Tag Archive for new faculty

Wesleyan Welcomes 48 New Faculty, Postdocs, Scholars

2019 faculty

New faculty gathered for a group photo during New Faculty Orientation on Aug. 26. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 48 new faculty to campus.

Of those, there are 16 tenure-track, 10 professors of the practice, one artist-in-residence, one adjunct, and 20 new visiting faculty members.

The new faculty bring a diverse skill set to campus. Among them are experts in international political economy; Indian cinema and film; environmental archaeology and ancient DNA; German poetry and aesthetic theory of the 18th century; music and expressive culture in Kazakhstan; politics in the African diaspora; Russian and Anglo-American literature; physiological and psychological effects of alcohol; and digital video production.

In addition, three are Wesleyan alumni.

Bios of the new ongoing faculty are below:

Joseph Ackley

Joseph Ackley

Joseph Ackley, assistant professor of art history, is a specialist in precious metalwork of the European Middle Ages, circa 800–1400. He received his BA from Dartmouth College (2003) and both his MA (2008) and his PhD (2014) from New York University’s Institute for Fine Art. His dissertation focused on portable, liturgical objects such as chalices, reliquaries, figural statuettes, and jewelry. He has investigated the symbolic associations of gold and gilding, the preferred media for these works, and has theorized “the radiant aesthetic” that underlies and informs them. His work not only expands the corpus of medieval art, but also deepens our understanding of the “multi-media glory” that would have characterized medieval architectural spaces, draped with silks and enlivened by processional objects.

Wesleyan Welcomes 71 New Faculty in 2018-19

New Faculty Orientation was held on Aug. 28.

This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 71 new faculty, including 15 tenure-track faculty, 10 professors of the practice, 1 adjunct, and 45 new visiting faculty.

“Academic Affairs, in conjunction with a number of departments and centers, ran successful searches for a number of new professor of the practice positions this year in order to expand the curriculum in particular areas such as writing, education studies, physics, and others, where these faculty could be of great value,” explained Joyce Jacobsen, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Bios of the new ongoing and full-time visiting faculty are below:


Joseph Weiss, assistant professor of anthropology, received his BA from the University of British Columbia, and his MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He comes to Wesleyan from a position as curator of western ethnology at the Canadian Museum of History. Weiss is a sociocultural and political anthropologist whose scholarship explores intersections between indigenous sovereignty, time, and ecology. He has conducted fieldwork with the Haida community of Old Massett, in Western Canada, since 2010. His first book, Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life Beyond Settler Colonialism (University of British Columbia Press), refutes settler colonial ideas of indigenous people as futureless by foregrounding Haida self-determination in reckoning with pressing political, social, and environmental change. Weiss is currently working on two projects: the first an oral history of the relationships between the Haida community and the Canadian Forces Station Masset, a naval radio base on Haida territory (1943–97); the second an ethnographic project tracing the category “Indigeneity” and its ecological imaginaries at the United Nations. His research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the American Philosophical Society, among others, and he has collaborated with the University of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History on a project examining relationships between indigenous people and museums. Weiss’s teaching interests include global indigeneity, temporality, ecological politics, ethnographic methods, anthropological theory, research ethics, and museum anthropology. This semester, he is teaching The Anthropology of Time and Toxic Sovereignties: Life after Environmental Collapse.

Wesleyan Welcomes 57 New Faculty in 2017-18

Pictured, back row, from left: Saray Shai, Yaniv Feller, Samir Bandaogo, Colin Smith and Tyshawn Sorey. Pictured, front row, from left: Justin Peck, Carlos Jiménez-Hoyos, Valeria López Fadul, Daniel Smyth and Scott Aalgaard.

This year, Wesleyan welcomes 11 new tenure-track faculty, one professor of the practice, and 45 visiting faculty and fellows.

The new junior faculty who start this year include:

Scott W. Aalgaard, assistant professor of East Asian studies
Aalgaard holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Victoria, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. His dissertation, titled “‘Homesick Blues’: Crisis, Critique, and Collectivity in Modern Japanese Cultural Production,” traces critical voices in literature, music, and everyday life in modern and contemporary Japan. His areas of research include critical practice in Japan, contemporary Japanese culture, modern and contemporary Japanese literature and popular music, and theories and histories of fascism.

AFAM Program Welcomes 2 New Faculty

This fall, the African American Studies Program welcomed two new faculty members: Kali Nicole Gross, professor of African American studies, and Khalil Anthony Johnson Jr., assistant professor of African American studies.

Kali Gross

Kali Gross

Kali Gross is the author of Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910 (2006) and the newly released, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America (2016). She has been featured on NPR, C-SPAN2 and other television programs, and has consulted for the PBS show “History Detectives.” Gross’s op-ed pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Houston Chronicle, American Prospect, Ebony, Jet Magazine, The Root and Truthout.

“Wesleyan University has an excellent reputation,” Gross said. “It’s a school that is known for its high academic standards and super-smart students. When I learned of the opportunity to join the faculty, I was pretty excited, and I was heartened by the fact that the program was doing a cluster hire — meaning the institution had committed to more than one line; to me that suggested a sustained investment in the development and growth of African American Studies—that was and remains of paramount importance to me.”

Gross has a PhD and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Cornell University.

This fall she is teaching a junior colloquium on African American Women, Sex, Crime and Punishment. Next spring, she will teach Introduction to Modern African American History and African American Women’s History.

“I have been so impressed by the students in the AFAM Junior Colloquium. The students are brilliant, dynamic, and tireless in their educational pursuits. They are doing graduate-level coursework—and they have done so bravely,” Gross said. “Each week we have been grappling with dense histories covering African American women and sex, crime, and punishment in U.S. history. This is not easy or light reading. It can be incredibly difficult and frustrating because few of the works end with some sort of triumph—but my students have been diligent and have critically engaged the material. They have also brought fresh insights to texts that I have been reading for nearly a decade.”

Khalil Johnson

Khalil Johnson

Khalil Johnson specializes in the intertwined histories of the African diaspora and Indigenous people in North America, with emphases on U.S. settler colonialism, education, and counter-hegemonic social movements. In his current manuscript project, Schooled: The Education of Black and Indigenous People in the United States and Abroad, 1730-1980, Johnson historicizes the Post-War migration of hundreds of African American educators to Indian Country ultimately unearthed a colonial genealogy of four generations of social reformers, missionaries, philanthropists, activists, and teachers who, since the 18th century, have used schooling to reconcile the founding cataclysms of the United States––the ongoing presence of Indigenous nations, free black people, and non-white immigrants. The result is a dramatic and transnational reinterpretation of American education and its consequences for colonized peoples across the globe.

“It’s only my first semester, but I love teaching at Wesleyan,” Johnson said. “The students are not only whip-smart, but more importantly they exemplify a politically engaged and compassionate mode of intellectual inquiry that inspires me to be more a humane, intentional, and active human in class, on campus, and in the world.”

Johnson received his PhD from Yale University and his BA from the University of Georgia.

This fall he is teaching Freedom School and Early African American History. Next spring, he will teach Black and Indigenous Foundations of U.S. Society.

The African American Studies Program at Wesleyan offers a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to the study of people of African descent in the Black Atlantic world, especially in the United States and in the Caribbean. The major enables undergraduates to bring the methodologies, theories, and insights of diverse disciplines to bear on their studies of the history, literature, politics, culture, and art of peoples of African descent. Courses, which range from seminars to larger discussion classes, are informed by theoretical and empirical approaches and explore topics such as conceptualizations of race, issues of race and identity, as well as the social structures, cultural traditions, and political realities of Africans in the Diaspora.

Wesleyan Welcomes 55 New Faculty

This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 55 new faculty including 15 new tenured and tenure-track faculty, 33 visiting faculty and seven fellows. They come from top PhD programs throughout the country with expertise ranging from private protocols for computer networks to sleep and psychosocial adjustments to intersectionality of body size, race and gender. Three tenure-track faculty also are Wesleyan alumni.

The 2016-17 group represents the most diverse class of new faculty to date.

Wesleyan Hires 8 New Tenure-Track Faculty

On Feb. 2, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce Jacobsen announced that Wesleyan has hired eight new tenure-track faculty in fields including African American studies, sociology and physics, among others. Wesleyan also made a senior hire, which will be announced later this semester after a successful tenure review, Jacobsen said. Nine other faculty searches are ongoing and will hopefully be completed this spring.

“With 18 searches going on, we will likely have a larger than usual group of new faculty coming to campus next fall,” said Jacobsen. “We’re excited to welcome this accomplished and diverse group of scholar-teachers.”

Brief bios of the eight new tenure-track faculty follow:

Abigail Boggs, assistant professor of sociology, is a Wesleyan alumna whose PhD thesis from University of California – Davis is titled “Prospective Students, Potential Threats: The Figure of the International Student in U.S. Higher Education.” Her work crosses the boundaries of feminist studies, popular culture, queer studies, and transnational studies. Her first book manuscript, “American Futures: International Studies and the Global U.S. University” is currently under review.

New Faculty Attend Orientation Program

Wesleyan welcomes 57 new faculty this fall.

New faculty members gathered for a group photo on Sept. 1.

This fall, Wesleyan welcomes to campus 15 new tenure-track faculty and more than 40 visiting faculty with research interests ranging from ecological and evolutionary functional genomics to behavioral economics; from Chinese history to sociological and cultural studies of knowledge, medicine and health; from psychosocial determinants of healthy aging outcomes among women to political psychology.

On Sept. 1-3, the new faculty members attended a three-day New Faculty Orientation program that included discussions on classroom climate; active learning, service learning and community service; flipped classrooms; and effective lecture styles for larger classrooms, among other topics.

The group represents the most diverse class of new faculty in memory.

“Diversifying the faculty is an institutional priority for Wesleyan because a diverse faculty increases the robust exchange of ideas in and outside of the classroom,” said Joyce Jacobsen, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, Andrews Professor of Economics. “Research shows that a diverse faculty brings innovative and inclusive pedagogies and curricula that enhance the educational experience for all students. Our institutional core values as well as our trustee leadership align with our efforts to diversify our faculty as part of our educational mission.”

Antonio Farias, vice president for equity and inclusion/ Title IX officer, described Wesleyan’s approach to attracting and maintaining a diverse faculty. “Wesleyan sees the diversification of the faculty as a system-level initiative that requires a multi-office leadership approach from the top as well as an organic demand coming from the students and faculty. My office and the provost work together fully to coordinate the hiring and retention process from beginning through promotion and tenure, all of which could not be done without the clear leadership guidance President Roth and the Board of Trustees have provided.”

Wesleyan Welcomes New Faculty

Wesleyan welcomes 12 new faculty members this fall. They are:

Amanda Belichick, adjunct assistant professor of physical education, head coach of women’s lacrosse.

Karl Boulware, assistant professor of economics.

Janet Burge, associate professor of computer science.

Claire Grace, assistant professor of art history.

Roger Grant, assistant professor of music.

Laura Grappo, assistant professor of American studies.

Kerwin Kaye, assistant professor of sociology.

David Kuenzel, assistant professor of economics.

Ioana Emilia Matesan, assistant professor of government.

Victoria Pitts-Taylor, professor and chair of feminist, gender and sexuality studies.

Jesse Torgerson, assistant professor of letters.

Camilla Zamboni, adjunct instructor in Italian.

Wesleyan Welcomes New Faculty

Wesleyan welcomes 13 new faculty to Wesleyan this fall. They include:

Rachel Ellis Nyera, assistant professor of English.
Megan Glick, assistant professor of American studies.
Cameron Hill, assistant professor of mathematics.
Daniel Licata, assistant professor of computer science.
Psyche Loui, assistant professor of psychology.
Nadezda “Nadya” Potemkina, adjunct assistant professor of music.
Lily Saint, assistant professor of English.
Olga Sendra Ferrer, assistant professor of romance languages and literatures.
Joslyn Trager, assistant professor of government.
Laura Ann Twagira, assistant professor of history.
James Greenwood, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences.
Marcela Otéiza, assistant professor of theater.
David Nelson, adjunct assistant professor of music.

In addition, Michael Robinson will join Wesleyan’s faculty as an assistant professor of psychology in January 2014.

Gillian Goslinga: New Faculty Member in Anthropology, Science in Society

Gillian Goslinga, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of science in society, has an array of research specialties including reproductive technologies, kinship, spirit possession, shamanism, indigenous healing, ritual, body/knowledge/power, critical medical anthropology, feminist science studies, postcolonial theory and critical philosophy, life history methods and  feminist ethnography. (Photo by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Gillian Goslinga, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of science in society, has an array of research specialties including kinship and the reproductive technologies, spirit possession and ritual, epistemologies of embodiment and the body, feminist science studies and feminist ethnography. She works primarily in South India. (Photo by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Gillian Goslinga has joined the Anthropology Department as an assistant professor of anthropology. She also is an assistant professor of Science in Society.

A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz doctoral program in the History of Consciousness, Goslinga was attracted to Wesleyan for many reasons, including “the school’s progressive ethos and the ’scholar-teacher’ pedagogical model.”   She says teaching is one of her passions.

“The anthropology department is committed to cutting edge theory-cum-praxis,” Goslinga says.

She says she appreciates the combination of theoretical innovation and creativity and serious intellectual inquiry.

“That made an impression,” she explains. “People at Wesleyan seemed genuinely supported and supportive as well as encouraged to break new ground with their scholarship.  I was at once attracted to the intellectual rigor and creativity,

Deb Olin Unferth: New English Department Faculty Member

Deb Olin Unferth joined the Department of English in fall.

Deb Olin Unferth joined the Department of English in fall.

Deb Olin Unferth has joined the Department of English as assistant professor. She specializes in fiction writing, innovative literature, the short story and the novel.

She says she was attracted to Wesleyan because of its well-known writing program.

“Wesleyan is a fantastic liberal arts school,” Unferth says. “I am very excited to be here. I am enjoying my classes immensely. The students are excellent—in ability, focus, creativity, intelligence, and temperament.”

Unferth has a B.A. in philosophy with distinction from the University of Colorado, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. In 1998, she earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University.

Unferth’s debut novel Vacation was published by McSweeney’s in October 2008. The book garnered her the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award for 2009.

Wesleyan Welcomes 19 New Faculty Members

Wesleyan welcomes 19 newly-hired tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty and adjunct faculty for the 2009-10 academic year.

Robyn Autry joined the Sociology Department as assistant professor. She studies the sociology of race and ethnicity, political sociology, comparative historical sociology, institutions, sociology of science and technology and cultural sociology. Autry has a Ph.D. and Master of Arts from the University of Wisconsin, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Javier Castro-Ibaseta joins the History Department and the College of Letters as assistant professor. Castro-Ibaseta studies early modern Spanish history, early modern political culture and cultural/poetic analysis of political events. He has a Ph.D, a Spanish Diploma de Estudios Avanzados and a Bachelor of Arts from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

Sonali Chakravarti joins the Government Department as assistant professor. Chakravarti studies the history of political philosophy, global justice, war and justice in political theory and truth commissions. She has a Ph.D.