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Faculty Accomplishments - April 2014

Jack Abecassis, Edwin Sexton and Edna Patrick Smith modern European languages professor of romance languages and literatures, gave a keynote address on “The Paradoxes of Voice and Ethics: Towards a New Cognitive Paradigm in Cross Cultural Textuality” at the Voice and Ethics International Conference at Tel Aviv University on 15 December. He authored a chapter titled “Montaigne’s Medieval Nominalism and Meschonnic’s Ethics of the Subject” in Rethinking the New Medievalism, ed. Howard Bloch et al. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), ed. by Howard Block, et al, pp.198-217.

Allan Barr, professor of Chinese, translated the op-ed essay "China Waits for an Apology" by Yu Hua in The New York Times on 10 April. He gave the invited talk "A Different China through the Eyes and Voice of Author Yu Hua" at the Pacific Council on International Policy Spring Conference 2014 in Los Angeles on 25 April.

Betty Bernhard, professor of theatre, attended the Loyola Marymount University Center for Social Justice Conference on “Arts That Do Justice: Artists and Communities/Partnerships for Transformation” where her documentary Out! Loud!: Film, Theatre, and the LGBT Community was screened on 3 April.

Mietek Boduszynski, assistant professor of politics and international relations, published an op-ed on the democratic decline in Egypt and Turkey in the Christian Science Monitor on 14 February.

Nicki Lisa Cole, lecturer of sociology, has been hired as the sociology expert for, where she now regularly contributes educational and editorial sociological content. She authored “If You Want an Academic Mentor, Try to Be a White Guy” on 25 April on Social Science Space.

Pierre Englebert, professor of international relations and politics, delivered a lecture on "Conflict, Growth and Democracy in Africa: Trends and Prospects" on 13 March to Chiefs of Mission Conference at State Department in Washington, DC, which included the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, the Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization, and some 30 U.S. ambassadors to African countries.

Stephen Erickson, professor of philosophy and the E. Wilson Lyon Professor of the Humanities, presented his paper on “Van Gogh, Heidegger, and the Attuned Life” at the Karl Jaspers Society of North America, held in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association’s Pacific Division annual meeting, in San Diego on 14 April.

Erica Flapan, Lingurn H. Burkhead Professor of Mathematics, co-authored (with Will Fletcher PO ’12 and Ryo Nikkuni) “Reduced Wu and Generalized Simon Invariants for Spatial Graphs” in Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 156, pp.521-544. She also co-authored “Topological symmetry groups of small complete graphs” in Symmetry 6:2, a special issue on supramolecular chirality, pp.189-209. She spoke on “Reduced Wu and Generalized Simon Invariants” during a Special Session on Physical Knots hosted by the American Mathematical Society at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, on 6 April.

Peter Flueckiger, associate professor of Japanese, gave a talk on "Waka and Confucianism in Hori Keizan's Fujingen" at the Waka Poetry Workshop at Stanford University on 9 March. He also spoke on "Motoori Norinaga's Images of the Imperial Capital" at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Philadelphia on 27 March.

Robert Gaines, associate professor of geology, presented the talk “Exceptional Preservation in the Fezouata Formations, Early Ordovician of Morocco” at the first meeting of the Rise of Animal Life working group in Lille, France, on 20 March.

Stephan Garcia, associate professor of mathematics, gave the colloquium "Supercharacters and their super powers" at the Boğaziçi University Mathematics Colloquium in Istanbul on 30 March. He spoke on the same topic at the UC San Diego Number Theory seminar on 4 April. He gave the same talk at CSU San Bernardino on 16 April.

Eric Grosfils, Minnie B. Cairns memorial professor of geology, co-authored "Lithospheric flexure and volcano basal boundary conditions: keys to the structural evolution of large volcanic edifices on the terrestrial planets" in the edited volume Volcanism and Tectonism Across the Inner Solar System, a Geological Society of London special publication (401).

Malkiat Johal, professor of chemistry, co-authored the paper “Water-soluble PPV and C60 nanocomposite with enhanced miscibility and enhanced photo-induced charge transfer through ground state electrostatic interactions” in POLYMER 55:3, pp. 855-859.

Nina Karnovsky, associate professor of biology, coauthored the paper “Fledging Success of Little Auks in the High Arctic: Do Provisioning Rates and the Quality of Foraging Grounds Matter?” in Polar Biology.

Jade Star Lackey, associate professor of geology, co-authored (with Callie Sendek SC ‘12 and Jane Eisenberg SC ’14) "The Fine Gold Intrusive Suite-Records of the nascent Cretaceous arc" in Formation of the Sierra Nevada Batholith: Magmatic and Tectonic Processes and Their Tempos, Geological Society of America Field Guide 34, pp. 17-32. He also co-authored the chapter "Overview of arc processes and tempos," pp. 87-116, in the guidebook.

Rachel Levin, associate professor of biology and neuroscience, spoke on "Creating change in science: New approaches to research on trans* identity" at the Transgender Leadership Summit at CSU Northridge on 12 April.

Joyce Lu, assistant professor of Theatre & Dance and Asian American Studies, performed at the Box Gallery in Los Angeles in Settlement, a collaboration between Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) and Stay Only if Temporary (SOIT) from Brussels, Belgium, on 4 April. She did a solo performance as Anime Wong at book talk and signing for Karen Tei Yamashita's book of performance texts, Anime Wong: Fictions of Performance, on 7 April at UCLA. And on 20 April, she presented the paper "What's Wrong With the 'Outside'?": The Production of Krunk Fu Battle Battle at Pomona College” in the panel Crossing Racial and Cultural Borders in Asian American Literature and Performance at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference in San Francisco.

Pardis Mahdavi, associate professor of anthropology, received an Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, the Watson Foundation, and the Japan Foundation. She has also been chosen to be a fellow at the Asia Research Institute at National University of Singapore.

Richard McKirahan, E. C. Norton professor of classics and professor of philosophy, gave a lecture titled “Aristotle as a Historian of Science” at the annual Southern California - Rutgers Aristotle conference held at UCLA on 21 February. He gave a second version of this talk in Greek at the Second International Colloquium on Aristotle, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, on 21 March. The talk was the subject of an article in Ta Nea, a prominent Greek newspaper. He lectured on “Who were the Sophists and what did they have in common?” in Greek on 19 March at the University of Athens Department of Philology. On 4 April, he spoke on “Philolaus on the Soul” to the “Ancient Working Group” within the UC Berkeley Department of Philosophy.

Cameron Munter, professor of international relations and politics, delivered an Ashe lecture at the Howard Baker Center of the University of Tennessee on “The Future of U.S. Relations with Pakistan” on 5 March. On 8 March, he spoke on the future of Southeast Asian at the U.S.-Chinese conference in Beijing, China, which was hosted by New York University and the Chinese Institute for International Studies. He discussed the role of global affairs at Pomona at a series of events in New York City during the week of 17 March, and on 21 March, he gave a presentation on the balance of counter-terrorist policy and long-term development, particularly in Central and South Asia, in Washington, DC, at the Federal Forum of the Pentagon. Munter spoke about “The Future of Democracy” at the Claremont McKenna Athenaeum on 24 March. In April, he spoke on "Public Narratives in the U.S.-Pakistani Relationship" at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy; "Prospects for South Asia” at UCLA’s Burkle Center; “The Future of Diplomacy” at the Department of State in Washington D.C. for the Secretary’s Open Forum; and "Some Specific Proposals to Strengthen American Diplomacy” at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.

Gilda Ochoa, professor of sociology and Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies, co-presented with Cati V. de los Ros (Teachers College, Columbia University) "Reconceptualizing Comunidad: Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies at Pomona High School and Pomona College" at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting on 7 April. She presented on "Academic Profiling: Latinos, Asian Americans and the Achievement Gap" at Riverside Community College on 29 April.

Mary Paster, associate professor of linguistics and cognitive science, was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association of Contemporary African Linguistics for a two-year term. She presented the talk at the "Gender Instability in Maay," at the 45th annual Conference on African Linguistics at University of Kansas on 18 April, and gave an invited colloquium lecture, "Phonology Counts," for the Department of Linguistics at UCLA on 25 April.

Adolfo Rumbos, professor of mathematics, organized (with Alfonso Castro, Harvey Mudd College) the Differential Equations and Nonlinear Analysis Workshop at the Claremont Center for Mathematical Sciences the Mathematical Sciences (CCMS) on 19 April. The workshop brought together researchers in differential equations or nonlinear analysis from the USA and abroad. 

Erin Runions, associate professor of religious studies, published her third book The Babylon Complex; Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty (Fordham University Press, 2014). Her work was funded by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology’s Lilly Foundation grant and the Pomona College Research funds.

Monique Saigal-Escudero, professor of French emerita, gave a presentation on "Reclaiming the Past: Memories of a Hidden Child and of Creative Young Women during WWII" in Brussels, Belgium, on 16 March. An article about the presentation was published in the European Union for Progressive Judaism Newsletter on 27 March. She gave a PowerPoint presentation in French titled “Souvenirs d'une enfant cache et interviews avec des Résistantes pendant la 2e guerre” at the library in the Versailles Palace in France on 1 April. She talked about “Reclaiming the Past: Memories of a Hidden Child and a Creative Women in WWII” at Hillcrest Retirement Home for the organization P.E.O. in Program on Hiding Jewish Children on 28 April. On 30 April, she spoke on “Women in the French Resistance” at Whittier College.

Shahriar Shahriari, William Polk Russell professor of mathematics, gave an invited talk on "Calculus & Prime Numbers" on 4 April at the spring meeting of the Texas Section Project NExT. He was the plenary speaker at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America, where he spoke on "Matching & Marriage, Chains & Dominance" on 5 April.

Marie Shirkus, visiting assistant professor of media studies, published “Camera Lucida & Affect: Beyond Representation” in Photographies 7:1, pp. 67-83.

Blerta Shtylla, assistant professor of mathematics, co-authored the cover article “A mathematical model of force generation by flexible kinetochore-microtubule” in Biophysical Journal 106:5, pp. 998-1007. Shtylla was interviewed about the article in the Biophysical Society blog: “Modeling Kinetochores: When Form and Function Becomes Art, An Interview with Blerta Shytylla.” Shtylla also co-authored the paper "Distribution of lifetimes of kinetochore-microtubule attachments: interplay of energy landscape, molecular motors and microtubule (de-) polymerization" in Physical Biology 11, pp. 036004, with colleagues from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.