The following are among the new faculty members at Washington University in St. Louis. Others will be introduced periodically.
Colin Burnett, PhD, joins Film and Media Studies in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. His research touches on the social history of film style, especially in the dynamic between cinephilic taste culture and cinematic storytelling in France and among a number of “minimal” filmmakers in world cinema. He earned a doctorate in film at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 with a dissertation titled “The Invention of Robert Bresson: Style and Taste in the French Cultural Marketplace for Cinema, 1934-1959.”
Marie Griffith, PhD, joins the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics as the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences and director of the center. Her research focuses on American religious history. She is author of Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (2004) and God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (1997). She earned a doctorate from Harvard University. She served as professor of religion at Princeton University, where she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Most recently, she held the John A. Bartlett Professorship at Harvard University.
Musa Gurnis-Farrell, PhD, joins the Department of English in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. Her research and teaching interests include early modern drama and religious culture as well as gender studies and performance theory. She is writing her first book, Heterodox Drama: Theater in Post-Reformation London, which argues that the specific working practices of the theater industry generated a body of drama that combines the varied materials of post-Reformation culture in hybrid fantasies that helped audiences emotionally negotiate and productively reimagine early modern English religious life.
Ron Mallon, PhD, joins the Department of Philosophy in Arts & Sciences as associate professor and director of the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology program. His research focuses on naturalistic understandings of culture and the mind. He has been the recipient of a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, a Research Assistant Professorship at the University of Hong Kong, a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship at the Princeton’s University Center for Human Values, and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. In summer 2012, he again will co-direct an NEH Institute for College and University Teachers on “Experimental Philosophy.” He earned a doctorate from Rutgers University. Most recently, he was associate professor at the University of Utah.
Jacob Montgomery, PhD, joins the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. His research interests are American political institutions, statistical methods and political parties. His work has been published in Political Analysis and Political Behavior. In 2009, he was awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement grant and, in 2007, he was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He earned a doctorate in 2011 and a master’s degree in statistical science in 2009, both from Duke University.
Carl Sanders, PhD, joins the Department of Economics in Arts & Sciences as assistant professor. He specializes in labor economics, in particular looking at the reasons for occupational switching. His other interests include the effects of noncognitive skills on labor market outcomes, how firms and workers bargain, and rural-urban migration patterns. His work “Heterogenous Human Capital and Lifecycle Wage Growth” (with Christopher Taber, PhD) is forthcoming in the Annual Review of Economics. He earned a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.
Leigh Schmidt, PhD, joins the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics as the Edward Mallinckrodt University Professor in Arts & Sciences. He earned a doctorate from Princeton University. His book Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment (2000) won the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Historical Studies and the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association. In 2010, he published Heaven’s Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman. Most recently, he was the Charles Warren Professor of the History of Religion in America at Harvard University.
Rebecca Wanzo, PhD, joins the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in Arts & Sciences as associate professor. Her research interests include theories of affect, African-American literature and culture, critical race theory and popular culture. Her first book, The Suffering Will Not Be Televised: African American Women and Sentimental Political Storytelling, was published by SUNY Press in 2009. She earned a doctorate from Duke University. Most recently, she was associate professor of women’s studies and English at Ohio State University.
Hayrettin Yücesoy, PhD, joins the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in Arts & Sciences as associate professor. He earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree from the University of Jordan and a bachelor’s degree from Istanbul University. His primary research interests are medieval Islamic history, in particular political practice and thought in early centuries of Islam, historiography, messianic thought and movements, and cross-cultural encounters. He is author of Messianic Beliefs and Imperial Politics in Medieval Islam (2009) and, in Arabic, Development of Sunni Political Thought (1993). He has taught courses on the Middle East, medieval and modern and on a range of topics in Arabic and Islamic studies. Previously, he was associate professor at Saint Louis University.