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Three Appointed to Named Professorships at Pomona College

Pomona College has appointed three professors to named professorships. These endowed chairs are awarded to senior faculty who have demonstrated campus leadership in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. The appointments were approved by the Pomona College Board of Trustees at their May 2008 meeting.

Jack Abecassis, a professor of romance languages and literatures, has been appointed to the Edwin Sexton and Edna Patrick Smith Modern European Languages Professorship. A member of the faculty since 1990, he teaches French Language and Literature; Advanced French; The Fantastic; Les Moralistes: Public and Private Selves; Les Philosophies: Paradoxes of Nature; and Philosophical Fiction: Diderot. His research interests include Michel de Montaigne, Albert Cohen and intellectual history, in particular the question of nihilism. His book Albert Cohen: Dissonant Voices (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) received an honorable mention from the Modern Language Institute’s 2005 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize.

He received his B.A. from San Francisco State University, Magistére from the Université de Paris IV, Sarbonne, and Ph.D. from UC Davis.

Kevin Dettmar, who will join the Pomona faculty beginning with the 2008-09 academic year as a professor of English, has been appointed to the W.M. Keck Professorship. His scholarship focuses on modernism and popular music. His most recent book is Is Rock Dead? (Routledge, 2006). He is also the author of numerous articles and has served as an editor of several books including The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (2006), as twentieth century editor. He is a past president of the Modernist Studies Association and co-editor of a new series on modernism (Modernist Literature and Culture) to be published later this year by Oxford University Press.

He comes to Pomona from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and previously taught at Clemson University, where he served as associate dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. He earned his B.A. from UC Davis, post-graduate diploma from Trinity College (Ireland) and Ph.D. from UCLA.

Shahriar Shahriari, a professor of mathematics, was appointed to the William Polk Russell Professorship. A member of the faculty since 1989, he teaches Abstract Algebra, Combinatorics, Deterministic Operations Research, Honors Topics in Calculus, Linear Algebra and a Seminar in Mathematical Exposition. He has won three Wig Distinguished Professor Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

In his research, he studies chain partitions and cutsets of Boolean Lattices and other partially ordered sets. His book Approximately Calculus (AMS, 2006) was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2007. He was recently appointed a member of the editorial board of the Mathematical Association of America’s news textbook series. He earned his B.A. from Oberlin College and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research. Pomona College is one of only a handful of schools that has need-blind admissions and meets the full financial need of each accepted student.