Leadership, Advisory Committee and Staff

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All leadership, faculty fellows and staff members listed on this page are also members of the Advisory Committee, along with those explicitly listed as such. 


Leadership 
 

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Lisa Florman | Vice Provost for the Arts (Office of Academic Affairs)
Lisa Florman is vice provost for the arts and a professor in the Department of History of Art. Since 2021, Florman has served as associate dean of interdisciplinary studies and community engagement in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an arts historian who works at the intersection of art history and philosophical aesthetics, publishing books about competing understandings of the classical in modern art and the invention of abstraction in the twentieth century. She has been an invited lecturer at museums and universities around the world. Her two single-authored books are Myth and Metamorphosis and Concerning the Spiritual—and the Concrete—in Kandinsky’s Art.

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Photograph of Wendy S. Hesford

Wendy S. Hesford | Faculty Director
Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. She has published seven books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, and Feminisms. Her research, teaching and community engagement efforts are geared toward social justice, human rights literacy and transformative understandings of our historical place in the world. She has held visiting scholar appointments at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, Emory University School of Law and Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

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Photograph of Danielle Fosler-Lussier

Danielle Fosler-Lussier | Director of Imagined Futures: Graduate Professional Development Initiative
Danielle Fosler-Lussier is a professor in the School of Music, where she has taught since 2003. She is serving as vice president of the American Musicological Society through November 2022. Fosler-Lussier's principal interests include music in international contact and exchange; the role of women in the creation of concert life, state support for the arts and educational institutions; and music history pedagogy.

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Photograph of Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Hasan Kwame Jeffries | Director of Difficult Subjects: K-12 Teaching Institute and Faculty Fellow for Experiential Learning
Hasan Kwame Jeffries is associate professor in the Department of History. He is author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, and his current book project is titled “Stealing Home: Ebbets Field and Black Working Class Life in Post-Civil Rights New York.” As faculty fellow, he advances student experiential learning opportunities by working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and contributing to the development of Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Field Schools.

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Faculty Fellows 
 

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Leigh Bonds | Faculty Fellow (Libraries)
Leigh Bonds is the Digital Humanities Librarian at Ohio State, In this role, they consult with faculty and students on research and teaching, teach digital humanities praxis and pedagogy, collaborate on projects and coordinate the campus digital humanities network. Bonds publishes on digital humanities librarianship practices and on the celebrated British Romantic writer Mary Robinson.

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Mytheli Sreenivas | Faculty Fellow
Mytheli Sreenivas is a professor in the Departments of History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has research interests in women’s history, the history of sexuality and the family, colonialism and nationalism, and the cultural and political economy of reproduction. She teaches courses on modern South Asia, comparative women’s history, postcolonial and transnational feminisms, the politics of reproduction and world history.

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Advisory Committee 
 

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Vera Brunner-Sung | Advisory Committee (SP'23)
Vera Brunner-Sung is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Art and an award-winning filmmaker who uses experimental, documentary and narrative techniques to explore the relationship between place and identity. Her work has shown at numerous festivals, museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. Her most recent short, Character, is distributed online via The New Yorker Documentary. A 2020 Sundance FilmTwo and 2015 Center for Asian American Media fellow, she is currently developing her second narrative feature.

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Victor Espinosa | Advisory Committee
Victor Espinosa is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the Newark campus. His research combines theoretical approaches and qualitative methodologies from sociology and the humanities to study the intersection of migration, arts and culture from a transnational perspective. Espinosa has conducted ethnographic work with Mexican families in both sending communities and in the United States for the Mexican Migration Project and worked as an ethnographer for projects that gave him the opportunity to explore the life and struggles of gay men, lesbians and intravenous drug users and poor Latinx families on welfare. 

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Benjamin McKean | Advisory Committee
Benjamin McKean is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science whose research concerns global justice, populism and the relationship between theory and practice. His book, Disposed to Justice (forthcoming from Oxford University Press), argues that people subject to unjust institutions and practices should be disposed to solidarity with the others who are also subject to them, even when those relations cross state borders. 

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Guisela Latorre | Advisory Committee
Guisela Latorre is a professor in the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies who specializes in modern and contemporary U.S. Latinx and Latin American art with a special emphasis on Chicana/Latina feminism. She is the author of Democracy on the Wall: Street Art of the Post-Dictatorship Era in Chile (2019) and Walls of Empowerment: Chicana/o Indigenist Murals from California (2008). She is currently working on an anthology on the arts collective Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo.

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Photograph of Momar Ndiaye

Momar Ndiaye | Advisory Committee
Momar Ndiaye is an assistant professor in the Department of Dance and an internationally-recognized dance artist from Senegal. Ndiaye has worked with many well-known choreographers from Africa, Europe, Asia and America through the program Aex. Corps, initiated by the Association Premier Temp, in Senegal. Since 2010, Ndiaye has danced for internationally-acclaimed choreographer Andreya Ouamba in the Dakar-based company Premier Temps, and he was selected as a Dance Web participant at Impuls Tanz Festival in Vienna, Austria, in 2012. Since 2004, he has been developing work with his own company, Cadanses, and he has created and toured several staged contemporary dance works.

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Kris Paulsen | Advisory Committee
Kris Paulsen is an associate professor in the Department of History of Art who specializes in contemporary art, with a focus on time-based and computational media. Her first book, Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface (MIT Press, 2017), received the 2018 Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Her work traces the history of technology in the arts from photography to new media, with a particular emphasis on telepresence, virtuality, interface studies and early video art. Her current research addresses the logics of quantification and virtuality in contemporary art and culture, with particular attention to how they intersect with the physical, fleshy body.

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Photograph of Sébastien Proulx

Sébastien Proulx | Advisory Committee
Sébastien Proulx is an associate professor of Design, Coordinator for the industrial design major and Co-Director of the DESIS Lab. Proulx's research program revolves around the role of designers in the development of public services and policies. His approach draws on moral sociology and care ethics to develop an appropriate conceptual framework to provide designers with ways to cope with the complexity of contemporary social and political realities.

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Ryan Skinner | Advisory Committee
Ryan Skinner is an associate professor in the School of Music — a musical anthropologist who studies the expressive cultures and social worlds of contemporary Africa and its European diaspora, with extensive fieldwork conducted in Mali and Sweden. Specializing in the analytic methods of cultural anthropology and ethnomusicology, Skinner’s research focuses on issues of popular culture, ethics and aesthetics, public piety, cultural policy, intellectual property, racial identity and politics, and new social movements in the African world. Skinner’s scholarship has appeared in such journals as Scandinavian StudiesAfrican and Black DiasporaAfrica TodayResearch in African LiteraturesAnthropological QuarterlyAfricaIASPM@JournalPopular Music, and Mande Studies.  He is also a regular contributor to the popular African Studies website, Africa is a Country. Skinner’s current book project is a biographical study of filmmaker, Dani Kouyaté. 

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Staff 
 

Photograph of Puja Batra-Wells

Puja Batra-Wells | Program Manager
Puja Batra-Wells is a scholar of American material cultures and folklore who studies informal economies and modes of cultural display and presentation. She is co-editor of a volume on the intersections between folklore and economics, “The Folklorist in the Marketplace,” and she holds a doctorate in comparative studies. 

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Photograph of Breanne LeJeune

Breanne LeJeune | Communications Coordinator
Breanne LeJeune provides tactical and operational support, develops and executes strategic marketing and communications initiatives and meets graphic design and multi-modal storytelling needs. They hold an MFA in creative writing (poetry and nonfiction) from the University of Alabama and a BA in writing from Grand Valley State University. Their areas of expertise include graphic design, fine arts, creative and professional writing, strategic marketing and communications, teaching and student mentorship.

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Leadership and Advisory Committee


Dana Renga | Lead Dean
Dana Renga is the divisional dean for arts and humanities. Renga researches and teaches Italian film and media studies, with a focus on television. She is core faculty in the Film Studies Program and affiliated faculty in the Department of Comparative Studies and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In addition to two monographs, one co-authored book and an edited volume, she has published over forty articles and book chapters on Italian cinema and television, Italian popular culture and modern and contemporary Italian poetry and literature.

Wendy S. Hesford | Faculty Director
Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. She has published seven books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, and Feminisms. Her research, teaching and community engagement efforts are geared toward social justice, human rights literacy and transformative understandings of our historical place in the world. She has held visiting scholar appointments at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, Emory University School of Law and Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Jessica Delgado | Advisory Committee
Jessica Delgado is an associate professor in the Departments of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and History. Delgado’s primary areas of teaching and research are the histories of women, gender, sexuality, religion and race in Latin America — particularly in Mexico in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Other areas of particular interest include colonial Catholicism; gender, race, caste and religion in the early modern Atlantic World; the materiality of devotion; the relationship between religiosity and people’s experiences of the physical world and embodiment; and the intersection between social and spiritual status.

Danielle Fosler-Lussier | Faculty Fellow for the Arts
Danielle Fosler-Lussier is a professor in the School of Music, where she has taught since 2003. She is serving as vice president of the American Musicological Society through November 2022. Fosler-Lussier's principal interests include music in international contact and exchange; the role of women in the creation of concert life, state support for the arts and educational institutions; and music history pedagogy.

Philip Gleissner | Advisory Committee
Philip Gleissner is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures. He specializes in the cultures and literatures of socialist Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on print media in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and the GDR. He is particularly interested in the migration of media: mechanisms that facilitate the circulation of texts within and beyond Eastern Europe. Gleissner’s research relies on digital humanities methodology as a tool for the critical exploration of culture. His ongoing digital project Soviet Journals Reconnected explores Soviet magazines through their data.

Hasan Kwame Jeffries | Faculty Fellow for Experiential Learning
Coordinator of Difficult Subjects: K-12 Teaching Institute

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is associate professor in the Department of History. He is author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, and his current book project is titled “Stealing Home: Ebbets Field and Black Working Class Life in Post-Civil Rights New York.” As faculty fellow, he advances student experiential learning opportunities by working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and contributing to the development of Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Field Schools.

Tracie McCambridge | Advisory Committee
Tracie McCambridge is the Director of Art and Resilience at the Wexner Center for the Arts. She explores ways that the contemporary art gallery space can function as a laboratory for learning and center for wellness, radical access and inclusion. As an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy, McCambridge teaches students and members of the broader Columbus community to engage the public using inquiry-based methodologies in the Wexner Center’s galleries.

Tristram McPherson | Advisory Committee
Tristram McPherson is a professor in the Department of Philosophy. Drawing on resources from the theory of knowledge, metaphysics and the philosophies of mind and language, McPherson's work examines questions like: Does it even make sense to ask whether there are ethical facts? If so, what might such facts be like? Can we have justified beliefs or theories about which acts are right and wrong, and if so, how? How can we evaluate the concepts that we use in our ethical reasoning, discussion and theorizing? McPherson also spends significant time thinking about substantive questions in ethics, including the ethics of our relationships to non-human animals and the ethical significance of climate change.  

Ila Nagar | Faculty Fellow for the Humanities
Ila Nagar is an associate professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. Nagar is a multilingual researcher with extensive training as a sociolinguist and ethnographer; interdisciplinarity is the foundation of her approach to scholarly inquiry and teaching. Throughout her academic career, Nagar’s research in South Asia has focused on how linguistic expressions are deeply tied to social hierarchies, and how language is a tool that creates discrimination and power imbalances.

Momar Ndiaye | Advisory Committee
Momar Ndiaye is an assistant professor in the Department of Dance and an internationally-recognized dance artist from Senegal. Ndiaye has worked with many well-known choreographers from Africa, Europe, Asia and America through the program Aex. Corps, initiated by the Association Premier Temp, in Senegal. Since 2010, Ndiaye has danced for internationally-acclaimed choreographer Andreya Ouamba in the Dakar-based company Premier Temps, and he was selected as a Dance Web participant at Impuls Tanz Festival in Vienna, Austria, in 2012. Since 2004, he has been developing work with his own company, Cadanses, and he has created and toured several staged contemporary dance works.

Julia Nelson Hawkins | Advisory Committee (SP'2022)
Julia Nelson Hawkins is associate professor of classics with expertise in ancient medicine and Latin poetry. She is working on a monograph, “The Poetics of Medicine in Augustan Rome: Therapoetics after Actium,” which examines the pervasiveness of medical imagery in Augustan poetry. As Project Director, she advises leadership on focus area priorities and is producing an institutional scans of ongoing research in the Medical and Health Humanities and the Arts.

Sébastien Proulx | Advisory Committee
Sébastien Proulx is an associate professor of Design, Coordinator for the industrial design major and Co-Director of the DESIS Lab. Proulx's research program revolves around the role of designers in the development of public services and policies. His approach draws on moral sociology and care ethics to develop an appropriate conceptual framework to provide designers with ways to cope with the complexity of contemporary social and political realities.

Elaine Richardson | Advisory Committee
Elaine Richardson is Professor of Literacy Studies in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include language, literacy and discourse practices of Afro-diasporic cultures; sociolinguistics; critical discourse studies; and the education and literacy of Afro-diasporic people. Richardson belongs to a network of scholars interested in Hiphop and education. Her outreach efforts include cultural literacy projects focusing on youth empowerment and mentoring.

Amy Shuman | Project Director for Education Abroad
Amy Shuman is a professor in the Department of English. She is author of articles on conversational narrative, literacy, political, food customs, feminist theory and critical theory and of Storytelling Rights: The Uses of Oral and Written Texts by Urban Adolescents; Other People's Stories: Entitlement Claims and the Critique of Empathy; and (with Carol Bohmer) Rejecting Refugees: Political Asylum in the 21st Century. Shuman is a Guggenheim Fellow and fellow at the Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem.


Staff


Puja Batra-Wells | Program Manager
Puja Batra-Wells is a scholar of American material cultures and folklore who studies informal economies and modes of cultural display and presentation. She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume on the intersections between folklore and economics, “The Folklorist in the Marketplace,” and she holds a doctorate in comparative studies.

Breanne LeJeune | Communications Specialist
Breanne LeJeune provides tactical and operational support, develops and executes strategic marketing and communications initiatives and meets graphic design and multi-modal storytelling needs. They hold an MFA in creative writing (poetry and nonfiction) from the University of Alabama and a BA in writing from Grand Valley State University. Their areas of expertise include graphic design, fine arts, creative and professional writing, strategic marketing and communications, teaching and student mentorship.

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Leadership and Advisory Committee


Dana Renga | Lead Dean
Dana Renga is the divisional dean for arts and humanities. Renga researches and teaches Italian film and media studies, with a focus on television. She is core faculty in the Film Studies Program and affiliated faculty in the Department of Comparative Studies and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In addition to two monographs, one co-authored book and an edited volume, she has published over forty articles and book chapters on Italian cinema and television, Italian popular culture and modern and contemporary Italian poetry and literature.

Wendy S. Hesford | Faculty Director
Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. She has published six books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, and Feminisms. Her research, teaching and community engagement efforts are geared toward social justice, human rights literacy and transformative understandings of our historical place in the world. She has held visiting scholar appointments at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, Emory University School of Law, and Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Jessica Delgado | Advisory Committee
Jessica Delgado is an associate professor in the Departments of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and History. Delgado’s primary areas of teaching and research are the histories of women, gender, sexuality, religion and race in Latin America — particularly in Mexico in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Other areas of particular interest include colonial Catholicism; gender, race, caste and religion in the early modern Atlantic World; the materiality of devotion; the relationship between religiosity and people’s experiences of the physical world and embodiment; and the intersection between social and spiritual status.

Victor Espinosa | Advisory Committee
Victor Espinosa is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the Newark campus. His research combines theoretical approaches and qualitative methodologies from sociology and the humanities to study the intersection of migration, arts and culture from a transnational perspective. Espinosa has conducted ethnographic work with Mexican families in both sending communities and in the United States for the Mexican Migration Project and worked as an ethnographer for projects that gave him the opportunity to explore the life and struggles of gay men, lesbians and intravenous drug users and poor Latinx families on welfare. 

Philip Gleissner | Advisory Committee
Philip Gleissner specializes in the cultures and literatures of socialist Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on print media in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and the GDR. He is particularly interested in the migration of media: mechanisms that facilitate the circulation of texts within and beyond Eastern Europe. Gleissner’s research relies on digital humanities methodology as a tool for the critical exploration of culture. His ongoing digital project Soviet Journals Reconnected explores Soviet magazines through their data.

Ann Hamilton | Advisory Committee (spring 2021)
Ann Hamilton is a professor in the Department of Art. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Sao Paulo Bienal, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world.

Hasan Kwame Jeffries | GAH/ODI Faculty Fellow: Undergraduate Experiential Learning
Hasan Kwame Jeffries is associate professor in the Department of History. He is author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, and his current book project is titled “Stealing Home: Ebbets Field and Black Working Class Life in Post-Civil Rights New York.” As faculty fellow, he advances student experiential learning opportunities by working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and contributing to the development of Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Field Schools.

Brian Joseph | Advisory Committee
Brian Joseph is a professor in the Department of Linguistics. Their interests are focused, first and foremost, on the study of language change — especially in regard to the Greek language throughout all of its historical phases (from Mycenaean, up through Modern Greek, including its prehistory and how it fits into the Indo-European language family and also its more recent significant contact with its neighboring languages in the Balkans). Joseph's interests run also to other languages, especially Sanskrit and Albanian, and to other areas within linguistics, including both morphological theory and the embedding of language into social structures.

Hannah Kosstrin | Advisory Committee
Hannah Kosstrin is an associate professor in the Department of Dance. She is a dance historian whose work engages dance, Jewish,and gender studies. Her research and teaching interests include dance histories of the United States, Israel and the Jewish diaspora, Latin America, Europe, South Asia and the African diaspora; gender and queer theory; nationalism and diaspora studies; Laban movement notation and analysis; and digital humanities. She is affiliated faculty with the Melton Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for Slavic and East European Studies.

Susan Melsop | Advisory Committee
Susan Melsop is an associate professor in the Department of Design. Prior to this appointment, she taught design studios and graduate seminars at the Knowlton School of Architecture. As faculty fellow for the Community Focus Area, Melsop works in collaboration with GAHDT leadership on strategic planning for the development of community and civic engagement initiatives, with particular attention to creative practice.

Tiyi Morris | Advisory Committee
Tiyi Morris is an associate professor in the Department of African American and African Studies with an interdisciplinary research and teaching focus that combines the fields of American history, Black studies and women’s studies. She has taught courses such as twentieth-century US history; gender, sex and power; Black feminist thought; and the Civil Rights-Black Power movements. In addition to her teaching and research, Morris is a board member of Women Have Options, Ohio’s statewide abortion fund, and she has worked with The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jackson State University since 2005.

Amy Shuman | Faculty Fellow: (Humanities) Methods and Practices Amplifier
Amy Shuman is a professor in the Department of English. She is author of articles on conversational narrative, literacy, political, food customs, feminist theory and critical theory and of Storytelling Rights: The Uses of Oral and Written Texts by Urban Adolescents; Other People's Stories: Entitlement Claims and the Critique of Empathy; and (with Carol Bohmer) Rejecting Refugees: Political Asylum in the 21st Century. Shuman is a Guggenheim Fellow and fellow at the Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem.

Susan Van Pelt Petry | Faculty Fellow: (Arts) Methods and Practices Amplifier
Susan Petry is a professor in the Department of Dance, teaching contemporary technique, composition, pedagogy, professional practices and improvisation. She has a background in Erik Hawkins technique, Iyengar Yoga, Contact Improv, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Alexander Technique. From 2006-2015, she was chair of the department. As faculty fellow for Arts Methods and Practices, Petry is working in collaboration with GAHDT leadership to define the parameters of the Amplifier Focus Area and contribute to strategic planning with special attention to opportunities for integration of cross-disciplinary creative practices.

Susan Williams | Advisory Committee (AU'2020)
Susan Williams is a professor in the Department of English whose teaching and research interests are in nineteenth-century American literature and culture. She has held departmental, college and university leadership positions focused on graduate education and faculty affairs and served as vice provost in the university’s Office of Academic Affairs from 2009-2014 and vice dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2014-2018. From 2015-2017, she co-led the initial planning for the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme.

Carmen Winant | Advisory Committee (AU'2020)
Carmen Winant ia an associate professor int he Department of Art. She is an artist, writer and former dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has participated in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art (NY), Sculpture Center (NY), The Wexner Center for the Arts, MoCA Cleveland,and The Columbus Museum of Art. Winant has also curated a performative lecture series, titled Practice, at COR&P (Columbus), 356 Mission (LA), MoMA PS1, and Regina Rex (NY). She has published two artists books, My Life as a Man with Horses, and My Birth.


Staff


Puja Batra-Wells, Program Manager | Puja Batra-Wells is a scholar of American material cultures and folklore who studies informal economies and modes of cultural display and presentation. She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume on the intersections between folklore and economics, “The Folklorist in the Marketplace,” and she holds a doctorate in comparative studies.

Breanne LeJeune, Program Coordinator | Breanne LeJeune provides tactical and operational support, develops and executes strategic marketing and communications initiatives and meets graphic design and multi-modal storytelling needs. They hold an MFA in creative writing (poetry and nonfiction) from the University of Alabama and a BA in writing from Grand Valley State University. Their areas of expertise include graphic design, fine arts, creative and professional writing, strategic marketing and communications, teaching and student mentorship.

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2019-2020 Leadership and Advisory Committee


Peter HahnLead Dean | Peter Hahn, divisional dean for Arts and Humanities, is professor of history and served as chair of the department from 2006 to 2015. An accomplished research scholar, Professor Hahn has published seven books on the history of American diplomacy in the Middle East, most recently, Missions Accomplished? The United States and Iraq since World War I and Historical Dictionary of U.S.-Middle East Relations, as well as scores of articles, essays and reviews.

Wendy S. Hesford, Faculty Director | Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. She has published six books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, and Feminisms. Her research, teaching and community engagement efforts are geared toward social justice, human rights literacy and transformative understandings of our historical place in the world. She has held visiting scholar appointments at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, Emory University School of Law, and Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Theodora Dragostinova, Faculty Fellow: Migration, Mobility + Im/Mobility | Theodora Dragostinova is associate professor of history. She is the author of Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949 as well as Beyond Mosque, Church and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans. As faculty fellow, she advises on priorities for advancing Migration, Mobility and Immobility Project initiatives and plans and implements annual events.

Julia N. Hawkins, Project Director: Medical and Health Humanities and the Arts | Julia N. Hawkins is associate professor of classics with expertise in ancient medicine and Latin poetry. She is working on a monograph, “The Poetics of Medicine in Augustan Rome: Therapoetics after Actium,” which examines the pervasiveness of medical imagery in Augustan poetry. As Project Director, she advises leadership on focus area priorities and is producing an institutional scans of ongoing research in the Medical and Health Humanities and the Arts.

Hasan Kwame Jeffries, GAH/ODI Faculty Fellow: Undergraduate Experiential Learning | Hasan Kwame Jeffries  is associate professor of history. He is author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, and his current book project is titled “Stealing Home: Ebbets Field and Black Working Class Life in Post-Civil Rights New York.” As faculty fellow, he advances student experiential learning opportunities by working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and contributing to the development of Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Field Schools.

Susan Melsop, Faculty Fellow: Community | Susan Melsop is an associate professor in the Department of Design. Prior to this appointment, she taught design studios and graduate seminars at the Knowlton School of Architecture. As faculty fellow for the Community Focus Area, Melsop works in collaboration with GAHDT leadership on strategic planning for the development of community and civic engagement initiatives, with particular attention to creative practice.

Michael Mercil, Advisory Committee Member | Michael Mercil is a professor of art whose art and teaching explore the realms of “the near, the low, the common.” His works in sculpture, drawing, painting, landscape architecture, film, and performance have been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and have received numerous regional and national awards.

Dorothy Noyes, Faculty Fellow: (Humanities) Methods and Practices Amplifier | Dorothy Noyes is a professor with a joint appointment between the Departments of English and Comparative Studies and courtesy appointments in the Departments of Anthropology, French and Italian and Germanic Languages and Literatures; she also teaches in the Program in International Studies. As faculty fellow for Humanities Methods and Practices, Noyes is working in collaboration with GAHDT leadership to define the parameters of the Amplifier Focus Area and contribute to strategic planning with special attention to opportunities for integration of cross-disciplinary methods and creative practices.

Susan Petry, Faculty Fellow: (Arts) Methods and Practices Amplifier | Susan Petry is a professor in the Department of Dance, teaching contemporary technique, composition, pedagogy, professional practices and improvisation. She has a background in Erik Hawkins technique, Iyengar Yoga, Contact Improv, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Alexander Technique. From 2006-2015, she was chair of the department. As faculty fellow for Arts Methods and Practices, Petry is working in collaboration with GAHDT leadership to define the parameters of the Amplifier Focus Area and contribute to strategic planning with special attention to opportunities for integration of cross-disciplinary creative practices.

Townsand Price-Spratlen, Advisory Committee Member | Townsand Price-Spratlen is an associate professor of sociology and holds expertise in urban sociology. He is currently studying the community capacity building process, which includes the role of grassroots organizing in desistance and post-prison reintegration success; how faith-based organizations inform health disparities and wellness outcome; and historically, how local assets mattered during and after the Great Migration. 

Mytheli Sreenivas, Advisory Committee Member | Mytheli Sreenivas is associate professor in the Departments of History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has research interests in women’s history, the history of sexuality and the family, colonialism and nationalism, and the cultural and political economy of reproduction. She teaches courses on modern South Asia, comparative women’s history, postcolonial and transnational feminisms, the politics of reproduction and world history.

Jennifer Suchland, Advisory Committee Member | Jennifer Suchland is an associate professor of Slavic and Eastern European languages and women's, gender and sexuality studies. Suchland is an interdisciplinary scholar, trained in political and feminist theory and area studies and jointly appointed in the Departments of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She teaches and advises students in both programs as well as in the International Studies program (including with the Human Rights Minor).

Susan Williams, Faculty Fellow: Strategic Advancement | Susan Williams is a professor in the Department of English whose teaching and research interests are in nineteenth-century American literature and culture. She is the author of Confounding Images: Photography and Portraiture in Antebellum American Fiction (1997) and Reclaiming Authorship: Literary Women in America, 1850-1900 (2006) and has edited two other books, including an edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. She has held departmental, college and university leadership positions focused on graduate education and faculty affairs and served as Vice Provost in the university’s Office of Academic Affairs from 2009-2014 and Vice Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2014-2018. From 2015-2017, she co-led the initial planning for the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme.


2019-2020 Staff


Puja Batra-Wells, Program Manager | Puja Batra-Wells is a scholar of American material cultures and folklore who studies informal economies and modes of cultural display and presentation. She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume on the intersections between folklore and economics, “The Folklorist in the Marketplace,” and she holds a doctorate in comparative studies.

Breanne LeJeune, Program Coordinator | Breanne LeJeune provides tactical and operational support, develops and executes strategic marketing and communications initiatives and meets graphic design and multi-modal storytelling needs. They hold an MFA in creative writing (poetry and nonfiction) from the University of Alabama and a BA in writing from Grand Valley State University. Their areas of expertise include graphic design, fine arts, creative and professional writing, strategic marketing and communications, teaching and student mentorship.