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Faculty Friday Spotlight: July 2023

Four Faculty Members Win National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Professors of Philosophy Harald Thorsrud and Lara Denis, Professor of Physics Carlee Bishop and Professor of Mathematics James Wiseman received a NEH Connections Grant for “Exploring the Ethics of the Digital Transformation.” The one-year project seeks to plan a new humanities and data minor, incorporating philosophy and data science content. 

“Receiving an NEH Connections Grant will enable us to develop an interdisciplinary minor at Agnes Scott that employs the perspectives and skills from the humanities to promote the ethical use of data,” said Thorsrud. ”We’re excited to work with our students to determine how to make data-driven solutions serve the common good.”

Thorsrud Selected for Teaching Philosophy Institute

Thorsrud was recently selected to participate in The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)’s New Currents in Teaching Philosophy Institute, set to be held in Baltimore from July 23–27, 2023. The Mellon Foundation generously supports the program. The competition for this year’s Institute was immense, with just 33 faculty members selected to participate from across the nation.

Research and Publications

Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere’s coauthored research was featured in The Conversation. Oyelere, associate professor of economics and Kusum Mundra from Rutgers University, researched housing vulnerability during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that people of Asian descent were the most affected by the crisis.

Read about the research.

Reem Bailony, assistant professor of history, was awarded the 2023 Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellowship to work with the Naff Arab-American Collection on her second project this fall. The project is tentatively titled “Parenting in the Mahjar: Family and Nation in the Syrian Diaspora.” Additionally, Bailony and Professor Roshan Iqbal were invited to attend the International Women’s Summit Conference in Abu Dhabi in February. The conference featured women leaders worldwide and focused on its theme of the “Role of Female Leaders in Peace-Building and Social Integration, and Driving Prosperity.”

Associate Professor of History Robin Morris was featured on New Books Network’s podcast to discuss her recently published book, “Goldwater Girls to Reagan Women.”

Morris book tour for the publication has taken her all over the country, with events hosted by The Literary Guild, The Atlanta History Center, Presbyterian College, Queens University, University of Georgia and the Decatur Book Festival.

Associate Professor of International Relations and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Mona Tajali, was hosted by the Atlanta Global Studies Center for the kickoff event of Authors Amplified, a series of virtual book talks in partnership with the Atlanta Global Studies Center spotlighting Georgia voices on international issues. The podcast-style interview was broadcasted live from Constellations in downtown Atlanta.

The University of South Carolina hosted Charles A. Dana Professor of Spanish Rafael Ocasio to discuss his 2020 book “Race and Nation in Puerto Rican Folklore: Franz Boas and John Alden Mason in Porto Rico.” Ocasio’s publications have been well-received–he is the author of seven books, including three in the last four years.

Ocasio and his co-writers were also selected as one of the two winners of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division B: Curriculum Studies Outstanding Book Award for 2022 for “The Dissidence of Reinaldo Arenas: Queering Literature, Politics, and the Activist Curriculum.” 

Author Katrina Liu reviewed the group’s award-winning work.  

“Rarely is the case when a group of scholars assemble to take on the monumental task of embodying theoretical and curricular concepts with the humanities and queer studies.  Such scholarship is refreshing and pushes the field of curriculum theory into uncharted territories and compels scholars to reconsider taken-for-granted notions and practices.

“We believe that this work not only contributes significantly to the field of curriculum studies in general but also, more specifically, pushes the field to expand methods in curriculum studies.”