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In the Spotlight

New members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

This fall, 17 professors joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “It is wonderful to welcome this group of terrific new faculty who are deeply involved in innovative and interdisciplinary scholarship,” says Professor Carol Folt, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and acting provost.

Here, Vox of Dartmouth introduces new faculty in the arts and sciences. New faculty members at the professional schools will be featured in the December issue.


Anne Kapuscinski
Professor of Environmental Studies and the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Sustainability Science

Expertise: Sustainability science; sustainable aquaculture; integrated food-renewable energy systems; fisheries conservation and genetically modified fish; participatory learning systems for socio-environmental sustainability

Anne KAnne Kapuscinski (all photos by Joseph Mehling ’69 unless otherwise noted)

CV: Kapuscinski holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University. She was the founding director of the Institute for Social, Economic, and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Minnesota. A Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, she has served as an advisor to the National Academy of Science, federal agencies, the World Health Organization and other UN agencies, and the State of Minnesota.

Why Dartmouth? “Being the inaugural holder of the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Sustainability Science is an extraordinary opportunity, one I’m deeply honored to have,” Kapuscinski says. “I will work with Dartmouth’s stellar students, faculty, and staff across the campus to develop and link together a new interdisciplinary minor in sustainability for undergraduates, graduate training in sustainability science, and a sustainability learning center that engages faculty, students, and the broader community.”


Russell Muirhead
Associate Professor of Government and the Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics
Expertise: Political theory; American politics

russell mRussell Muirhead (Stanford Visual Arts Service)

CV: Muirhead holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of Just Work, a study of the moral meaning of the work ethic (Harvard, 2004). Muirhead received the Roselyn Abramson Teacher Award from Harvard College while he was on the faculty there.

Why Dartmouth? “The reputation of the students and the faculty were an irresistible attraction,” Muirhead acknowledges. “I look forward to teaching courses that explore the complexities of a democratic society, the intersection of ideas and political institutions, and the great and enduring questions of political philosophy.”


Antonio Tillis
Associate Professor of African and African American Studies (AAAS)

Latin American literature; Afro-Latin American literature; African Diaspora studies of the Americas  

TillisAntonio Tillis

CV: Tillis has a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He is the author of Manuel Zapata Olivella and the “Darkening” of Latin American Literature (University of Missouri Press, 2005), and holds a Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil for 2009–10. He serves as the president of the College Language Association, and as the editor of PALARA, The Publication of the Afro-Latin American Research Association.

Why Dartmouth? “The College’s excellent reputation in teaching and its commitment to engage students globally through foreign study and other international academic programs attracted me,” says Tillis. “I am impressed with the AAAS faculty in terms of the intellectual diversity of areas of expertise and research interests. And the College’s demonstrated commitment to diversity at all levels (human, intellectual, ideological) was a big plus in decision to join the faculty. I look forward to a fruitful partnership!”


Wen Xing
Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures
Expertise: Early Chinese manuscripts written on bamboo slips and silk— in particular, early intellectual and literary texts dated between the fifth through first centuries BCE; Chinese intellectual history; Chinese art and art history

xingWen Xing

CV: Xing holds a Ph.D. from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is the author of Research on the Silk Manuscript Book of Changes (Beijing, 1997), which was named First Place Honor among China’s top ten academic books in the study of traditional Chinese culture for 1997, and of Written on Bamboo and Silk: Thought and Schools in Early China (Taipei, 2005). Xing’s Ph.D. research received the First National Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations in China.

Why Dartmouth? “Dartmouth is one of the elite universities in the world,” says Xing. “Its challenging students, outstanding faculty, supportive administration, excellent library collection, and the unique feng shui with distinct mountains and waters are all particularly attractive to me.”


New tenure-track professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Aimee Bahng
Assistant Professor of English
Expertise: U.S. multiethnic literatures and cultures; transnational Asian American studies; speculative fiction; gender and sexuality studies

BahngAimee Bahng (Photo by Todd Huffman)

CV: Bahng holds a Ph.D. from the University of California (UC) San Diego. She has been a residential research fellow at the UC Humanities Research Institute, and a visiting scholar at New York University in the Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge. Bahng is preparing a book manuscript titled, “Transnational Speculations: The Cultural Labors of Science and Fiction in the Age of Finance Capitalism.”

Why Dartmouth? “When I came to visit Dartmouth, I felt immediately welcomed into a vibrant intellectual community by students, faculty, and staff alike,” says Bahng. “I am especially excited to join the English department, where innovative scholarly work that engages with contemporary debates in American studies, gender studies, as well as literary and cultural theory is being pursued with a sense of ethical and social responsibility.”


Melanie Benson
Assistant Professor of Native American Studies
Expertise: Contemporary Southeastern Indian literature and cultures; economics and identity, especially regarding the marginalized inhabitants of the Americas

BensonMelanie Benson (Photo by Alan Taylor)

CV: Benson holds a Ph.D. from Boston University. She is the author of Disturbing Calculations: The Economics of Identity in Postcolonial Southern Literature, 1912-2002 (University of Georgia Press, 2008).

Why Dartmouth? “I am thrilled to have joined one of the most dynamic and exciting Native American studies programs in the nation,” says Benson. “I’m looking forward to pursuing the work I find so personally and professionally compelling in an interdisciplinary environment, and to teaching exceptional students who challenge, inspire, and educate me.” Benson continues, “As a New England native (I grew up on Cape Cod), I couldn’t be happier about settling in the landscape I call home.”


Robert Bonner
Associate Professor of History
Expertise: History of the American South; mid-19th century struggles over slavery, nationalism, and war-making; geopolitics of American slavery

BonnerRobert Bonner

CV: Bonner holds a Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the author of Mastering America: Southern Slaveholders and the Crisis of American Nationhood (Cambridge, 2009), and of Colors and Blood: Flag Passions of the Confederate South (Princeton, 2002).

Why Dartmouth? “Dartmouth offers special opportunities to someone like me who regularly crosses disciplinary boundaries,” says Bonner. “The richness of resources has already allowed me to incorporate an array of historical artifacts into my classes; the breadth of faculty interests and research opportunities will allow me to continue my commitment to interdisciplinarity.”


David Plans Casal
Assistant Professor of Music
Expertise: Music composition; improvisation; artificial and collective intelligence applied to music

Plans CasalDavid Plans Casal

CV: Casal holds a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK). His research has been published in the Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, (2008) and the Proceedings of the MusicAL Workshop, European Conference on Artificial Life (2007). Casal also maintains an active recording program, as well as an international performance schedule. Recent performances include concerts in Belfast, London, and Paris.

Why Dartmouth? “Interdisciplinarity isn't a fad here, it's a long tradition,” says Casal.


Noelia Cirnigliaro
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Expertise: Literature, culture, and history of 16th and 17th-century Spain.

NoeliaNoelia Cirnigliaro

CV: Cirnigliaro holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. A native of Argentina, her bachelor’s degree (Licenciada) is from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She is currently researching Spanish literary and visual representations of domestic spaces in the early modern period.

Why Dartmouth? “I like the idea that I belong to an institution like Dartmouth that takes the model of the teacher/scholar very seriously,” says Cirnigliaro. “I think of myself as an intellectual, a thinker of culture, both current and past, but also a communicator and a teacher. I am very glad to be part of the Dartmouth community.”


Cecilia Gaposchkin
Assistant Professor of History
Expertise: Medieval cultural history

CeciliaCecilia Gaposchkin

CV: Gaposchkin has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of The Making of Saint Louis: Kingship, Crusades and Sanctity in the Later Middle Ages (Cornell University Press: 2008). Gaposchkin also holds an appointment as assistant dean of the faculty for pre-major advising.

Why Dartmouth? “I cannot imagine a better job,” says Gaposchkin. “To have the most talented, extraordinary student body conceivable, to be asked to teach at an very high level of rigor both in the classroom and beyond, and to be given the resources that Dartmouth offers its faculty for both teaching and my own research, is an unbelievable privilege.”


Robert Johnson
Assistant Professor of Economics
Expertise: International economics, with emphasis on the interplay of international trade and international macroeconomics; product quality and international trade; cross-border production sharing

Robert JRobert Johnson

CV: Johnson holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a junior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and spent two years at the London School of Economics as a British Marshall Scholar, where he earned an MSc.

Why Dartmouth? “Dartmouth is a great place to do research and teach in international economics,” says Johnson, “with many top-notch colleagues in the economics department, at Tuck, and throughout the rest of the College. The fact that Dartmouth has its own ski slope didn't hurt either.”


Ming Meng
Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Expertise: Cognitive neuroscience, especially as related to vision; functional brain imaging; behavioral experimentation and computational modeling

Ming MengMing Meng

CV: Meng holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University. His work has been published in journals including Nature Neuroscience, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Vision.

Why Dartmouth? “Dartmouth has a very strong cognitive neuroscience research group,” says Meng. “Along with behavioral neuroscience and social neuroscience, our department is one of the best research centers for psychological and brain sciences in the world.” And, he continues, “Dartmouth students are very smart. I enjoy working with them.”


Russell Rickford
Assistant Professor of History
Expertise: Black political culture after WWII; black radicalism and workers’ movements in historical context as a means of democratizing America and of advancing social justice issues in the present

R RickfordRussell Rickford

CV: Rickford holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is the author of Betty Shabazz, Surviving Malcolm X (Sourcebooks, 2005).

Why Dartmouth? “I understand that the quality of students at Dartmouth is phenomenal,” says Rickford. “I have heard glowing reports about the energy and intellectualism of Dartmouth students, and I am looking forward to being inspired by them.”


Enrico Riley ’95
Assistant Professor of Studio Art
Expertise: Abstract painter, working primarily in oil paint, whose work deals with issues of color, surface, texture, shape and space. Inspirations include jazz scores, the I Ching, and star constellations.

Enrico RileyEnrico Riley ’95

CV: Riley, a member of the Dartmouth College class of 1995, has an MFA from the Yale School of Art. He currently holds a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize in 2004. Riley’s recent exhibitions include “Stars and Constellations” (AVA Gallery, Lebanon, N.H., 2009); “Golden Cup” (Pageant Gallery, Philadelphia, 2008); and the American Academy of Arts and Letter Ceremonial Exhibition (New York, 2004).

Why Dartmouth? “I quite enjoy the balance of teaching and being a practicing painter,” explains Riley. “Dartmouth expects its professors to strive to be the best at both teaching and scholarship, and I have great colleagues in the studio art department.” “The Upper Valley is also a great place to live and work,” he continues; “the landscape and environment are very complementary to what I do.”


Sandip Sukhtankar
Assistant Professor of Economics
Expertise: Development economics; political economy

SandipSandip Sukhtankar

CV: Sukhtankar holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. His graduate work was supported by an Eliot Dissertation Completion Fellowship from Harvard University and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. Sukhtankar’s work has been published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the Journal of Latin American Studies.

Why Dartmouth? “The economics department at Dartmouth deeply impressed me during my interview visits,” says Sukhtankar. “I continue to be amazed at the combination of intelligence and genuine niceness of my colleagues.” He adds that, “Hanover in the fall has also been a delight.”


Michele Tine
Assistant Professor of Education
Expertise: Cognition and learning; developmental and educational psychology

Michele Tully TineMichele Tine

CV: Tine has a Ph.D. from the Lynch School of Education of Boston College. Her work has been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition; the Journal of Neurophysiology; Cerebral Cortex; and in Developmental Science Goes to School (Routledge, forthcoming). Tine’s experience as a fifth grade teacher in an underprivileged urban school district continues to influence her research program.

Why Dartmouth? “Dartmouth offers students entering the field of education an incredibly exciting and useful integrated knowledge base,” notes Tine. She adds that, “Dartmouth’s proximity to hiking trails and ski mountains certainly didn’t dissuade me from accepting the position!”


D.G. Webster
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Expertise: political economy; human-environment interactions; systems theory and applications, including computational and real world model-testing

DG WebsterD.G. Webster

CV: Webster holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She is the author of Adaptive Governance: The Dynamics of Atlantic Fisheries Management (MIT Press, 2009) and A Developing World Economy: Unlimited Growth with Limited Population (Fundamental Books, 2004, with Nake Kamarany).

Why Dartmouth? “I like to teach and a like to do research; I especially like having the freedom to teach courses that are related to my research,” says Webster. “Dartmouth is one of the few places that emphasizes a strong relationship between the two.”


Last Updated: 1/7/10