New Faculty at the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

The College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) has 18 new faculty this year:

 

Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi

Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi

Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi

Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi, acting assistant professor of history, will receive her Ph.D. in history from NYU in 2015. Her research and teaching areas include African history, urban history, colonial cartography and digital humanities. She is working on a book about the spatial history of women and men in 19th century Lagos, Nigeria, examining how they imagined, manipulated and represented the city. She is also constructing a Web-based cartographic narrative of Lagos, mapping the effects of civil wars, slavery, emancipation and colonization from the 1840s to the 1880s.

 

Michael Bates

Michael_Bates2015

Michael Bates

Michael Bates, acting assistant professor of economics, earned his Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University in 2015. His current research focuses on the role of informational asymmetries between employers in discrimination and worker mobility. He carries these interests into the examination of the primary-school teacher labor market, where employer learning impacts the inequality in students’ access to quality education. His broader research program includes what employers learn about their workforce, and projects relating to school choice, recruitment and retention of effective teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

 

Sara K. Becker

Sara_Becker2015

Sara K. Becker

Sara K. Becker, assistant professor of anthropology, earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2014. She is a bioarchaeologist with studies in America, covering prehistoric labor practices in emerging complex societies, biomechanics, gendered labor, and the health of active groups during the European contact period. Her recent research uses markers of activity on human skeletal remains from the prehistoric Tiwanaku culture of Bolivia and Peru to understand the formation and development of reciprocal labor within the high-elevation state.

 

Jody Benjamin

Jody_Benjamin2015

Jody Benjamin

Jody Benjamin, acting assistant professor of history, will receive his Ph.D. in African and African American Studies from Harvard University in 2015. His research and teaching focus on African history, African Diaspora studies, material culture studies, spatial analysis, networks and global history. His interests are in advancing innovative, interdisciplinary methodologies for research in African history. He is working on a book about textile trading that examines relationships between global exchange, consumption and social change in 18th century Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

 

Daniel R. Biggers

Daniel_Biggers2015

Daniel R. Biggers

Daniel R. Biggers, assistant professor of political science. earned his Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012, and was previously a postdoctoral associate at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Center for the Study of American Politics at Yale University. His research interests include political behavior, voting and participation, direct democracy, and election reform. His current work focuses on the behavior of those underrepresented in the electorate. His theoretical framework is to understand how the opportunities for citizens to craft legislation through the process of direct democracy influenced political engagement and participation.

 

Paul H.B. Chang

Paul H.B. Chang

Paul H.B. Chang

Paul H.B. Chang, acting assistant professor of religious studies, will receive his Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2016. He researches Christianity in China, which has seen rapid growth from an almost negligible number of Chinese Christians less than 50 years ago, to as many as 100 million today. His work explores this startling phenomenon by examining it in multiple contexts: China’s own religious, social and political history, the larger contemporary trend of rising Christian adherence and dynamism in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and the general history of Christianity.

 

Vrinda Chidambaram

Vrinda Chidambaram

Vrinda Chidambaram

Vrinda Chidambaram, assistant professor of comparative literature and foreign languages, received her Ph.D. in Slavic and theoretical linguistics in 2013 from Princeton University. Her research focuses primarily on sentence structure and word formation. While she focuses on Slavic, her research extends to a wide array of languages, including Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, and many others. She is particularly interested in the parsing of relative clauses, and is working on a long-term project in which she is attempting to form a unified theory of pronominal reference across all languages.

 

Johannes Endres

Johannes_Endres2015

Johannes Endres

Johannes Endres, assistant professor of comparative literature and art history, earned his Ph.D. in 1995 at the University of Trier, and his Habitation (Dr. Phil.habil.) in 2004 at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Important emphases of his research and teaching lie in the area of the history and arts of the “long 19th century,” from enlightenment to Weimar Culture and Vienna Moderne. He has published extensively on the intersections of text, visual arts, music, intellectual history, natural sciences and the history of science. His most recent research projects are dedicated to the work of Friedrich Schlegel, a pivotal figure of German and European intellectualism.

 

Donatella Galella

Donatella Galella

Donatella Galella

Donatella Galella, assistant professor of theatre, film and digital production, earned her Ph.D. in theatre from The Graduate Center, City University of New York in 2015. Her research focuses on struggles over capital and race in contemporary U.S. performance. She is writing a book about Arena Stage, the pioneering professional regional theater of Washington, D.C., and its productions of nonprofit, black and American identities. She is also working on a  project about the affective economy of Yellowface in modern musicals. She is the dramaturg-in-residence of Leviathan Lab, an Asian American creative studio.

 

Anthonia C. Kalu

Anthonia Kalu

Anthonia Kalu

Anthonia C. Kalu, assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies and comparative literature, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984. Her research interests include African and African American literature and literacy theory construction, women in the African Diaspora and African development issues. Among her numerous publications is “Rienner Anthology of African Literature” (Lynne Rienner Publishers), which won ForeWorld Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in the reference category in 2007, and is the first work of its kind in African Literature. She is a past president of the African Literature Association.

 

Bruce Link

Bruce Link

Bruce Link

Bruce Link, distinguished professor of sociology and public policy, earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1980. His research interests focus on topics in psychiatric and social epidemiology as they bear on policy issues, such as the connection between socioeconomic status and health, homelessness, violence, stigma and discrimination. With Jo Phelan, he has advanced the theory of social conditions as fundamental causes of disease. He is conducting research on the life course origins of health inequalities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, the consequences of social stigma for the life changes of people who are subject to stigma, and on evaluating intervention efforts aimed at reducing mental illness stigma in children attending middle school.

 

Jennifer Merolla

Jennifer Merolla

Jennifer Merolla

Jennifer Merolla, professor of political science, who earned her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University in 2003. She taught previously Claremont Graduate University. Her research focuses on how the political environment shapes individual attitudes and behavior across many domains such as candidate evaluations during elections, immigration policy attitudes, foreign policy attitudes, and support for democratic values and institutions. She is co-author of “Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public” (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

 

Hyejin Nah

Hyejin NAh

Hyejin Nah

Hyejin Nah, assistant professor of anthropology, who will receive her Ph.D. in Anthropology from New York University in 2015. She is a scholar of language ideologies and practices, language and/in media, indigeneity, sovereignty, social media and Latin America. Born and raised in South Korea, professor Nah has called various places home, attending Seoul National University, Universidad de Chile, and NYU, and performing long-term dissertation fieldwork with Urban Mapuche in Santiago, Chile. She is working on a book manuscript that examines urban Mapuche communicative and expressive repertoires across face-to-face and online interactions, exploring language’s unexpected roles in local pursuits of nationhood and sovereignty.

 

Liz Przybylski

Liz Przybylski

Liz Przybylski

Liz Przybylski, assistant professor of ethnomusicology, earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2015. She is an interdisciplinary popular music scholar who specializes in Indigenous hip hop practices in the United States and Canada. Her dissertation investigates the sampling of heritage music in Indigenous hip hop and analyzes how the circulation of this music in urban environments contributes to continuing dialogues about cultural change. A radio enthusiast, she hosted the world music show “Continental Drift” on WNUR in Chicago and has broadcasted interviews with musicians for programs including “At The Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research” on CJUM in Winnipeg.

 

Eric A. Stanley

Eric Stanley

Eric Stanley

Eric A. Stanley, assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies, who earned a Ph.D. in the history of consciousness with notation in feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz in 2013. He was a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the departments of Communication and Critical Gender Studies at UC San Diego. Along with Chris E. Vargas, he directed the films “Homotopia” (2006) and “Criminal Queers” (in post-production). He is an editor of the anthology “Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex” (AK Press 2011/2015).

 

Ajay Verghese

Ajay Verghese

Ajay Verghese

Ajay Verghese, assistant professor of political science, who earned a Ph.D. from The George Washington University in 2014. His work focuses on South Asian politics, political history, ethnicity, political violence, religious politics, and methodology. He was a post-doctoral fellow from 2012-13 at the Asia-Pacific Research center at Stanford University, and an assistant professor of political science at the University of Southern Florida, St. Petersburg. His forthcoming book is “The Colonial Origins of Ethnic Violence in India” (Stanford University Press).

 

Jon Willits

Jim Willits

Jim Willits

Jon Willits, assistant professor of psychology, who earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012. His research integrates “Big Data” analyses of naturalistic datasets, computational models of learning and behavior, and experimental tests of behavior and brain activity to study how new information is learned and used by children and adults. He is starting a long-term project investigating how parents of different language and socio-economic backgrounds talk to and interact with their children, and how these differences predict those kids’ language acquisition, vocabulary development, and a wide range of other outcomes relating to their cognitive development.

 

Rachel Wu

Rachel Wu

Rachel Wu

Rachel Wu, assistant professor of psychology, who received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of London in 2011. Her research uses brain activity and behavior to investigate how we find and learn relevant information from infancy to older adulthood. Her work has demonstrated the flexibility of infant learning and the efficiency of adult learning. Using the benefits of infant learning to address the shortcomings of adult learning and vice versa, has the greatest promise to lead to discoveries about optimal learning strategies that can be applied throughout the lifespan.

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