New College Faculty for 2019-2020
August 25, 2019 – Georgetown College is excited to welcome 34 new full-time faculty members with primary appointments in 19 College departments and programs. This cohort of new faculty is comprised of over 60 percent women, and is one of our most culturally and intellectually diverse groups to date.
“I am so pleased that we will be welcoming this group of excellent scholars and outstanding teachers to the College.” Georgetown College Dean Christopher Celenza said. “Their presence will strengthen us in everything we do.”
“We’re all excited and grateful to welcome our new full time faculty colleagues to Theology and Religious Studies,” said department chair William Werpehowski. “Together they contribute wonderfully to our commitments to outstanding teaching, important and timely research, and an undergraduate curriculum. The four new faculty will also be closely involved in teaching the department’s (and perhaps the College’s) signature introductory course, ‘The Problem of God.’”
Cutting Edge Research Combined with Experiential Learning
The new faculty also brings with them research projects that many will be continuing on campus this fall, and range on everything from displacement in the ancient Mediterranean to how a fruit fly can be used as a model to study how memories are encoded. Many of these professors plan to conduct this research on campus with undergraduate and graduate student participation.
Chandan Vaidya, Psychology department chair, says that there is already a plan for new Assistant Professor Jessica Chiang to set up a lab for students, “Professor Chiang’s research program represents the cutting edge in the marriage between psychology and biology. Her work illustrates beautifully the long shadow cast by early traumatic experience on later cardiovascular and immune function. She will set up a wet lab, a first for the psychology department, which will spawn new collaborations among faculty and enhance interdisciplinary training of our graduate and undergraduate students.”
Some departments focused on hiring people with specific areas of expertise. In particular, the Department of Biology looked to expand their neurobiology branch with new Professors Haiyan He and Issac Sandoval.
“Having two new Neurobiologists join us this year is a very exciting opportunity,” said Biology department chair, Mark Rose. “Haiyan He strengthens our research in the area of Developmental Neurobiology, as she studies how nervous systems change as organisms go from juvenile forms to adulthood. Isaac Cervantes-Sandoval brings a new model organism to campus, Drosophila melanogaster, and tackles a new area, how our memories are erased so that we can store new ones.”
21st Century Postdoctoral Fellows Program Launches
The College is also pleased to debut a new postdoctoral fellowship that brings exceptional early-career scholars from historically underrepresented groups in their fields to teach and pursue research in their area of interest.
Georgetown College Vice Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Graduate Affairs Elena Silva welcomes the new Fellows. “We are very excited to support these excellent scholars as we work to build a more inclusive intellectual community. We look forward to expanding this program and recruiting more fellows in the coming year.”
Molly Borowitz is an Assistant Professor of Spanish, specializing in transatlantic early modern literature and culture. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in July 2019. She fell in love with literary theory as an undergraduate at Princeton University, where she majored in comparative literature, and with questions of colonialism, capitalism, and gender during her stint as a high-school history teacher in the Dominican Republic. Her dissertation adviser, Ivonne del Valle, inspired her passion for the early modern period. Her current research focuses on points of nexus between early modern Spanish and Spanish-American literature and contemporary Western concepts of self and society, including mysticism, affective experience, subject formation, political identity, and representations of capitalism.
Jennifer Boum Make joins the Department of French and Francophone Studies as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. in French Language and Literature with Certificates in Cultural Studies and West European Studies in April 2019 from the University of Pittsburgh. Her expertise lies in the fields of Comparative Literature and Postcolonial Studies, with a particular research focus on Ethics and Migration as well as Refugee Studies in contemporary Caribbean and Mediterranean contexts.
Lara Bryfonski joins the linguistics department as an assistant professor in the concentration of Applied Linguistics. She received her doctorate from Georgetown University where she conducts research on second language acquisition and language teaching. She has published and presented her research on a variety of topics in second language acquisition, including task-based language teaching, interaction, corrective feedback, materials development, language learning in study abroad, and methods for second language research. Her publications appear in journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Teaching Research and the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics as well as a variety of edited collections.Lara is a former ESL teacher and has taught language students from preschool to adulthood in a variety of contexts in the U.S. and abroad. She is an experienced teacher trainer and has worked with NGOs, public and private schools, governmental and financial organizations and universities to provide research-based training in language teaching.
Claire Catenaccio grew up in New York City, and she is excited to experience urban living once again as a member of the faculty at Georgetown, after two years as an assistant professor at Duke University. Her primary field of research in Classics is ancient drama, focusing at present on the role of music and song in the tragedies of Euripides. She has written on the significance of lamed figures in Greek mythology, on the use of masks in Attic tragedy, on the imagery of dreams in Aeschylus’ Oresteia, on singing actors in Sophocles’ Trachiniae, and on the new Broadway musical Hadestown. As an dramaturge and director, she has worked extensively with modern stagings of ancient texts, and for the past seven years has experimented with the active speaking of Greek and Latin as an instructor for the Paideia Institute. She received her A.B. from Harvard College, M.Phil. from Oxford University, and her Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Isaac Cervantes-Sandoval is an Assistant Professor of Biology. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Sciences from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico. Before joining Georgetown, he was a Senior Staff Scientist at The Scripps Research Institute in the Department of Neuroscience. His research uses Drosophila, the fruitfly, as a model to understand how memories are encoded, consolidated, and retrieved. Most recently, his research has focused on how memories are forgotten.
Minsu Chang is an Assistant Professor of Economics. Minsu Chang recently earned her Ph.D. in 2019 from the University of Pennsylvania, working under the guidance of Professors Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde and Frank Schorfheide. Her work in the field of macroeconomics focuses on the role of individual heterogeneity in market outcomes. Chang has published research in The Econometrics Journal and The Journal of Applied Econometrics on a variety of topics that push the frontier in her field. Her Ph.D. thesis studies how marriage and divorce rates account for changes in housing decisions over the life cycle of individuals in the United States.
Jessica Chiang is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She received her bachelor degree in psychology and economics from Smith College and a Ph.D in health psychology from UCLA. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. Her research broadly examines the health consequences of everyday stress and of early life stress. Her work specifically focuses on understanding the underlying biological and psychosocial pathways through which these particular experiences of stress get under the skin to influence health, and aims to identify factors that exacerbate or protect against their impact.
Stefan Eich is an Assistant Professor of Government. Before joining Georgetown, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University and holds an M.Phil. in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge, as well as a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. His research is in political theory and the history of political thought, in particular the political theory of money and financial capitalism.
Peter Folan, S.J. is a Jesuit priest from Massapequa Park, New York. He earned his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College in 2019, after which he joined Georgetown’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Folan’s research focuses primarily on the role of the Bible in theological reflection, especially in ecumenical theology, though he also has written on ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and governance issues in higher education. Prior to coming to Georgetown, he taught religion at the Holy Trinity School (Washington, DC) and Bishop McNamara High School (Forestville, MD), as well as philosophy at the University of Scranton, and theology at Boston College. He serves as a member of LeMoyne College’s Board of Trustees and America Media’s Board of Directors.
Haiyan He joins the Department of Biology at Georgetown as an assistant professor in the field of Neurobiology. She has always been fascinated about the brain’s ability to adapt in response to changes in the environment and experience (e.g. learning and memory, recovery from injuries, etc.). She has studied experience-dependent plasticity and metaplasticity in the visual system of both embryos and adults, using animal models of Xenopus laevis tadpoles and rodents. Her research aims to unravel the multifaceted roles experience plays in the development of neuronal circuits, with a specific focus on inhibitory neurons during early development and their roles in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. Before joining Georgetown, she was working with Dr. Hollis Cline at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where she had also completed her postdoctoral training. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from University of Maryland, College Park, under Dr. Elizabeth Quinlan.
Yuki Kato is an urban sociologist whose research interests intersect the subfields of social stratification, food and environment justice, culture and consumption, and symbolic interaction. She has conducted research on the rise of urban agricultural cultivation and the alternative food movement in post-Katrina New Orleans, with a particular focus on food access disparity, spatial and social landscape of alternative food activism, and contested meanings of local during a major urban transformation. Her new research project examines the role of social entrepreneurs working on Environmental and Food Justice work in a gentrifying city. She also has another project underway that explores the impacts of urban agricultural policies in spurring and sustaining urban gardening and farming activities in North American cities. She is writing a book, Cultivating the City: Urban Agriculture in Post-Katrina New Orleans, based on in-depth interviews with urban growers and activists and archival data. It examines when and how urban agriculture emerges in the city, and why gardening and farming have come to symbolize a panacea for a range of urban issues. Her co-edited book with Alison H. Alkon and Joshua Sbicca, Back to the City: Food and Gentrification, is forthcoming from the NYU Press. At Georgetown, Kato regularly teaches Introduction to Sociology, including courses that align with her research such as Sociology of Food, Culture and Consumption, and Environmental and Food Justice Movements. She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, in 2007. She graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with double majors in Sociology and Communication, and minors in Spanish and Chinese.
Verena Kick is an Assistant Professor of German. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown University, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2019. Her passion for German literature, film and media, particularly from the first half of the 20th century, was already sparked at the University of Oregon and the Universität Regensburg in Germany, her alma maters. Her current research focuses on the combination of texts and images in photobooks from the 1920s, as an approach to examine Weimar Germany, its changing public sphere, and the developing visual literacy at the time. As a digital humanist, part of her research can also be found online, in her digital project Revolutionizing the Public Sphere in the Weimar Republic – The ‘Invasion’ of the Working Class that she developed using the digital publishing platform Scalar.
Pete Marra is the Director of the Georgetown Environmental Initiative (GEI), the Laudato Si’ Professor in Biology and the Environment, and Professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy. He comes to Georgetown University after a 20-year career at the Smithsonian Institution, most recently as Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. He has a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College and has authored over 225 papers published in journals such as Science, Nature and Conservation Biology on various aspects of the biology and conservation of birds and other animals. He’s authored two books: The Birds of Two Worlds, and Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of Cuddly Killer.
Shelbi Nahwilet Meissner is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. Her work is in American Indian and Indigenous philosophy, Indigenous philosophies of language, feminist epistemology, and philosophy of race. She is an avid participant in Indigenous language reclamation programming and curricula building. She is Luiseño (La Jolla) and Cupeño, which are Indigenous communities in southern California. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Michigan State University and was a UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego.
Kristin Perkins is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Georgetown. Perkins studies inequality and social stratification with a focus on children, families, and neighborhoods. Her research examines the consequences of residential mobility and changes in household composition for children’s educational outcomes, the neighborhood contexts of child and adolescent development, and the consequences of housing policies for individuals and neighborhoods. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy at Harvard University, where she was also a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. She has an undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mark Richardson is an assistant professor in the Department of Government. His current research program analyzes how presidents’ efforts to control policymaking at U.S. federal agencies affect civil servants’ career decisions and, ultimately, the store of human capital in the executive branch. Previously, he was an assistant professor of political science at James Madison University. He also spent six years as a bank regulator in the Federal Reserve System and at the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions. He earned his Ph.D. in 2017 from Vanderbilt University and he holds an M.P.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Zandria F. Robinson is an Associate Professor of African American Studies and joins us from Rhodes College. A native Memphian and classically-trained violinist, Robinson earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. Both her monograph and co-authored book have distinguished her as an award-winning scholar. Her next book, Soul Power: Race, Place, and the Battle for the Memphis Sound examines race, culture, and neighborhood change in South Memphis, former home of the renowned soul music factory Stax Records.
Carlos Simon is a native of Atlanta, Georgia whose music ranges from concert music for large and small ensembles to film scores with influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism. Simon’s latest album, MY ANCESTOR’S GIFT, was released on the Navona Records label in April 2018. Described as an “overall driving force” (Review Graveyard) and featured on Apple Music’s “Albums to Watch”, the album incorporates spoken word and historic recordings to craft a multifaceted program of musical works that are inspired as much by the past as they are the present. As a part of the Sundance Institute, Simon was named as a Sundance/Time Warner Composer Fellow in 2018, which was held at the historic Skywalker Ranch. His string quartet, Elegy, honoring the lives of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner was recently performed at the Kennedy Center for the Mason Bates JFK Jukebox Series. His piece, Let America Be America Again (text by Langston Hughes) is scheduled to be featured in an upcoming PBS documentary chronicling the inaugural Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music. He has served as a member of the music faculty at Spelman College and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Acting as music director and keyboardist for GRAMMY Award winner Jennifer Holliday, Simon has performed with the Boston Pops Symphony, Jackson Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony. He has toured internationally with soul GRAMMY-nominated artist, Angie Stone, and performed throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Simon earned his doctorate degree at the University of Michigan, where he studied with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers. He has also received degrees from Georgia State University and Morehouse College. Additionally, he studied in Baden, Austria at the Hollywood Music Workshop with Conrad Pope and at New York University’s Film Scoring Summer Workshop.
Full Time Non-Tenure Line Faculty
Elham Alzoubi is an Assistant teaching professor of Arabic in the department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and an MA in Linguistics from Indiana University, Bloomington. She brings to Georgetown a decade of work experience in foreign language education at Indiana University, Earlham College, Qatar University and the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. Her graduate and post-graduate experience has largely focused on teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language in the context of its rich socio-cultural and humanities tradition and heritage. Her areas of interest also include Arabic idioms, a topic on which is currently completing an ethnographic study with English translations.
Michelle Bertke joins the Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Teaching Professor. She received her B.A. in Zoology from Kent State University and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to teaching courses for non-science majors, she will also serve as the Outreach Coordinator for the Chemistry department. Her interests extend to all areas of science and she is passionate about helping people to understand the science they see in their everyday lives. She currently also runs a company, Science Connections, which does hands on STEM programs for elementary age students at libraries and community centers.
Min-Ah Cho is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown University, Cho taught at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN (2011-2015) and Manhattan College, the Bronx, NY (2018-2019). Critically engaging feminist and postcolonial theories and Christian mystical tradition, Cho’s research focuses on the forms of conflict, negotiation, and reconciliation between the spirituality of Christian individuals — particularly the vulnerable and excluded — and the public and institutional representation of religion and theology.
Katherine Collin is an assistant teaching professor and Associate Director of the MA Program in Conflict Resolution. She has a Ph.D. in International Relations from American University’s School of International Service. Prior to joining Georgetown, Collin was an instructor of conflict analysis and international relations at American University and a postdoctoral fellow at the Brookings Institution. She previously worked with the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration on electoral projects for Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nepal, South Sudan, and Libya. Collin’s work is on peace, governance and votes. Her research explores the use of referendums in peace processes.
Leanne Doughty is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Physics. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown University, Doughty held postdoctoral positions at Michigan State University and University of Colorado Denver. She received her Ph.D. in 2013 from Dublin City University. Her dissertation focused on students’ understanding and use of mathematical tools in the context of intermediate electromagnetism. Her current research investigates the characteristics of active learning methods that contribute most to student success. She is looking forward to applying her research findings in the classes she teaches at Georgetown University.
Marissa Fond is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Linguistics.
Tony Jenkins joins the Program of Justice and Peace Studies as a lecturer. He has over 15 years of experience directing and designing peace building and international educational programs and projects and leadership in the international development of peace studies and peace education. Since 2001 he has served as the Managing Director of the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) and since 2007 as the Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE). Jenkin’s applied research has focused on examining the impacts and effectiveness of peace education methods and pedagogies in nurturing personal, social and political change and transformation. He is also interested in formal and non-formal educational design and development with special interest in alternative security systems, disarmament, and gender.
Evan Jewell joins the Classics Department for one year as Assistant Teaching Professor of Classics. He received his Ph.D. in Classics from Columbia University in 2019. He holds a BA with Honours in Ancient History from Macquarie University in Sydney Australia. Jewell’s research focuses on youth, age, and aging in the Roman world as well as displacement, space, and place in the ancient Mediterranean. With Elena Isayev he has co-edited a special issue of the open-access journal Humanities entitled Displacement and the Humanities: Manifestoes from the Ancient to the Present. During the academic year 2018/19 Evan Jewell was a Visiting Student at the Sapienza University in Rome. He has excavated for several seasons at Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy.
Sherry Kao is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. Her work primarily focuses on value theory and ethics. She is also interested in biomedical ethics, environmental philosophy, history of ethics, social and political philosophy, and Chinese philosophy. She received her PhD in philosophy from Rice University in 2019.
David Lindeman is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Philosophy. His primary research and teaching interests are in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, logic, and existentialism. He completed his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in 2019.
Sarah Lucena completed her Ph.D. in Romance Languages at the University of Georgia in 2019. She specializes in contemporary Brazilian literature, and her primary research interest focuses on the making of the female regional identity of women from the Northeast Brazil. Other research interests include Lusophone women writers, narratives of displacement, and questions on national identity. She has published on memory and history in literature as well as on women writers. In previous years, she has worked with the Portuguese Flagship Program, at Middlebury Summer Language Schools and Universidad de Cádiz, in Spain. At Georgetown, she teaches Portuguese and Spanish.
Toni-Lee Sangastiano Mackin is the most recent addition to the Art and Art History Department at Georgetown University. Beginning Fall 2019, she will be Digital Media Specialist and Assistant Professor of the Practice, teaching graphic design classes and helping with the expansion of the department’s offerings in digital art and design. As an artist, she is one of the leading sideshow banner painters in the United States who painted her first sideshow banner for Coney Island USA’s Sideshows by the Seashore in 1997. She is also a classically trained painter from the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, Italy. As an artist-philosopher, with Ph.D. in Visual Arts: Aesthetics, Philosophy, Art Theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from Montclair State University, her research interests include the carnivalesque in media and culture. She recently presented her doctoral research, “The Postmodern Sideshow, the Circus, and the Politics of Media: Talking Back,” at the Popular Culture Association Conference, Washington D.C. in 2019. She also earned a B.A. in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and Illustration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. As an artist, her exhibitions include Side Show, Yale School of Art and Under the Big Top: The Fine Art of the Circus in America at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, Burlington, VT.
Brian Madigan is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in macroeconomics, monetary economics, financial economics, computational economics, time series econometrics, and other fields. Madigan has extensive experience as an economist and leader in government, academia, and the private sector. After completed his doctoral studies, he joined the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and spent most of the following three decades at the Federal Reserve, rising through the ranks of its staff. During the Global Financial Crisis from 2007 to 2010, he was Director of the Board’s Division of Monetary Affairs and Economist and Secretary for the Federal Open Market Committee, the chief monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve. In that position, he was responsible for formulating and overseeing staff work to help combat the crisis and plan for the conduct monetary policy in its aftermath. He retired from the Federal Reserve in 2010 after more than thirty years of service. He subsequently joined Georgetown University as Director of the Masters Degree Program in Applied Economics and Visiting Professor of Economics, positions in which he served until 2015, when he returned to the Federal Reserve as Secretary of the Federal Open Market Committee. Madigan came back to Georgetown in summer 2019. He has also served as a senior economist on the staff of the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers, as a senior financial economist with Fannie Mae, and as a senior policy advisor with a large global bank. Madigan has published a number of articles on monetary policy issues, including the first formal analysis of issues raised for conducting monetary policy by the zero lower bound for nominal interest rates – a constraint on monetary policy that has posed serious, ongoing challenges in the United States and abroad for the past decade. Madigan has an A.B. in economics, an M.S. in mathematics, and a Ph.D. in economics.
Christopher Stolarski is a historian of imperial and Soviet Russia who received a Ph.D. and MA in Russian and Soviet History from Johns Hopkins University and a BA (Honours) in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. His research and teaching interests include press photography, print and visual culture, Soviet cinema, Stalinism, and the history of the Russian borderlands. His book manuscript, The Performance of Modern Life: Press Photography and Modern Identity in Russia, 1900-1931, examines how photographers and magazine editors transcribed the everyday experience of modernity into a new type of visual storytelling. He argues that the imperial and Soviet illustrated press offered readers new models of identity and citizenship, which alternately challenged and reinforced the status quo. By examining identity through photo-reportage, his work reveals the imperial antecedents of Soviet propaganda and contributes to broad historical debates about self-fashioning, mass media, and state power. Throughout the project, he also explores the tension between the authority ascribed to photography as historical evidence and the various discourses that informed the practice of photo-reportage. Stolarski’s work has appeared in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and in a landmark edited collection, eds. Murray Frame et al., Russian Culture in War and Revolution, 1914-1922. More recently, he contributed essays to two edited collections: one exploring the relationship between Marxist theory and socialist photographic practices in Capitalism and the Camera (eds. Kevin Coleman and Daniel James) and another one Soviet print and advertising culture in Media and Communication from Lenin to Stalin, 1917-1941 (Kirill Postoutenko, Alexey Tikhomirov & Dmitri Zakharine). He has also published in Slavonica, The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, and Slavic & East European Journal, and his work has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Doris G. Quinn Foundation, and the Frederick Jackson Turner Fund.
Tarmo Toom is a native of Estonia. He studied theology in Switzerland and the United States, obtaining his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in Historical Theology. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown University, he was an Associate Professor of Patristic Theology at CUA and more recently, an Associate Professor of Historical Theology at John Leland Center, Arlington, VA. His primary research areas are patristic philosophy of language and hermeneutics, particularly those of Augustine. He has also developed a keen interest in ancient creeds, patristic Trinitarian theology, and Constantine. Toom has authored numerous books, articles, and reviews, some of which have been translated into German, Spanish, and Russian. He is a subject editor (4th-5th century Christianity) of a six-volume Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.
Michael T. Williams joins the Georgetown Department of Performing Arts as an Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Theater and Performance Studies Program. He is a queer-identified devised and ensemble theater practitioner and pedagogue: part director, performer, and educator of original collectively-authored performance. Driven by visual storytelling and sonic languages, his work explores the marriage of the divine and the profane, unreliable first person narratives, and theatricalization of non-dramatic and autobiographical texts. With his collective Antigravity Performance Project (new window) and solo Williams has worked with: FringeArts, La MaMa ETC, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Soho Rep, Trinity Rep, Blood from a Turnip, AS220, Sleeping Weazel, and in Arena Stage’s Downstairs Series for New Work and Voices of Now Festival. His work has been presented at FringeArts, Ars Nova, Ice Factory Festival, New Ohio Theatre Presents, and at Haverford College through the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. He has received artist residencies from Bethany Arts Community, Barn Arts, Adelphi University/New York Theatre Workshop, and FringeArts’ Camp Fringe Residency Program. Williams has taught for the Brown University/Rhode Island School of Design CoLAB, The City University of New York (Medgar Evers College and New York City College of Technology) and University of the Arts/Pig Iron Theatre Company, in addition to regional theatre companies and arts education organizations. He is the recipient of the 2013 Victims’ Rights and Justice Awards for his work with Francesca Montanile Lyons and the Women of SOAR on Behind Closed Doors, as well as the 2010 Weston Award for his direction of William Finn and James Lapine’s A New Brain. In 2011, he was the Bob Alexander Community Engagement Fellow in the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship Program at Arena Stage, where he taught, directed and devised ensemble-based work in the DC public schools. From 2011 to 2013, Williams served as the Education Outreach Coordinator at Trinity Repertory Company. MFA in Devised Performance, University of the Arts/Pig Iron Theatre Company. BA in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Education Studies, Brown University.
21st Century Postdoctoral Fellows
Maryann Kwakwa earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Notre Dame and holds an M.A. in political science from Notre Dame and a B.A. in law and society from Oberlin College. Her research interests include civic engagement, political participation, race and ethnic politics, democratic citizenship, and political mobilization, especially in a U.S. context. Her work has appeared in refereed journals in the discipline and other venues, including a pathbreaking co-authored study of the paucity of scholarship on race, ethnicity, and gender in publications of the American Political Science Association. Her work will fit brilliantly within the Department of Government, especially its subfields in American politics and comparative politics, and will add to the cohort of scholars, such as Michele Swers, Jamil Scott, Terrence Johnson, Lahra Smith, and others, addressing problems of race, ethnicity, and gender globally. She will teach a course in another area of interest–politics in cyberspace—as a department seminar, a writing-intensive class specifically designed for the large complement of Government majors within the College.
Rahsaan Mahadeo holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. His dissertation is titled “Funk the Clock: Transgressing Time while Young, Prescient and Black.” His work explores how black and other racialized youth in urbanized space reckon with time. In it, his dissertation examines how time is racialized, how race is temporalized, and how racialization and racism condition youth’s perspectives on time. His work forges new directions in the sociology of time, the life course perspective, urban sociology, and ethnic and racial studies. He has published research in the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and Theory in Action, and his work has been supported by the ASA Minority Fellowship Program and the Ford Foundation. His work will make a valuable contribution to our existing areas of specialization, including the sociology of race, urban sociology, inequality, and sociology of culture.