This fall, HWS will be infused with the creative energies of several new faculty members in the fields of writing and rhetoric, English, theater and education. Joining a group of more than two dozen new faces on campus, they bring their own expertise in such diverse areas as creative writing, Stanislavski’s method of physical actions and the connection between language and identity.
Neeta Bhasin joins the writing and rhetoric program as an assistant professor following a teaching position at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research centers on the connection between language and identity, with a focus on migrant identities, nationalisms and race and ethnic studies. She received a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College, and master’s degrees in history from the University of Pittsburgh and rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon. She received a Ph.D. in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon, with a dissertation titled “Nation and Ethnicity in Everyday Lives of Immigrants: Toward a Rhetorical Approach to Identity.
Matthew Newcomb also adds his own innovative spirit to the writing and rhetoric program as an assistant professor. Newcomb received a B.A. in English Literature and English Education from Whitworth College, an M.A. in Philosophy from Gonzaga University, an M.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, where he also received a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition. His thesis, titled “World Bank Rhetoric: Consuming the Suffering of Others, examines how rhetoric concerning suffering is used by humanitarian organizations to gain support.
Joining the Department of English as an assistant professor is Lauren K. Alleyne, who received a B.A. in English from St. Francis College, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Iowa State University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Her prior teaching experience includes being a lecturer at Cornell and Chatham Universities as well as a writing center coordinator at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. A recipient of the Robert Chasen Graduate Poetry Prize and the Atlantic Monthly Student Poetry Prize, she has published in several literary journals and anthologies including The Belleview Literary Review and Growing Up Girl.
Lisa Black joins the faculty as an assistant professor of theater. She has performed and taught theater-making at international festivals and workshops throughout North America, Europe, and Brazil. She has directed and taught acting at the University of Akron and at California State University San Marcos. She was a founding member of the New World Performance Lab and Chicago's Theater Oobleck. She specializes in actor training, solo and collective performance creation, Grotowski, and Stanislavski’s method of physical actions. In 2007, she wrote and staged a piece for three performers titled “A Scrap. She received a bachelor’s degree and M.F.A. in drama from the University of California at Irvine.
Mary Kelly joins the faculty as an instructor of education following a position as associate instructor of special education at Indiana University. A member of the American Education Research Association and the Council for Exceptional Children, she developed and led a research study funded by the U.S. Department of Education-Office of Special Education Programs titled Project Sammy (Self-Authored Multimedia for Youth), which analyzed the use of self-authored multimedia presentations in special education planning to foster self-determination skills in young adults with disabilities. She also has experience as a communications and technology consultant, a videographer, an English as a Foreign Language teacher, and a community organizer. She received a bachelor’s degree in U.S. and Latin American history with a minor in African American studies from the University of Illinois, a master’s of public health degree in Community Health Development and Education from the University of Hawaii, and will receive her doctorate in Special Education with a minor in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University.
Cynthia Current joins the faculty as a Fisher Center Pre-doctoral Fellow following teaching positions in the women’s studies Department at Duke University and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A member of the Society for Literature, Science and Arts and the Modern Language Association, she received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Louisville. She also received her master’s and is working towards her Ph.D. in English from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her dissertation addresses the effects that technologies of identification, from fingerprinting to genomics, have had on American literature, particularly in the conceptualizations of race and gender.
Photos are of Newcomb (at right) and Black (left).