This fall, Barnard's academic departments welcomed a number of new faculty, as well as returning faculty taking on new roles. Their diverse research and teaching interests as well as their extensive expertise will expand the depth of course offerings and research on campus, and will be invaluable to Barnard's continued pursuit of academic excellence. Read more about each of them below.
Thea Abu El-Haj
Associate Professor, Education
Thea Abu El-Haj is an Associate Professor of Education. Her research explores questions about belonging, rights, citizenship, and education raised by globalization, transnational migration, and conflict. In addition to being published in multiple academic journals, Abu El-Haj has also authored Unsettled Belonging: Educating Palestinian American Youth after 9/11 (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Elusive Justice: Wrestling with Difference and Educational Equity in Everyday Practice (Routledge, 2006). She was recognized by the American Educational Studies Association in 2016 as the recipient of the Critics Choice Award. Abu El-Haj has a BA in history from Swarthmore College, an MA in clinical and developmental psychology from Bryn Mawr College, and a PhD in the anthropology of education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Assistant Professor, American Studies
Christina Heatherton is an Assistant Professor of American Studies who has previously worked at Trinity College. Heatherton is an historian of anti-racist social movements with interests in transnational social movements, neoliberalism and urban insecurity, race, culture, and imperialism, and the history of capitalism. She has edited various texts, including Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso Books, 2016) and is completing her first book, The Color Line and the Class Struggle: The Mexican Revolution, Internationalism, and the American Century (University of California Press). Heatherton is also the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at CUNY Graduate Center, the Grayson and Judith Manning Endowed Fellowship from the University of Southern California, and the W. M. Keck Foundation Fellowship from the Huntington Library. Heatherton has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA and a PhD from the University of Southern California.
Assistant Professor, Biology
Alison Pischedda is an Assistant Professor of Biology who has previously worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has interests in sexual selection, sexual conflict, animal behavior, and evolutionary genetics and genomics. Her work has been published in several academic journals, including Evolution, PLoS ONE, and the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Pischedda has also twice been named a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, an honor awarded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to outstanding young scientists. She has a BS in mathematics and biology as well as an MS in biology from Queen's University, and a PhD in ecology, evolution and marine biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Michael G. Wheaton is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and has previously worked as a postdoctoral clinical researcher at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and taught at Yeshiva University. Wheaton has interests in the psychopathology and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and OCD-related disorders, with a particular emphasis on behavioral therapy. He has written extensively about OCD and behavioral therapy and has been published in many academic journals, including the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Behavior Research and Therapy, and the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. Wheaton is also the recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. He has a BA from Cornell University and an MA and PhD from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Seth Stewart Williams
Assistant Professor, Dance
Seth Stewart Williams is an Assistant Professor of Dance who has worked extensively with Sean Curran and Donald McKayle setting choreography and was a supplemental dancer to the Mark Morris Dance Group for several years. Williams' research and interests include the history and theory of dance and theater, dance in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, performance, book history, and narrative theory, dance and theories of rights and race, and choreographic embodiments of lyric verse. Williams is currently working on “Virtual Motion: Dance and Mobility in Early Modern English Literature,” which studies the use of dance both to embody and to figure processes of political upheaval in which patterns of motion and migration predominate. He has received fellowships from Columbia University's Heyman Center for the Humanities and from New York University's Center for Ballet and the Arts. Williams has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University.
Lecturer, First-Year Writing
Alexandra Watson is a Lecturer of First-Year Writing. She has taught essay writing at Columbia University and served as the assistant director of writing instruction at the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, a nonprofit for low-income, high-achieving high school students. Watson's interests include underrepresentation in literature and the arts and empowering writers to develop their own voices. She is the founder of Apogee Journal, a publication dedicated to highlighting underrepresented voices in literature and the arts. Watson has been published in multiple outlets, including Redivider and The James Franco Review. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the New York State Council of the Arts Book and Literary Publication Award, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Community Arts Fund Grant, and the Open Meadows Foundation Award. Watson has a BA in English literature and cultures from Brown University and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University.
Term Assistant Professor, American Studies
Jordan T. Camp is a Term Assistant Professor of American Studies. His interests include racial capitalism, expressive culture, gentrification, political economy, policing and prisons, militarization, social reproduction, social theory, and the history of social movements in the United States. Camp is the author of Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State (University of California Press, 2016) and has co-edited Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso Books, 2016) and Development Drowned and Reborn: The Blues and Bourbon Restorations in Post-Katrina New Orleans (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Camp has also received numerous fellowships, including from the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and the Watson Institute at Brown University, as well as the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Camp has a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Term Assistant Professor, Psychology
Yoona Lee is a Term Assistant Professor of Psychology who previously taught child and adolescent psychology at Brandeis University. Lee has interests in child maltreatment, discipline, school bullying behaviors, and child and adolescent psychosocial and risk behaviors. She has written extensively about child development and bullying and has been published in multiple academic journals, including the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Children and Youth Services Review. Lee is currently conducting a seven-year longitudinal study sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that investigates the child and adolescent development in European, African, and Hispanic American mother-child dyads. Lee has a PhD from Brandeis University.
Returning Faculty with New Roles
Assistant Professor, Architecture
Ralph Ghoche, Assistant Professor of Architecture, has been teaching about architectural theory at Barnard College since 2014. His interests include nineteenth-century French architecture and its relationship to theories of ornament, archeology, and aesthetics. Ghoche has been published in various academic journals, including Architectural Histories and the Journal of Architectural Education, and is also the author of the upcoming book Ornament and the Renewal of Architecture in France: From History to Nature, 1830-1870 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2018). He has received substantial recognition for his work, including the Chester Dale Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Library Research Grant from the Getty Foundation, and the Collections Research Grant from the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Ghoche has a PhD in architectural history and theory from Columbia University.
Assistant Professor, American Studies
Manu Vimalassery is an Assistant Professor of American Studies, and an affiliate faculty member in the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies program, where he has taught since 2014. His interests focus on critiques of political economy and imperialism, with a particular focus on race and indigeneity. Vimalassery is the author of the upcoming book Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Peoples, Racial Aliens, and the Transcontinental Railroad (University of California Press) and has co-edited The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press, 2013). He has had fellowships at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, and Williams College. Vimalassery has a BA from Oberlin College, a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and a PhD from New York University.
Associate Professor of Professional Practice, English/Asian & Middle Eastern Cultures
Hisham Matar has been at Barnard College since 2014 and is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the English and Asian & Middle Eastern Cultures departments. Matar is the founder and principal curator of The Barnard International Artist Series, a forum for considering the world through the works of living artists, and his interests lie in modernism, romanticism, literature of exile, and translation. Matar's debut novel, In the Country of Men (2007), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and The Guardian’s First Book Award; it won numerous international prizes, including the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and a Commonwealth First Book Award. His 2016 memoir, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, was the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Award, the inaugural Prix du Livre Etranger Inter & Le Journal du Dimanche, the Rathbones Folio Prize, and The Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize. Matar is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has an MA in design futures (architecture) from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Anthropology/Human Rights
JC Salyer, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, has taught at Barnard College since 2014. He is an anthropologist and lawyer whose work focuses on law and society, immigration law, climate change, and social justice. He is the staff attorney for the Arab-American Family Support Center, a community-based organization in Brooklyn, where he runs the organization’s immigration clinic. Salyer is also a co-organizer of Pacific Climate Circuits, a three-year symposium at the Columbia University Center for the Study of Social Difference, which considers issues relating to climate change in the Pacific through the lens of the social sciences and humanities. His current research is on issues of migration, human rights, and sovereignty relating to the Australian government’s policy of placing asylum seekers in a detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Salyer has contributed to multiple books and academic journals, including EnviroSociety, Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, and International Migration and Human Rights: The Global Repercussions of US Policy. He is the recipient of multiple grants, including Barnard College’s COOL Grant in 2016. Salyer has a BA from the University of Georgia, a JD from Georgia State University College of Law, and an MPhil and PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Lecturer, First-Year Writing
Benjamin Breyer is a Lecturer of First-Year Writing and has been teaching at Barnard since 2013. His areas of interest include comics and graphic narratives, the study and teaching of rhetoric, writing in the disciplines, and Writing Across the Curriculum. Breyer has a BA in film studies from Clark University, as well as an MA in religion and a PhD in English and comparative literature from Columbia University.
Lecturer, First-Year Writing
Vrinda Condillac is a Lecturer of First-Year Writing and has been teaching Art of the Personal Essay and a number of other writing and literature courses at Barnard since 2014. Her interests include writing and digital pedagogy, narrative theory, feminist theory, gender studies, critical race theory, and postcolonial theory. She has been nominated for the Emily Gregory Award for excellence in teaching and devotion to students. Condillac has a BA from Bennington College and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.
Karen Santos Da Silva
Karen Santos Da Silva is a Lecturer in the Department of French and has taught language and literature classes at Barnard since 2010. Santos Da Silva's research focuses on the rise of proto-historical characteristics in the seventeenth-century novel and the accompanying emergence of character interiority as a new fictional space, with a particular focus on the uses of the female body within these texts. She has given numerous conference presentations, is the managing editor of Rousseau, between Nature and Culture in DeGruyter’s “Culture and Conflict” series (2016), and has been published in journals including Cahiers du dix-septième, (2013, Volume XV, 1) and Le corps du XVIIIè siècle au croisement de la littérature, de la philosophie et de la science, with Presses de l’Université de Laval au Québec (December 2008). Santos Da Silva has a BA in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in French literature from New York University.
Term Assistant Professor, Psychology
Rob Brotherton is a Term Assistant Professor of Psychology. He teaches classes on conspiracy theories, social psychology, science communication, and statistics. His research focuses on the role of reasoning biases in conspiracist ideation. Brotherton is the author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, an overview of the history and psychology of conspiracy theories, and has been published in academic journals, including Applied Cognitive Psychology and Personality and Individual Differences. Brotherton has a BSc in psychology from the University of Kent and an MSc and PhD in psychology from Goldsmiths, University of London.