3 Faculty Awarded Tenure; 7 Promoted

Olivia DrakeJune 6, 20178min
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From left, Anthony Ryan Hatch, Basak Kus and Courtney Weiss Smith.
From left, Anthony Ryan Hatch, Basak Kus and Courtney Weiss Smith.

In its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees conferred tenure to Anthony Ryan Hatch, associate professor of science in society; Basak Kus, associate professor of sociology; and Courtney Weiss Smith, associate professor of English. Their appointments begin on July 1.

Hatch, Kus and Weiss Smith join faculty Courtney Fullilove, Tushar Irani, Tiphanie Yanique, Jay Hoggard, Ron Kuivila and Sumarsam in the 2017 tenured cohort.

In addition, seven faculty members are being promoted: Abderrahman Aissa, adjunct assistant professor of Arabic; Balraj Balasubrahmaniyan, adjunct associate professor of music; Daniel DiCenzo, adjunct professor of physical education; Michael Fried, adjunct professor of physical education; Ruth Nisse, professor of English; Ulrich Plass, professor of German studies; and Kim Williams, adjunct associate professor of physical education.

Brief descriptions of their research and teaching appear below.

Abderrahman Aissa teaches elementary, intermediate and advanced Arabic. He is the editor of, and a chief contributor to, the bilingual Arabic-English cultural and political magazine, Zarah. Aissa has translated a German novel into Arabic, Mutterzunge by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, which is scheduled to be published next year, and is translating Diaries of a Clandestine Immigrant by Rachid Neeny from Arabic to English. He is also currently working on a book about the 101 most commonly made mistakes by non-native speakers of modern standard Arabic.

Balraj Balasubrahmaniyan is a vocal soloist who performs nationally and internationally. In 2015, he was awarded the title of “Kala Seva Mani” (Gem in service of the art) by the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana Committee for his lasting contribution to Karnatak Music through performance, propagation, and demonstration in the U.S. and Canada. He offers courses on beginning, intermediate and advanced South Indian Voice; Introduction to South Indian Music; Introduction to North Indian Music; Film and Folk Music of India; and Singing to Your Instruments.

Daniel DiCenzo is the head football coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach. In fall 2016, he led the football team to a 6-2 record, winning the Little Three Championship over Williams and Amherst for the second time since 1970, and finishing third overall in NESCAC. His team’s defense was the top ranked unit in the conference in almost every statistical category and he had 13 players earn All-NESCAC honors, including six on the first team. He teaches physical education courses in strength training.

Michael Fried is the head coach of men’s and women’s tennis. He has led both teams to their highest rankings in program history, with the women’s team finishing last year in 8th place and the men’s team in ninth place nationally, and both teams are currently competing in the NCAA Championships for similarly high rankings this year. Professor Fried was named 2017 Division III National Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year, and 2017 Division III Northeast/ITA Coach of the Year. He offers physical education courses in beginning and intermediate tennis.

Anthony Hatch is a sociologist whose scholarship examines questions about science, technology, and inequality. His book, Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) investigates the relationships between the diagnosis, research, and treatment of “metabolic syndrome” and social conceptions of race and ethnicity. He teaches TechnoPrisons: Corrections, Technology, and Society; Metabolism and Technoscience; Antipsychiatry; and Life and Death: Relations of Biopower and Necropower.

Basak Kus‘s scholarly work focuses on inequality and the politics of redistribution, finance and society, neoliberal reforms, politics of economic crises, sociology of debt, and regulatory politics. Recent publications include “Wealth Inequality in a Comparative and Historical Perspective” in Sociology Compass, and “Financial Citizenship and the Hidden Crisis of the Working Class in the New Turkey” in Middle East Report. She offers courses on Rethinking Capitalism; Political Sociology; Sociology of Markets; Social Mobility, Politics, and Morals; and Sociological Analysis.

Ruth Nisse is a scholar of medieval literature. Her recent book, Jacob’s Shipwreck: Diaspora and Translation in Jewish-Christian Relations in Medieval England (Cornell University Press, 2017), introduces a new approach to ideas of Jewish Diaspora in medieval Western Europe based on an examination of the transmission and reception of Hebrew and Latin post-biblical literature. Nisse teaches Medieval Drama, Ethnicities of Middle Ages, Chaucer and Medieval Romances.

Ulrich Plass’s research focuses on critical theory and its philosophical origins, and modern literature and aesthetics. He has published two books and his recent publications include “Moral Critique and Private Ethics in Nietzsche and Adorno” (in Constellations) and “After Lukács: Realist Writing in Christian Kracht’s Imperium and W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn” (forthcoming in The Reality of Realism). He received a prestigious Humboldt Fellowship at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin. Plass offers courses in modern German literature and philosophy from the late 18th through the 20th centuries.

Courtney Weiss Smith’s scholarship focuses on the literary, cultural, and intellectual history of England during the 18th century. She received the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for outstanding scholarship in 18th century studies for her book, Empiricist Devotions: Science, Religion, and Poetry in Early Eighteenth-Century England (University of Virginia Press, 2016). Smith teaches British Literature in the Enlightenment; Science and/as Literature in Early Modern England; The Rise of the Novel; Old Poetics for New Poets; and Nature Description: Literature and Theory.

Kim Williams is the head coach of women’s lacrosse. She has led the team to set program records in overall wins and NESCAC wins, and to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. This spring the team qualified for the NESCAC Tournament for the first time since 2009, and she was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year. Williams offers physical education courses on beginning fitness, interval training and introduction to strength training.