New chairs named in Arts & Sciences​​

Five new department chairs have been named in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mark G. Alford, PhD, professor of physics, succeeds Kenneth F. Kelton, PhD, the Arthur Holly Compton Professor of Arts & Sciences, as chair of the Department of Physics.

Mark Rollins, PhD, professor of philosophy, succeeds Robert Henke, PhD, professor of drama and of comparative literature, as chair of the Performing Arts Department.

John Nachbar, PhD, professor of economics, succeeds Michele Boldrin, PhD, the Joseph Gibson Hoyt Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, as chair of the Department of Economics.

Hillel Kieval, PhD, the Gloria M. Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought in Arts & Sciences, succeeds Ahmet Karamustafa, PhD, former professor of religious studies, as chair of the Department of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

Peter Schmelz, PhD, associate professor of musicology, will succeed Dolores Pesce, PhD, the Avis Blewett Professor of Music in Arts & Sciences, as chair of the Department of Music in January 2013.

Timothy Moore, PhD, the John and Penelope Biggs Distinguished Professor of Classics in Arts & Sciences, succeeds George Pepe, PhD, professor of classics, as chair of the Department of Classics.

Alford’s research interest is quantum chromodynamics, the theory of the strong force that pertains to interactions in the nuclei of atoms. He is working on the properties of quark matter, the state of matter that occurs at very high density, such as might be attained inside neutron stars or in heavy-ion collisions. He is particularly interested in color superconductivity, a phenomenon that is analogous to superconductivity in metals, but is transposed to the more exotic context of quark matter. One of the main aims of his work is to find signatures of the presence of color superconducting quark matter in neutron stars.

Rollins is author of Mental Imagery: On the Limits of Cognitive Science and co-editor of Begetting Images: Studies in the Art and Science of Symbol Production. He is editor of Danto and His Critics, and is working on a book on perception and pictorial art. His focus is on the nature of mental representation and the foundations of cognitive science. He has published articles on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and aesthetics, which are his primary teaching interests. His current research is on perception.

Nachbar researches game theory and general equilibrium theory. He is on the editorial boards of Games and Economic Behavior, the International Journal of Game Theory, and the Economics Bulletin. He was editor for Game Theory for The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society.

Kieval teaches European Jewish history from medieval to modern times and courses in history and memory, ethnicity and nationalism, the Holocaust, and Jewish identities in the “age of nationalism.” His research focuses on transformations in Jewish culture and society in East Central Europe from the Enlightenment to World War II. He is particularly interested in changing linguistic, cultural and communal affiliations among Jews; cross-cultural conflicts and misunderstandings; the function and phenomenology of the “ritual murder” trial in modern Europe; and, most recently, the relationship between sacred text and ascribed identity in urban Central Europe at the turn of the 20th century.

Schmelz’s primary area of interest is 20th-century music (and especially music after 1945), with a focus on the music produced in Russia and the Soviet Union, including that by Shostakovich, Schnittke and Silvestrov. Secondary areas of research include American popular music and popular culture, music and the Cold War, and music and politics more broadly. His book Such Freedom, If Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music and Society During the Thaw (Oxford) was published in 2009. He was also founder of the American Musicological Society’s Cold War and Music study group. He is working on a book titled Beyond Noise and Silence: Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov and the End of Soviet Music.

Moore’s work concentrates on several areas of classical antiquity, including the comic theater of Greece and Rome, Greek and Roman music, and Roman historiography. His projects include articles on music in two plays of the Roman comic playwright Terence and a long-range project on the influence on the modern world of the Roman historian Livy. He also has interests in the history of theater, especially American musical theater and Japanese Kyogen comedy. His most recent book, Music in Roman Comedy, was published this year by Cambridge University Press.