Meet our new faculty: Humanities

This fall, new researchers and instructors join 11 humanities departments and programs in Arts & Sciences. One of these faculty members, Gabrielle Kirilloff, was hired as part of the Digital Transformation Initiative in Arts & Sciences. New faculty in the social sciences can be seen here, and new faculty in the natural sciences will be showcased next week.

Welcome to all our incoming faculty! 

African and African-American Studies

Marlon Bailey joins Arts & Sciences as a professor of African and African-American studies and women, gender, and sexuality studies. Bailey is a Black queer theorist and critical/performance ethnographer who studies Black LGBTQ cultural formations, sexual health, and HIV/AIDS prevention. His book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture (2013) was awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association.


College Writing Program

Ezra Claverie joins the College Writing Program as a lecturer, teaching the Dreams & Nightmares theme of the College Writing (first-year) course. He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The University Press of Mississippi just approved the publication of his monograph, Copyright Vigilantes: Intellectual Property and the Hollywood Superhero, 1998-2018. From 2014–22, he taught at New York University Shanghai.



East Asian Languages and Literatures

Alessandro Poletto joins the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures as a lecturer in East Asian religions. He earned his doctorate from Columbia University in which he examined the relationship between Buddhist healers and other technicians involved in the treatment of illness. His current research focuses on the material and textual dimensions of Buddhism as practiced by lay people in early medieval Japan.




Kaho Sakaue has accepted a position in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures as a lecturer in Japanese language. Sakaue earned a master's degree from Purdue University. She is interested in second language acquisition, fluency and pronunciation, and technology in Japanese instruction.






Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu has accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of English. Adwetewa-Badu earned her doctorate at Cornell University. Her work is concerned with the interrelation of poetry and politics, Black diasporic culture and literature, post-colonial literary history, cultural theory, and the digital humanities. Her current book project takes a comparative approach to the poetry of the Black diaspora and is bolstered by her digital work through The Global Poetics Project.




Gabrielle Kirilloff joins the Department of English as an assistant professor. She uses digital methods to examine patterns and outliers in text-based corpora. Kirilloff’s book project, Keeping the Reader Close, employs computational analysis alongside close reading to examine reader address in a corpus of over 3,000 19th- and 20th-century Anglophone novels. She earned her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.




Film and Media Studies

Deirdre Maitre joins the Film and Media Studies program as a lecturer and resident filmmaker. She received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University with an emphasis of study in narrative and documentary. Her work has aired on local and national television and throughout the international festival circuit. She has taught filmmaking at the university level for over 10 years.




Germanic Languages and Literatures

Katherine Kerschen has accepted a position as a lecturer in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her research focuses on second language learners’ lexical knowledge and the process of vocabulary acquisition in a second language. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship fellow, Kerschen taught English in a German secondary school before completing a master's in applied linguistics at the TU Dortmund University. She earned a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University in German applied linguistics and language science.



Mikael Olsson Berggren joins the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures as a lecturer. Berggren earned his doctorate at Washington University, where he researched the way that public transportation systems influenced Berlin’s cultural identity and the lives of residents at the turn of the 20th century. He teaches German language courses and has previously taught Swedish at WashU.





Steve Hindle joins the Department of History as the Derek Hirst Endowed Professor of Early Modern British History. He studies social, cultural, and economic change in Britain during the 16–18th centuries. Hindle comes to WashU after 11 years as the director of research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. His study of social, economic, and spatial relations in an especially well-documented 17th-century village will appear in 2023 with Oxford University Press as The Social Topography of a Rural Community in Seventeenth-Century England.


Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies

Noa Weinberg joins the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies as a lecturer of Hebrew. She earned a master's degree from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew teacher’s certificate from the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has been teaching Hebrew for over 10 years and comes to WashU from the College of Charleston. Weinberg is the co-author of two Hebrew workbooks.





Florent Ghys has accepted a position as a lecturer in theory and composition in the Department of Music. A double bassist and composer, Ghys has written music for some of today’s most influential ensembles and soloists, including the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He has produced music videos for bands as well as for his own work, including an hour-long video album and real-time installations.




Amy Greenhalgh joins the Department of Music as a lecturer and the director of strings and chamber music. She has worked as a chamber and orchestral musician throughout Europe, with ensembles such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. At WashU, Greenhalgh teaches viola lessons and coordinates chamber music.





Rami Stucky joins the Department of Music as a lecturer in musicology. He earned his doctorate from the University of Virginia. Stucky is a music historian specializing in jazz and American music. His book project, When Bossa Was Black: Brazilian Music in 60s America, focuses on the arrival of bossa nova music to the United States during the 1960s.






Romance Languages and Literatures

Kat Haklin has accepted a position as a lecturer in French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. She specializes in 19th-century French literature and visual culture, and her current book project, Writing Claustrophobia: Enclosure in Nineteenth-Century French Literature, examines the unexplored proliferation of enclosed spaces in literature just prior to the first definition of “claustrophobia” in 1879. She earned her doctorate at the Johns Hopkins University. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.



Zorimar Rivera Montes joins the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as an assistant professor of Latinx studies. Her research focuses on contemporary Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latinx literatures and cultures in relation to race, gender, sexualities, colonialism, and neoliberalism. She earned her doctorate from Northwestern University.




Irene Zurita Moreno joins the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as a lecturer in Spanish. She earned her doctorate from the University of Florida.