2017-18 New Faculty

Zaid Adhami

Assistant Professor of Religion

Sarah Allen

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

Sarah Allen is a specialist in medieval Chinese literature, especially stories and anecdotal literature, which allows her to read lots of stories about ghosts, adventurers, and animals disguised as beautiful women. Prior to coming to Williams, she taught (mostly pre-modern) Chinese literature, history, and language at Wellesley College. She was a visitor at Williams in 2016 and is happy to be back at Williams once again.

Zak Arctander

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art

Zak Arctander makes photographs and videos. Influenced by street photography and cinema, his work explores the relationship between technology and intimacy. He earned his BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 and his MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2015. He has taught at Yale University, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and he has exhibited in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. He is currently excited about Ottessa Moshfegh’s Homesick for Another World, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Hiroshi Ishiguro’s telepresence robot called Telenoid.

Daniel Barowy

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

I am interested in the design and implementation of programming languages. Two questions motivate most of my research: “Can this program be made simpler to use?” and “Can this program be made more robust?” In particular, I am excited about two important applications: spreadsheets, which are used by hundreds of millions of non-programmers, and crowdsourcing, which enables new applications by blending human intuition with computer power. To make these applications simpler and more reliable, I develop new language abstractions, user-interaction models, and debugging tools. While I often employ traditional programming language techniques like program analysis, somewhat unusually, I also blend them with statistical approaches.

My PhD work was supervised by Emery Berger at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before coming to Williams College, I was a Visiting Instructor in Computer Science at Mount Holyoke College.

More information is available at barowy.net.

Ron Bassar

Assistant Professor of Biology

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Alexander Bevilacqua

Assistant Professor of History

Alexander Bevilacqua studies the cultural and intellectual history of Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. He is especially interested in European interactions with non-European peoples at a time of global expansion and exchange. He was educated at Harvard, Cambridge, and Princeton. His book, The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment, is due out in 2018. See more

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Mari Rodriguez Binnie

Assistant Professor of Art

Mari Rodriguez Binnie teaches modern and contemporary art in Latin America, with a transnational focus. Her areas of specialization include experimental practices of the 1960s and 1970s, and theory and criticism in postwar Latin America, particularly in Brazil. She received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017, and is currently editing her dissertation, “The São Paulo Neo-Avant-Garde: Art, Collaboration, and Print Media, 1970–1985,” into a book manuscript.
Academia Profile: williams.academia.edu/MariRodriguez

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Bill Bowers

Visiting Lecturer in TheatreSpring ’18

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Nicole Brown

Assistant Professor of Classics

Nicole Brown is a classical archaeologist, specializing in Roman material culture and with particular interest in the archaeology of farming, gardens, and rural life, as well as their literary and artistic representations. Her current project, “Rus sub urbe”: Constructing the Ideology of a Rural Past in Republican and Early Imperial Rome, explores how the city’s architectural forms, preserved open spaces, and state-sponsored imagery insisted on Rome’s rural origins for centuries, even as its growth into a pan-Mediterranean empire would suggest otherwise. Nicole has a Ph.D. from Princeton University, an M.A.T. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College. Previously, she taught Latin in public and private schools outside Boston, worked as Associate Director of the Charles River Conservancy in Cambridge, MA, and raised a flock of Romney sheep.

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Andrew Bydlon

Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics

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Don Carlson

Class of 1946 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies, Fall ’17

Anthony Carrasquillo

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Misha Chowdhury

Arthur Levitt, Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence

Allana Clarke

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art

Allana Clarke, ( b.1987. Trinidad & Tobago ) is a conceptual artist working in video, sculpture, installation, and performance. She has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, The Vermont Studio Center, and Lighthouse Works. Clarke is also the 2014 recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship MICA, Skowhegan fellowship, Vermont Studio Civil Society Fellowship, the Peter W. Brooke Fellowship and a 2015 recipient of a Franklin Furnace grant. She completed her MFA in the Mount Royal School of Art at MICA. Recent exhibitions include work performed at FiveMyles Gallery, Invisible Exports Gallery, and Gibney Dance in New York. Her current practice uses performance and language to dissect the anxiety caused by our perception of spatial compression through the fracturing of how we understand time and speed and the binary of individual and collective consciousness via the performance of cultural signifiers.

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Stephen Cramer

Visiting Professor of Chemistry, Spring ’18

See web page

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John Demos

Bennett Boskey Visiting Professor of History,

Walfrido Dortas

Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish

Walfrido Dorta earned his Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures at The Graduate Center (CUNY) (2016).

He has taught at Baruch College (CUNY), Fairfield University, University of Vigo (Galicia, Spain), and University of Havana (Cuba).

His research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean literatures and cultures, Latin American and Caribbean cinema, film and visual studies, and critical theory.

He is interested in issues such as postnationalism, globalization, and counter-hegemonic visual and literary discourses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

His current book manuscript, Political Dynamics and Cultural Projects in the Cuban Post-Revolution (1989-2015): Paideia, Diáspora(s), and Generación Cero, focuses on the ways through which these projects intervene in Cuban state cultural politics and analyzes objects such as programmatic documents, journals, literary works, blogs, and online magazines.

He is also working on a second book project tentatively titled “Global Narratives in the Latin American and Caribbean Cinema”, which studies how recent films adapt several tropes (political oppression, migration, race) and reshape zombie stories, reality show scenarios, and hyperlink narratives to the particularities of Latin American and the Caribbean in order to defy stereotypical conceptions of these regions.

Website: nyu.academia.edu/WalfridoDorta

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Nina Dubin

Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History, Spring ’18

Nina Dubin is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she teaches courses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art. The author of Futures & Ruins: Eighteenth-Century Paris and the Art of Hubert Robert (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2010; 2012), she is spending the 2017-2018 academic year in Williamstown, as a fellow at the Clark Art Institute in the fall and as Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History at Williams in the spring. She is currently writing a book on love letter pictures in eighteenth-century France.

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Kim Faler

Visiting Lecturer in Art, Fall ’17

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Ezra Feldman

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Ezra Dan Feldman’s teaching and research focus on twentieth and twenty-first century American literature, and his major research project is titled “Flat Narratologies: Surface, Depth, and Speculation in Contemporary American Metafiction.” This work connects literary studies with science studies and the history of technology, and classes like “Tools for Time Travel” have explored the literary and the technological in tandem. His book of poems, Habitat of Stones, won the Patricia Bibby First Book Award.

See more

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Jackson Gay

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre

Kai Green

Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Ilana Harris-Babou

Visiting Assistant Professor Art

Ilana Harris-Babou is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She uses music videos, cooking shows, and home improvement television as material in abject explorations of the American Dream. She works primarily in video installation and sculpture.
Harris-Babou received an MFA in New Genres from Columbia University in 2016, and a BA in Art from Yale University in 2013. She previously taught in the Sculpture + Extended Media department at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has shown her work throughout the U.S. and Europe. Past venues include SculptureCenter & the Jewish Museum in NYC, the Zuckerman Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, and Le Doc in Paris, FR. Her work can be found online at: ilanahb.com

Katie Hart

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Prof. Katie Hart joins Williams Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, where she has been a research instructor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. Her research focuses on understanding the role of protein structure and stability in the evolution of drug resistance. She received her B.S. in Biology from Haverford College and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Berkeley. When she’s not puzzling over the mysteries of protein evolution, she likes to apply her lab skills to projects in the kitchen (experiments you can eat!) and consume dystopian fiction (which might explain her fixation on the next plague).

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Iris Howley

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Iris Howley’s research occurs at the intersection of human-computer interaction and the learning sciences where she incorporates concepts from computer science, psychology, and education to improve technologically enhanced learning experiences for instructors and students. She comes to Williams College by way of a postdoctoral stint at Stanford University, PhD in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. in Computer Science at Drexel University. Beyond computer science and education, she is excited about maker culture and travel.

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Vivian L Huang

Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Vivian L. Huang is developing her book project on racialized affect and queer & Asian sociality from her doctoral work in Performance Studies at New York University. She returns to Williams College after teaching at Harvard University as the College Fellow jointly appointed in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Theater, Dance & Media, 2016-2017, and serving as the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Comparative Literature at Williams from 2014-2016. Huang teaches in the intersections of performance studies, Asian American studies, and queer theory, and she holds additional degrees in English and Theater.

Vladimir Ivantsov

Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian

Vladimir Ivantsov is currently finishing his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “The Concepts of the Underground in Russian Literary and (Counter)Cultural Discourse: From Dostoevsky to Punk Rock”(McGill University, Canada, 2017). He received his Candidate of Sciences (kandidat nauk) degree in Russian literature from St. Petersburg State University (Russia) in 2007. Vladimir taught Russian literature at St. Petersburg State University and Russian literature and language at McGill University. His research interests cover a broad spectrum of topics, including Dostoevsky, Russian modernism, Mikhail Bakhtin, existentialism, and rock and pop culture. He published a book on the contemporary Russian writer Vladimir Makanin (2008). In his free time, Vladimir enjoys cooking, playing the guitar, and travelling.

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Katharine Jensen

Assistant Professor of Physics

Georgios Karamalegkos

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre, Fall ’17

See website: physicallab.co.uk/theteam

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Jeremy King

Sorkin Visiting Professor of History, Spring ’18

Jeremy King studied Soviet history in college, but then fell prisoner one summer to the charms and tragedies of Central Europe. Trained at Columbia University as a historian of Austria-Hungary and its successor states, he has lived in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and several other cities in the region. His research interests include nationalism, liberalism, racial law, and communist and post-communist housing policy. Over the past twenty years, his course offerings have included “From Habsburg to Hitler,” “Minority Rights in Modern Europe,” “Germans, Slavs, and Jews, 1900-1950,” “Race Law Compared,” “Stalinism in Central Europe,” “European Public Policy, West and East,” and “Modern Germany.”

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Karen L. King

Croghan Bicentennial Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies, Fall ’17

Karen L. King is the Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University’s oldest endowed
professorship (1721). Trained in comparative religions and historical studies, she is the author of books and articles on the diversity of ancient Christianity, women and gender studies, and religion and violence. Her particular passion is studying recently discovered literature from Egypt, such as The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary, The Apocalypse of James, and The Apocryphon of John.

Publications include What is Gnosticism?; The Secret Revelation of John; The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle; “Christianity and Torture” in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence; “The Place of the Gospel of Philip in the Context of Early Christian Claims about Jesus’ Marital Status”; and “Jesus” (forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of the New Testament and Sexuality).

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David Loehlin

Assistant Professor of Biology

The problem that motivates me is how function emerges from evolution. Right now I am particularly drawn to the deceptively simple question of how natural selection increases/decreases the activity of genes. Specifically, I want to understand the genetics behind the adaptation of multiple species of wild Drosophila flies to high- or low-alcohol environments. One surprising finding so far is that duplicating a gene does not result in a doubling of the gene’s output. This has potential relevance to interpreting the baffling variation in gene-copy number that each of us is walking around with. I switched majors several times in college before finding this path, and would advocate that kind of risk-taking to students whose curiosity is still getting in the way of doing something sensible. Along with science, I am passionate about the arts, especially music and sculpture.

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Heather Love

Margaret Bundy Scott Professor of English, Fall ’17

I teach twentieth-century literature and culture, gender studies, and critical theory at the University of Pennsylvania. I got my undergraduate degree at Harvard and my Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. I have also taught at New York University (in Performance Studies) and Princeton University (in Gender and Sexuality Studies). Most broadly I am interested in how social conditions affect people’s intimate lives, and how many aspects of our lives that we take for granted (love, friendship, family, the senses) are shaped by history. I have written on topics including social stigma, compulsory happiness, and the queerness of everyday life. In my spare time I read and watch a lot of nordic and celtic noir, which just about satisfies my craving for dark plots and bad weather.

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Kimberly Love

Assistant Professor of English

Kimberly Love received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, where she taught courses that focused on race in twentieth century American literature and culture. She specializes in African American literature and culture, and her research interests include slavery in the literary imagination, affect studies, race and ethnicity, and black feminist (and womanist) theory. Her essay on shame as a literary representational strategy in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is currently under review for publication in African American Review. When Dr. Love isn’t teaching, writing, and performing research, she enjoys listening to birds, playing card games, and writing introductions to short stories.

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Natalie Lozinski-Veach

Visiting Assistant Professor of German

Natalie Lozinski-Veach completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Brown University in 2016. Her research explores the intersections of language, animal studies, and aesthetics in modern German and Polish literature and theory. Additional teaching and research interests include Holocaust and trauma studies, gender, posthumanism, critical and literary theory, and film. Most recently, she has published the article “Embodied Nothings: Paul Celan’s Creaturely Inclinations” in the journal MLN.

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Laura Martin

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Laura Martin studies how humans intentionally and unintentionally shape the distribution and diversity of life on Earth. While studying biophysics at Brown University she discovered history, the discipline in which she would ultimately ground her research. Her research and teaching interests include environmental history, science and technology studies, history of biology, conservation biology, evolutionary ecology, and environmental justice. She holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and from 2015-2017 she was a fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. She is thrilled to join the Williams community. To learn more about her work, visit: ljanemartin.com

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Shervin Malekzadeh

Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science

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Nicole Maloof

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art

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Aleksandar Matovski

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science

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Marion Min-Barron

Visiting Assistant Professor

Marion Min-Barron has been engaged in the field of international nutrition for over a decade with a particular geographic focus in East Africa. Her main research interests lie in agriculture and nutrition linkages with a gendered perspective, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition programs, interhousehold dynamics and participatory research. Her current research explores, through a mixed-methods approach, the role of gender at the agriculture-nutrition nexus within the context of Ethiopian smallholder households. Marion’s passion for teaching is fueled by the wealth of learning she has acquired from her students. With a dual degree Masters in Nutrition (Food Policy and Applied Nutrition) and Public Health (Biostatistics and Epidemiology), she is currently finishing her doctoral degree at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University.

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Michele Monserrati

Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Languages

Education

Ph.D. Rutgers University
Ph.D. University of Florence (Italy)

Michele Monserrati specializes in Italian literature of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. With published articles on travel literature, Cold War literature, and ekphrasis in poetry, his current research draws on the field of Transnational Studies to examine the experience of Japan in works by Italian writers who visited the Land of the Rising Sun beginning in the Meiji restoration period (1868-1912) and during the subsequent opening of Japan’s relations with the West. Previously, Professor Monserrati is the author of the book Le “cognizioni inutili”, saggio su “Lo Spettatore fiorentino” di Giacomo Leopardi [“Useless Cognitions”. Essay on the Journal “Lo Spettatore Fiorentino” by Giacomo Leopardi] (Florence: University Press, 2005) and the editor of a volume of correspondence, Benedetto Croce – Guido Mazzoni (Florence: SEF, 2007). Having taught at Tulane University and Bryn Mawr College, Professor Monserrati is happy to be joining the faculty at Williams.

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Dan Norton

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Norton received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Boston University in 2015, and his BA in Psychology from Gordon College in 2005. His research is in the realm of clinical psychological science, where he focuses on well-understood brain systems, especially the visual system, as a way to uncover how the brain and mind change in neurological and psychiatric disorders. Most of his previous work has utilized psychophysical and eye tracking methods to help understand, track, or diagnose schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Brooke Olson Blair

Instructor in Chemistry

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Ianna Hawkins Owen

Assistant Professor of English

Ianna Hawkins Owen holds a PhD in African American Studies from UC Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her work focuses on failure, diaspora theory, and asexuality. Beyond the academy, she loves tabletop games, snail mail, and vegan pizza.

A recent interview can be accessed at: wheelercolumn.berkeley.edu

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Sebastian Perez

Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in Latina/o Studies

Lauren Philbrook

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Lauren Philbrook comes to Williams from Auburn University, where she has worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Child Sleep, Health, and Development Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University and her B.A. in Psychology from Williams. Her research and teaching interests concern the development of children’s sleep and physiological regulation, as it relates to children’s health, academic skills, and adjustment. Her current work is particularly focused on how sleep and physiology predict children’s outcomes in contexts of family and socioeconomic risk, such as marital conflict and community violence. Outside of work, she enjoys running marathons as well as skiing and hiking. Lauren is from Hopkinton, MA. Website: laurenphilbrook.weebly.com

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Sarah Politz

Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology

Sarah Politz’s work focuses broadly on popular music in Africa and the diaspora, with a specialization in brass band music, jazz, and traditional religious practices in Benin, West Africa. She completed her PhD at Harvard University in ethnomusicology, and also holds a Master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, and Bachelors degrees in jazz studies and English from Oberlin College. Professor Politz is currently preparing a book project for publication titled Gangbe: Resonance and Cultural Economy in Benin’s Jazz and Brass Bands, which brings together aesthetic and material analyses of Beninois musicians’ creative paths through their careers. She performs actively on trombone with several groups in the Boston area.

Tim Pusack

Assistant Professor at Williams-Mystic

The diversity of life on this planet amazes me, and I am driven to understand why and how species exists in their particular habitats. I enjoy interdisciplinary research projects that employ novel techniques to answer prudent questions. My primary research interests include community ecology, species interactions, dispersal, and adaptation. During my dissertation at Oregon State University I used both genetic and field ecology techniques to study larval dispersal and the Lionfish invasion. As a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the University of South Florida, I studied how fluctuation in abiotic conditions affected species interactions on and persistence of oyster reefs. Throughout my career, I taught many courses such as Introduction to Biology, Ecology, Marine Ecology, and Environmental Sciences. In my research and courses, I emphasize statistical literacy and communication skills. Personally, I love exploring the world, but especially when I can hike a mountain or SCUBA dive in an ocean.

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Jamil Ragep

Richmond Visiting Professor of Arabic Studies, Fall ’17

See webpage

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Tyler Jackson Rogers

Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in American Studies

My teaching and scholarship span the fields of indigenous studies, comparative ethnic studies, feminist theory, and early colonial American history. Broadly, my research examines the interwoven relationship between slavery and settler colonialism in the Americas. My current project critiques the enslavement of indigenous people in settler colonial New England, with a focus on how and why the lives of unfree indigenous women emerge in documentary records.

I am currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at Yale University, where I have also earned my MA and MPhil in American Studies and the certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I earned my BA magna cum laude in Ethnic Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Brown University, where I began my path through academia as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.

Beyond my academic work, I am also an avid creator and consumer of social media, particularly selfies, GIFs, and memes.

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Rachel Scudder

Visiting Assistant Professor of Oceanography

Rachel Scudder is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College and teaches Oceanographic Processes for the Williams-Mystic Program. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Boston University, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Scudder’s research specialty is the identification and quantification of dispersed volcanic ash and other sources within marine sediment using a combined geochemical and statistical approach. When used in conjunction with discrete layers, the dispersed ash record provides valuable insight into many aspects of earth’s history relating to volcanism and arc evolution, and also addresses important questions relating to climate change, geochemical mass balances, hydration of marine sediment during alteration, the geodynamics of subduction zones, and other key components of the earth-ocean-atmosphere system. Additionally, her research incorporates isotopic analyses of marine sediment as a tracer of weathering inputs and water mass origin, movement, and flow rate. Dr. Scudder has participated in a number of scientific research cruises. Her research has been published in scientific journals such as Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, and Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems and includes several student co-authors.

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Justin Shaddock

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

My research focuses on the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, specifically his idealist metaphysics and his hylomorphic theory of mind. I aim to show how Kant revolutionizes the philosophical paradigms for thinking about the relationship between the mind and the world from his predecessors in the Empiricist and Rationalist traditions of the 17th and 18th Centuries. My teaching ranges over these philosophical traditions to which Kant responds, Kant’s own theoretical and practical philosophy, and the various responses to Kant in the Continental and Analytic traditions of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

I am very happy to be taking up my current position as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Williams, after having been a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor here at Williams over the past five years.

Website: justin shaddock

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Jason Simms

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre, Spring ’18

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Mikael Svensson

STINT Research Associate and Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Mikael Svensson earned his PhD in Economics from Örebro University (Sweden) in 2007 and was also a participant in the International PhD Program in Health Economics & Policy at the Swiss School of Public Health. After earning his PhD Dr. Svensson has been an Assistant/Associate Professor of Economics at Karlstad and Örebro University (Sweden), a Visiting Researcher at Toulouse School of Economics (France) and at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York (UK).

Currently he holds a position as full Professor of Applied Health Economics at the Health Metrics Unit at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden). Dr. Svensson will spend the 2017-18 academic year at Williams College as a Stint Teaching Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Economics department.

His teaching and research is in the domain of applied microeconomics, and in particular on health economics and economic evaluation methods. See more

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Chad Topaz

Professor of Mathematics

Professor of Mathematics Chad Topaz (A.B. Harvard, Ph.D. Northwestern).

After a decade teaching at Macalester College in Minnesota, I am delighted to join the Williams community. My research on complex and nonlinear systems examines problems in biology, chemistry, physics, and the social sciences through several lenses, including data science, modeling, analysis, topology, geometric dynamical systems, numerical simulation, and experiment… all with an eye towards understanding and predicting complex behavior. For instance, one of my recent publications uses differential equations to model biological swarms and their interaction with the environment (http://epubs.siam.org/doi/10.1137/15M1031151). I have taught courses including calculus, scientific computing, ordinary and partial differential equations, dynamical systems, mathematical modeling, and complex analysis, as well as a seminar I created called “Death, Devastation, Blood, War, Horror, and Mathematics.” Beyond these teaching and research interests, I am committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. When not at work, you can find me hanging out with my husband and daughter, playing viola, practicing yoga, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, or obsessively reading the news. You can learn more about me at chadtopaz.com.

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Henry Walker

Visiting Professor of Computer Science, Fall ’17

Home page: cs.grinnell.edu/walker
Primary Field: Computer Science Education

As a mathematics graduate in Williams Class of 1969, I am looking forward to returning to my alma mater as a visiting computer scientist for Fall 2017. During my undergraduate years, Williams obtained its first computer for faculty, staff, and students; and I became what might now be termed the first undergraduate assistant in the computer center. After Williams, I received my Ph.D. in pure mathematics (algebraic topology) from M.I.T., and after teaching there a year, I moved to Grinnell College as a mathematician. Over the next several years, I earned my MS in Computer Science from the University of Iowa, and I now teach mostly computer science. Almost all of my 140 publications and 9 books related to computer science, and I have been heavily involved with computer science education nationally and internationally. My section of CS 134 in the fall will utilize materials I have developed for the control of robots as an application theme in introductory courses.

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Phillip Webster

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion

I use the study of early forms of Christianity and Judaism to tease out the applications and potentialities of various theoretical approaches and questions, including those inspired by Foucault’s work, “New Materialism,” Feminist, Transgender, and Queer Theory, and Science and Technology Studies. My nascent book project examines references to the soul in Clement of Alexandria’s second-century manual for Christian living, the Paedagogus, with the aim of exploring the effects, functions, and power of the ancient soul’s phantom-like presence upon ancient bodies. I completed my PhD in 2016 at the University of Pennsylvania, after having previously studied at Duke University and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Mason Williams

Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Political Science