2022-23 New Faculty

 

Hilton Als

Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History

Back to the Top

Stefan B. Aune

Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies
Stefan Aune is a historian of the global United States whose research examines the intersections of race, colonialism, and violence. He teaches courses in American Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, empire and US foreign policy, critical theory, environmental history, and the history of violence. His writing has appeared in American Quarterly, Pacific Historical Review, and in the edited volume At War: The Military and American Culture in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. He is currently finishing a book manuscript titled Indian Wars Everywhere: Colonial Violence and the Shadow Doctrines of Empire, which explores how the violence that accompanied US continental expansion has influenced global US militarism from the nineteneth century through the War on Terror. His research reflects on what it means for the conquest of Native peoples to be used as a blueprint for modern warfare. Prior to Williams Stefan spent three years as the Elihu Rose Scholar and a faculty fellow in the History Department at New York University. He completed his doctoral work in the American Culture department at the University of Michigan. Much of his free time is devoted to tracking down rare punk records and obscure Japanese noise cassette tapes.
Back to the Top

James M. Bern

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
James Bern received his PhD in Computer Science from ETH Zurich, MS in Robotics from CMU, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech. Before joining Williams, Dr. Bern was a postdoc in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT CSAIL. His work spans robotics and computer graphics and focuses on using simulation to solve challenging robotic design and control problems. He is also interested in developing computational tools for artists and toy designers. Website: https://jamesmbern.com/

Back to the Top

Paresh Chandra

Assistant Professor of English
Paresh Chandra works on nineteenth and twentieth century literature from South Asia, Western Europe, and the Persianate Middle East. He earned his B.A, MA, and M.Phil. in English at the University of Delhi. Before moving to the US for doctoral studies, he taught for a number of years at Hindu College, New Delhi. He got his PhD in Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where he held the Cotsen Fellowship (2020-21) and the Harold W. Dodds Fellowship (2021-22). His dissertation uses the concept of “occasion” as a starting point to model a comparative poetics focussed on the relation between poetics and critique in Mirza Ghalib (Urdu, Persian), William Wordsworth (English), and Stephane Mallarmé (French).

He is interested in and has published on poetry and poetics, questions of form and organization in literature and politics, critical and postcolonial theory, and histories of political struggle and critique. He also co-wrote and co-edited a Hindi documentary entitled “On the Threshold: Class Struggle in Delhi” (Dahlīz par: dilli mein varg-sangharsh) in 2014.
Back to the Top

Stephanie Christau

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Originally from Germany, I have lived in the U.S. since 2015. My research interests involve stimuli-responsive polymers for a variety of applications. I was introduced to the world of polymers as a Ph.D. student at the Berlin Institute of Technology – my Ph.D. work focused on studying (and manipulating) the assembly of gold nanoparticles in surface-grafted polymer brush matrices. After graduating in 2015, I received a postdoctoral research fellowship that allowed me to conduct research at the Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan. I was involved in several projects focusing on the interactions of nanoparticles with immune cells. Afterwards, I briefly worked as an academic editor before joining the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine as a postdoctoral researcher in 2021. My research there focused on the aqueous surface modification of cellulose using different polymerization techniques. I am very excited to be joining Williams as a Visiting Assistant Professor and get to know all the amazing students! On a more personal note, as a passionate trail runner, I am looking forward to exploring the great trails Williamstown has to offer (and I am always looking for trail companions…).
Back to the Top

Kelly I Chung

Assistant Professor of American Studies

Back to the Top

Rebecca J. Crochiere

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Back to the Top

Christian De Leon

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
I’m a philosopher specializing in philosophy of language and formal semantics/pragmatics. My research focuses on the situated aspects of communication, so I’m interested in how meanings are so easily integrated together from various modalities (speech, gesture, facial expression, text, etc.) to form cohesive messages. I aim to formally characterize communicative phenomena in order to better understand the nature of communication and interpretation. Following the completion of my PhD at UCLA this summer, I’ll be teaching philosophy and linguistics courses at Williams. I’m excited to nerd-out with the Williams community about how cool and complicated communication is, but I’ve decided that my first priority after arriving will be to adopt a cat.

Back to the Top

Emmanuelle F. Delpech

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre

Back to the Top

Kerry C. Downey

Visiting Lecturer in Art
I am a white, genderqueer artist (they/them) born in south Florida and currently based in Kingston, New York (after 17 years in NYC). My interdisciplinary practice (printmaking, works on paper, video, writing and performance) explores embodied forms of resistance and transformation. I use experimental strategies to draw connections between our interior worlds and sociopolitical landscapes. My lifelong experiences in queer and artist collectives, my work with people with dementia and other disabilities, and the close overlaps between my art practice and teaching, have all utilized art as a strategy for engagement and care. I’ve recently taught at Rhode Island School of Design and I spent over a decade running community-based arts programs at The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY). I am a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and have been an Artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Madison, ME), Triangle Arts Association, (Brooklyn, NY), SHIFT at EFA Project Space (New York, NY), the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions (New York, NY), and the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT). I’ve also been a participant in the Queer/Art/Mentorship program. I received my BA from Bard College and an MFA from Hunter College.
Back to the Top

Giuseppina Forte

Assistant Professor of Architecture and Environmental Studies
Giuseppina Forte (she/her/hers – giuseppinaforte.com) is an architect, critical urbanist, and historian of cities, completing her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in Architecture in the History, Theory and Society program with a designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies. She is a member of the executive board of the Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS), supporting gender rights worldwide. Having lived, researched, and practiced architecture and urbanism on three continents, Giuseppina brings transnational scope and cross-cultural competency to her research and teaching. As a scholar and practitioner, she has worked closely with historically underrepresented populations in São Paulo, Mexico City, Ouagadougou, Paris, and San Francisco. She also sat in participatory planning sessions involving Brazilian favelas and inferred how environmental design projects might reproduce the inequality they aim to overcome. Giuseppina is currently working on a book project, The Self-Built City: Ecologies of Difference in São Paulo and about to publish a multidisciplinary volume, Embodying the Periphery. She is the co-organizer of the working groups “Intersectional Ecologies” and “Ecologies of Difference” funded by the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley.
Back to the Top

Susanne Fuchs

Visiting Assistant Professor of German
After two years at Wellesley College, Susanne Fuchs is returning to Williams College to teach courses in German literature and language with a focus on environmental justice, social activism, and queer identities and readings. She trained as a literary scholar at the University of Vienna (MA) and as a literary theorist at New York University (PhD). Susanne Fuchs’s writing and research explores militarized language in German drama and traces of cognitive dissonance in literary, economic, and environmental discourses.
Back to the Top

Ana C. Gonzalez-Nayeck

Visiting Assistant Professor of Geosciences
Ana Gonzalez-Nayeck (she/her) will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Geosciences department for the 2022-2023 academic year. She is a biogeochemist who studies modern microbes with very ancient origins. Ana is currently finishing her PhD in the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. The goal of her research, which includes methods from microbiology, stable isotope geochemistry and computational biology, is to better understand life on Earth in its earliest stages, as well as the potential for life on modern and ancient Mars. As a former first-generation college student and proud Latina scientist, Ana is keenly aware of the need for a more inclusive geoscience community, and this context is always at the forefront of her teaching and research.
Back to the Top

Allison Guess

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

Back to the Top

Cynthia Guo

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
I am a developmental psychologist with an interest in moral decision-making and cross-cultural differences. I was born and raised in Beijing, China, and obtained my B.A. in Psychology from UCLA. I recently completed my Ph.D. in Psychology from Emory University, and my dissertation examined the early motivation behind children’s lies. I was the recipient of the Mellon Interventions Public Scholarship Teaching Fellowship, which gave me the opportunity to create a Cultural Psychology course that I am excited to teach at Williams in the Spring! In addition, I will also be teaching Developmental Psychology and Introduction to Psychology. My research at Williams will focus on how lying and deception develop in young children.
Back to the Top

Aroline Hanson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish

Back to the Top

Åsa M. Hansson

STINT – Research Scholar
I am an Associate Professor of Economics at Lund University, Sweden, with a special interest in public economics and public finance. I have the great honor to receive the STINT Teaching Scholarship, enabling me to spend a semester at Williams.

Apart from teaching and doing research in public economics, I have a great interest in actual fiscal policies. I have participated in several government tax commissions in Sweden and Denmark, as well as been a member of the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council, an agency with the aim to evaluate the Swedish government’s fiscal policies. Currently, I am working on a new overall tax proposal for Sweden and on an EU-project evaluating social policies.

I have previously taught at Copenhagen University and been a visiting scholar at University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Massachusetts, and University of Santiago, Chile. I am very excited about teaching at Williams.

Back to the Top

Andrew T. Hessler

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics
Andrew Hessler is working towards his PhD in Economics at North Carolina State University with an estimated completion date of May 2022. His dissertation focuses on using unobserved components models to conduct trend/cycle decomposition of nonstationary data. Andrew is primarily interested in macroprudential policy and the interaction of real and financial cycles. His most recent work, “Unobserved Components Model Estimates of Credit Cycles: Tests and Predictions” presents novel estimates of the trend and cycle in the financial sector. Andrew obtained his Masters of Economics at NC State University in 2017, and BA in Mathematics and Economics at SUNY Geneseo in 2014.

Outside of academia, Andrew is an avid fan of soccer and video games. He also loves to spend time with his wife and two cats, Sylvie and Luna.

Back to the Top

Mark Hopkins

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Mark Hopkins (no relation to the former Williams College president, as far as he knows) is a teacher and researcher who has worked in corporate, non-profit, and academic settings, including the Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Reed College. His work has largely focused on how computers can acquire and do intelligent things with language. Presently, he is working on a textbook with the working title “Deep Learning: A Mathematical Primer,” an introduction to the newly ubiquitous field of deep learning aimed at an undergraduate audience. He is also excited about a new research initiative called Testperanto, whose goal is to generate “human-like” artificial languages for exploring the inductive biases of neural language models.
Back to the Top

Kamal A. Kariem

Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in the Department of German and Russian
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Anthropology Department at Princeton University, where I also received my M.A. My research interests lie at the intersections of Indigeneity, protected areas, Russia, and post-Socialism. I investigate Indigeneity through the lens of conservation projects and nature protection in the Russian Far East (RFE) particularly in Primorskii Krai. My dissertation is tentatively titled Believing Conservation: Altering Land Relations and Indigeneity on the Bikin River. My publications include a short review on the topic of and titled Race and Russian Studies in the Russian Review, and a short reflection on beginning ethnographic fieldwork during the COVID-19 pandemic called A Calm Panic: Thoughts on Beginning Fieldwork in the Russian Far East during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I have a B.A. in Anthropology and Slavic Studies from Connecticut College, where I was also a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF) and a Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) Scholar. I grew up in Chicago. Outside of work, I enjoy nature and photography.
Back to the Top

Katie A. Keith

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Katherine (Katie) Keith will join Williams College as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in Fall 2022. From 2021-2022, she was a Postdoctoral Young Investigator with the Semantic Scholar team at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. She graduated with a PhD from the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she was advised by Brendan O’Connor. Her research interests are at the intersection of natural language processing, computational social science, and causal inference. She was a co-organizer of the First Workshop on Causal Inference and NLP, a host of the podcast “Diaries of Social Data Research,” a co-organizer of the “NLP+CSS 201 Online Tutorial Series,” and a recipient of a Bloomberg Data Science PhD fellowship.
Back to the Top

Susanne Ryuyin Kerekes

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Back to the Top

Charlotte A. Kiechel

Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Back to the Top

Preea Leelah

Assistant Professor of French

Back to the Top

Anna C. Lenti

Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence and Director of Choral/Vocal Activities, Lecturer in Music
I am a choral conductor, soprano, and lover of all things music. I just finished my doctorate in Choral Conducting at the Eastman School of Music, and my doctoral research project focused on Caroline Shaw’s To the Hands and how it relates to both Baroque musical rhetoric and contemporary musical activism. I have a deep passion for early music, and in particular for the music of J.S. Bach and other German composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. As a conductor and voice teacher, I have taught choral and vocal music to students of every age and level of experience imaginable. I particularly love working with college students and community choruses. In addition to my work as a conductor, I have sung professionally with a number of professional choirs throughout the U.S. When I’m not making music, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two young children, and our goofy dog. My hobbies include baking, listening to true crime podcasts, running long distances, and knitting. I am so excited to be joining the community at Williams, and I can’t wait to explore all of the art and nature that this area has to offer!
Back to the Top

AnneMarie K. McClain

Visiting Assistant Professor of Education and Africana Studies

Back to the Top

Jennifer McQuaid

Visiting Lecturer in Psychology

Back to the Top

Kobena Mercer

Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History

Back to the Top

Shannon Moore

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Back to the Top

Benjamin S. Ory

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
I’m a musicologist interested in the intersection of early music and historiography. I received my Ph.D. in 2022 from Stanford University. My dissertation examines the origins of mid sixteenth-century musical style and its twentieth-century reception under National Socialism in Germany and during the post-war period. Putting writings by early musicologists in dialogue with the early music objects these scholars studied can help us tell a more holistic story that reveals the continued influence of early twentieth-century German musicology.

My current projects include a volume of motets for the Adrian Willaert collected-works edition with the American Institute of Musicology, an article on the mid twentieth-century music publisher Armen Carapetyan, and my digital humanities resource, the 1520s Project, an open-source repository of scores from the early sixteenth century.
Back to the Top

Joel S. Pattison

Assistant Professor of History
I am a historian of the medieval Mediterranean, with a particular interest in Italy, the Maghrib, and the economic and social ties that connected them. Before coming to Williams I taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California (Los Angeles and Berkeley), and held a Rome Prize in Medieval Studies at the American Academy in Rome. I’m currently working on a book about the influence of religious law on Genoese merchant activities in the port cities of the Maghrib. In my spare time, I love spending time outdoors and enjoy performing both early music and modern close harmony. I’m excited to begin teaching at Williams!
Back to the Top

Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz

Visiting Lecturer in Art

Back to the Top

Emerson B. Powery

Croghan Bicentennial Professor in Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Back to the Top

Tim Pyper

Lecturer in Music

Back to the Top

Shivani V. Radhakrishnan

Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in the Department of Philosophy
Shivani Radhakrishnan is scholar of critical social theory. She is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Columbia University and her research focuses on the nature and structure of false consciousness. Drawing on Aristotle’s analyses of social conditions on well-being, the Hegelian tradition and work by Fanon and de Beauvoir on self-constitution in conditions of injustice, she looks at how we attempt to form meaningful attachments to a social and political world that fails to serve us. She’s also a writer, and her essays and criticism have been published in n+1, The Washington Post, The Baffler, The Believer, BOMB, The Point, Paris Review Daily, and many others. She’s at work on a trade book about masks, copies, and doubles called Original Copy. She’s also a training psychoanalyst at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies, and formerly lived in Vladivostok, Russia.
Back to the Top

Barbara Samuels

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

Back to the Top

Edgar Sandoval

Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies

Back to the Top

Steffen Siebert

Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Head Men’s Soccer Coach

Back to the Top

Selamawit D. Terrefe

Mellon Just Futures Fellow

Back to the Top

Vanessa Walker

Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy
I am the Gordon Levin Associate Professor of Diplomatic History at Amherst College. My teaching and research are focused on the history of U.S. foreign relations and the history and politics of human rights. With both of these topics, I like to explore the interchange between international and domestic spheres and actors. I approach foreign relations in broad terms to engage ideology, race, gender, culture, and policy, as important forces in shaping the United States’ global interactions throughout its history. Moreover, I like to explore how foreign entities—both governmental and non-governmental—have shaped the United States domestic politics, influencing American ideals, identities, society, and government institutions. I am particularly interested in how different actors have sought to reconcile the absolutist principles of human rights with the necessary pragmatism of policymaking and diplomacy. I explored these themes in my book Principles in Power: Latin America and the Politics of U.S. Human Rights Diplomacy (Cornell University Press, 2020), which won the William M. LeoGrande Prize for best book in U.S.-Latin American Relations 2020-2021. Outside the classroom, I love skiing and hiking, and try to sneak away to the Green Mountains as often as possible to do one or the other. I live with my spouse, who is also a historian, and our two kids in Amherst, MA.
Back to the Top

Elizabeth Iams Wellman

Stanley Kaplan Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and Leadership Studies Program

Back to the Top

Jenna Zomback

Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics
I will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics during the 2022-2023 academic year. I am currently finishing my PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I completed my MS in mathematics at UIUC in 2018, and before that I completed my BS in mathematics at SUNY Geneseo in 2017. I enjoyed my time in Illinois, but I am very excited to return to the east coast!

My research is in descriptive set theory and its applications, especially to ergodic theory. My hobbies include reading (especially silly YA novels), running (my goal is to hit 1000 miles this year), and talking about how badly I want a dog.
Back to the Top