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New CHASS Faculty Here

UC Riverside Adds 31 Scholars in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

New Crop of Faculty Add Expertise in Film, Journalism, Latino Poetry, Black Performance and Sport, Buddhism, Health Practices, Among Other Subjects

(October 19, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2004) — The field of 31 new faculty members in UC Riverside’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (CHASS) includes a strong dose of communications and film and visual culture expertise, along with scholars in Latino poetry, the economics of health insurance, and a variety of other fields.

“These new faculty members attended the best schools in the country and many
of them have already received awards for their research,” said interim Dean Joel Martin. “They will serve our students well and help move UCR into the top tier of universities in the country."

All together, UC Riverside hired 50 new faculty members for this academic year, and a total of 150 during the past three years, reflecting UCR’s plans for strong future growth.

Each CHASS faculty member is affiliated with at least one department, and in a couple of cases, more than one.

For instance, Toby Miller was a Professor of Cultural Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and came to UCR to direct UC Riverside’s new program in Film and Visual Culture. His appointment is split between the departments of English, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. He is the author of numerous books on media, culture, and sports, including The Avengers and Technologies of Truth: Cultural Citizenship and the Popular Media. He has made many appearances in the print and electronic media and previously worked in broadcasting, banking, and politics.

UC Riverside’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Ellen Wartella, is a distinguished professor of Psychology who is well known for her research on the impact of media on the development of children. Professor Wartella joined UCR after serving as Dean of the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, the largest and most comprehensive communication college in the country. In addition to her administrative duties, she will continue her research agenda.

Her husband, Charles Whitney, is a professor with an appointment split between Creative Writing and Sociology. Most recently from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, his research specialties are in the sociology of mass media communicators and in political communication and public opinion. He is editor of a three-volume Encyclopedia of Journalism, scheduled for publication in 2006 by Sage Publications.

Juan Herrera, a professor of creative writing who has won numerous awards over the past three decades, fills the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair, set up by the family of Rivera, a scholar, poet and former UCR Chancellor. Professor Herrera’s publications include fourteen collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children. His literary endeavors have garnered the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Americas Award, and the Focal Award. Herrara is also a community arts leadership builder with youth-at-risk and migrant communities, and an actor with appearances on film and stage. The Upside Down Boy, a musical for young audiences based on his book, was well received in New York City in 2004.

Other new faculty members in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, organized by department, are:

Professor Yolanda Moses studies the origins of social inequality in complex societies. She has explored gender and class disparities in Caribbean and East Africa. More recently her research has focused on issues of diversity and change in universities and colleges in the United States, India, and South Africa. She is currently involved with a national public education project funded by NSF and the Ford Foundation on the meaning of race in every day life. Moses also serves in the UCR administration, as Special Assistant for Excellence and Diversity at UC Riverside.

Professor Anne Sutherland has conducted research on American Roma since 1968, on ethnic groups in Belize and on identity and culture in Texas. In all three cases, the focus of the work has been to understand how and why people create and maintain identity and culture. Her current research includes an historical ethnography of a group of families in Texas. Published writings include “American Roma” in The Encyclopedia of Diaspora (2003) and “Roma of the United States and Europe" in Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology (2003).

Assistant Professor Juliet McMullin examines the intersection of health, inequality, and cultural identity, with a particular focus on underserved populations in California. Her forthcoming article “The Call to Life: Revitalizing a Healthy Hawaiian Identity,” is an examination of Native Hawaiian health concepts which provide a symbol for a Hawaiian cultural and political identity.

Comparative Literature
Assistant Professor John Namjun Kim studies social and political theory in the context of German, French, and Japanese literature and philosophy. His current book project deals with Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy. A forthcoming book is “On the Brink of Universality: German Cosmopolitanism in Japanese Imperialism.”

Acting Assistant Professor Sabine Doran is currently working on her doctorate at Free University of Berlin. Her work traces the relation between literature and the visual arts.

Associate Professor Rachel Fensham has been a director, choreographer, dramaturg, and performance artist. Her research encompasses dance studies, feminist theory and performance, and postcolonial and transnational arts practice.

Acting Assistant Professor Mindy Marks expects her Ph.D. this year from Washington University, St. Louis. Her research areas are health economics and applied microeconomics, with a focus on the impact of subsidized health insurance in the United States. Current research relates to the market for advanced reproductive technologies in the United States.

Assistant Professor Andrea Denny-Brown’s current book project “Beyond the Fig Leaf: Sexuality, Consumption, and the Clothed Medieval Self” reexamines the subject of late medieval sartorial identity. She studies how the learned traditions of late antiquity shaped discussions of attire in the popular literary texts of late medieval England.

Acting Assistant Professor Vorris Nunley expects his Ph.D. this year from Pennsylvania State University. His research in rhetorical theory and philosophy focuses on African American expressive culture and “hush harbor” rhetoric practiced in quasi-public spheres such as beauty shops, women's clubs, and barbershops.

Ethnic Studies
Assistant Professor Jayna Brown studies Black performance and dance in the U.S. and elsewhere, especially on the variety stage between 1890 and 1945. Her future research interests include conceptions of race in scientific discourse and speculative fiction. She has been awarded dissertation and postdoctoral Ford Foundation Fellowships as well as a Rockefeller Award for the Study of Black Culture at the Stanford Humanities Center.

Assistant Professor Jodi Kim studies Asian American literature and culture, post-colonial criticism, and cultural studies. Her dissertation, "Ends of Empire: Asian American Culture and the Cold War," tracks a critical genealogy of the Cold War through an analysis of Asian American literature and film.

Hispanic Studies
Acting Assistant Professor Alessandro Fornazzari expects to receive his Ph.D. from Duke University this year. He specializes in contemporary Latin American literature. Other interests include critical theory, documentary film, the visual arts, and political economy.

Assistant Professor Freya Schiwy is affiliated with UCR’s new Film and Visual Culture program. She studies the way power and knowledge are constituted and contested through diverse media and how constructions of race and gender play themselves out.

Assistant Professor David Biggs studies ancient and contemporary Southeast Asia, Vietnam, environmental history, and applications of historical maps and geographic information analysis. He is interested in inter-disciplinary research on environmental issues.

Assistant Professor Juliette Levy studies Latin American history, including the role of kinship, reputation, race and gender in the making of economic markets. She was on the faculty at James Madison University and is a fellow of the Helen Kellogg Center for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Acting Assistant Professor Dana Simmons expects her Ph.D this year from the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the history of science. Her work brings together histories of chemistry, the invention of the calorie, prison administration, wartime rationing, and modernist architecture.

Associate Professor Leonora Saavedra is a distinguished scholar in the area of the art music of Latin America. Her book Música Mexicana Contemporánea, is considered a classic text and an important study of contemporary musical trends in Mexico. She is currently working with noted scholar Ricardo Miranda, on “A History of Mexican Music” for Indiana University Press.

Assistant Professor Paulo Chagas is a composer, theoretician and researcher in music technology. Professor Chagas has composed more than 100 pieces for ballet, operas, musical theatre, multimedia, orchestra, instrumental and vocal ensembles, electronic, and computer music.

Acting Assistant Professor Jonathan Ritter expects his Ph.D. this year from UCLA. He studies how specific musical practices come to constitute forms of political action, cultural expression, and identity formation. Extensive fieldwork in Ayacucho, Peru, examines the role of traditional music in the Shining Path guerrilla insurrection, a project that earned the Charles Seeger Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Professor Robin Jeshion is especially interested in understanding the fundamental differences between thinking about objects "singularly," as particulars, and thinking about them entirely via concepts. The recipient of a Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, she will spend the 2005-06 academic year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, where she will be writing a book provisionally entitled “Singular Thought.”

Professor Charles Siewert is centrally interested in questions about consciousness and first-person knowledge of thought and experience (otherwise known as "introspection"). His book, The Significance of Consciousness, was awarded the American Philosophical Association Book Prize for the years 1997-99. He also explores ancient philosophy, including Plato.

Assistant Professor Michael Nelson taught as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Arizona and as an assistant professor at Yale University before coming to UCR. His research has focused on issues in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. He is interested in theories and practices of human communication.

Political Science
Acting Assistant Professor Antoine Yoshinaka expects to earn his Ph.D. this year from the University of Rochester, with a dissertation entitled "The Politics of Switching: The Causes and Effects of Party Switching among U.S. legislators, 1947-2002." His research and teaching interests include U.S. political parties, public opinion and voting behavior, election laws and voting rights, and the U.S. Congress. He recently published a book entitled Establishing the Rules of the Game: Election Laws in Democracies.

Religious Studies
Assistant Professor Justin Thomas McDaniel comes from Ohio University, where he taught courses on Hinduism, Buddhism, Myth and Symbolism, Southeast Asian History, and the Study of Religion. He lived and conducted research in South and Southeast Asia for many years as a Social Science Research Council and Fulbright Fellow, translator, volunteer teacher, and Buddhist monk. He is writing the first major book on the history of Buddhist education in Southeast Asia.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Jane Ward studies how social movement organizations transform in response to circumstance. In her recent work on lesbian and gay organizations in Los Angeles, Professor Ward uses ethnographic data to demonstrate that inequalities become embedded into organizational goals and structure. Professor Ward is engaged in two current research projects — a study of transgender movements in California and a study of the evolving relationship between feminism and motherhood ideology.

Assistant Professor Scott Brooks studies the social contours of race, class, and gender in the life of an inner city adult male. His dissertation relates to young black men in South Philadelphia, and describes the young men’s transition from playing streetball to more formal and organized basketball.

Women’s Studies
Assistant Professor Chikako Takeshita studies the relationships among the global political economy, gender and reproductive politics, and science, technology, and medicine. Her dissertation, “Negotiating the Acceptability of the Intrauterine Device (IUD): Contraceptive Technology, Women’s Bodies, and Politics of Fertility Control,” follows the social and scientific development of the IUD from the 1960s to present.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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