The arts and humanities are gaining the experience and expertise of three new faculty members at the Colleges this semester. With specialties that range from the history of Christianity to dance composition, these faculty members are giving new insights and sparking intrigue in their respective fields. They are among a high caliber group of new faculty welcomed to the Colleges this fall.
Patricia Mathews joins the art department as a professor after over a decade of teaching experience at Oberlin College. Mathews also brings a worldly perspective to her expertise in art history, having taught at the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence and the Paris American Academy in France. During her career, she has been nominated for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and Recognition of Outstanding Service by the Fulbright Scholar Program. Mathews specializes in modern art, criticism and theory. She wrote her dissertation at the University of North Carolina on the symbolist art theory and criticism of Albert Aurier. She earned her B.A. in art history from the University of Houston.
Adding to the performing arts at HWS, Melissa Smith is the newest assistant professor of dance in the department. She specializes in dance composition, dance making, theories of dance composition and much more. Smith joins the faculty with an M.F.A. in dance from Sarah Lawrence College. She also earned her B.S. in dance from SUNY at Brockport. With knowledge that moves fluidly between modern/post-modern dance to ballet to somatic practice to yoga, Smith is clearly a powerful force for dance at HWS. She has graced stages from New York to North Carolina, Georgia to Germany, Poland to Pennsylvania and brings all that she has learned to her new Hobart and William Smith students in Geneva.
Fay Botham joins the religious studies department as its latest assistant professor. Botham earned her Ph.D. in religion on the history of Christianity and her M.A. in religion from Claremont Graduate University. Her dissertation addressed “theologies of marriage and race in anti-miscegenation cases from 1865-1967. She received her B.A. in political science from Wheaton College. With a breadth of specialization in histories of the American South and West, the history of American Catholicism and Protestantism and much more, Botham adds a unique combination of religion and politics to the classroom at HWS. An award-winning scholar, Botham has received the Hillcrest Transdisciplinary Research Fellowship, the John MacGuire Presidential Fellowship and was a finalist for the 2004 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
Fay Botham appears in the photograph above.