The Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) has recently recommended 10 assistant professors for tenured positions at the College. The Board of Trustees will review the candidates for final approval at the end of this month.
The professors who received tenure endorsements are: Leslie Brown, assistant professor of history; María Elena Cepeda, assistant professor of Latina/o studies; Alexandra Garbarini ’94, assistant professor of history; Bernhard Klingenberg, assistant professor of statistics; David Love, assistant professor of economics; Brian Martin, assistant professor of French and comparative literature; Christopher Nugent, assistant professor of Chinese; Mérida Rúa, assistant professor of Latina/o studies and American studies; Olga Shevchenko, assistant professor of sociology; and Christian Thorne, assistant professor of English.
Assistant Professor of Economics Robert Gazzale was not recommended for tenure. “I have had the pleasure of fantastic colleagues and terrific students at Williams College,” Gazalle said. “I am thus quite disappointed by the CAP’s decision.”
Andrea Danyluk, acting dean of the faculty, explained the tenure process. “A faculty member who is hired into a tenure-eligible position is typically hired as an assistant professor for a three-year term,” she said.
“In the third year, a decision is made as to whether to renew the contract. If the assistant professor is reappointed, it is to a term of four years.” In the third of these four years, the professor undergoes another evaluation, and if the professor’s contract is renewed, her or she becomes tenured.
Danyluk said that decisions aboutfaculty members are made individually, and that it is possible for all the faculty up for tenure in a given year to receive it. She also noted that the opposite scenario holds true as well.
The CAP’s role is to advise the president and the Board of Trustees on matters such as the appointment and advancement of faculty, allocation of faculty positions to departments and programs, and granting of sabbatical and assistant professor leaves. The CAP includes the president, provost, dean of faculty and one tenured professor from each academic division.
Brown specializes in African American history, American women’s history and documentary studies. She is the author of Upbuilding Black Durham: Gender, Class, and Black Community Development in the Urban South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), and won the 2009 Frederick Jackson Turner Prize from the Organization of American Historians for the best book in U.S. history written by a first-time author. Brown received her B.A. in English and sociology from Tufts, and also holds a certificate in women’s studies and an A.M. and a Ph. D. in history from Duke.
María Elena Cepeda
Cepeda has focused her research interests on transnational Latina/o popular music and media. She is currently working on a book, tentatively titled Digital Cultural Citizenship: U.S. Communities of Color in the Age of New Media. Her future goals include “introduc[ing] more students of all backgrounds to the Latina/o Studies community, institutionalizing community-based learning opportunities within Latina/o Studies and encourag[ing] closer ties and resource-sharing between the College’s interdisciplinary programs…and departments.” Cepeda received her B.A. from Kenyon and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Garbarini teaches courses in modern European history, specializing in the interwar period era, World War II, Jewish history and the Holocaust. She is currently conducting research on her upcoming book about interwar European responses to mass atrocities. Among other new courses she is developing, Garbarini is particularly interested in expanding the course offerings in Jewish studies. She received her B.A. from Williams and her M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA.
Klingenberg teaches introduction to statistics for math and non-math majors, categorical data analysis, biostatistics, generalized linear models, regression and forecasting, and experimental design. His research interests include such topics as “Simultaneous Confidence Bounds for the Relative Risk” and “Multivariate Binary and Ordinal Data.” Klingenberg received his B.A. and M.A. in science from the Graz University of Technology in Austria. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Florida.
Love’s research, which has been published in journals that include Journal of Monetary Economics, the Journal of Public Economics and the Review of Financial Studies, focuses on household decisions about savings and portfolio choices, as well as on the structure and incentives of corporate pension plans. Recently, he has been working with another member of the economics department, professor William Gentry, on a project that examines the role of household lever- age heading into the 2008 financial crisis. He is also collaborating with coauthors at the Federal Reserve Board on several papers on pensions, saving and the financial crisis. Love received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale.
Martin has been teaching at the College since 2004 and said that he hopes to keep offering “new and dynamic courses” on French literature and cinema from the 19th and 20th centuries. He also expressed that working with students and colleagues to bring interesting programming about France and Francophone culture remains one of his goals. Martin’s forthcoming book, Friendship: Military Manhood and Masculine Affection in France, is slated for publication later this year. Martin completed his A.B., A.M. and Ph.D. at Harvard and his M.A. at the UCLA.
Nugent’s scholarship focuses on literary culture in medieval China, in the period from roughly the fifth through the 10th centuries. His next research project will examine how people living in the medieval age systematized and spread information.
“The Chinese program at Williams is a wonderful place to work and I’m looking forward to being a part of its continued growth,” Nugent said. “As I’m basically responsible for teaching all 3000 or so years of Chinese literature at the College, there’s a lot of room for coming up with new topics to explore and new courses to offer.” Nugent received his B.A. from Brown and his Ph.D. from Harvard.
Rúa’s interests include U.S. Latina/o studies, comparative approaches to race and ethnicity, urban community formations between the postwar era to the present and Latinos and education. She completed her B.A. and M.Ed. at the University of Illinois and received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Shevchenko’s research focuses on memory and identity, post-socialism, everyday life and culture, and consumerism. She is also interested in Soviet consumer culture and hopes to offer a tutorial on comparative consumer cultures in the socialist East and the capitalist West. Shevchenko is currently in the process of putting together her first tutorial, “The Public and the Private.” Shevchenko recently published an award-winning book, Crisis and the Everyday in Postsocialist Moscow, which she described as an “ethnography of everyday life and political talk in Russia after the fall of communism.” Shevchenko received her B.A. from Moscow State University, her M.A. from the Central European University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Thorne’s first book was recently published and, according to Thorne, is about “writers who have thought that it was better not to know things than to know things — writers who thought that knowledge (or the pursuit of knowledge) could ruin your life.” He is currently working on two new books: one that documents “how various schools of radical philosophy accidentally end up arguing for the supremacy of the US and Europe, or even end up promoting something like American imperialism” and a longer volume which “tries to figure out whether it’s possible to tell stories about the whole world, stories that don’t in the usual sense have locations or settings.” He received his B.A. from Wesleyan and a Ph.D. in literature from Duke.