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Faculty & Staff Accomplishments

June 2021

Ellie Anderson, assistant professor of philosophy, published an article, “Phenomenology and the Ethics of Love,” in Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy, volume 25, issue 1, spring 2021.

Anderson also published “Sartre's Affective Turn: Shame as Recognition in ‘The Look,’” in Philosophy Today, volume 65, issue 3.

In addition, she was an invited speaker for the International Workshop at Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, Iraq. The June 17 talk was “Love as an Act of Valuing: A Phenomenological Approach.”

Graydon Beeks, emeritus director of music programming & facilities and professor of music, presented a paper titled “Sir George Smart's Advice to Jenny Lind on Performing Messiah” on June 2 at the online conference Redemption and the Modern Age—Handel's Messiah Between the Late 18th and the 21st Century, sponsored by the Georg Friedrich Händel Gesellschaft in Halle, Germany.

Ralph Bolton ’61, emeritus professor of anthropology, participated in two virtual presentations of his classic edited volume Parentesco y Matrimonio en los Andes (1980; 2021) in Huancayo, Peru, on June 10 and 11. The first was sponsored by the Colegio Profesional de Antropólogos, Región Centro, and the second by the Anthropology Department at the Universidad Nacional del Centro. On June 26, Bolton was a commentator on the new book, Masculinidades en Movimiento: Desde la Vida Cotidiana hasta las Políticas Públicas (Masculinities in Motion: From Daily Life to Public Policies) by Raúl Rosales Leún. The virtual event was arranged by the Peruvian national Colegio Profesional de Antropólogos.

Kim Bruce, the Reuben C. and Eleanor Winslow Professor of Computer Science, served on the program committee for the Fourth ACM SIGPLAN History of Programming Languages, held virtually June 20-22. He served as the “shepherd” of a paper on the History of Standard ML and chaired the conference session on the paper. A shepherd works with the author to improve the quality of the paper and is credited on the front page of the paper.

Paul Cahill, associate professor of Spanish, published an article, “Reading, Writing, and Resurrection in Ana Rossetti’s Llenar tu nombre” in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, volume 98, issue 5 (2021), pages 491-506.

Arlen F. Chase, visiting professor of anthropology, published an article with Chelsea Fisher (Washington and Lee University) in the journal Heritage (2021, issue 4, pages 979-984) entitled “Leaving the Quiet Jungle Path: Introduction to Maya Anthropological Archaeology.”

Kevin Dettmar, W. M. Keck Professor and director, The Humanities Studio, is part of an international editorial team that worked for 8½ years to launch the open-access electronic edition of James Joyce's Correspondence, hosted at the University of Antwerp. Dettmar serves as executive editor for the project. The first installment, 87 previously unpublished letters written by Joyce to Ezra Pound, was unveiled on the first day of the International James Joyce Foundation conference in Trieste, Italy, on June 14. The letters are accessible at

Erica Dobbs, assistant professor of politics, presented her paper “Stony Grey Soil? Explaining the Failure of Far-Right Populism in Irish Politics” at the virtual Council for European Studies 27th International Conference of Europeanists on June 22.

Joanna L. Dyl, lecturer in environmental analysis, gave an invited talk titled “Patterns in Bay Area Earthquake History” at the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Science Center.

Cécile Evers, visiting assistant professor of anthropology, gave a virtual talk on June 21 at the Council of European Studies conference. The paper, “Migrants or Marseiilais? The Sociolinguistic Construction of Minority Youth from Marseille,” formed part of the panel Cementing the Boundaries of Frenchness: Race/Ethnicity and Belonging in a Non-colorblind French Republic.

Bob Gaines, Dean of the College and the Edwin F. and Martha Hahn Professor of Geology, together with colleagues from the University of Wisconsin and Cambridge University published “Igneous Rock Area and Age in Continental Crust” in the journal Geology on June 24.

Stephan Ramon Garcia, W.M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and professor of mathematics, gave a talk, “Balancing Responsibilities for Higher Productivity” on June 10 at the Latinx Mathematicians Research Community Professional Development Sessions, held virtually at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM).

Garcia also co-led with Victor H. Moll (Tulane University) a research group of eight early-career Latinx mathematicians June 25 as part of the Research Community Professional Development Sessions, held virtually at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM).

Emilie Garrigou-Kempton, visiting assistant professor of Romance languages and literatures, participated in the The Red Cross Movement, Voluntary Organisations and Reconstruction in Western Europe in the 20th century Symposium at the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris. Her paper, “From a Tracing Service to an Archive: The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross at the International Tracing Service,” was part of the June 14 panel on Protecting Vulnerable Populations: Women, Children, Exiles and Survivors.

Garrigou-Kempton presented a paper titled “In the Tower of Babel: Covid as a Foreign Language” on June 22 at The Languages of Covid-19: Implications for Global Healthcare Conference at the London Institute of Modern Languages Research.

Melissa Givens, assistant professor of music, was interviewed for Episode 2 of YTA Insights, a program highlighting the Young Texas Artists Competition in Conroe, Texas. 

In addition, Givens gave a June 13 lecture on Harlem Renaissance Opera for the San Francisco Opera's program Opera Aficionados, which is part of SFO's Diversity, Equity and Community programming. The lecture included well-known composers such as William Grant Still as well as more obscure composers, among them Harry Lawrence Freeman and Clarence Cameron White.

Esther Hernández-Medina, visiting assistant professor of sociology, was interviewed by the Germany-based theatre-dance collective Quizzical Körper on June 11. The interview was about the international theatre group Ay Ombe Theatre that Hernández-Medina belongs to, founded and directed by performer and writer Josefina Báez. The interview focused on the group's work on the connection between spirituality, self-care and the body.

On June 21, Hernández-Medina presented the paper “Institutional Catalysts and Citizen Participation: The Case of the Historical Center's Fiduciary Fund in Mexico City” at the Dev Soc Link 2021 virtual conference of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Sociology of Development Section. She also moderated the panel her paper was part of on “Local Governance Dynamics.”

In addition, Hernández-Medina co-organized and moderated the monthly virtual meeting of Tertulia Feminista Magaly Pineda, the feminist group she co-founded with Yildalina Tatem Brache in the Dominican Republic. The June 25 Tertulia was about “Women Farmers during the Pandemic” with Juana (Negrita) Ferrer Paredes, Tania Cordero Vizcaíno and Francia Lorenzo, leaders of the National Confederation of Women Farmers (CONAMUCA), the first women’s farmers association in Latin America and the Caribbean.

On June 29, Hernández-Medina was interviewed by Angely Montilla from Vice Media about the Dominican feminist movement's 23-year fight to include the three “causales” or causes for exception not to penalize abortion in the country's Penal Code: when the woman's life is in danger, when the fetus is not viable, or when the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape. The same week the Dominican Chamber of Representatives approved the Code without the causales while including additional provisions against women and doctors involved in abortions and discriminating against the LGBTI community in the country.

Gizem Karaali, professor of mathematics, together with collaborators Tara Davis, Lauren Grimley, Kenan Ince, Boyan Kostadinov and Roberto Soto, published “From Puzzles to Proof-writing: Exploring Rich Mathematical Ideas through Mechanical Puzzles,” a chapter in the book Teaching Mathematics Through Games, edited by Mindy Capaldi (Classroom Resource Materials volume 65, pages 97—112, Mathematical Association of America Press, American Mathematical Society). This work started in 2018, at a Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty workshop at the American Institute of Mathematics, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Zayn Kassam, John Knox McLean Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, made a presentation on Muslim Feminist Theologies on June 8 for an international seminar on Asian and Asian American Feminist Theologies. The seminar was organized by Pacific, Asian and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry (PANAAWTM) in partnership with Candler Foundry at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Benjamin Keim, associate professor of classics, participated May 31-June 1 in the Histor(iograph)y workshop sponsored by the University of Edinburgh’s Honour in Classical Greece project. A full-length version of his paper, “The Rhetoric of Demosthenes’ Macedonian Speeches,” will be delivered in Edinburgh next year and published in the project’s proceedings.

Sara Masland, assistant professor of psychological science, authored two chapters in the Handbook of Good Psychiatric Management for Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder, newly published by the American Psychiatric Association. Her co-author on each chapter was Dr. Carl Fleisher of UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital.

Rebecca McGrew, senior curator at the Benton Museum of Art, has been awarded a $120,000 Getty Foundation grant to support the research and planning for Fred Eversley under the Getty-led initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art x Science x LA. The grant will support cross-disciplinary research culminating in the major monographic survey of the work of Fred Eversley, an aerospace engineer born in 1941 who explored the effects of light, shape and movement in cast resin sculptures. The exhibition at the Benton will be co-curated by McGrew and Getty Research Institute Curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Collections Glenn Phillips. The curatorial team will include Barry Barish, co-winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics and Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UC Riverside; Dwight Whitaker, professor and chair of physics and astronomy at Pomona College; Rachel Rivenc, head of conservation and preservation at the Getty Research Institute; and art historian Sharissa Iqbal. The Fred Eversley exhibit is scheduled to open in fall 2024.

Susan McWilliams Barndt, professor of politics, has been named a scholar in residence for the Educators Cohort program at CivicSpark for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Educators Cohort is a 12-month program for educators from primary and secondary schools rooted in a faith tradition, with the aim of deepening their knowledge and advancing civic learning in their schools. In her role, McWilliams Barndt will be working with those educators on pedagogy around the question: What pivotal American texts can support and/or complicate the concept of “E Pluribus Unum”?

Miriam Merrill, chair of physical education/director of athletics, served as a panelist for the Minority Opportunities in Athletics Association (MOAA). The session was titled “Strategies for Navigating Your Professional Journey” and served to spark a conversation of learning for aspiring athletics directors.

Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, gave a keynote talk, “Fire Breaks, Suppression, the ‘Light-Burning Controversy,’ and the Return of Indigenous Flames,” for the Forest History Society on June 10.

Miller also gave a talk, “Surveying the Ground: Biology, Conservation & the Administrative State,” on June 24 as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sesquicentennial.

In addition, he published “Reclamation Project: Rediscovering W.W. Ashe and the Origins of Watershed Stewardship,” in Forest History, volume 26, issue 1/2, pages 40-49.

Giovanni Ortega, assistant professor of theatre and dance, was honored by FilAm Arts during “Re-Indigenizing the Colonial Mind: A Celebration of Service and Leadership.” The streamed event hosted artists, cultural leaders and mentors, including Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, Arts Commissioner Tim Dang and Latino Theatre Company Artistic Director Jose Luis Valenzuela, alongside others that have been sources of inspiration and empowerment. It was also announced that Ortega will be the Artistic Director of FilAm Arts Teatro, the theatrical component of Fil-Am Arts in Los Angeles. In this role, Ortega will enhance, engage and educate the community about the impact of the Fil-Am stories as well as the intricacies of the diasporic Fillipinx experience. 

Latino Theatre Company and Playwright's Arena presented “Escuchan,” an evening of original monologues. Five Asian American and Pacific Islander playwrights were commissioned to write pieces that humanized the AAPI experience and helped break harmful stereotypical images. “Mapa ni Mata/ Mata's Map” by Ortega was presented with works by fellow playwrights Boni Alvarez, Velina Hasu Houston, Annette Lee, Nancy Ma and Ken Narasaki.

East West Players presented “The Body Series,” developed by Ortega, featuring short films by POC artists including Maurus Dumalaog, Shakti Murthy, Valeri Frugè, Greg Havton, Hieu Gray and Ashley Rapuano. The showcase was the culmination of a two-part performance series that allowed the artist to discover and experience full expression by integrating writing, storytelling and performance as well as various theatrical pedagogy through the lens of a virtual platform and achieved through the cinematic lens of performance.

San Diego Repertory Theatre presented a virtual reading of Ortega’s “The Butterfly of Chula Vista” as part of the Hear U.S. Now Commissioned Series. The jukebox musical centers around Mexi-Pino (Mexican-Filipino) Libertad Espinosa and his self-discovery to become a Drag Queen while studying nursing in Chula Vista, per his mother Luningning's suggestion.

Adam Pearson, associate professor of psychological science, co-authored an article, “Anger Consensus Messaging Can Enhance Expectations for Collective Action and Support for Climate Mitigation,” with former Pomona visiting student Ana Sabherwal (London School of Economics) and Gregg Sparkman (Princeton University) in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. The researchers found that appeals conveying growing public anger about climate inaction within the U.S. enhance perceptions of public mobilization to address climate change and bolster support for climate mitigation across partisan groups.

Pearson’s work on the importance of diversity for equitable federal policymaking on climate was recognized in an article published by the Union of Concerned Scientists. That report was distributed to a network of over 25,000 scientists, engineers and public health experts.

In addition, Pearson’s work related to equitable climate policy was noted on the NPR news program “All Things Considered” as well as on more than 30 regional public radio outlets reporting on why diversity in U.S. federal agencies is key to addressing climate change.           

Hans J. Rindisbacher, professor of German, virtually presented a paper, “Beyond Regime Change: The Persistence of Fragrance, Красная Москва,”  on June 27 for the Conference on Socialist Culture Recycled: Eastern Europe, From Disillusion to Nostalgia and Beyond at the Institute of Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Science (Pushkin House), St. Petersburg, Russia.

Colleen Rosenfeld, associate professor of English, collaborated with Tessie Prakas (Scripps College), Wendy Beth Hyman (Oberlin College), Rachel Eisendrath (Barnard College) and Stephanie Elsky (Rhodes College) to host a June 1 virtual symposium entitled “The Renaissance Project,” sponsored by the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges. This symposium asked 25 scholars to engage in the following thought experiment: “The term “Renaissance” is largely taken to identify a period of radical innovation in humanist arts and letters. Though the chronological borders of that period shift from region to region, it is generally a given that the period it designates is now closed. But what if the Renaissance is best conceived not as a historical period—closed, finite, defined primarily in terms of distance and difference—but instead as an open historical project? What if the task of the scholar and the teacher, the critic and the poet, the artist and the curator, is to participate in, or even to intervene in, this historical project called the Renaissance?” Across four conversations, symposium participants engaged these questions from theoretical, creative and pedagogical perspectives, planting the seeds of what we hope will be an ongoing set of conversations and collaborations.

Larissa Rudova, the Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith Professor in Modern Languages and Professor of German and Russian, published a book chapter, “From Nature to ‘Second Nature’ and Back” in The Pedagogy of Imagery: Depicting Communism for Children, edited by Marina Balina and Sergei Oushakine, University of Toronto Press, 2021, pages 209-236.

Gibb Schreffler, associate professor of music, is the author of Boxing the Compass: A Century and a Half of Discourse about Sailors' Chanties (2018), which was reviewed in Ethnomusicology Forum on June 7.

Gary Smith, Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics, published an article on Quartz: “AI Has a Long Way to Go Before Doctors Can Trust it With Your Life.”

Smith also published an article on Slate: “Why A.I. Moonshots Miss.”

A book co-authored by Smith and Jay Cordes ’ , The Phantom Pattern Problem: The Mirage of Big Data,  was reviewed in the journal Metascience.

Smith published five op-eds on Mind Matters: “A World Without Work? Don’t Hold Your Breath,” “Publish or Perish—Another Example of Goodhart’s Law,” “Gaming the System: The Flaws in Peer Review,” “A Vulnerable System: Fake Papers and Imaginary Scientists,” and “The Great American Novel Will Not be Written by a Computer.”

Kyla Tompkins, associate professor of gender and women's studies and English, published an essay in PMLA: Publications of the Modern Languages Association of America entitled “The Shush,” reflecting on 2020 and looking forward to the future of English department curricula.

Jing Zhou, visiting assistant professor of Asian languages and literature, was invited to serve as the adjudicator for The Star of Outlook English Competition. The contest is one of the largest and most well-known English-speaking contests in China for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. Jing was in charge of fluency and coherence for the four rounds (prepared speech, summary, response to a lecture and debating) of the contest for high school and adult groups.