African and African-American Studies
Jonathan Fenderson, PhD, joins the African & African-American studies department as assistant professor. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow for the department. His research interests include black cultural and social movements, black intellectual and radical traditions, and 20th century Africana histories. His writings have appeared in a number of journals, including the Journal of African-American History, the Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of African-American Studies, the Western Journal of Black Studies, and the Black Scholar. He completed his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.
Art History and Archaeology
Ila Sheren, PhD, joins the art history and archeology department as assistant professor. She earned her doctorate in 2011 from MIT’s history, theory, and criticism program in the Department of Architecture. From 2011-2012 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute. Her dissertation and postdoctoral work focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region as a site for politically- and socially-motivated artwork. Professor Sheren’s current work seeks to analyze the connections between art and social movements, as well as finding new ways to discuss the “efficacy problem” of activist art.
Nathaniel Jones, PhD, joins the art history and archaeology department as assistant professor. Nathaniel’s research centers on the ancient Greco-Roman world and focuses especially on the intersection of art theory, artistic practice, and political discourse in the Roman Republic and Empire. He earned his doctorate from Yale University.
Alexander Barnes, PhD, joins the chemistry department as assistant professor. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory at M.I.T. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011 in physical chemistry for developing sensitivity enhancement methodology for magnetic resonance. His research focuses on magnetic resonance, dynamic nuclear polarization, structural biology, rational drug design, HIV eradication, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, electrical engineering, gyrotron technology, molecular biology, and biophysical chemistry.
Timothy Wencewicz, PhD, joins the chemistry department as assistant professor. After receiving his doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 2011, Wencewicz served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology. His research specializations include organic chemistry, biological chemistry, organic synthesis, antibiotics, enzymes and enzyme inhibitors, drug delivery, and anticancer agents. Wencewicz’s research focuses on understanding, preventing, and curing disease; among other projects, his lab seeks to discover new antibiotic drugs and understand medicinally important natural product antibiotics.
Karen Acton, PhD, joins the classics department as assistant professor. Previously, she worked as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on the political and cultural history of late Republican and early Imperial Rome, as well as Roman numismatics. She is currently working on a microhistorical study of power and authority in the early months of Vespasian’s reign and a die study of a group of coins from the 2nd or 1st century BCE. She received her doctorate in Greek and Roman history from the University of Michigan in 2011.
Anqi Li, PhD, joins the economics department as assistant professor. Previously, she served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on mechanism design, market design, and microeconomic theory. She received her PhD in economics from Stanford University in 2012.
Brian Rogers, PhD, joins the economics department as associate professor. Most recently, Rogers served as associate professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He received his MS (2003) and PhD (2006) from the California Institute of Technology. Rogers’ research interests are in microeconomic theory, in particular the fields of network formation, social learning, and applied game theory. Some of his research employs laboratory experiments to test modeling assumptions and suggest directions for improving theories. His current work explores the implications of symmetries between players in repeated games, and the extent to which cooperation can be sustained in anonymous environments with turnover.
Jonathan Weinstein, PhD, joins the economics department as associate professor. His general areas of research are game theory, decision theory, and microeconomic theory. Weinstein’s publications, which have appeared in such journals as the Econometrica and The Review of Economic Studies, concern the impact of higher-order uncertainty on strategic interactions, as well as testing supposed experts who make probabilistic forecasts that may be strategically motivated. Most recently, he served as associate professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at Northwestern University. He received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Michelle A. Purdy, PhD, joins the education department as assistant professor. Her research interests include the history of U.S. education; the history of African-American education; school desegregation policy; and race, culture, and equity in education. She received her doctorate from Emory University in 2011 with a dissertation titled “Southern and Independent: Public Mandates, Private Schools, and Black Students, 1951-1970.” Most recently, Purdy served as assistant professor at Michigan State University. She received both her BA and MA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Melanie Micir, PhD, joins the English department as assistant professor. Her teaching and research interests include modern and contemporary British and Anglophone literature; women's, gender, and sexuality studies; queer theory; age studies; disability studies; archival theory and practice; and digital humanities. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
Film and Media Studies
Diane Wei Lewis, PhD, joins the film and media studies program as assistant professor. Her research focuses on Japanese film and popular culture, and in particular, early and silent cinema, and the interwar avant-gardes. She is writing a book on representations of the body and the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, a catastrophe that drew increased scrutiny to social instability and new forms of mobility in modernizing Japan. She earned her doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Kurt Beals, PhD, joins the Germanic languages and literatures department as assistant professor. He received his PhD in German from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. His research focuses on experimental movements in 20th-century and contemporary German poetry, including Dada, Concrete poetry, and digital poetry or Netzliteratur. He has written articles on authors including George Grosz, Paul Celan, and Regina Ullmann, and on the filmmaker Hans Richter. He is also co-editor of the volume Hans Richters Rhythmus 21: Schlüsselfilm der Moderne. In addition, he has translated a wide range of works from German into English, including a volume of poetry by the contemporary German poet Anja Utler, and a collection of stories by the Swiss author Regina Ullmann.
Caroline Kita, PhD, joins the Germanic languages and literatures department as assistant professor. She is particularly interested in aesthetic philosophy and the connections between literature and music in German culture. Currently, her research examines religious and cultural identity in the works of Jewish writers and composers in Austria from the turn of the twentieth century to the Second World War, including Gustav Mahler, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Stefan Zweig, Arnold Schoenberg and Franz Werfel. She received her doctorate from Duke University.
Alexandre Dubé, PhD, joins the history department as assistant professor. Previously, he served as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and at the Centre d’études nord-américaines in Paris. His research focuses on the ties that connected the French colonies in North America and the metropole within a French Atlantic state. By tracking transatlantic networks of commodities and people and establishing experiences, expectations, and exigencies on the ground, he reveals the function of the state in colonial circumstances and the shaping of political culture shared in by rulers and ruled. He received his doctorate in history from McGill University in 2010.
Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies
Anne-Marie McManus, PhD, joins the Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern languages and cultures department as assistant professor of modern Arabic literature and culture. She teaches on nineteenth and twentieth century literatures, literary and gender theory, and the history of political thought, and her primary areas of research are postcolonial theories of the nahda and contemporary Syrian literature. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature from Yale University.
Gary Knese, PhD, joins the mathematics department as assistant professor. He is interested in operator theory, complex analysis, polynomial zero sets and sums of squares decompositions, and harmonic analysis. He received his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis.
Ben Duane, PhD, joins the music department as assistant professor. He earned his doctorate in music theory and cognition at Northwestern University before holding a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. In addition to the structure and perception of musical texture, his research involves music cognition more generally, computational modeling, form, music of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and intersections between music theory and information theory. His current projects include an article on texture in Schubert's three-key expositions and another on the probabilistic structure of different types of musical lines.
Paige McGinley, PhD, joins the performing arts department as assistant professor. Her research examines histories of American theater and performance in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on African-American theater and popular entertainment. For five years, she served as assistant professor of theater studies, American studies, and African-American studies at Yale University. Her first book, Staging the Blues: From Tent Shows to Tourism, is an exploration of the theatrical histories of blues performance, and will be published by Duke University Press in 2014. Currently, she is studying legal performances during the long civil rights era, and places paradigms of practice and rehearsal at the center of a study of court cases, nonviolent direct action, and theatrical events.
Jeffrey McCune, PhD, joins the performing arts department and the women, gender, and sexuality studies program as associate professor, to which he brings his expertise in the fields of performance studies, critical race and gender theory, and sexuality studies. He earned his PhD in performance studies from Northwestern University, with a focus in African-American studies and gender studies. His book, Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing, is forthcoming with University of Chicago Press.
G. Fay Edwards, PhD, joins the philosophy department as assistant professor. Her research focuses on Greek and Roman philosophy, and she specializes in Late Ancient psychology and ethics. Her first paper “Irrational Animals in Porphyry's Logical Works: A Problem for the Consensus Interpretation of On Abstinence” is due to be published in Phronesis in January 2014. She completed her doctorate at King’s College in London on Porphyry’s On Abstinence from Animal Food.
Anya Plutynski, PhD, joins the philosophy department as associate professor. She is a historian and philosopher of biology with interests in the history and philosophy of medicine, general philosophy of science, and biomedical ethics. Other research interests include causality and evidence in medicine, scientific explanation, history of medicine, biodiversity conservation, and women in science. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
Erik Henriksen, PhD, joins the physics department as assistant professor. His research focuses on the fundamental physics of two-dimensional electronic systems, primarily graphene and similar single-atom-thick materials, through experiments conducted at temperatures close to absolute zero and in extremely strong, quantizing magnetic fields. Previously he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at the California Institute of Technology, and visiting assistant professor at Harvey Mudd College. He earned his PhD at Columbia University in 2008 and received his BA in Physics and Asian studies from Swarthmore College in 1997.
Andrew Reeves, PhD, joins the political science department as assistant professor. Reeves received his doctorate from the Harvard University in 2008. His research interests include political accountability, particularly the accountability held between voters and U.S. presidents and the ways in which the electorate increasingly holds presidents responsible for local phenomenon, such as natural disasters and federal spending. Before arriving at Washington University, Reeves held a faculty position at Boston University and research fellowships at Stanford University and Yale University. His forthcoming book, The Particularistic President, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.
Betsy Sinclair, PhD, joins the political science department as associate professor. Sinclair’s research interests are located in American politics and political methodology, with an emphasis on individual political behavior. She focuses on the social foundations of participatory democracy—the ways in which social networks influence voting, donating, choosing a candidate, or identifying with a particular party. Other interests range from evaluating the consequences of different voting technologies to developing techniques to draw additional causal inferences in randomized field experiments. Most recently, Sinclair served as assistant professor at the University of Chicago. She received her doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in 2007.
Renee Thompson, PhD, joins the psychology department as assistant professor. Her research centers on understanding the everyday emotional experience of individuals diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. She uses multi-method approaches to examine affective instability and other temporal dynamics of emotional experience. She is also interested in how components of emotion regulation (e.g., emotional awareness) and interpersonal factors (e.g., perceived rejection) affect the emotional experiences of depressed, anxious, and healthy samples. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Tammy English, PhD, joins the psychology department as assistant professor. Her research is focused on emotion and emotion regulation across adulthood, close relationships, and socio-cultural influences on the self and emotion. During her post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford, she examined how the experience and regulation of emotion changes across adulthood and how these changes impact health-related decisions and well-being. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Amber Musser, PhD, joins the women, gender, and sexuality studies program as assistant professor. She will be contributing to research and helping to develop curriculum in sexuality studies in the program. Her research is at the intersection of history of science, critical race studies, and queer and feminist theory. She earned her doctorate from Harvard University.
John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics
Laurie Maffly-Kipp, PhD, joins the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics as a distinguished professor. Maffly-Kipp’s research and teaching focus on African-American religions, religion on the Pacific borderlands of the Americas, and issues of intercultural contact. She joins the Center from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she taught religious studies and American studies since 1989. Currently she is working on a survey of Mormonism in American life that will be published by Basic Books. She received her doctorate in American history at Yale University.