Faculty Experts

Wesleyan’s faculty includes the best and the brightest minds across subject areas from natural sciences and mathematics to the humanities and the arts to social and behavioral sciences. Faculty members listed below are available to provide expert perspectives on local, regional, national and international news stories, at your request.

Lauren Rubenstein
Manager of Media & Public Relations
(860) 685-3813
lrubenstein@wesleyan.edu

Stephen Angle

Stephen Angle

The Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, Professor of Philosophy

Keywords: Chinese philosophy, Confucianism, human rights

Bio: Stephen Angle’s research and teaching focuses on philosophy’s role in human rights, politics, and ethics both in China and globally, and his work is informed by an on-going exchange of ideas with colleagues around the world and through his international philosophy blog, http://warpweftandway.com/. Fluent in Mandarin and in classical Chinese, Angle has spent Fulbright years in Taipei and in Beijing, and was a Berggruen Fellow at Peking University during academic year 2016-17. Many of his books and essays have appeared in Chinese translation under his Chinese name, 安靖如. Angle’s books include Virtue Ethics and Confucianism (Routledge, 2013), Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism (Polity, 2012), Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy (Oxford, 2009), and Human Rights and Chinese Thought (Cambridge, 2002).

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Jeanine Basinger

Jeanine Basinger

Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Curator of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives

Keywords: Film and film history

Bio: Jeanine Basinger is Founding Chair of the Film Studies Department at Wesleyan.  An internationally recognized expert on American film, she is the author of numerous articles and book reviews as well as eleven books on film, including The Star Machine, I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies and Silent StarsShe is a trustee of both the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. Basinger is contacted regularly by the media as a scholarly source on film history, and was profiled in 2015 by The Hollywood Reporter.

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John Bonin

John Bonin

Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Science

Keywords: China’s economy, financial reform in emerging market-economies, alternative organizational forms (e.g., ESOPs)

Bio: John Bonin has consulted for the World Bank, the United Nations, the U.S. Treasury, the Institute for EastWest Studies, the WIIW, Analysis Group and the 1990 Institute.  He was an expert witness in an international banking case: Ceska Sporitelna a.s. v. Unisys Corporation. Bonin is the author of more than 65 published articles in economic journals, and has co-authored three books and co-translated four French microeconomic books. His recent research focuses on banking and finance in emerging-market economies.  Bonin currently teaches courses on China’s economy.  He is also a Faculty Mentor and Fellow in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University.

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Iris Bork-Goldfield

Iris Bork-Goldfield

Chair of German Studies

Keywords: Contemporary Jewish life in Germany, resistance and opposition in East Germany, migration literature in Germany, German applied linguistics

Bio: Iris Bork-Goldfield was born, raised and educated in Germany, earning her undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. Her book Wir Wollten Was Tun (We Wanted to Do Something) was published in Germany in 2015. She has also produced an hour-long documentary that tells the story of resistance fighters—including her father and his friends—in the former East Germany. She is conducting further research on resistance in East Germany and has developed teaching materials on this topic. An expert on the German language, Bork-Goldfield follows development and debates on linguistics changes in German such as the slang Kiezdeutsch that has been criticized by some Germans, defended by others.

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Sonali Chakravarti

Sonali Chakravarti

Assistant Professor of Government

Keywords: South Africa, truth commissions, war crimes trials, emotions, anger, rage, transitional justice, testimony, juries, nullification, civil disobedience, Hannah Arendt

Bio: In her book Sing the Range: Listening to Anger after Mass Violence (University of Chicago Press, 2014), Sonali Chakravarti wrestles with the relationship between anger and justice through a careful look at the emotionally charged South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which from 1996-98 saw individuals taking to the stand to speak about the atrocities of apartheid. Her work on the emotions and transitional justice has appeared in the journals ConstellationsTheory and Eventand the Journal of Law, Culture and Humanities. Chakravarti is currently working on a project on the concept of radical enfranchisement, civil disobedience and jury service.

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Joan Cho

Joan Cho

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies

Keywords: authoritarian politics, democratization, social movements, East Asian politics, Korean politics

Bio: At Wesleyan, Joan Cho teaches courses on Korean political economy in the College of East Asian Studies. She studies the relationship between political institutions, socioeconomic development, and quality of governance in non-democratic and newly democratic societies. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 2016, and has also held research positions at the Institute of Qualitative Social Sciences at Harvard University, the Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the Center for International Studies at Seoul National University.

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Karen Collins

Karen Collins

Professor of Mathematics

Keywords: graph theory, networks, scheduling problems, combinatorics, enumeration, counting, bijections

Bio: Karen Collins achieved her PhD in mathematics from MIT. She is the author of over 25 research papers in combinatorics and graph theory, and is well-known for the creation of the distinguishing number and the distinguishing chromatic number of a graph. She regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in graph theory. She has served as the Vice-Chair and Chair of the SIAM Discrete Math Group and is a member of the Discrete Mathematics Days of New England Steering Committee.

 

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Andrew Curran

Andrew Curran

Professor of French, the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities

Keywords: history of race; history of 18th century medicine and slavery; 18th century France; philosopher Denis Diderot

Bio: Andrew Curran is the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities and a member of Wesleyan University’s Romance Languages and Literatures department. He is the author of an edited volume and two books, most recently, The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011 / 2013). Elected a Fellow in the history of medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine in 2010, Curran has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 2011, he was also the co-winner of the James L. Clifford prize for the best article in 18th century studies on the history of albinism. Most recently, in 2016, Curran received a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholars award. He has served on the editorial board of Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture and is presently on the board of Critical Philosophy of Race and Diderot Studies. At present, he is completing an intellectual biography of philosopher Denis Diderot.

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Lisa Dombrowski

Lisa Dombrowski

Associate Professor of Film Studies

Keywords: The art and business of Hollywood, with a focus on independent and foreign films

Bio: Lisa Dombrowski is the author of The Films of Samuel Fuller: If You Die, I’ll Kill You!, the editor of Kazan Revisited, and has written on the art and commerce of film for The New York Times, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, Film History and The Criterion Collection, among others. Dombrowski teaches courses including The History of the American Film Industry during the Studio Era, Postwar American Independent Cinema and Contemporary International Art Cinema. She is currently working on a book on Robert Altman and American independent cinema.

 

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Marc Eisner

Marc Eisner

Dean of the Social Sciences, Henry Merritt Wriston Chair in Public Policy, Professor of Government and Environmental Studies

Keywords: political economy, public policy, regulatory policy and politics

Bio: Marc Eisner’s research addresses U.S. political economy and public policy, with a focus on regulation. He is the author or co-author of multiple books, Regulatory Politics in Transition (1993, 2000) and The American Political Economy (2011, 2014). His current book project, Beyond Deregulation, explores the dynamics of regulatory change in an era of polarization. At Wesleyan, Eisner teaches courses in American political economy, public policy, regulation and governance, and environmental policy.

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Erika Franklin Fowler

Erika Franklin Fowler

Associate Professor of Government

Keywords: Campaigns and elections, political advertising, media, campaign finance, political communication, health policy

Bio: Erika Franklin Fowler directs the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks and analyzes all political ads aired on broadcast television and national cable during elections. She specializes in political communications—campaign advertising and local media, in particular—and her work has been cited in hundreds of leading news outlets. Fowler also conducts research on the politics of health policy including the uproar over school mandates regarding the HPV vaccine, recommendations surrounding mammography screening and the ongoing debates over the Affordable Care Act. She also serves on the ABC News Election Night Decision Desk and has professional experience conducting focus groups and survey research. At Wesleyan, Fowler teaches courses in American politics, media and politics, campaigns and elections, public opinion, and empirical methods.

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Giulio Gallarotti

Giulio Gallarotti

Professor of Government and Environmental Studies

Keywords: International economics, foreign policy, American foreign policy, finance, international power studies, international organization, G-7, globalization

Bio: Giulio Gallarotti has written numerous articles and a number of books on the subjects of globalization; international business, finance, trade and monetary relations; and foreign policy, especially American foreign policy; international power studies and international organization; and issues of the international environment.  He is the author of The Anatomy of an International Monetary Regime: The Classical Gold Standard 1880-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1995), The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010), and Cosmopolitan Power in International Relations: A Synthesis of Realism, Neoliberalism, and Constructivism (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He also has edited Emerging Powers in International Politics (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2018). At Wesleyan, he has taught courses in International Politics, International Political Economy, International Organization, Decisionmaking and Diplomacy, and Globalization.

 

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Matthew Garrett

Matthew Garrett

 Associate Professor of English and American Studies

Keywords: American literature; early U.S. national politics and culture; Benjamin Franklin; narrative theory, poetics, history of reading; Marxist and psychoanalytic approaches to reading

Bio: Matthew Garrett's writing and teaching concern the relationship between literary form and social history. He is the author of Episodic Poetics: Politics and Literary Form after the Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2014), and essays in American Literary History, American Quarterly, Critical Inquiry, ELH, the Journal of Cultural Economy, Radical History Review, and other journals. Garrett is currently writing a book about the history and ethics of reading since the 16th century and editing the Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory. At Wesleyan he directs the Certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory.

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Bernardo Antonio Gonzalez

Bernardo Antonio Gonzalez

Professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Global Studies

Keywords: Modern Spanish literature and culture; international education

Bio: Bernardo Antonio Gonzalez is a scholar of Spanish literature and culture, with a focus primarily on the relationship between theater, performance, politics and society in modern Spain. In his publications and teaching, he treats the stage as a site where Spaniards seek to process the dominant challenges they face as a society: how minority and dominant social formations interact, what role new or foreign modes of thought and style should play in reshaping national identity, and how best to reconcile our sense of ourselves in today’s fluid context vis-a-vis shared traditions and memories. Gonzalez is currently writing a book on Cipriano de Rivas Cherif, a world-class pioneer in stage direction who helped renovate Spanish theater during the avant-garde era (1920s) and advance the cause of democracy during the Spanish Second Republic (1930-1939). Gonzalez was appointed to spearhead Wesleyan’s new Center for Global Studies, a project designed to bring the University into the forefront of international education.

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Peter Gottschalk

Peter Gottschalk

Professor of Religion and Science in Society

Keywords: Islamophobia, anti-Muslim sentiment, India, Hindu religions, Muslim cultures, intolerance

Bio: Peter Gottschalk’s research and teaching concentrate on the dynamics of cultural interpretation and conflict at the intersection of Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and secular traditions. He is particularly interested in understanding how assumptions of mutual antagonism form between groups despite evidence of religious confluence, and how comparison and categories work in how we know the world. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hindus and Muslims in British India (Oxford University Press) and American Heretics: Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the History of Religious Intolerance (Palgrave). His work has been mentioned in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The Times Literary Supplement, while he has appeared on Voice of America, Air America, National Public Radio, and C-SPAN’s BookTV.’’

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Kali Nicole Gross

Kali Nicole Gross

Professor of African American Studies

Keywords: Race, gender, and the criminal justice system in U.S. history

Bio: Kali Nicole Gross uses history to comment on ongoing issues related to mass incarceration, police brutality and violence against black women. She is the author of numerous op-eds that have been published in international, national and local venues, and is a recurring blogger for The Huffington Post. Her recent book, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex and Violence in America (Oxford University Press, 2016) was favorably reviewed by Essence Magazine, the Philadelphia InquirerPublisher’s WeeklyKirkus and Library Journal.

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Richard Grossman

Richard Grossman

Professor of Economics

Keywords: Banking and financial history, financial crises, financial regulation, contemporary banking policy, U.S. and European economic policy, monetary policy/central banking

Bio: Richard Grossman is the author of Unsettled Account: The Evolution of Banking in the Industrialized World since 1800 (Princeton University Press, 2010) and WRONG: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn from Them (Oxford University Press, 2013). His writing and teaching focus on contemporary and historical banking and finance and economic policy. At Wesleyan he teaches classes in American and European Economic History, Macroeconomics, and Money and Banking. He is also a visiting scholar at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy in London, and a Research Network Fellow of CES/ifo in Munich. Prior to joining the faculty at Wesleyan, he was an international economics at the U.S. Department of State.

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Mary Alice Haddad

Mary Alice Haddad

Professor of Government, East Asian Studies and Environmental Studies, Chair of the College of East Asian Studies

Keywords: East Asian politics, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan focusing on environment, democracy, citizenship, volunteering and nonprofits

Bio: Professor Mary Alice Haddad’s current work concerns environmental politics in East Asia, especially China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Her earlier books focused on democracy, citizenship, volunteering and nonprofit organizations. She is chair of the College of East Asian Studies and professor of government and environmental studies at Wesleyan University. A Fulbright and Harvard Academy scholar, Haddad is author of Building Democracy in Japan (2012) and Politics and Volunteering in Japan (2007) and co-editor with Carol Hager of NIMBY is Beautiful (2015). She has published in journals including Comparative Political StudiesDemocratizationJournal of Asian Studies, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

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Christiaan Hogendorn

Christiaan Hogendorn

Associate Professor of Economics

Keywords: Telecom, internet, network neutrality, infrastructure, technology, cybersecurity

Bio: Christiaan Hogendorn is associate Professor of Economics at Wesleyan and co-editor of Information Economics and Policy. His research focuses on market structure and competition in network and infrastructure industries. He is currently working on projects studying network neutrality, cybersecurity, and the effects of news aggregators. He was formerly a member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories, and he has been a visiting scholar at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI), the Research Institute in Industrial Economics (IFN) in Stockholm, and the Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs at the Fletcher School, Tufts University.

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Abigail Hornstein

Abigail Hornstein

Associate Professor of Economics

Keywords: corporate finance, multinationals, business strategy, Chinese financial markets

Bio: Abigail Hornstein studies corporate finance, multinationals, business strategy and governance, and legal institutions, with a particular expertise in the Chinese financial markets. Hornstein's publications include articles in journals such as the Journal of Empirical Finance, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Journal of Corporate Finance, and China Economic Review. They also intersect with Hornstein's marketplace work experience as she spent five years working in Hong Kong financial institutions, including the HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) as an economist and analyst before choosing an academic path. Hornstein’s career switch reflected a desire to understand the systemic causes and consequences of the Asian financial crisis given the unique characteristics of China’s economic development. Hornstein, who speaks Mandarin, organized the 2015 conference "Teaching Finance at Liberal Arts Colleges," has twice been a Mellon Foundation Summer Fellow and also a Ford Foundation/Aspen Institute fellow.

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Meredith Hughes

Meredith Hughes

 Assistant Professor of Astronomy

Keywords: Planet formation, star formation, radio astronomy

Bio: Meredith Hughes uses radio telescopes to study the process of planet formation around nearby young stars. She primarily studies the flattened disks of gas and dust around these nearby stars to learn about conditions present during the formation of planetary systems, as well as the dusty "debris" disks around older stars, which tell us about the properties of mature planetary systems, including some types of planets that we can't see directly.  She also does work on equity and inclusion in astronomy, particularly promoting the participation of women in the field. At Wesleyan, she teaches courses on observational astronomy, radio astronomy, and astronomical pedagogy, and is a member of the planetary science group.

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Tushar Irani

Tushar Irani

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Letters

Keywords: Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and literature; Plato and Aristotle; history of ethics, especially virtue ethics, history and practice of rhetoric

Bio: At Wesleyan, Tushar Irani’s teaching introduces students to issues and topics in Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy concerning the nature of justice, the nature of the good life, and the nature of virtue that continue to be of relevance to us in contemporary life.  Recent courses include: Philosophical Classics I: Ancient Western Philosophy, Plato’s Republic, What is Rationality?, A History of Civil Disobedience, Virtue Ethics: Traditional, Comparative, and Contemporary Approaches, and Great Books Unbound. His current research focuses on Plato’s views on the role and purpose of argument in civic life. He has a forthcoming book on the subject, Plato on the Value of Philosophy: The Art of Argument in the Gorgias and Phaedrus (Cambridge University Press).

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Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins

Professor of Theater

Keywords: Documentary theater, theater and social justice, theater in prison, theater in Indonesia, Nobel Laureate Dario Fo

Bio: Ronald Jenkins, a former Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, has facilitated theater workshops in prisons in Italy, Indonesia, and the United States. At Wesleyan, Jenkins specializes in documentary theater focusing on themes of social transformation and human rights.  He has directed and/or translated the plays of the Italian Nobel Laureate Dario Fo and the Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol for numerous theaters, including the Yale Repertory Theatre, the American Repertory Theater at Harvard, and the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. His most recent book, Saraswati in Bali, is the third in a trilogy documenting sacred temple performances in Indonesia as catalysts for community activism. His articles have appeared in The Drama Review, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, UNESCO Theater Bulletin, The Jakarta Post, and The New York Times. A former circus clown, Jenkins holds a doctorate from Harvard and a master’s degree in buffoonery from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

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Indira Karamcheti

Indira Karamcheti

Associate Professor of American Studies

Keywords: South Asian diaspora, history and literature

Bio: Indira Karamcheti teaches courses at Wesleyan including Literature of the South Asian Diaspora, South Asian Literature in the Americas and Caribbean Literature. Her current research concerns the recording of oral histories of South Asians who immigrated to the United States during the Cold War Era, after Indian independence and the end of World War II, in the seminal decades between 1945 and 1965. Other projects include an article on South Asians who worked on U.S. merchant ships during the Age of Sail at the turn of the 19th century, as well as research on the French use of South Asian indentured labor in the francophone Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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Dalit Katz

Dalit Katz

Director of Jewish and Israeli Studies

Keywords: teaching Hebrew through Israeli films

Bio: Dalit Katz teaches Hebrew through Israeli films and in conjunction with the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival at Wesleyan University. She has published articles in various professional journals including Hebrew High Education, Hador and more. She has also presented workshops in international conferences.

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J. Kehaulani Kauanui

J. Kehaulani Kauanui

Professor and Chair of American Studies, Professor of Anthropology

Keywords: Colonialism and indigenous peoples' rights; Hawaiian sovereignty and nationalism; U.S. imperialism in the Pacific Islands; comparative race politics; indigenous women and feminism; contemporary anarchist philosophies and activism

Bio: At Wesleyan, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui teaches courses on colonialism, indigenous peoples, race politics and anarchism. She is the author of Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity (Duke University Press, 2008) and currently completing a second book on Hawaiian nationalism in relation to U.S. domestic policy and international law (contracted with Duke University Press).

 

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Hari Krishnan

Hari Krishnan

Associate Professor of Dance

Keywords: Dance, South Asian dance, India, Singapore, China, LGBTQ issues, queer sexuality, gender

Bio: Hari Krishnan teaches studio- and lecture-based dance courses, including Mobilizing Dance: Cinema, the Body, and Culture in South Asia; Modern Dance 3; and Bharata Natyam.  His academic and choreographic interests include queering the dancing body, critical readings of Indian dance and the history of courtesan dance traditions in South India. He is a scholar and master of historical Bharatanatyam and also an internationally acclaimed choreographer of contemporary dance from global perspectives.

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David Kuenzel

David Kuenzel

Assistant Professor of Economics

Keywords: International trade, economic growth, economic development

Bio: David Kuenzel's primary research fields are international trade and economic growth. His recent work mainly focuses on trade policy issues, in particular trade disputes at the World Trade Organization and other institutional aspects of world trade. Kuenzel has also published work on the causal linkages between export diversification and countries' economic growth prospects. With regard to economic development, his current research explores the effects of a country's constitution on its long-term growth path. At Wesleyan, Kuenzel teaches courses in international trade, international economics and macroeconomics.

 

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Basak Kus

Basak Kus

Associate Professor of Sociology

Keywords: income and wealth inequality, the politics of economic crises, finance and society, household debt, economic development, Turkish politics

Bio: Basak Kus writes about income and wealth inequality, the politics of economic crises, finance and society, household debt, economic development, and Turkish politics. At Wesleyan she teaches courses that cover a diverse set of subjects including the past, present, and future of capitalism; the politics of social mobility; the sociology of markets; and political sociology. Kus has studied, conducted research, and taught in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. She completed her undergraduate studies at Bogazici University in Istanbul, and obtained her PhD in sociology from the University of California­–Berkeley. Prior to joining Wesleyan, she held postdoctoral fellowships at Yale and Princeton, and taught at the University College Dublin in Ireland.

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Psyche Loui

Psyche Loui

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience & Behavior

Keywords: Neuroscience and psychology of music

Bio: Psyche Loui is director of the Music, Imaging, and Neural Dynamics (MIND) lab at Wesleyan. She studies the psychology and neuroscience of music creation, music perception, pitch problems, singing, tone-deafness, music disorders and the emotional impact of music vocals. Recent research questions include: What gives some people a chill when they are moved by a piece of music? How does connectivity in the brain enable or thwart musical expectations? Can music be used to help with neurological or psychiatric disorders?

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Ioana Emy Matesan

Ioana Emy Matesan

Assistant Professor of Government

Keywords: Terrorism, political violence, disengagement and demobilization, organizational behavior, political Islam, Middle East politics, comparative democratization

Bio: Ioana Emy Matesan focuses on Middle East politics, particularly security and political violence, democratization and Islamist movements. In Egypt and Indonesia, Matesan conducted National Science Foundation-supported fieldwork exploring why groups adopt or abandon violence and how tactical and ideological change happens within Islamist movements. She has also researched and published on why armed non-state actors apologize for their mistakes, Hamas and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, new security challenges in the Middle East and North Africa after the Arab Spring, and the dynamics of resistance to foreign rule. Her articles have appeared in Terrorism and Political Violence, Nations and Nationalism, Journal of Strategic Security, and she has a forthcoming article in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. At Wesleyan, she teaches courses in Democracy and Dictatorship, Comparative Politics of the Middle East, Terrorism and Film, and The Arab Spring and Aftermath.

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Elizabeth McAlister

Elizabeth McAlister

Professor of Religion, American Studies, African American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Keywords: Afro-Caribbean religions including Haitian Vodou, Pentecostalism, race theory, transnational migration, and evangelical spiritual warfare

Bio: In recent years, Elizabeth McAlister has written on the militarization of prayer, zombies in popular culture, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and fundraising telethons. She has been interviewed in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, The New Yorker, Newsweek, public radio’s “Fresh Air,” and has consulted for PBS, The Learning Channel, and Afropop Worldwide on Public Radio International. She serves as an expert witness in legal cases involving Afro-Caribbean religions. Her first book, Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and its Diaspora (University of California Press, 2002), is an analysis of this parading musical festival as both religious and political. Her second book, Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2004), co-edited with Harry Goldschmidt, theorizes race and religion as linked constructs. McAlister also has produced three compilations of Afro-Haitian religious music. She was recently awarded a grant from the John Templeton Foundation/Social Science Research Council to study what she terms “aggressive forms of prayer.”

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James McGuire

James McGuire

Professor and Chair of Government, Professor of Latin American Studies

Keywords: Democracy, social welfare, public health, infant mortality, Latin America, Argentina

Bio: James McGuire specializes in the comparative politics of developing countries, with a particular focus on democracy, social welfare policies and public health. He is the author of Peronism without Perón: Unions, Parties, and Democracy in Argentina (Stanford University Press, 1997) and of Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. McGuire teaches courses on democracy and dictatorship, the political economy of developing countries, Latin American politics, and East Asian and Latin American development.

 

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Michael Meere

Michael Meere

Assistant Professor of French

Keywords: Early Modern French and Francophone literature and culture; theater and performance studies; travel narratives and cross-cultural interactions; critical and literary theory; visual, cultural, and gender studies

Bio: Michael Meere specializes in early modern French studies with a focus on theater and performance. He has edited French Renaissance and Baroque Drama: Text, Performance, Theory (Delaware, 2015) and is completing a book manuscript on violence in 16th-century French tragedy. He has published on authors ranging from Rabelais to Voltaire, and his articles have appeared in Romanic Review, Early Modern French Studies, L’Esprit Créateur, and The French Review. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the Chateaubriand Fellowship, the Society for French Studies, and the Society for Seventeenth-Century French Studies. Besides degrees from the University of Virginia and Northwestern, he obtained a Master 2 from the Sorbonne and a Maîtrise from Lyon 2. Alongside his scholarship on drama, he also directs French-language theater productions at Wesleyan.

 

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Jill Morawski

Jill Morawski

Wilbur Fisk Osborne Professor of Psychology, Professor of Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Professor and Chair of Science in Society

Keywords: Social psychology, history of psychology, social studies of science

Bio: Jill Morawski is a member of the Psychology Department and chair of Science in Society. She uses her training in experimental psychology to examine how, over the last century, scientific psychology has influenced our self-understandings, social policy and governance. Her publications include historical studies of gender psychology, socialization, race and reproduction, as well as examination of laboratory practices and scientific methods. Her current teaching includes courses on the history of psychological conceptions human nature, qualitative research methods and psychological theories.

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Jeffrey Naecker

Jeffrey Naecker

Assistant Profssor of Economics

Keywords: Behavioral economics, experiments, charitable giving, organ donation, nonprofits, machine learning risk taking

Bio: Jeffrey Naecker’s teaching at Wesleyan includes a core course on microeconomics and field courses on behavior and experimental economics, the main focus of his research. He studies the motivations behind pro-social behavior, the usefulness of hypothetical and subjective data in predicting incentivized choice, and how machine learning can add new insights to behavioral models of preferences. He earned his PhD in economics from Stanford University, where he won the Centennial Award for his work as a teaching assistant in graduate game theory.

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Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson

Assistant Professor of Government and Environmental Studies, Chair of African Studies

Keywords: African politics, international relations, global governance, trade policy, global environmental politics

Bio: Michael Nelson’s research focuses on the the international relations of African states. His book, African Coalitions and Global Economic Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2016), examines how African states and their coalitions engage the global governance of agricultural trade, food safety and intellectual property. Other research interests include a focus on Africa's "New Partners” (especially China) and Africa’s role in global environmental politics, including recent climate change negotiations. He has consulted for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the US State Department, as well as served as Editor for the African Politics Conference Group Newsletter. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley and his BA from UC San Diego. Just prior to graduate school he was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana.

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Andrea Patalano

Andrea Patalano

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience & Behavior

Keywords: Adult human cognition, with a focus on judgment, decision making, categorization, and other reasoning processes

Bio: Andrea Patalano’s research focuses on the study of adult human reasoning and decision-making behavior. She is interested in how decisions are made, how and why people vary in their decision-making strategies, how underlying cognitive and motivational mechanisms give rise to differences, and ultimately how to improve decision making. She has published several dozen research articles, and her research is supported by the National Science Foundation. At Wesleyan, she teaches courses in human cognition, judgment and decision making, concepts and categories, and introductory statistics.

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Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Victoria Pitts-Taylor

 Professor of Sociology and Science in Society, Professor and Chair of Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Keywords: Cosmetic surgery, body image, body practices, embodiment, feminism and science, gender and neuroscience

Bio: Victoria Pitts-Taylor is author of three books on how the body and embodiment are understood, managed and treated in culture, medicine and science, including The Brain's Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal PoliticsShe is also editor of The Cultural Encyclopedia of the Body, and served as the first elected chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Body and Embodiment. At Wesleyan she teaches courses on gender and sexuality, feminism and science, and the sociology of medicine. She is frequently quoted in the media about body image, cosmetic surgery, and sex and gender issues.

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Joyce Powzyk

Joyce Powzyk

Professor of the Practice in Biology

Keywords: Primate behavior

Bio: Joyce Powzyk’s expertise is in the behavior of all nonhuman primate species. She has spent time with mountain gorillas in the Dian Fossey research camp, wild common chimpanzees and assorted other species. Her dissertation centered on lemur behavior on the island of Madagascar. At Wesleyan, she teaches courses on primate behavior, classic readings in animal behavior and the biology of sex.

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Christopher Rasmussen

Christopher Rasmussen

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Keywords: K-12 professional development in mathematics, Common Core, Intel Math, arithmetic geometry, computational number theory

Bio: Since 2012, Christopher Rasmussen has co-taught professional development courses for K-8 mathematics teachers in a variety of Connecticut school districts. These courses are designed to build the content knowledge and mathematical confidence of the teacher participants, using materials aligned with the Common Core standards. Rasmussen’s research interests lie in arithmetic algebraic geometry. He studies algebraic curves with unusual properties, and how their existence (or non-existence) can be used to understand the fundamental structures of number theory.

 

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Seth Redfield

Seth Redfield

Associate Professor of Astronomy

Keywords: Astronomy, life in the universe, exoplanets, sun and stars, interstellar medium, space and ground telescopes

Bio: Seth Redfield is an active researcher in the field of exoplanets and uses the largest telescopes in the world to measure the atmosphere of distant, newly discovered worlds. He is a frequent user of the Hubble Space Telescope to explore the space between the stars filled with the gas and dust of the Milky Way. Redfield has authored more than 60 refereed journal articles on these topics and has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA to perform this research. In addition to teaching a popular introductory course in astronomy for non-majors, Redfield teaches advanced graduate and undergraduate courses on exoplanets, stellar structure, and galactic astronomy.

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Mike Robinson

Mike Robinson

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience & Behavior

Keywords: Drug addiction, gambling, obesity, decision-making, desire, pleasure, motivation, reward, optogenetics, animal research

Bio: Mike Robinson’s research examines how motivation can be transformed into excessive desire and result in risky decision-making and problems such as drug, gambling and food addiction. At Wesleyan he teaches courses on motivation and reward and research methods in animal research; a lab on gambling, food and drug addiction; and an introductory course in neurobiology. Besides his research papers, he has published several reviews and chapters about theories of addiction and the distinction between “liking” and “wanting.”

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Clare Rogan

Clare Rogan

Curator of the Davison Arts Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History

Keywords: Museum studies, prints, photography, European Art, 1848-1945

Bio: Clare Rogan is Curator of the Davison Art Center at Wesleyan. She has curated numerous exhibitions including: Phantom Bodies: Photographs by Tanya Marcuse (2015); A Body in Fukushima (2015); Keiji Shinohara: Color Harmony (2007); and Philip Trager: A Retrospective (2006). At Wesleyan, she teaches courses on the history of photography, the history of prints, and museum studies. She received her PhD in History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, where she specialized in European painting and graphic arts from 1848 to 1945.

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Rob Rosenthal

Rob Rosenthal

The John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology

Keywords: Homelessness and affordable housing; the use of music in social movements; Pete Seeger; university/community collaborations and engagement

Bio: Sociologist Rob Rosenthal teaches courses at Wesleyan on Housing and Public Policy; The Sociology of Music in Social Movements; and a Community Research Seminar. Rosenthal is author or co-author of several books, including Pete Seeger: In His Own Words (2012), Playing for Change: Music in the Service of Social Movements (2011), and Homeless in Paradise: A Map of the Terrain (1994). 

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Joseph Rouse

The Hedding Professor of Moral Science, Professor of Philosophy, Science in Society, and Environmental Studies

Keywords: Philosophy of science, naturalism, science in public policy, philosophy of biology

Bio: Joseph Rouse studies how scientific understanding is achieved in research practice; the extent to which human beings and our capacities are understandable in natural scientific terms; and the ways in which scientific understanding is socially, culturally, and politically situated. He also studies the history of 20th century philosophy and its relations to the sciences. He is the author of more than 60 published scholarly papers, as well as several books, including Articulating the World: Conceptual Understanding and the Scientific Image (2015) and How Scientific Practices Matter: Reclaiming Philosophical Naturalism (2002). His courses at Wesleyan include Philosophy of Science; Sciences as Social and Cultural Practices; Mind, Body and World; and Reasoning about Justice.

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Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland

The Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, Professor of Government, Professor of Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies

Keywords: Politics and economics in Russia and the former Soviet Union; nationalism.

Bio: Peter Rutland studies politics and economics in Russia and the former Soviet Union. At Wesleyan, he teaches courses on topics ranging from Nationalism to the Politics of Oil. He is currently studying the rise of nationalism in Europe, and is editing a book on nation-building in the former Soviet Union.

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Ron Schatz

Ron Schatz

Professor of History

Keywords: 20th-century U.S. history; American labor; American Jews; the conservative movement; Middletown, Connecticut

Bio: At Wesleyan, Ron Schatz teaches courses on 20th-century U.S. history, particularly labor, ethnic and social history. He is associated with Wesleyan’s Jewish Studies Program and the College of Social Studies. Schatz is the author of The Electrical Workers: A History of Labor at General Electric and Westinghouse, 1923-1960. He is currently completing another book project, The Labor Board Boys: A Biography, a collective biography of a small group of economics professors, professors of law and labor lawyers who worked to resolve many of the sharpest conflicts affecting the U.S. and the world between World War II and the 1990s, including strikes and other workplace disputes in American industries, campus protests at universities during the 1960s, the stagflation conundrum of the 1970s and the U.S.-Soviet arms race during the 1980s.

 
 

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Karl Scheibe

Karl Scheibe

Professor of Psychology, Emeritus

Keywords: clinical psychology; the psychology of addictive disorders (drugs and alcohol); connections between psychology and theater; self and identity.

Bio: Karl Scheibe earned his PhD from the University of California–Berkeley in 1963, and taught at Wesleyan his entire career. He is the author of over 100 books and articles in the general field of psychology. His most recent book is The Drama of Everyday Life (Harvard University Press, 2002). Scheibe has also had a private practice as a clinical psychologist for 20 years, and continues to see clients today. He is interested in connections between psychology and theater; the psychology of addictive disorders; as well as issues of self and identity.

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Michael Singer

Michael Singer

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Keywords: Conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, entomology

Bio: Michael Singer’s research focuses on insect ecology, especially caterpillars and feeding relationships, as well as self-medication behavior of caterpillars and other insects. He has published numerous scientific articles in journals such as Nature, PNAS, Ecology Letters, Ecology, and PLoS One, some of which have attracted attention in the mainstream media. More generally, his expertise lies in the areas of conservation biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology, and he teaches courses at Wesleyan in these areas.

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Michael Slowik

Michael Slowik

Assistant Professor of Film Studies

Keywords: U.S. film history, film music, film sound, Hollywood Western genre

Bio: Michael Slowik specializes in film sound and Hollywood cinema history from the 1920s to the 1950s. He is the author of After the Silents: Hollywood Film Music in the Early Sound Era, 1926-1934—which was long-listed for the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Moving Image Book Award—and numerous articles on film history. Though a specialist in Hollywood’s studio-era history, his expertise ranges across the history of U.S. cinema, with articles on the screening of early films in vaudeville houses, cinema’s representation of the September 11th attacks, and the films of Paul Thomas Anderson. He teaches courses on film history, film genres (including the Hollywood Western), and film authorship.

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Nicole Stanton

Nicole Stanton

Chair and Associate Professor of Dance

Keywords: Contemporary African American dance histories, practices and cultures

Bio: Nicole Stanton is chair and associate professor of dance and affiliated faculty in the African American Studies Program, the College of the Environment, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan. She teaches ethnographies of African Diasporic dance forms, American dance history, choreography, Contemporary/Modern technique, and courses exploring relationships between bodies, communities and environments.  Her choreography has been presented in venues such as the Wexner Center for the Arts, the 92nd Street Y, ProDanza Italia, the Minnesota Dance Alliance, and the Congress on Research in Dance amongst others. She has also worked with arts organizations such as In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater; San Francisco Mime Troop, and the Thoissane West African Dance Company.

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Steve Stemler

Steve Stemler

Associate Professor of Psychology

Keywords: Educational testing, college admissions testing, non-cognitive assessment, creativity testing, social intelligence, cultural competence, purpose of school, educational philosophy

Bio: Steven Stemler has spent nearly two decades systematically studying the purposes of school (elementary through post-secondary) and how those purposes get measured via testing. He and his colleagues have developed a number of innovative new ways of measuring broad constructs such as creativity, cultural competence, practical intelligence, citizenship, and ethical reasoning. Dr. Stemler has more than 40 publications consisting of books, chapters, and peer-reviewed articles in a number of top journals including Perspectives on Psychological Science, Journal of Educational PsychologyEducational PsychologistContemporary Educational PsychologyIntelligence, and the International Journal of Selection and Assessment. He recently authored a book chapter on “Aligning Mission and Measurement” and is the co-founder of the website, Purpose of School.

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Sonia Sultan

Sonia Sultan

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies

Keywords: Interaction of genes and the environment, developmental plasticity and plant responses to the environment, evolutionary adaptation to global change, epigenetics, challenges to conventional neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory

Bio: Sonia Sultan is a plant evolutionary ecologist and one of the founders of the emerging area of evo-eco-devo: the study of how organisms develop in the context of ecological conditions, and how their developmental responses influence the process of evolution. Sultan has published numerous data papers presenting her group's experimental studies of plant plasticity as well as highly-cited theoretical and review articles. Her groundbreaking book, Organism and Environment (Oxford University Press, 2015), has been hailed as a "landmark volume"; it was short-listed for the Royal Society of Biology prize for Best Graduate Textbook. Sultan was a Resident Fellow of the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study and a visiting professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and speaks at many international symposia. At Wesleyan, she has developed courses in Evolution in Human-Altered Environments, Nature and Nurture, and Plant Form and Diversity, and teaches part of the first-year Introductory Biology course.

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Andrew Szegedy-Maszak

Andrew Szegedy-Maszak

Professor of Classical Studies and Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek

Keywords: Greek history, history of photography, MOOCs

Bio: Andrew Szegedy-Maszak has published numerous articles on Greek history and historiography and on the history of photography. Among his publications is the co-authored volume, Antiquity and Photography (J. Paul Getty Museum). At Wesleyan he teaches courses such as Photography and Social Movements and Ancient Monuments: Landscape, History and Memory. Szegedy-Maszak created and taught an early MOOC for Wesleyan on the Coursera platform, The Ancient Greeks, which has had over 30,000 students.

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Royette Tavernier

Royette Tavernier

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Keywords: Sleep and psychosocial adjustment in adolesents and emerging adults

Bio: Royette Tavernier is a developmental psychologist whose research examines sleep behaviors in relation to different aspects of psychosocial adjustment, including academic performance, emotional wellbeing, substance use, technology use, and interpersonal relationships. She examines these relationships particularly among adolescents (10-18 years) and emerging adults (18-25 years), both in the short and long term. Tavernier teaches courses at Wesleyan including Sleep and Psychosocial Functioning in Youth; Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood; and Advanced Research in Sleep and Adjustment. She also has studied stress, coping, health and resilience among youth in Dominica following the impact of a tropical storm. Her work on sleep, psychosocial adjustment, and chronotype has been published in top journals in the field, including Developmental Psychology, Sleep, and Chronobiology.

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Ellen Thomas

Ellen Thomas

University Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences, Research Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Keywords: Climate change, ocean acidification, sea level change

Bio: Ellen Thomas is an expert on reconstructing the climate and oceanic environments of the past, including past periods of global warming, ocean acidification, and decline of oxygen in the oceans. She also studies rates of sea level rise over the last few millennia, and the effects of human activities on Long Island Sound. Her reconstructions are based on evaluating microscopic fossils and chemical analysis of the shells. Thomas is co-author of one of the most highly cited papers in Geosciences, titled, “Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Globe Climate Science 65 Ma to Present.” Her courses at Wesleyan include Life in the Oceans in the Anthropocene.

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Yamil Velez

Yamil Velez

Assistant Professor of Government

Keywords: immigration, political psychology, public opinion, political geography

Bio: Yamil Velez teaches classes at Wesleyan on Racial and Ethnic Politics, Political Psychology, Applied Statistics, and Political Geography. His research examines how growing levels of diversity in America are shaping social identities and political engagement. His work has been published in outlets such as the Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Psychology.

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H. Shellae Versey

H. Shellae Versey

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Keywords: health psychology, women’s health, aging, place

Bio: H. Shellae Versey is a health psychologist whose interests focus on questions at the intersection of women’s health, aging and place. She has also developed a line of research that seeks to understand motivations and expressions of giving and generativity among women. She is currently working on a geographical mapping project for changing neighborhoods, and exploring the dynamics of social engagement in cities. At Wesleyan, she teaches courses on Health Places: Practice, Policy and Population Health, and Community Psychology. She was previously a research fellow at the Institute of Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. Her work has been supported by the NIH, and has been recognized by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan.

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Greg Voth

Greg Voth

Professor of Physics

Keywords: Turbulence, fluid dynamics, chaos

Bio: Greg Voth’s group at Wesleyan has focused on the development of new tools for measurements in turbulence and turbulent multi-phase flows with recent work measuring rotations of 3D printed particles in turbulence. His research has been recognized by the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award. As a graduate student at Cornell University and a post-doc at Haverford College, his research included using strip detectors to measure accelerations in turbulent flows, as well as studying chaotic mixing and granular flows.

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Kari Weil

Kari Weil

University Professor of Letters, and Director of the College of Letters

Keywords: Animal studies, human-animal relationships

Bio: Kari Weil’s current expertise is in the field of animal studies (or human-animal studies) and the long history of human-animal relations, including pets, zoos and the animals we eat. Her work has examined the ways we have understood and represented the human as animal or as different from, if not opposed to, that we call animal. Previous to her work in animal studies, her research focused on representations and theories of gender, especially in 19th- and 20th-century Europe, through the lens of contemporary feminist theory. She the author of Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now (Columbia University Press, 2012) and Androgyny and the Denial of Difference (University of Virginia Press, 1992). She is currently completing a book titled Meat, Mobility and Magnetism: Horses and their Humans in Nineteenth-Century Paris (forthcoming with University of Chicago Press).

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Sarah Wiliarty

Sarah Wiliarty

Associate Professor of Government

Keywords: European politics, women and politics, Christian Democracy, women and the media, Angela Merkel

Bio: Sarah Wiliarty’s research and teaching focus primarily on West European politics with special attention to Germany. She has also worked on issues related to women and politics, especially women in the executive branch. Her first book is a study of the German Christian Democratic party and examines how various societal groups were able to get their concerns heard within the party. Her current research analyzes the leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 

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Clara Wilkins

Clara Wilkins

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Keywords: Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination; perceptions of bias against whites and men

Bio: At Wesleyan, Clara Wilkins teaches courses in Social Psychology, Social Stigma, Research Methods in Social Psychology, and Advanced Research in Prejudice and Stereotyping. Her research broadly examines prejudice and stereotyping and focuses on two primary areas: understanding how ideology and changes to the status hierarchy shape perceptions of bias against high-status social groups and identifying the consequences of within-group variability in physical appearance. Her research has appeared in top-tier journals including Psychological Science and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. She also serves on three journal editorial boards: Self and Identity; Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology; and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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Gary Yohe

Gary Yohe

Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies

Keywords: Climate change policy and economics

Bio: Gary Yohe was a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which received a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize—from the early 1990s through 2014. He is past-vice chair of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee for the Obama Administration; the Assessment was released by the White House in 2014. Yohe is a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel that is writing the new Decadal Plan for NASA and is a continuing member of the New York (City) Panel on Climate Change. He has been a co-editor of Climatic Change since 2010 and reviewed early drafts of the Papal Encyclical on Climate Change. Yohe is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles, several books, and many contributions to the media on climate issues.

 

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