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Thirty-five leading scholars join College of Arts and Science faculty in fall 2023

Posted by on Friday, August 25, 2023 in News Story, Videos.


Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science is honored to welcome for the fall 2023 academic term 35 new faculty members, who add to our growing community of distinguished researchers and teachers.

“We’re excited to welcome these exceptional scholars to our vibrant academic community,” said Timothy P. McNamara, interim dean of the College of Arts and Science and Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Social and Natural Sciences. “Their wide-ranging expertise—from political philosophy to mental illness to the mathematics of neural networks—will contribute to our mission of tackling society’s biggest challenges through innovative teaching and groundbreaking research. We are dedicated to supporting their work as they grow with us at Vanderbilt and make a positive impact on the world.”

The new faculty members span nearly 20 departments and programs and join more than 600 faculty colleagues in the College of Arts and Science.

Meet the newest cohort of A&S faculty:

Shoshana Adler, Assistant Professor of English. The emergence of racial ideologies immanent to late medieval writings on the bodily sensorium, queer theory, Christian and Jewish exegetics, and lepers.

Amanda Avona, Senior Lecturer of Neuroscience. Applied cognition and neuroscience.

Jacob Barrett, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Social, moral, and political philosophy. Using scientific tools and evidence to bear on moral and political questions.

Ajay Batra, Assistant Professor of English. Literary and cultural historian working at the intersection of hemispheric American studies, slavery studies, and Black studies.

Abhit Bhandari, Assistant Professor of Political Science. Investigating how political inequalities shape economic exchange, business, and formal and informal institutions, with a regional focus in sub-Saharan Africa.

Marcy Binkley, Associate Professor of the Practice of Business Studies. Accounting information systems, emerging technology, and analytics.

Lisa Blomquist, Senior Lecturer of French and Italian. History and development of the witch, from the Middle Ages through the 20th century.

Brianna Castro, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Climate change adaptation and migration and how climate change and sustainability transitions impact individuals’ daily adaptation decisions.

Jack Crawford, Senior Lecturer of Architecture. Queer performance, and specifically drag, in the postwar United States.

Dylan Domel-White, Senior Lecturer of Mathematics. Phase retrieval, frame theory, signal processing, high-dimensional statistics, quantum computing, and the mathematics of neural networks.

Andres Gannon, Assistant Professor of Political Science. The political origins of military power, what capabilities states arm themselves with and why, and how that affects states’ conduct in international affairs.

Huan He, Assistant Professor of English. How racial narratives, fictions, and tropes shape—and are shaped by—the world of information capitalism.

Victoria Hensley, Mellon Assistant Professor of American Studies. Community engagement, historic preservation, and material culture.

Abigail Holekamp, Mellon Assistant Professor of German, Russian, and East European Studies. Transnational cultural histories of Russia/the Soviet Union and Western Europe.

Xiaohua Jiang, Senior Lecturer of Chemistry. Biochemistry, DNA replication, and structural biology.

Annie Klyce, Senior Lecturer of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Understanding the complex relationship between spatial skills (i.e., the ability to mentally manipulate objects) and success in STEM fields.

Mariah Kramer, Senior Lecturer of Cinema and Media Arts. Film festivals and programming, documentaries and independent film, and production.

Juntao Li, Senior Lecturer of German, Russian, and East European Studies. Multilingualism, third language acquisition, language ecology, intercultural citizenship education, and post-colonial studies.

Jorge Mangonnet, Assistant Professor of Political Science. Comparative politics and historical political economy in Latin America.

Dan Margalit, Professor of Mathematics. Low-dimensional topology and geometric group theory.

Nina McMurry, Assistant Professor of Political Science. Accountability, representation, and state-society relations in the Global South, with a focus on the relationship between non-state actors and state institutions and the representation of marginalized groups.

Sarah Raskoff, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Practical ethics, specifically bioethics and the use of nudges in clinical and research settings, and on understanding and reforming bioethical practice and consultation.

Sabriya Rosemond, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Biological Sciences. Protein folding, specifically aiming to understand the structural and thermodynamic underpinnings of cooperativity in modular proteins.

Honorine Rouiller, Senior Lecturer of French and Italian. Comics, French and Francophone literature and culture, the Algerian War using graphic narratives.

Jonathan Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Psychology. The relationship between environmental exposures and psychopathology and the destigmatization of mental health problems and wider uptake of evidence-based treatments.

Lawrence Stacey, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Gender, sexuality, families, and health.

Georgiy Syunyaev, Assistant Professor of Political Science. How citizens in autocratic regimes react to media exposure and how autocrats make policy decisions with a particular focus on decentralization, particularly the role of propaganda in regime survival in Russia and other Post-Soviet countries.

Carlos Taboada, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences. The interplay of the biochemical and physical processes that determine optical traits in animals including fluorescence, transparency, and camouflage.

Roya Talibova, Assistant Professor of Political Science. Political violence and the political economy of conflict and development, mainly in the broader Eurasian region.

David Thorstad, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Epistemology and value theory, connecting questions about bounded rationality with questions about altruistic decision making and the ethics of emerging technologies.

Jessica Trounstine, Professor of Political Science. The process and quality of representation in American democracy, and the ways in which formal and informal local political institutions generate inequalities.

Julie Ward, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society. Opportunities and strategies to improve public health and safety systems for the prevention of violence and violence-related trauma in community spaces.

Ashley Watts, Assistant Professor of Psychology. The causes and consequences of mental illness (psychopathology), with a specific focus on addiction.

Matthew Worsnick, Assistant Professor of History of Art. The built environment in places of rupture and crisis, including contested borderlands in postimperial Europe, gentrification in New York City, and memorialization in post-genocide Bosnia.

James Zainaldin, Assistant Professor of Classical & Mediterranean Studies and Mellon Foundation Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Classical Studies. Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and science, and Greco-Roman/Chinese comparative studies.

Photo compilation of headshots