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Faculty Highlights


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Spring 2019

José Antonio Mazzotti, the King Felipe VI of Spain Professor of Spanish Culture and Civilization, Department of Romance Studies at Tufts University
José Antonio Mazzotti, the King Felipe VI of Spain Professor of Spanish Culture and Civilization, Department of Romance Studies, has been awarded the José Lezama Lima poetry award by Casa de las Americas, a prestigious Cuban cultural institution, for his book El Zorro y la Luna (The Fox and the Moon). The prize is one of the most important literary awards in the Spanish speaking world. Mazzotti received the award in Havana, Cuba on January 31, where he was also presented with the Cuban edition of his book. 
Laura Gee
Laura Gee, assistant professor of economics, recently gave a TedxCambridge talk titled “Certainty Inspires Action.” Gee’s research is in behavioral economics and her talk focuses on how to encourage women’s participation in leadership and technology professions by enhancing certainty. She gives the example of a research study she conducted with LinkedIn which found that telling job seekers how many other people had applied to a job posting increased applications and could boost diversity.
Elizabeth Foster
Elizabeth Foster, associate professor, Department of History, has published a new book, African Catholic: Decolonization and the Transformation of the Church (Harvard University Press, 2019). The book explores Catholicism during the decolonization of French sub-Saharan Africa and how decolonization led to a fundamental reorientation of the Catholic Church.
Kristin Skrabut
Kristin Skrabut, assistant professor, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, has published an article in Current Anthropology. The article titled “Residency Counts and Housing Rights: Conflicting Enactments of Property in Lima’s Central Margins” examines how the Peruvian government’s attempts to count and categorize poor residents of Lima have contributed to urban sprawl, unsustainable growth, and conflict in the city. It draws on Skrabut’s two years of ethnographic fieldwork in an impoverished shantytown in Lima.

Fall 2018

Julie Dobrow Julie Dobrow, senior lecturer, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, has published a new book, After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet (W.W. Norton & Company, 2018). The book tells the previously untold story of two women who greatly influenced Emily Dickinson’s legacy. It has received praise from many reviewers including The Washington Post who called it “mesmerizing” and the Library Journal who hailed it as a “page-turner” in a starred review.
Gilbert Metcalf Professor of Economics Gilbert Metcalf has published a new book, Paying for Pollution: Why a Carbon Tax is Good for America (Oxford University Press, 2018). The book demonstrates why a carbon tax in the U.S. could effectively and fairly address climate change. Metcalf argues that the policy should be endorsed across the political spectrum. He has also been asked by the U.S. government to serve as one of the U.S. contributing lead authors on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report.
Alisha Rankin Associate Professor of History Alisha Rankin was featured on the BBC Radio 4 show When Greeks Flew Kites on the episode titled “Poison: The Invisible Assassin.” The episode explores poison causing “fear, doubt, and intrigue” in different periods throughout history. Rankin's segment focuses on poison and antidotes in Renaissance Italy.
Justin Hollander Justin Hollander, associate professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, has co-written an essay for Architectural Digest titled “Why Architecture Education Needs to Embrace Evidence-Based Design, Now.” The essay focuses on the importance of design education that is grounded in scientific research. Hollander argues for the need to put "people and biology and human functions at the center" of architectural education to create healthy, effective built environments. 
Madina Agénor Madina Agénor, Gerald R. Gill Assistant Professor of Race, Culture, and Society in the Department of Community Health, has been awarded a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to Promote Diversity (K01) award from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. This prestigious grant will fund Agénor's three-year project to study how state health policies and health care providers’ knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and practices influence racial/ethnic and sexual orientation disparities in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among young women in the United States.
Laurence Senelick Laurence Senelick, Fletcher Professor of Oratory, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has won Historic New England’s 2018 Award for Collecting Works on Paper for his collection of theatrical images documenting the history of performance. Included in the collection are portraits, publicity material, souvenirs, pictures of theater building interiors and exteriors, trade cards, early photographs and more which have been used in reference books and are frequently consulted by researchers, museums, and theaters. Senelick was presented with the award at the Lyman Estate in Waltham, M.A. on November 19.
Jeremy Melius On October 23 and 26, 2018 Assistant Professor of Art and Art History Jeremy Melius delivered the Tomás Harris Lectures in the Department of Art at University College London. The lecture series is designed to showcase the work of a young scholar who has distinguished himself or herself within the discipline and holds outstanding promise. Melius’ series of lectures, titled “Ruskin’s Histories,” explored the Victorian critic John Ruskin.
Ria Brodell Ria Brodell, painting lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, is the author of the recently published book Butch Heroes (MIT Press, 2018). The book includes historical accounts of 28 people from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries who didn’t conform to gender norms accompanied by depictions of their lives in portraits by Brodell. Publisher’s Weekly called the book “A serious—and seriously successful—queer history recovery project.”
Christina Maranci Arthur H. Dadian and Ara T. Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and chair of the Department of Art History Christina Maranci has published a new book entitled The Art of Armenia: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2018). It is the first English-language introduction to Armenian art. She is also a main author of the catalogue for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition “Armenia!,” which explores Armenian art and culture over fourteen centuries.
Associate Professor of Philosophy Brian Epstein Associate Professor of Philosophy Brian Epstein has been elected president of the International Social Ontology Society. Epstein’s election occurred as part of the society’s 11th biennial conference, which was held at Tufts. The conference brought together intellectual leaders who are studying the nature and properties of the social world across a variety of topics and disciplines. The event featured keynote speakers from MIT, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, New York University, Yale University, and University of Miami.
Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Julian Agyeman Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Julian Agyeman is one of two inaugural recipients of the Athena City Accolade Award presented by the Centre for the Future of Places at KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The award is given to scholars that have “enriched and advanced the field of interdisciplinary knowledge within urbanism studies and beyond.” Agyeman has received the award for “his outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning at Tufts University.”
Max and Herta Neubauer Chair and Professor of Economics Yannis Ioannides Max and Herta Neubauer Chair and Professor of Economics Yannis Ioannides received his official appointment and delivered his inaugural lecture at the Academy of Athens in Athens, Greece on June 5, 2018. As a Greek citizen, but non-resident of Athens, this is the highest award that can be bestowed on him by the Academy of Athens. His lecture was titled “Cities Ancient, Medieval, Modern: An Economics Perspective,” and drew from Ioannides’ research on the structure of urban systems throughout the world.
Assistant Professor of Music Frank Lehman Frank Lehman, assistant professor of music, published his first book Hollywood Harmony: Musical Wonder and the Sound of Cinema (Oxford University Press, 2018). The book examines the way that music in American cinema structures a filmgoer’s experience of both narrative and temporality. His article, “Film-as-Concert Music and the Formal Implications of ‘Cinematic’ Listening,” was also published in the journal Music Analysis.
Heather Nathans Professor and Chair of the Drama and Dance Department Heather Nathans’ book Hideous Characters and Beautiful Pagans: Performing Jewish Identity on the Antebellum American Stage (University of Michigan Press, 2017) has been named as a finalist for the 2018 George Freedley Memorial Award from the Theatre Library Association. The award “honors English-language books of exceptional scholarship in the field of live theatre or performance published or distributed in the United States during 2017.” The book also recently received the John W. Frick Book Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society.
Sergei Mirkin Professor and Department Chair of Biology Sergei Mirkin along with colleagues from his lab have published a new paper in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The paper describes a unique experimental system that the group used to study repeat expansions in mammalian cells.
Kelly Greenhill Associate Professor of Political Science Kelly Greenhill has published an article in Foreign Affairs magazine titled, "How Trump Manipulates the Migration Debate: The Use and Abuse of Extra-Factual Information." The article examines how Donald Trump's unverified and false statements in speeches, campaign rallies, and tweets impact public sentiment and the national debate about U.S. immigration policy.

Spring 2018

Jennifer Allen The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has invited Jennifer Allen, professor of community health, to serve on the U.S. Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. The committee's responsibilities include providing recommendations related to detecting and preventing breast and cervical cancer to the Secretary of HHS and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adolfo Cuevas Assistant Professor of Community Health Adolfo Cuevas has been selected as one of the National Minority Quality Forum's 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health. At the awards ceremony, he met Rep. Maxine Waters and, civil rights activist, Rep. John Lewis. Cuevas was recently interviewed on NPR discussing Afro-Latino health as part of a piece about reality TV show star and singer Amara La Negra. He also published an opinion piece in the Huffington Post, entitled "It's Time We Stop Ignoring Afro-Latino Health Disparities In The U.S." that examines the lack of public health research on racial disparities within the Latino community.
Heather Curtis Associate Professor of Religion Heather Curtis has published a new book entitled Holy Humanitarians: American Evangelicals and Global Aid (Harvard University Press). The book explores evangelical philanthropy and the story of the Christian Herald newspaper. It was recently positively reviewed in The Wall Street Journal.
Calvin Gidney
Julie Dubrow
Professor Calvin "Chip" Gidney and Senior Lecturer Julie Dobrow from the Department of Child Study and Human Development's research on dialect in animated children's media is featured in an article in The Atlantic. Their analysis found that the frequent correlation of foreign accents with "bad" characters could be conveying a concerning message to children in the United States about diversity.
Moon Duchin
Ani Patel
Moon Duchin, professor of mathematics, and Ani Patel, professor of psychology, have been awarded fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Duchin’s research focuses on geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. Patel specializes in music cognition. The two Tufts professors were among 175 scholars, artists, and scientists in the United States and Canada selected to receive Guggenheim Fellowships from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants.
Moon Duchin Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf has asked Associate Professor of Mathematics Moon Duchin to assist him with creating nonpartisan Congressional district maps for the state. The request came after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the current districting in January, citing cases of extreme gerrymandering. Governor Wolf said in a statement that he selected Duchin because she "has been a leader in applying mathematics, geometry, and analytics to evaluate redistricted maps and work to eliminate extreme partisan gerrymandering."
Silke Forbes Associate Professor of Economics Silke Forbes and her research on airline delays were featured in a piece by Shankar Vedantam on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. By analyzing 160 million flights between 1990 and 2016, Forbes' research demonstrated that more flights are now arriving early relative to the airline's schedule, but that flights are actually taking longer than they used to.
Frank Lehman Assistant Professor of Music Frank Lehman's work studying the music of the Star Wars films is featured in an article in The New Yorker. Lehman has catalogued the thematic musical leitmotifs in Star Wars Episodes I-VIII, which point to characters, objects, ideas, and relationships. The catalogue will be published in the book John Williams: Music for Films, Television, and the Concert Stage, which is forthcoming from the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini.
Professor of Child Study and Human Development Richard Lerner has been awarded the 2018 International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (ISSBD) Award for Applications of Behavioral Development Theory and Research. The award recognizes researchers who have made significant contributions to the field of behavioral development and who have also "worked to the benefit of the application of science to society." He will receive the award at the July 2018 ISSBD meeting in Australia.
Kris Manjapra Associate Professor of History Kris Manjapra has published a long read article in the Guardian titled "When will Britain face up to its crimes again humanity?" The article discusses how the British government paid slave owners millions of dollars after the abolition of slavery yet has never compensated or apologized to those they enslaved or their descendants.
Christina Maranci Professor and Department Chair of Art History Christina Maranci's book Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia (Brepols, 2015) was awarded the Karen Gould Prize by the Medieval Academy of America. The award review states that the book is "a closely-observed, beautifully written, and deeply evocative architectural analysis of a culture at a global crossroads."
Gilbert Metcalf Professor of Economics Gilbert Metcalf co-authored a paper with scholars from Harvard and MIT that was recently published in the journal Science. The article argues that there are benefits to allowing countries some flexibility in implementing the Paris Agreement's rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Metcalf was also recently named a lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
Isabelle Naginski Isabelle Naginski, professor of French in the Department of Romance Studies and co-director of the International Literary and Visual Studies Program (ILVS) has been awarded a fellowship by the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS) for the fall. She is one of 15 fellows selected and the only humanist. During her tenure in Strasbourg, she will be working on a book project, George Sand's Poetics of Genius.
Professor of Biology Michael Romero has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). The award, presented by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in mentoring students and early career STEM professionals from groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Romero will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive recognition for this award.
Jan P. de Ruiter
Sam Sommers
Jan P. de Ruiter, Bridge Professor in computer science and psychology, and Sam Sommers , professor of psychology, have been named as fellows of the Association for Psychological Science for "sustained and outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service, and/or application."
Natalie Shapero Professor of the Practice in the English Department Natalie Shapero's poem "Not Horses" was recently published in the January 21, 2018 edition of The New York Times Magazine. The poem was selected by award-winning poet Terrance Hayes, who describes the poem's ending as "heartbreaking, weird and resilient."
Ichiro Takayoshi Ichiro Takayoshi, associate professor of English, has published a new collection of essays that he edited and contributed to titled American Literature in Transition: 1920-1930 (Cambridge University Press). The book focuses on the importance of literature from the Jazz Age and is one of ten volumes in the American Literature in Transition series. Takayoshi will also edit the 1930s volume, which is expected later this year.
Reed Ueda America's Changing Neighborhoods: An Exploration of Diversity through Places (Greenwood), edited by Professor of History Reed Ueda, was selected by Library Journal as one of the Best Reference Works of 2017. The review says of the three-volume encyclopedia, "What distinguishes the work is its uncommon approach to the subject, excellent writing, and myriad useful demographics."
Ben Wolfe Assistant Professor of Biology Ben Wolfe’s research from his recent paper published in Nature Communications was profiled on National Public Radio’s food blog, the Salt. The paper explores how bacteria travel through fungal "highways" in cheese to spread, affecting the taste of the cheese. Wolfe’s research suggests that cheese makers may one day be able to tweak microbial communities to precisely alter the taste of their cheese or cultivate a fungus that prevents harmful bacteria.


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