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«New Faculty 2008-2009 Michael Alexander Associate Professor of Religious Studies Ph.D., 1999, Yale University Professor Alexander comes to Riverside ...»

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Specializing in medieval Spanish literature, Professor Liu is the author of Medieval Joke Poetry: The Cantigas d’Escarnho e de Mal Dizer. He is currently completing a book manuscript that considers economic modes of interfaith relations in early Spanish literature and examines how the circulation of money, goods and gifts among Christians, Muslims, and Jews configures complex interpersonal networks between these groups. He is also working on a new project on travel and trade in the Middle Ages.

Matthew Mahutga Assistant Professor of Sociology Ph.D., 2008, University of California, Irvine Professor Mahutga conducts empirical research on economic globalization, political economy, economic sociology, social change and social network analysis. Recent projects include studies of the determinants of income inequality in post-socialist countries, the causes of global production network formation, the consequences of this formation for development and social change cross-nationally, and the relationship between a country’s position in the international division of labor and its subsequent growth trajectory. Some of this work appears in the journals Social Forces, Social Problems, and elsewhere.

Tanya Nieri Assistant Professor of Sociology Ph.D., 2007, Arizona State University Tanya Nieri comes to UCR from Arizona State University where she was Coordinator of Research at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) for nearly seven years and Research Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work since 2007.

Her work at SIRC focused on culturally grounded prevention and intervention research in the areas of substance use, HIV, and mental health among Latinos and American Indians. Her research interests include the influence of cultural variables (acculturation, acculturation stress, ethnic identity, discrimination) on youth development and intervention efficacy, the influence of cultural and race/ethnic variables at the school and neighborhood levels, and the influence of culture in the emergence of health disparities.

Keun-Pyo Park Assistant Professor of Theatre M.F.A., 2006, University of Texas, Austin Professor Keun-Pyo Park will join the Theatre department to teach film production. He has a diverse background as an independent filmmaker, theater director, and actor. Professor Park has experience teaching film and video production courses at the University of Iowa and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His narrative short films have been shown at venues worldwide. Among the many awards he has received are the Eastman Kodak Scholarship Award, Best Student Narrative Award at Austin Film Festival, Best Student Voice at Jackson Hole Film Festival, and Best Short Jury Award and 2nd Public Award at Lyon Asian Film Festival in France.

John Perry Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Ph.D., 1968, Cornell University Professor Perry was a member of the Philosophy Department at UCLA from 1968 to 1974, and since 1974 has been at Stanford University, where he is the Henry Walgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy. Professor Perry comes to Riverside half time, in conjunction with his phased retirement from Stanford. Professor Perry has published several books and many articles on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. He received a Jean Nicod Prize (France), a Humboldt Prize (Germany), and a Guggenheim Fellowship. At Stanford he served as the Chair of the Philosophy Department for many years, and also as Director of the Center for the Study of Language and Information, which he helped to found in 1983. He is co-host of the radio program “Philosophy Talk.”

Paul RyerAssistant Professor of AnthropologyPh.D., 2006, University of Chicago

Professor Ryer comes to UCR from Mount Holyoke College. Trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, he has conducted research in Cuba, where he has been affiliated with the University of Havana, and its diaspora. His dissertation research rethinks the imagined geographies of cubanidad, or Cubanness, arguing that in the Cuban vernacular, cubanidad rests uneasily between the scarcities of socialism and the consumer goods of the West, and that its contradictions and limits are most starkly exposed by the experiences and positioning of resident African-born, Cubaneducated students. Currently, his research follows such students as they migrate again, forging new diasporas and fashioning hybridized homelands.

Marta SaviglianoProfessor of DancePh.D., 1991, University of Hawaii-Manoa

As a political theorist and anthropologist, Professor Savigliano is interested in the politics of culture: the transnational traffic of cultural goods, workers, ideologies and affects under global capitalism. She is the author of Tango and the Political Economy of Passion, translated into Turkish, Slovene and Japanese. Her second book Angora Matta: Fatal Acts of North South Translation addresses feminization and fatal-ness as recurrent tropes associated to artistic and scholarly representations of Latin America and, in particular, of Argentina. Savigliano is also a librettist and screenwriter and, occasionally, a performer, producer and artistic director.

Aaron R. Seitz Assistant Professor of Psychology Ph.D., 2002, Boston University Professor Seitz comes to UCR from Boston University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He has a B.A. in Mathematics from Reed College, a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University, and he conducted postdoctoral studies in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.





Seitz’s research focuses on the mechanisms of learning within the perceptual system. At UCR he will continue this research using behavioral and neuroimaging studies in human subjects.

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Professor Shimabuku earned her B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from Middlebury College, fulfilled course requirements for the Ph.D. program in Sociology at Tokyo University, and is currently

completing her dissertation entitled “Transpacific Colonialism:

A Genealogy of Sex, Nation, and Mixed-Blood in Okinawa” to earn a Ph.D. in East Asian Literature from Cornell University.

She is interested in postcolonial studies within the context of Japanese Empire, the gendered impact of militarized violence, and metaphoric representations of miscegenation in Okinawan literature. In her efforts to put transpacific studies into practice, she is committed to a bilingual address, and has consistently published articles in Japanese and English since 2001.

Andrea Smith Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies Ph.D., 2002, University of California, Santa Cruz Professor Smith received her Ph.D. in History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz in 2002. Previously, she taught in the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan. Her publications include: Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances and Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. She is also the editor of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex, and co-editor of The Color of Violence, The Incite! Anthology.

She currently serves as the U.S. Coordinator for the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, and she is a co-founder of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. She recently completed a report for the United Nations on Indigenous Peoples and Boarding Schools.

Kate Sweeny Assistant Professor of Psychology Ph.D., 2008, University of Florida Professor Sweeny comes to UCR after completing graduate studies in Social Psychology at the University of Florida, where she was the recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. Her research examines how people give news of, prepare for, and respond to bad news. These lines of research incorporate the study of risk judgments, coping, decision-making, emotions, social cognition, and communication. Professor Sweeny has published her work in Psychological Bulletin, Current Directions in Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, among others.

Yuhki TajimaAssistant Professor of Political SciencePh.D., 2008, Harvard University

Professor Tajima joins the Political Science Department after his doctoral studies at Harvard University. His research examines the causes of communal violence, dynamics of civil war, and postwar outcomes of former combatants. His dissertation examined communal violence during Indonesia’s democratic transition, focusing on the role of informal institutions in explaining local variation in violence. His on-going projects seek to explain local variation in violence during the civil war in Aceh, Indonesia as well as post-war economic outcomes of former insurgent combatants.

He is also a research affiliate with the Order, Conflict, and Violence Program at Yale University’s MacMillan Center.

Caroline Tushabe Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies Ph.D., 2008, Binghamton University, SUNY Professor Tushabe joins the department of Women’s Studies after completing her doctorate in Philosophy, Interpretation, & Culture at Binghamton University, SUNY. She received her M.A. in Women’s Studies at Texas Woman’s University in 2005 and her B.A. in Philosophy at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, in 2003. Her interests include gender and sexuality, global sexual identities (LGBTIQ), postcolonial queer theory, prison system and crime, African philosophy and African traditional religions.

Jason Weems Assistant Professor of Art History Ph.D., 2003, Stanford University Professor Weems is a specialist in American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the present. His research focuses on often overlooked images and visual interplays, exploring the way that meaning is produced across levels of representation through overarching paradigms of visual experience. Weems’ current project, entitled “Barnstorming the Prairies: Flight, Aerial Vision and Modernity in Rural America, 1920-1940,” examines the development of modern aerial vision and its role in refiguring subjectivity, space, and culture across a spectrum of American life.

His other research includes a study of changing conceptualizations of scale in American art and scientific visualization and a consideration of pattern in American landscapes. Weems’ teaching interests include topics such as the art of colonial encounter, regionalism and transculturation, the relationship of vision and science, and the history of multisensory expression.

Fariba Zarinebaf Assistant Professor of History Ph.D., 1991, University of Chicago Before coming to UCR, Professor Zarinebaf taught at the University of Virginia, Northwestern University, Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her areas of interest include the Ottoman Empire, Iran, the Eastern Mediterranean world, gender and Islamic law, urban and social history in the early modern and modern periods. She has published extensively on gender and Islam, Ottoman and Iranian urban and social history, and Balkan history. She has received two NEH postdoctoral fellowships for a project on the social history of crime and urban violence in Istanbul during the 18th century. She has received a University Faculty Summer Research Grant for her project, “Intercommunal Life in 18th Century Istanbul: From Neighborhood to Law Courts” and a Faculty Research Grant from NU “Ottoman Cosmopolitanism: Negotiating Communal Boundaries in the Neighborhood, Law Courts, and Guilds in 18th-Century Istanbul.” Dean Stephen Cullenberg, together with the CHASS faculty and staff, welcomes our 35 new 2008-09 distinguished faculty members to the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

For more detailed information about our new faculty, please visit:



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