23 Faculty Appointed to Endowed and Named Professorships

September 25, 2007  |  Media Contact: Deborah Baum |  401-863-2476
Brown University has appointed 23 current faculty members to endowed and named professorships, including three new Royce Professors in Teaching Excellence. The appointments are part the University’s ongoing commitment to recruit and retain the highest-caliber faculty for Brown, a key goal under the Plan for Academic Enrichment.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University has appointed 23 new and current faculty members to endowed and named positions, including three new Royce Professors in Teaching Excellence, eight endowed full professorships, 11 assistant professorships, and one directorship. The appointments are part of the University’s ongoing commitment to attract and retain the very best faculty, a key goal under Brown’s Plan for Academic Enrichment.

Royce Family Professorships in Teaching Excellence

These professorships honor Brown faculty who have demonstrated a level of excellence in their teaching and advising that is deserving of special recognition. The three faculty members appointed this year join a distinguished group which includes Thomas Banchoff and Kurt Raaflaub (currently serving as Royce Professors), and Barrymore Bogues, Sheila Bonda, and Karen Fischer (past recipients).

Stephanie Merrim
Royce Family Professor in Teaching Excellence

Merrim came to Brown in 1981 and returned to Brown in 1987 after a year at Princeton University. As a faculty member in comparative literature and Hispanic studies at Brown, she teaches a variety of courses in early modern and 20th-century literature. Her areas of specialization include 16th-century New World historiography; the Baroque; 17th-century women’s writing in Spanish, English, and French; and contemporary North and South American literatures. Her latest book, Early Modern Women’s Writing and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, was published by Vanderbilt University Press. She is completing a book titled The Spectacular City and the Work of the New World Baroque in Colonial Mexican Literary Culture. Merrim was awarded the John Rowe Workman Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities in 2006.

Kenneth R. Miller
Royce Family Professor in Teaching Excellence

Miller, professor of biology, did his undergraduate work at Brown and earned a Ph.D. in 1974 at the University of Colorado. He spent six years as assistant professor at Harvard University before returning to Brown in 1980. His research work on cell membrane structure and function has produced more than 50 scientific papers and reviews in leading journals, including Cell, Nature, and Scientific American. Miller is coauthor, with Joseph S. Levine, of four high school and college biology textbooks used by millions of students nationwide. He has received five major teaching awards. In 2007 he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the Exploratorium’s Outstanding Educator Award. He is the author of Finding Darwin’s God (A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution), published by HarperCollins in 1999.

Jan Tullis
Royce Family Professor in Teaching Excellence

Tullis received an A.B. in geology from Carleton College in 1965 and a Ph.D. with distinction in geology from the University of California–Los Angeles in 1971. She joined the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown as a research assistant in 1970, became assistant professor in 1971, and rose through the ranks to full professor in 1989. Her research involves experimental investigations of the deformation mechanisms, microstructures and rheology of crystal rocks. Tullis was named a fellow of the Geological Society of America in 1995 and a fellow of the American Geophysics Union in 1996. She has chaired the department’s undergraduate program committee almost continuously since 1981, and she is a strong supporter of women and minorities in the sciences, participating in Brown’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group. She has been a faculty fellow at the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning since 2002. The winner of numerous campus teaching awards, Tullis received the Brown University Presidential Citation in 2005.

Faculty Newly Appointed to Endowed and Named Professorships

James P. Allen
Charles Edwin Wilbour Professor of Egyptology

Allen received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before joining Brown in 2007, he was an epigrapher with the University of Chicago’s Epigraphic Survey, Cairo director of the American Research Center in Egypt, and curator of Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is also vice president of the International Association of Egyptologists. Allen’s research interests include ancient Egyptian grammar and literature, religion and history. He has written extensively on these subjects, including Genesis in Egypt: the Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts (Yale, 1988), Middle Egyptian: an Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (Cambridge, 2000), The Heqanakht Papyri (MMA, 2002), and The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Society of Biblical Literature, 2005). He is currently working on publication of material from the Metropolitan Museum’s excavations at Lisht and Dahshur and on an historical study of the phonology and grammar of ancient Egyptian.

Thomas J. Biersteker
Olive C. Watson Professor of Political Science

Biersteker received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is author, editor, co-editor or co-author of nine books. He currently serves on editorial advisory boards for Cambridge University Press, the European Journal of International Relations, the Japanese Journal of International Studies, the Journal of Peace Research, and as North American editor for Oxford Development Studies. His research focuses primarily on international relations theory and international political economy, and his recent activities include work with the U.N. Secretariat and the governments of Switzerland, Sweden, and Germany on targeting sanctions and on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Independent Taskforce on Terrorist Financing. Biersteker was director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown from 1994 to 2006 and previously held the title of Henry R. Luce Professor of Transnational Organizations.

Barrymore Bogues
Harmon Family Professor of African Studies

Bogues is currently a professor and department chair of the Department of Africana Studies. He is a previous Royce Professor of Teaching Excellence. Bogues attended the University of the West Indies, where he received his Ph.D. in political theory in 1994. His major research and writing interests are intellectual and cultural history, radical political thought and critical theory as well as Caribbean and African politics. He is the author of Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James (1997); Black Heretics and Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals (2003); and Empire of Liberty: Power. Imperial Freedom and Desire (Forthcoming). He is also the editor of two volumes on Caribbean intellectual history and has published numerous essays and articles on the history of criticism and critical theory, political thought, political philosophy and intellectual and cultural history. Bogues is an associate director of the Center for Caribbean Thought, University of the West Indies, Mona; an associate editor of the journal Small Axe and an advisory editor for the journal Boundary 2. He teaches courses on Africana political philosophy, cultural politics and intellectual history.

James Fitzgerald
St. Purander Das Distinguished Professor of Sanskrit

Fitzgerald received his Ph.D in Sanskrit and South Asian ccivilization from the University of Chicago in 1980. He joined the Classics Department in July 2007. His research and writing center on the translation of the gigantic, 2000-year-old Indian epic, the Mahabharata, and the interpretation of it as a work of religious and political literature in its historical context. Previously, he was general editor of the University of Chicago Press volume translation of the Mahabharata and translator for a large segment of the Mahabharata, presenting hundreds of chapters of political, social, religious, and philosophical teachings that form the foundation of classical Hindu religions. This segment of the Mahabharata comprises about 20 percent of the whole epic, and his contribution forms volumes seven and eight of the series. He has also developed an important research tool for literary and historical investigation of the Sanskrit text of the epic, a comprehensive database of the more than 18,400 lines of the epic that are not composed in the epic’s standard poetic meter.

Stephen Houston
Dupee Family Professor of Social Sciences

Houston joined the Brown faculty in 2004 and is known as one of the world’s experts on Mayan epigraphy. His research interests include the decipherment of Mayan writing, anthropological and historical studies of religion, Mayan linguistics, political anthropology and approaches to meaning and function in ancient architecture. Previously he was the Jesse Knight University Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Brigham Young University. Houston has been a Guggenheim fellow and is the author or editor of 10 books and monographs and more than 125 articles, essays and reviews in his field. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, and in 1987 he earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale University.

Ross Levine
James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics

Levine has published two books and more than 80 articles or book chapters since receiving his Ph.D. in 1987. Before joining the Brown faculty in 2005, he was the Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Finance at the University of Minnesota, a professor at the University of Virginia, and a principal economist at the World Bank. He is best known for his work on finance and development, which explores the importance of the structure of financial institutions as a determinant of entrepreneurial activity and thus economic growth. He has also made significant contributions to discussions about the relative merits of regulatory versus market-based devices for improving governance of banks and other financial intermediaries. Levine participates in the finance component of the concentration in Commerce, Organization and Entrepreneurship.

Douglas Nickel
Andrea V. Rosenthal Professor of History of Art and Architecture

Nickel received his Ph.D. in modern art from Princeton University in 1995. He is currently a professor in the History of Art and Architecture Department. Nickel has established himself as the leader of a new generation of historians of photography in a series of scholarly exhibitions and books of extraordinary range. His award winning book on Francis Frith, Francis Frith in Egypt and Palestine: A Victorian Photographer Abroad, examines the purposes of photography in Victorian England in detail. His book and exhibition on Carelton Watkins, Carleton Watkins: The Art of Perception, has established a new paradigm for the analysis of photographs as photographs, finally ridding advanced scholarship of its reliance upon a comparison with painting. His examination of the state of the field, published in the Art Bulletin, in “2001 Perfect Strangers” has become the foundational text for this sub-discipline.

Robert Serrano
Harrison S. Kravis University Professor of Economics

Serrano was born in Madrid, Spain, and earned his B.A in economics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1987, and then his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1992. He has been a Brown faculty member since 1992. Serrano has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and Universidad Carlos III and CEMFI in Madrid. He has been an associate editor of several journals, including Economic Theory, Research in Economics and Mathematical Social Sciences. He was the recipient of the Fundacion Banco Herrero Prize, awarded to Spanish economists under the age of 40.

Faculty Newly Appointed to Endowed and Named Assistant Professorships

Scott Allard
Mary Tefft and John Hazen White Sr. Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy

Allard received his Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Michigan. He came to Brown from the Department of Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His research is focused upon understanding spatial variation in welfare-to-work program outcomes and upon the evolution of sub-national welfare programs during the emergence of the modern American welfare state.

Nathaniel Baum-Snow
Stephen Robert Assistant Professor of Economics

Baum-Snow received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 2005. He received his A.B. in economics from Harvard in 1998 and worked as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after college. A major goal of Baum-Snow’s research is to better understand trends in the spatial distribution of population and employment in U.S. metropolitan areas. He has investigated the role of transportation infrastructure in the location decisions of firms and households.

Dana Gooley
Manning Assistant Professor of Music

Gooley studied piano at New England Conservatory and English at Wesleyan University before completing his Ph.D. in musicology at Princeton University in 1999. His research has centered on Franz Liszt, music criticism, and the 19th-century cult of the virtuoso. Other interests include opera, jazz, and improvisation. Gooley’s research focuses on 19th-century European musical culture, reconstructing the historical circumstances that produced the phenomenal popularity of such virtuoso performers as Niccolò Paganini and Franz Liszt. Using periodicals and newspapers, he explains who was listening, how they listened, and how live music-making shaped audience experiences in the past. In addition, he is currently researching jazz and popular culture in the 1950s.

Thomas Lewis
Vartan Gregorian Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Lewis received his Ph.D. in religious studies from Stanford in 1999. Lewis most recently held the directorship of undergraduate studies for the Committee on the Study of Religion while he also served as an assistant professor at Harvard. He is considered a leading interpreter of Hegel and 19th-century German thought and is currently at work on his second book covering these subjects. Lewis is considered an expert on religious and political thought in the United States and Latin America. In addition, Lewis contributed to formulating anthropological approaches to comparative religious ethics.

Vesna Mitrovic
Manning Assistant Professor of Physics

Mitrovic joined the Brown Physics Department in 2003. A graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology, she received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2001. She performed postdoctoral work at Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Grenoble, France. Professor Mitrovic’s research is in experimental condensed matter physics and magnetic resonance techniques used to study unconventional superconductivity, low-dimensional systems, quantum phase transitions, and quantum magnetism.

Efstratios Papaioannou
William A. Dyer Jr. Assistant Professor of the Humanities

Papaioannou has received research fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University, the Centre for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (Oslo, Norway), and the Humboldt Foundation (Free University, Berlin). Prior to coming to Brown, he taught for five years at the Department of Greek and Latin at The Catholic University of America, offering courses in classical and later Greek literature and paleography. His research focuses on late antique and Medieval Greek literature and culture. He has published articles on Byzantine concepts of self and gender, visual and literary aesthetics, history of philosophy, and theories of friendship. He is currently completing a monograph on the Byzantine author Michael Psellos (11th century, Constantinople) and his place in the history of premodern Greek autobiography and rhetorical theory (provisional title: Michael Psellos’s Autography: A Study of Mimesis in Pre-modern Greek Literature). He is also preparing a critical edition of the letters of Psellos for the Teubner Series (Munich and Leipzig) as well as a translation of an anthology of Psellos’s letters and other works for The University of Notre Dame Press.

Ravit Reichman
Robert and Nancy Carney Assistant Professor of English

Reichman has distinguished herself with many honors and awards. She received the Georgetown University Timothy S. Healey Scholarship to study at Oxford (where she earned a masters degree in English) before receiving a Fulbright to study at Tel Aviv University. She completed a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Yale University in 2003. She currently conducts research on the 20th-century British novel, law and literature, modernism, literary theory, psychoanalysis, literature and emotions, narrative and memory, and literary responses to war. Reichman is working on a book titled The Affective Life of Law: Postwar Justice and the Literary Imagination, which examines responses to trauma and war in fictional and legal texts. She has published articles on Holocaust testimony, legal character, Virginia Woolf and tort law, and Rebecca West and the Nuremberg trial. She is also the recipient of the Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship in 2007.

Mary Hixon
Manning Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

In 1998, Hixon received her Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Her first postdoctoral work was at the Center for Genetics at Case Western Reserve University. In 2002, she took a postdoctoral appointment at Brown’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Her research examines reproductive toxicants that are ubiquitous in our modern day environment, and the major focus of her research is directed at understanding the molecular signaling pathways responsible for germ cell and Sertoli cell survival following injury. Other interests include Ionizing radiation, phthalates, and thyroid toxicants.

Heather Leslie
Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Leslie became a member of the Brown faculty in July 2007. She received an A.B. in biology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in zoology from Oregon State University in 2004. Before arriving at Brown, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University in ecology and evolutionary biology. Leslie’s research is focused on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems. She is interested in understanding the drivers of ecological and social processes in marine systems, and how to more effectively integrate science into marine policy and management. Specific research areas include coastal marine ecology, design and evaluation of marine conservation and management strategies, and coupled social-ecological systems. She teaches marine conservation science and policy and other environmental science courses at Brown, and mentors both undergraduate and graduate students in environmental studies and ecology and evolutionary biology.

Wolfgang Peti
Manning Assistant Professor of Medical Science

Peti received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Frankfurt University. Before joining Brown in 2004, he worked as a research associate at the Scripps Institute. The current focus of his research group is to understand the molecular basis of synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. The research combines the information derived from biomolecular NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and additional biophysical techniques such as ITC, DSC, Biacore, and CD spectroscopy to derive the functional analysis of events in signaling in neurons, especially at the post synaptic density. His research also examines the structure elucidation of membrane proteins.

Simone Pulver
Joukowsky Family Assistant Professor of International Studies

Pulver joined the faculty of the Watson Institute in 2003. She holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor (research) of international studies and of environmental studies. She received her doctorate in sociology from the University of California–Berkeley in 2004 and also earned an M.A. in energy and resources from Berkeley and a B.A. in physics from Princeton University. Pulver’s research focuses on global environmental governance, firm environmental decision-making, and environmental social movements. In particular, she has studied the roles played by transnational oil corporations and transnational environmental advocacy networks in the UN climate change negotiations.

Faculty Newly Appointed to Endowed Directorship

Ronald Seifer
Mittleman Family Director of the Center for the Study of Human Development

Seifer received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Rochester in 1981. He spent eight years at the Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities, University of Illinois–Chicago before coming to Brown Medical School in 1986. He is currently director of the Center for the Study of Human Development at Brown University and director of Research at Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital. Seifer’s research interests are in developmental psychopathology. He has ongoing studies on children at risk for psychopathology (owing to parental mental illness) and children exposed to substance abuse during the prenatal period. Processes studied include children’s emotions, relationship formation, temperament, and family interaction. The focus of this work is on the early years of life.

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