The university is pleased to announce five new tenure-track faculty members in the College, as well as the Brown Foundation Fellow and Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence for 2012-2013. New faculty members are Rohan Kumar Kalyan, Elise Alexandra Kikis, Christian Kroll, Amy S. Patterson, and Jessica Wohl. This year’s Brown Foundation Fellow is Hagen Findeis. The Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence is Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder. Please see more information below about each new appointment.
New contingent faculty appointments for the coming year were also announced. They are: Timothy Ehresman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science; Leyla King, Visiting Instructor of International and Global Studies (Arabic); Michael Kohut, Visiting Instructor of Anthropology; Jennifer Lewin, Visiting Assistant Professor of English (and previously a member of the School of Letters faculty); Seth Martin, Visiting Instructor of English; Donna Susan Mote, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion; Basil Mugaga Naah, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Jeremy Sather; Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian Studies (Japanese); John Solomon, Visiting Instructor of Spanish; and Taylor Spence, Visiting Assistant Professor of History.
Newly appointed as assistant professor of International and Global Studies, Rohan Kumar Kalyan was educated at Vassar College (B.A.) and at the University of Hawaii (Ph.D.), where his doctoral study in the Political Science Department focused on South Asia—more particularly on issues related to globalization and urban development in “Neo Delhi.” For the last three years, Kalyan served as program coordinator at Hawaii’s Center for South Asian Studies. Among his research interests are international political economy, comparative politics, comparative cross-continental study of “the new global city” phenomenon, and new media and film. Consistent with his main academic focus on globalization, he is currently working to complete a monograph on “Neo Delhi and Other Spectacles of Urban Development.” His is the first faculty appointment in Sewanee’s fast-growing International and Global Studies Program to be dedicated to the program itself, rather than to any particular home department.
Elise Alexandra Kikis, who had been serving most recently as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, will be a new assistant professor in the Biology Department, offering special expertise in molecular and cell biology. After completing her undergraduate studies, summa cum laude, at Cornell University, Kikis went on to earn her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught or assisted with courses in genetics, plant biology, and introductory biology at several different institutions—including Cornell, California-Berkeley, Northwestern, and Northeastern Illinois University. Committed to the vocation of teaching and mentoring undergraduates in the setting of a liberal arts college, she is also an active researcher. Her current investigation, in which students collaborate, focuses on the ways cells and organisms recognize and respond to disease-associated misfolded proteins. She has received a Kennedy’s Disease Association research grant and a National Research Service Award (NIH) postdoctoral fellowship.
Assistant Professor Christian Kroll, who brings to Sewanee an expertise in contemporary Latin American literature and culture, is joining the College’s Spanish Department. Kroll took his B.A. in Architecture from the Universidad Francisco Morroquín in Guatemala and his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan. He also holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. His interest in matters affecting developing countries thus extends beyond literature to include issues related to urban theory and planning as well as global capitalism. A scholarly essay of his, on “Brasilia or the Limitations of Theory,” has been published in Agora, an urban planning and design journal. Kroll’s previous teaching experience includes courses in the Spanish language at three different levels as well as a Spanish literature and composition offering centered on short stories.
Amy S. Patterson, newly-appointed professor of Political Science, offers Sewanee the benefit of her extensive experience—not only in mentoring students and supporting their research at another small liberal arts college but also in conducting a good deal of her own field-based research on health and social development issues affecting nations across the African continent. Educated at Trinity University in San Antonio (B.A.) and Indiana University (Ph.D.), Patterson’s doctoral dissertation was devoted to the study of grassroots democracy and development projects in rural Senegal. Along with Ghana and Zambia, rural Senegal is one of the settings where she has since continued to collect data, prepare case studies, and conduct interviews related to the comparative analysis of social and health issues in Africa. Patterson has taught at Indiana University, Anderson University, Elmhurst College and Calvin College, where she served as political science chair for the past three years. She has received a Fulbright Scholars Award for AIDS Research in Zambia, a U.S. Department of Education/Fulbright Hays grant, and Calvin College’s 2010 Teaching Award for Advising and Mentoring.
Assistant Professor Jessica Wohl, an artist with expertise in painting and figure drawing as well as plaster and mold making, will begin serving the Art Department this fall in a new capacity with new title. She had previously taught at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Museum of Art, and has already served the College for two years as a contingent faculty member and Brown Foundation Fellow. Educated at the Kansas Art Institute and the University of Georgia, Wohl has received several awards for her work and has written numerous short pieces on art topics. Since 2000, she has participated in scores of solo and two-person exhibitions across the U.S. and abroad. Wohl has already developed an appreciative student following at Sewanee.
Brown Foundation and Tennessee Williams Fellow Appointments
Brown Foundation Fellow and Visiting Professor of International and Global Studies Hagen Findeis will teach a course on “Democracy: East Germany 1989” during the 20l2Advent term. Following his studies at the University of Leipzig and at Europa-University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder where he completed his Ph.D., he has served as academic coordinator of the Research Cluster and Graduate School Society and Culture in Motion at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Germany. The author of publications concerning processes of democratization and student-led movements for change in East Germany, Findeis will offer Sewanee students the rare benefit of his combined academic expertise and personal experience concerning the transformation of political culture in Germany since 1989.
Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder has been appointed this year as Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence and visiting assistant professor of English. Raised on a houseboat in Alabama, Wilder moved to New York and studied at the State University of New York, Purchase and New York University. She has written a number of plays, including Gee’s Bend, commissioned and produced by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and subsequently performed nationwide. She has also taught creative writing and playwriting workshops at many high schools, at Spring Hill College, and in other settings including the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Alabama Festival of the Book. She received the 2008 Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, a Prism Screenwriting Fellowship, a Dakin Memorial Fellowship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and appointment as a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Wilder has also served as a staff writer on the CBS television show Love Monkey.