Sources & Experts

The following Swarthmore professors and administrators can provide expert commentary on a wide range of issues in the news. Follow the links below to learn more about them or contact the Communications Office if you would like to reach them.

Higher Education

  • Jim Bock '90, vice president and dean of admissions

Art and Art History

  • Michael Cothren: stained glass; medieval art
  • Tomoko Sakomura: Japanese art history; Japanese visual culture, contemporary and late medieval; East Asian art


  • David Cohen: x-ray spectroscopy; radiation-driven stellar winds; stellar x-ray emission
  • Eric Jensen: planet formation; astrobiology or origin and distribution of life in the cosmos; protoplanetary disks


  • Scott Gilbert: stem-cell and cloning research
  • Sara Hiebert Burch: hypometabolic states; hibernation, daily torpor; stress hormones and behavior
  • Jose-Luis Machado: biodiversity; ecosystems; plant physiological ecology; metabolic ecology
  • Amy Cheng Vollmer: bacterial stress response, particularly in prokaryotes such as E. coli; microbiology; immune response; biotechnology
  • Kathleen Siwicki: neurobiology; neurobiology of circadian rhythms

    and neural basis of courtship and memory in the fruit fly


  • Kathleen Howard: biophysical chemistry; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; membrane protein structure determination
  • Robert Paley: modern organic synthetic chemistry; organic chemistry

Cognitive Science

  • Lisa Meeden: adaptive robotics; developmental robotics; artificial intelligence

Computer Science

  • Lisa Meeden: adaptive robotics; developmental robotics; artificial intelligence
  • Tia Newhall: parallel and distributed systems; performance measurement tools
  • Richard Wicentowski: natural language processing


  • Kim Arrow, dance: Taiko drumming; Afro/Caribbean drumming and East Indian rhythmic theory
  • Pallabi Chakravorty: South Asian dance
  • Sharon Friedler: history and theory of dance; choreography; choreographic notations on computer; traditional dance of Ghana; women and dance
  • Kemal Nance '92: African dance


  • John Caskey: fringe banking such as pawn shops and check-cashing outlets
  • Stephen Golub: international trade and finance
  • Robinson Hollister: poverty; welfare reform; health care
  • Philip Jefferson: macroeconomics; poverty and inequality; Federal Reserve decisions
  • Ellen Magenheim: health economics and policy; behavioral economics and health and financial behavior; industrial organization 
  • Stephen O'Connell: political economy of Africa, macroeconomic policy in low-income developing countries, monetary policy management of surges in foreign aid
  • Frederic Pryor: changing structure of American economy

Educational Studies


  • Erik Cheever '82: electronic circuit applications
  • Carr Everbach: wind power; green design; human nature and technology; thermofluid mechanics; physical effects of ultrasound
  • Lynne Molter '79: fiber optics; waveguide devices; electromagnetics; scientific literacy in the liberal arts
  • Faruq Siddiqui: structural theory and design; geotechnical design; mechanics of solids

English Literature

  • Nathalie Anderson: modern and contemporary poetry; libretti; creative writing
  • Anthony Foy: African American literature; literature of black Philadelphia
  • Bakirathi Mani: Asian American culture and literature; South Asian diasporas; transnational feminist studies
  • Peter Schmidt: American literature; fiction in the U.S. South during Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras; race, ethnicity, and literature in the U.S.
  • Patricia White: representation of women in film and visual media

Environmental Studies

  • Carr Everbach, engineering: wind power; green design; human nature and technology
  • Jose-Luis Machado, biology: biodiversity; ecosystems; Crum Woods
  • Mark Wallace, religion: Christian theology and environmental studies

Film & Media Studies

  • Marion Faber, German: Weimar film; European film
  • William Gardner, Japanese: Japanese film and media; the intersection of contemporary literature with visual and electronic media
  • Sunka Simon, German: cyberculture; German and European cinema
  • Patricia White, English literature: representation of women in film and visual media
  • Carina Yervasi, French: French and Francophone African film

Gender and Sexuality Studies

  • Sunka Simon, German: cyberculture; German and European cinema


  • Diego Armus: Latin American history; history of disease and public health in urban settings
  • Timothy Burke: popular culture, including advertising, cartoons, and video games
  • Allison Dorsey: Southern and African American history, inc. slavery, Reconstruction, women in civil rights movement
  • Bruce Dorsey: early American history, gender and sexuality, masculinity, American culture
  • Pieter Judson '78: nationalism and nationalist movements in Central Europe; nationalist conflict; revolutionary and counterrevolutionary movements; history of sexuality in Europe ; European Fascism
  • Marjorie Murphy: public education, labor and women's history
  • Robert Weinberg: Russian history since the 18th century; history and experiences of Jews in Soviet Union and Russia

Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

  • Farha Ghannam, anthropology: contemporary Islamic practices and identities; gender and sexuality in the Middle East
  • Tariq al-Jamil, religion: medieval Islamic social history and law, with particular focus on Shi'ism

Latin American Studies

  • Diego Armus, history: Latin American history, history of disease and public health in urban settings, particularly Buenos Aires
  • Aurora Camacho de Schmidt, Spanish: Latin American and Mexican social movements and politics; Latin American women writers
  • Kenneth Sharpe, political science: Latin American politics; U.S. foreign policy; U.S. drug enforcement policies


  • Ted Fernald: Navajo language; Navajo syntax, semantics, reference grammar; Navajo Language Academy
  • K. David Harrison: endangered languages; connections between language and biodiversity, ethnoecology; Turkic languages of Inner Asia
  • Donna Jo Napoli: language use, including slang and catch phrases

Mathematics and Statistics

  • Phil Everson: statistics; sports editor of Chance magazine (an American Statistical Association publication) and writes the column, "A statistician reads the sports pages"
  • Stephen Maurer '67: discrete mathematics (author of textbook, Discrete Algorithmic Mathematics ); writing in mathematics; precollege curriculum and enrichment activities
  • Steve Wang: statistical techniques in paleontology and evolutionary biology; mass extinctions

Modern Languages and Literatures

  • Sunka Simon, German: cyberculture; German and European cinema
  • Hansjakob Werlen, German: Goethe; German Romanticism; Slow Food Movement; cultural history of food
  • Carina Yervasi, French: French and Francophone African film


Peace and Conflict Studies


Political Science

  • Benjamin Berger: modern political theory; democratic politics; ethics in politics; civic engagement
  • Raymond Hopkins: world food supply and food politics
  • James Kurth: U.S. defense policy and foreign policy; world political history
  • Carol Nackenoff: electoral politics; political rhetoric
  • Keith Reeves '88: the impact of race on electoral politics and public affairs
  • Kenneth Sharpe: U.S. foreign policy; Latin American politics; U.S. drug enforcement policies
  • Dominic Tierney: international politics; U.S. foreign policy; public opinion and war; security issues
  • Richard Valelly '75: electoral law and the 1965 Voting Rights Act; the party system; Congress
  • Tyrene White: China; women and culture, birth planning in China; East Asian politics


  • Kenneth Gergen: personal identity; language and communication
  • Barry Schwartz: social and psychological effects of free-market economic institutions
  • Andrew Ward: self-regulation and control, including strategies for control of eating, smoking, aggression, depressed mood, and obsessive thoughts; psychological barriers to conflict resolution; bargaining and negotiation


  • Yvonne Chireau: African-based religions such as Santeria and Voodoo in America; religion and healing; black American religion; religion and comics, manga, and graphic novels
  • Steven Hopkins: Hinduism and Buddhism in South Asia; South Indian devotional literature in Sanskrit and Tamil; religion and literature
  • Tariq al-Jamil:

    medieval Islamic social history and law, with particular focus on Shi'ism

  • Helen Plotkin '77: classical Jewish texts; director, Beit Midrash
  • Ellen Ross: Quaker religion
  • Mark Wallace: religion and ecology

Sociology and Anthropology

  • Farha Ghannam, anthropology: contemporary Islamic practices and identities; gender and sexuality in the Middle East; urban ethnography
  • Michael Mullan, sociology: sports sociology; war, sport and construction of male identity
  • Braulio Muñoz, sociology: sociology of culture, Latin America, author of Peruvian Notebooks
  • Michael Reay, sociology: embedded and unconscious social knowledge; social perceptions of the roles of economic experts
  • Lee Smithey, sociology: nonviolent social movements; ethnopolitical conflict; Northern Ireland
  • Sarah Willie-LeBreton, sociology: race, social inequality, higher education, and the sociology of work