his for theater, opera, and dance have been seen at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Signature Theater, and The Public Theater, among others.
Two faculty members were promoted from associate to full professor:
Anthropologist, dance artist, and choreographer Pallabi Chakravorty studies performance in India, having done fieldwork in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad. Her first book Bells of Change is on Kathak, the classical dance form of North India. Her recent book, This is How We Dance Now, is on dance reality shows. She has co-edited three books: Performing Ecstasy, Dance Matters, and, last year, Dance Matters Too; published dozens of journal papers and book chapters; and edited a proceedings (Dance in South Asia), and an ethnographic film (Kathak in the City). Her works bring together the visual and performing arts, history, anthropology, film and media studies, and gender and postcolonial studies.
Sociologist Lee Smithey's expertise and research interests focus on nonviolent social movements, ethnopolitical conflict, and conflict transformation, especially in Northern Ireland. He teaches courses on transforming (allegedly) intractable conflict, nonviolent social movements, and peace and conflict studies. Smithey is the co-editor of The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements (2018), which offers an in-depth exploration of the use of repression in political arenas and its unintended effect of sometimes fanning the flames of nonviolent resistance. He is also the author of Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland (2011).