October 2020

Jack Abecassis, professor of French, published “La peau e[s]t le masque: Lire Montaigne avec Clément Rosset” in Global Montaigne, Mélange Desan (Classique Garnier, 2020), pages 723-734.

Lise Abrams, Peter W. Stanley Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, is a collaborator on a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation grant, “MRI: Acquisition of a Movement Tracking System to Explore Embodiment and Cognition,” awarded to Rhodes College. The $267,970 grant will allow researchers to acquire a 36-camera motion capture system that records precise tracking of finger and mouth movements. In collaboration with the grant's co-principal investigator, Katherine White, Abrams will study gestures during speech and how they relate to the concept of embodiment, with an emphasis on how gestured speech changes with age-related declines in hearing and attention.

Lisa Anne Auerbach, associate professor of art, has new knitted work included in the “Nasty Women” exhibition at Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles through Dec. 12. 

In addition, a haiku Auerbach wrote was exhibited on the marquee of the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles from Oct. 14-21 as part of the theatre’s 5-7-5 Project.

Auerbach also was part of the Artists and Poems group exhibition at Suturo Art/Durden and Ray, contributing a knitted sweater with the words “Let us speak of it as a thing of the past,” paired with the T.S. Eliot poem “The Waste Land.” Auerbach was among a group of 45 Los Angeles artists invited to choose a poem that has meaning for them given the current state of the world.

Aimee Bahng, associate professor of gender and women's studies, was invited to present at the annual Queer Directions Symposium at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Her Oct. 1 online talk, “Queer Ecological Futures,” spoke to the necessity to think about queer futures through the intersectional framework of environmental, racial and disability justice.

Nicholas Ball, assistant professor of chemistry, was selected as the recipient of a 2020 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. The awards honor faculty in chemical sciences who have established an “outstanding” research program and deep commitment to undergraduate education. Ball was one of eight selected from a national pool of applicants. The award is a $75,000 unrestricted research grant.

In addition, Ball gave three recent research talks titled “Synthetic Strategies Toward Fluorosulfurylation of Organic Molecules and Sulfur-Fluoride Exchange (SuFEx).” The virtual talks were at the University of California, San Francisco and at two National Science Foundation centers, the Center for Computer Assisted Synthesis (C–CAS) and the Center for Selective CH Functionalization (CCHF). The talks featured four projects highlighting work from 11 undergraduate students, including seven students who classify as underrepresented in the sciences.

Allan Barr, professor of Chinese, wrote an essay, “Translating Yu Hua,” that was published in A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919-2019), edited by Leah Gerber and Lintao Qi (Routledge, 2020), pages 171-182.

In addition, Barr’s conversation with the Chinese scholar Zhao Hongjuan 赵红娟, “Fiction, History, Literary Translation: An Interview of Prof. Allan Barr,” was published in the Chinese journal Wenyi yanjiu 文艺研究, 2020, issue 9, pages 102-110.         

Mietek Boduszyński, associate professor of politics and international relations, co-authored an op-ed with Sarah Alaoui (Johns Hopkins University) titled “Rebuilding the American Brand” for the USC Center on Public Diplomacy blog.

Boduszyński also published a paper, “From R2P to Reticence: U.S. Policy and the Libyan Conflict,” with the Project on Middle East Political Science as part of a series on frozen conflicts.

In addition, he was a panelist at a Howard University event on Oct. 30 highlighting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of peace, justice and strong institutions.

Finally, Boduszyński was selected as a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, one of Washington D.C.'s most prestigious think tanks.

Nicole Desjardins Gowdy, director of study abroad, served as an invited panelist for the NAFSA (Association for International Educators) Region XII Education Abroad Knowledge Community Meeting on Oct. 19 to discuss the future of the field with an emphasis on response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the topics of race, diversity, equity and inclusion in international education.

Kevin Dettmar, W. M. Keck Professor of English and director of The Humanities Studio, moderated roundtable sessions on Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 as part of Leading During the Pandemic: A Professional Development Series, hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Stephan Ramon Garcia, W.M. Keck Distinguished Professor and Professor of Mathematics, gave a talk on “Combinatorics and the Kitchen Sink” for the Claremont Colleges Mathematics Colloquium, held virtually on Oct. 28.

Garcia also gave a talk titled “An Operator Theorist Does Combinatorics: Numerical Semigroups and Positivity” on Oct. 22 as part of the fifth Operator Theory Workshop, hosted virtually by the University of Reading in England.

Edray Goins, professor of mathematics, is part of a team of Black mathematicians formed to continue the legacy of Scott Williams, who created the website Mathematicians of the African Diaspora, known as the “MAD Pages,” in 1997. The site is a compilation of more than 1,000 pages featuring over 700 biographies documenting the lives of African American mathematicians, computer scientists and physicists. It has had more than 20 million visitors since its creation. After Williams retired in 2008, a group formed to continue to manage the site that includes Goins, Don King (Northeastern University), Asamoah Nkwanta (Morgan State) and John Weaver (Varsity Software). The updated site for Mathematicians of the African Diaspora was unveiled Oct. 9.

In addition, the group’s work was featured in MAA Focus, the magazine of the Mathematics Association of America, as well as in the Association for Women in Mathematics newsletter and the American Statistical Association newsletter. It also will be featured in the upcoming National Association of Mathematicians newsletter. Additionally, Goins moderated a panel discussion titled “Documenting the History of Black Mathematicians” that was hosted by the American Mathematical Society in conjunction with the site's unveiling.

Finally, on Oct. 27, Goins delivered the keynote address at the Black Heroes of Mathematics Conference hosted by the British Society for the History of Mathematics, the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the London Mathematical Society. His online talk was titled “The Black Mathematician Chronicles: Our Quest to Update the MAD Pages.”

Heidi Haddad, associate professor of politics, served as a discussant at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and ActInCourts (Activists in International Courts) invited virtual workshop on Oct. 19.

In addition, an academic partnership between Pomona College and the City of Los Angeles on implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that Haddad helped facilitate was referenced in The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's 2020 report, “Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels.”

Esther Hernández-Medina, visiting assistant professor of sociology, co-organized the Oct. 20 panel “Ciudad. Carmen. Ciudad” about the ways in which the graphic novel “Carmen” portrays the relationship between people (particularly women of color) and the city. Dominican urban and cultural experts Yina Jiménez Suriel, Miguel de Mena and Miguel Piccini debated this topic in the second event in the series about “Carmen” organized by the multidisciplinary collective Levente Visual and Centro de la Imagen, one of the most important institutions for photographers in the Dominican Republic. 

Hernández-Medina also co-organized and moderated the Pomona Sociology Department’s Oct. 21 event “W.E.B. Du Bois and the Global Color Line” with professors José Itzigsohn (Brown University), and Karida Brown (UCLA). Itzigsohn and Brown presented their new book The Sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois: Racialized Modernity and The Global Color Line. More than 70 Pomona students, staff and faculty members attended the talk, and several participated in a Q&A session with the authors afterward. 

Hernández-Medina also moderated the most recent virtual meeting of Tertulia Feminista Magaly Pineda, the feminist group she co-founded with lawyer Yildalina Tatem Brache in the Dominican Republic. Tertulia members watched and discussed the documentary Cimarrón Spirit about Afro-Dominican religious and cultural practices, as October is the month of cimarronaje, a period for commemorating the legacy of escaped African slaves in the country. Guest lecturers included U.S. scholar Rachel Afi Quinn and Dominican anti-racist poet Michelle Ricardo, who were part of the team that put together the documentary, and Afro-Dominican artist and activist Xiomara Fortuna.    

Finally, Hernández-Medina was elected co-chair for the Sister-to-Sister Committee of the feminist sociology association Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) on Oct. 23. The Sister-to-Sister Committee’s goal is to support women of color in academia. Hernández-Medina intends to foster collaboration between SWS and academic and feminist associations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Zayn Kassam, John Knox McLean Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, attended the online Missiology Lectures organized by Fuller Theological Seminary on the theme of Los Angeles as a Global Crossroads to discuss issues of migration, transnationalism and interfaith engagement. She gave a paper, “Faith Resources: Muslim Migration to Los Angeles,” on Oct. 27 and participated in a plenary panel on Oct. 30.

Joyce Lu, associate professor of theatre and dance/Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies (IDAAS) led Diversity Equity Inclusivity Training for Rooftop School in San Francisco with Jae Maldonado for Be The Change Consulting of Oakland on Oct. 20.

Lu also participated in a Playback Theatre performance with Pangaea Playback that was directed by Hannah K. Fox for Dailey Innovations’ Diversity Equity Inclusivity Training for Heifer International via the International Center for Research on Women on Oct. 22.

Susan McWilliams Barndt, chair and professor of politics, was the featured speaker for New Jersey's Metuchen Democrats on Oct. 20. McWilliams Barndt talked about the presidential election and answered questions about the longer-term future of American politics.

Denise Machin, assistant director of the Smith Campus Center and ballroom dance instructor, competed in the Zoom Ball, a virtual dance sport competition, along with members of the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company. Machin placed first in the American Smooth Four Dance and first in the International Latin Four Dance in the pre-championship follow division. Other results including those of students can be found on the competition website.

Miriam Merrill, chair of physical education and director of athletics, served as a panelist for the NCAA's prestigious Pathway Program. The Oct. 27 session was called Leadership through Communication in a Virtual Setting. The Pathway Program is designed to elevate senior-level athletics administrators to the next step as directors of athletics or conference commissioners. The yearlong program is an intensive, experiential learning opportunity for selected participants who work at NCAA schools or conferences in any division. 

Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, gave a virtual talk, “Crisis Management: Conflict, Controversy, and Leadership in Forest Service History,” on Oct. 14 for the Middle Leadership Program of the USDA-Forest Service in Ogden, Utah.

In addition, Miller gave a talk titled “America’s Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands: Book-cum-Exhibit,” for the University of Arkansas School of Architecture on Oct. 16.

Miller also was the chair and master of ceremonies for a panel discussion, “The Los Angeles River: What Do You See?” as part of the Frogtown ArtWalk on Oct. 17.

In addition, Miller made a presentation on “The Hetch Hetchy Controversies” for the Eastern Sierra History Conference on Oct. 24.

Miller also gave the keynote address, “Caring for the Land, Preserving the Past,” for the Annual Meeting of the National Museum of Forest Service History on Oct. 26.

He made another keynote address, “Protecting the Edwards Plateau: Land, Water and Development,” for the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance on Oct. 29.

In addition, Miller published an Oct. 5 article that appeared on multiple news sites, “A Proposed Mine Threatens Minnesota's Boundary Waters, the Most Popular Wilderness in the U.S.”

Joanne Randa Nucho, assistant professor of anthropology, presented her research in a roundtable panel titled “Infrastructure Studies in the Middle East” on Oct. 6 at the annual Middle East Studies Association Meeting, which was held virtually.

Nucho also was interviewed for a podcast episode on Oct. 26 as part of an open-access resource for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. The resource, including her podcast episode, will eventually be hosted on the VIVA (the Academic Library of Virginia) platform, where it will be accessible to people at various institutions inside and outside of the state.

Giovanni Ortega, assistant professor of theatre and dance, starred in First Fifteen LA's presentation of Cinderellas of America, a comedy written and directed by screenwriter Kemiyondo Coutinho about a Ugandan immigrant marrying a Filipino American for a visa. First Fifteen LA is a collective that connects Black/POC writers with actors for a reading before a panel of established industry talent that shares feedback to move the script forward.

In addition, Stasis, a film by Patrick Nan, PI ’20 and produced by Ortega, was selected to be part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, which was online through Oct. 31. The story follows two queer men of color who live in a dystopian parallel world where police artificial intelligence interrogates innocent people for unsupported crimes. The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) is the largest film festival in Southern California dedicated to showcasing films by and about Asians and Pacific Islanders around the world.

In addition, the Pacific Asia Museum hosted Artists at Play's Oct. 3 online reading of ALLOS: The Story of Carlos Bulosan, written by Ortega and directed by Fran de Leon. Bulosan was a Filipino American poet, novelist and union organizer who fought for the rights of migrant workers. Presented during Filipinx American History Month, ALLOS: The Story of Carlos Bulosan provided an opportunity to learn more about the diverse communities around us, and to use the performing arts as a tool to teach about American history. Artists at Play is an Asian American theatre collective that has been bringing diverse stories to communities throughout Los Angeles since 2011. 

Ortega also was part of a panel for the Artists at Play Podcast episode, “Exploring ALLOS and the Legacy of Carlos Bulosan.” Facilitated by Artists at Play’s Marie-Reine Velez, the conversation also included Pastor Noel Alumit (actor, author), Lucy M. Burns (associate professor in UCLA's Asian American Studies Department) and Ginger Leopoldo (artistic director, Circa Pintig). 

In addition, Ortega participated in Lakbai Diwa, a 2020 multidisciplinary project presented by Kularts that explores the ancestral oceanic culture of survival, resilience and prosperity with over 35 participating diasporic and Philippine artists and cultural practitioners. The project’s activities bridge indigeneity with contemporary artistic experiences that represent the resilience and transformative values of the diasporic Pilipinx people. As part of the Spirit Dance Ritwal on Oct. 24 in various San Francisco spaces, including Yerba Buena Center and Ocean Park, Ortega performed as “Poon,” a manifestation of the town's saint alongside a company of dancers. 

Finally, Ortega reprised his role as the storyteller for Aswang, a film inspired by Philippine mythical creatures and ghosts, on Oct. 31. The film is a dramatized song cycle that debunks their common stories and de-colonizes their narratives. These entities of lore come alive and tell the stories through words and song of how they came to be. Featuring original music and libretto by Florante Aguilar, the song cycle is performed in Tagalog.

Joseph C. Osborn, assistant professor of computer science, co-authored two papers presented at the Experimental AI in Games virtual workshop Oct 19-20, including one with Pomona students Chanha Kim '22 and Jaden Kim '22 on the subject of generating videogame image datasets for object detection algorithms.

Osborn also chaired the workshops and tutorials program at the 2020 AI for Interactive Digital Entertainment virtual conference and co-authored two papers presented at that conference, held Oct 21-23.

Alexandra Papoutsaki, assistant professor of computer science, published an article, “Effects of Shared Gaze on Audio- Versus Text-Based Remote Collaborations” in the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, a journal of the Association for Computing Machinery. The article was co-authored with students Grete Helena Kütt ’20, Teerapaun Tanprasert ’21, Jay Rodolitz ’21, Bernardo Moyza ’20, Samuel So ’21 and Georgia Kenderova ’21. Papoutsaki and Kütt attended the 23rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) virtually and Kütt presented their work on Oct. 20. Papoutsaki also participated as an external reviewer for the conference.

In addition, Papoutsaki recently gave a colloquium talk titled “Eye Tracking Tools for Research on Individuals and Teams” for Marquette University's Department of Computer Science.

Papoutsaki also is serving as an associate chair for the 2021 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), which will take place in a hybrid format from May 8-13 in Yokohama, Japan. In addition, she is an associate chair for the 24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) on Oct. 23-27, 2021, which will be fully virtual. She also is serving on the program committee of the sixth ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR), which will be hosted online March 14-19, 2021. Finally, she is an external reviewer for the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (IJHCI).

Ami Radunskaya, professor of mathematics, has been chosen as a member of the 2021 Class of the Association for Women in Mathematics Fellows. The executive committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics established the AWM Fellows Program to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the support and advancement of women in the mathematical sciences. The selection committee commended Radunskaya for “her career-long efforts to invite women into our profession by learning about people's individual journeys and driving the community to be more welcoming of diverse pathways into mathematics via her work during her AWM presidency and as co-director of the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education summer program.”

In addition, Radunskaya has been recommended by the board of the Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance to be the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Senior Fellowship​ Award. The IBA Distinguished Senior Fellowship is awarded to established senior scholars who have made outstanding scientific achievements, demonstrated a record of exceptional scientific contributions and provided active leadership in mathematical biology both as researchers and educators. 

Skyler Reidy, visiting assistant professor of history, has accepted a public fellowship with the New-York Historical Society as part of the upcoming exhibit Acts of Faith: Religion in the American West. This fellowship will fund research on the prophetic religion in the West, particularly the Ghost Dance movement and early Pentecostalism. 

Hans Rindisbacher, professor of German, made a virtual presentation of a paper, “Childhood, Gender, and Militarism: Carl Spitteler’s Die Mädchenfeinde, 1890/1907,” as part of the German Studies Association Annual Conference on Oct. 4.

Rindisbacher also published a book reviewStefan Voß, Männlichkeit und soziale Ordnung bei Gottfried Keller. Studien zu Geschlecht und Realismus (Stefan Voß, Masculinity and Social Order in the Works of Gottfried Keller: Studies on Gender and Realism) in the journal Monatshefte, volume 112, issue 3 (September 2020), pages 547-548. 

Gary Smith, Fletcher Jones Professor of Economics, was interviewed by Mind Matters about his new book with Jay Cordes ’93, The Phantom Pattern Problem: The Mirage of Big Data.

Smith also published two op-eds on Mind Matters, “The Decline Effect: Why Most Medical Treatments Are Disappointing,” which appeared on Oct. 12, and “It’s Hard To Estimate Highly Improbable Things Like Earthquakes. Some Have Hoped That AI Would Provide Reliable Predictions. They Have Been Disappointed,” on Oct. 26.

Jody Valentine, visiting assistant professor of classics, led a Somatic Pedagogy Workshop for faculty and graduate students in the Classics Department at the University of Southern California on Oct. 26. In the virtual workshop, participants were invited to interrogate the mind/body dualism that inheres in academia and to consider how the manifestations of this duality dovetail with systemic white supremacy and racism. By experiencing somatic pedagogy firsthand, participants developed specific ways to incorporate embodiment into their own teaching.

Samuel Yamashita, Henry E. Sheffield Professor of History, recently did five hours of interviews with the producers of “Road to Victory,” a new Netflix documentary on the ending of the Second World War scheduled for release in 2021.

In addition, Yamashita was invited to join the American Historical Association's John King Fairbank Book Prize Committee, which chooses the best historical work on East Asia in a given year.

Yamashita also was recently named to the Northeast Asia Council's Distinguished Speaker Bureau for three years (2021-2024). The Association for Asian Studies will fund Yamashita's trips anywhere in the U.S. to deliver any of the following lectures—"The Tokugawa Order,” “Understanding Daily Life in World War Two Japan,” “Did the War with Japan Have to End in the Way It Did?” and “The Cultural Significance of the ‘Japanese Turn’ in Fine Dining in the United States, 1980-2020.”

Finally, Yamashita delivered an online talk, “Writing Hawai’i Regional Cuisine: The Food Movement That Changed the Way Hawai'i Eats” about his 2019 book in an event held by Binghamton University on Nov. 4.

Jing Zhou, visiting assistant professor of Asian languages and literature, published an article titled “The Incidental Learning of L2 Chinese Vocabulary Through Reading” in the journal Reading in a Foreign Language, volume 32, issue 2, pages 169-193. The article was co-authored with Richard Day (University of Hawaii at Manoa). 

Zhou also was appointed the review editor for the journal Reading in a Foreign Language starting in August 2020.