Brookings Hall East End

Meet our new faculty: Humanities

Please join us in welcoming 15 new instructional faculty to departments and programs across the humanities!


African and African-American Studies

Karma Frierson

Karma Frierson, PhD, joins the Department of African and African-American Studies as an assistant professor. Frierson specializes in Afro-Latin American Studies. Her research, an ethnography of the Gulf Coast port city of Veracruz, Mexico, traces how blackness functions as a genealogy, an expectation, and a cultural resource for the regional identity known as jarocho. Since earning her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Chicago in 2018, Frierson was the postdoctoral associate in Latin American Studies at Rutgers University. She has been recognized as a Fulbright Student Scholar, a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. 


American Culture Studies

Noah Cohan

Noah Cohan, PhD, has joined American Culture Studies as a full-time lecturer. Cohan’s research and teaching focus on American fan cultures, sports, and narratives, particularly as they pertain to race and gender. He first began teaching AMCS courses in 2013 while earning his doctorate at Washington University. In 2019, Cohan’s book We Average Unbeautiful Watchers: Fan Narratives and the Reading of American Sports was published by the University of Nebraska Press. He is co-convener of the Sports and Society: Culture, Power, and Identity initiative in AMCS and founding coordinator of the Sports Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association.

Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh joins American Culture Studies as a full-time lecturer. His principal research area is the development of the American computing industry as it emerged from university and military investment during WWII. More broadly, his work traces the development 19th- and 20th-century cultural imaginations of technology in historical contexts, and how these figurations codified racial and gender inequalities within the political and cultural mystique of an ‘objective’ and ‘rational’ technological society. His courses include studies on race and policing surveillance in urban contexts; the engineering and cultural history of the internet; the engineering and cultural history of computing and computers; late nineteenth century industrialism and automobile manufacturing; St. Louis and the techno-racial politics of the 1904 world’s fair; and the technological infrastructure of fake news and election meddling.


College Writing Program

Ron Austin

Ron Austin, MFA, joins the College Writing program as a lecturer. Avery Colt Is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar, his first collection of linked stories, has received several honors including: The 2017 Nilsen Prize, a 2019 Foreward INDIES GOLD Award, a 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize nomination, and a 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nomination. Austin's work has been supported by grants from the Regional Arts Commission, including a 2016 Artist Fellowship. Previously, his stories have been placed in Pleiades, Story Quarterly, and other journals. Austin is active in the St. Louis literary community and currently serves as the managing editor of REMAKE, a magazine of first-year writing. He has taught writing at Washington University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he earned his MFA.   

Rita Hu

Rita Hu, PhD, joins the College Writing program as a lecturer. Hu specializes in supporting first-generation and international students. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in English from Rutgers University, with a focus on race studies. She has taught courses at Washington University since 2018, including “Fundamentals of Academic Writing,” "Intensive Legal English Reading & Writing," and “Research Writing for International Students & Scholars.” Outside of her teaching, Hu is on the executive board of Baobob People, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that seeks to connect people from different cultures through dialogue and learning. 



Chris Eng

Chris A. Eng, PhD, joins the Department of English as an assistant professor. Eng’s work investigates the productive frictions and intimacies between Asian American literatures and queer of color critique. After earning his doctorate from the The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Eng served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an assistant professor at Syracuse University. At WashU, he will be affiliated faculty for the minor in Asian American Studies and teach English courses including “American Dreams, American Nightmares” and “Gender & Sexuality in Asian American Literature.”  

Stephanie Li

Stephanie Li, PhD, joins the Department of English as the Lynne Cooper Harvey Distinguished Professor of English. Li’s research is united by a commitment to bridging the divide between political rhetoric and literary narratives. She has authored six books, including the recent Signifyin(g) Immigrants: Twenty-First Century Pan-African American Literature, which charts the contours of literature by African born or identified authors centered around life in the United States. Prior to joining the Washington University faculty, Li was the Susan D. Gubar Chair in Literature and Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Indiana University, Bloomington. She earned her doctorate from Cornell University. 


Film and Media Studies

John Powers

John Powers, PhD, joins Film and Media Studies as an assistant professor. Powers’s research draws from cultural history, media theory, and discourse and textual analysis to examine the use of commercial technologies as material and cultural resources in experimental film and video. Powers’s writing has appeared in Cinema Journal, Screen, October, Millennium Film Journal, and other publications. Powers previously served as a lecturer in Film and Media Studies, where he has taught courses on experimental film, contemporary women directors, documentary film and media, horror across media, and digital cinema production. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Uluğ Kuzuoğlu

Uluğ Kuzuoğlu, PhD, joins the Department of History as an assistant professor. Kuzuoğlu’s research interests lie in modern China, Central Asia, and Ottoman Empire. His current book project, Codes of Modernity: Chinese Scripts in the Global Information Age, explores the history of script reforms in China and the world during the 19th and 20th centuries. While earning his doctorate from Columbia University, Kuzuoğlu conducted research in the PRC, Taiwan, Russia, and Turkey. This semester, he is teaching “Science and Technology in East Asia” and “Topics in History and Technology: A History of Information.”



Anne Baril

Anne Baril, PhD, joined the Department of Philosophy as a lecturer Jan. 1 this year. Baril’s research interests include ethics, epistemology, and their intersection. She is especially interested in the role of epistemic virtues and values in the good life. In her current central research project, she develops an account of epistemic virtue, and argues that epistemic virtue is both integral to the development of moral character and a constitutive contributor to well-being. Baril has taught philosophy courses at WashU since 2017; her recent and upcoming courses include “Present Moral Problems” and “Normative Ethical Theory.” She earned her doctorate from the University of Arizona.

Becko Copenhaver

Rebecca (Becko) Copenhaver, PhD, joins the Department of Philosophy as a professor. Cophenhaver’s main area of research is the philosophy of mind, particularly perception and memory, with special attention to modern British theories of mind, including those of Thomas Reid, George Berkeley, and John Locke. She has written or edited numerous books, most recently the six-volume reference collection History of the Philosophy of Mind. Copenhaver comes to Washington University after spending nearly 20 years on the faculty at Lewis & Clark College, where she received awards for teaching, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and faculty excellence. She earned her doctorate at Cornell University.

Zoe Jenkin

Zoe Jenkin, PhD, joins the Department of Philosophy as an assistant professor. Jenkin's research concerns the role of reasons in perception and cognition. Her recent work covers topics such as the scope of epistemic evaluability, the relationship between cognitive architecture and rationality, and conflicts between normative domains. Earlier this year, Jenkins earned her doctorate at Harvard University and held a Collaborative Visiting Fellowship at the University of London’s Institute of Philosophy. Her courses this fall include “Philosophy of Mind” and “Art and the Mind/Brain.”

Jake Quilty-Dunn

James (Jake) Quilty-Dunn, PhD, joins the Department of Philosophy as an assistant professor. Since earning his doctorate at the City University of New York in 2017, Quilty-Dunn has been a research fellow at the University of Oxford. In addition to his primary work in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, his broad research interests include philosophy of language, aesthetics, and early modern philosophy. Earlier this year, the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness awarded Quilty-Dunn the William James Prize for best published paper on consciousness by an early-career researcher. His book The Divided Mind: A Philosophical Introduction is under contract with Routledge.

Lori Watson

Lori Watson, PhD, joins the Department of Philosophy as a professor. Watson specializes in political and moral philosophy, feminism, and philosophy of law. She recently published three books with Oxford University Press: Equal Citizenship and Public Reason: A Feminist Political Liberalism (2018), Debating Sex Work (2019), and Debating Pornography (2019). Prior to joining the Washington University faculty, Watson chaired the Department of Philosophy at the University of San Diego. Also at San Diego, she directed Women’s and Gender Studies, was affiliate faculty in the Law School, and held numerous university service positions. She earned her doctorate from the University of Illinois-Chicago.


Romance Languages and Literatures

Lionel Cuillé

Lionel Cuillé, PhD, joins the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as a teaching professor. Cuillé specializes in 19th-and 20th-century French literature. His research examines the relationship between turn-of-the-century technologies and the avant-gardes. From 2012-20, Cuillé served as associate professor and the Jane and Bruce Robert endowed chair in French Studies at Webster University. For his contributions to the promotion of French culture in the Midwest, Cuillé was named "Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques" in 2017 by the French government. He is the founder of French ConneXions (former Centre Francophone), a cultural center promoting French and Francophone culture in St Louis.