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2015-16 New ARHU Faculty Appointments

The College of Arts and Humanities welcomes the new faculty cohort.

Art History and Archeology | Communication | History | Jewish Studies | Languages, Literatures and Cultures | Music | Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies


Department of Art History and Archeology


Assistant Professor,  Department of Art History and Archaeology

Emily Catherine Egan earned her doctorate in classics from the University of Cincinnati in 2015, with a specialization in prehistoric Aegean archaeology. Her dissertation reconsiders the function of the core rooms in the late Bronze Age Palace of Nestor, Greece using new archaeological data. She has held fellowships at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and was post-doctoral fellow of pre-modern Mediterranean Studies in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has undertaken fieldwork in Italy, Turkey, Jordan, Armenia,Cyprus and Greece. Her research will focus on artistic techniques, iconography and cognitive responses to early Greek painting.

Department of Communication


Associate Professor, Department of Communication

Damien Smith Pfister studies the dynamic confluence of digitally networked media, rhetorical practice, public deliberation, and visual and material culture. He earned his doctorate in communication from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009 and previously taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Pfister is the author of “Networked Media, Networked Rhetorics: Attention and Deliberation in the Early Blogosphere.”  He is currently working on a co-edited volume titled “Ancient Rhetorics + Digital Networks” that re-reads ancient rhetorical theory in the glow of digital communication networks. Other projects include a single-authored monograph about the rhetorical and cultural impacts of ubiquitous computing technology.


Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

Catherine Knight Steele earned her doctorate in communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. She previously served as an assistant professor at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on African American culture and discourse in mass and new media, and her publications have appeared in the Howard Journal of Communications and “Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online.” Her dissertation explored the politics of African American blogs as contributing to online counterpublics and secondary orality. She is currently working on a monograph about digital black feminism and new media technologies. Steele will serve as the first project director for the college’s “Synergies Among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture,”  a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

Carly Woods’ research focuses on debate, social change and the rhetoric of diverse voices. She earned her doctorate in communication from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. Before coming to Maryland, she was an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Woods is the recipient of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric’s Outstanding Dissertation Award and a Research Development Grant from the Organization for Research on Women and Communication. Her publications appear in Quarterly Journal of Speech, Argumentation & Advocacy, Women’s Studies in Communication and The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society.

Department of History


Assistant Professor, Department of History

John Weisweiler is interested in the relation between state formation, elite power and economic inequality in the Ancient World. His University of Cambridge dissertation won the 2012 Hare Prize. Weisweiler has co-edited a volume on cosmopolitanism and empire in ancient Eurasia and is preparing another edited collection on debt in various ancient states. His current project is a monograph on the ways in which the theories developed by David Graeber and Thomas Piketty might be used to deepen our understanding of pre-modern economies.

The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Program and Center for Jewish Studies


Assistant Professor, The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Program and Center for Jewish Studies

Shay Hazkani earned his doctorate in Hebrew and Judaic studies and history from New York University (NYU) in 2016. His dissertation, examines personal letters written by Jews and Arabs to offer a new perspective on the 1948 war, a seminal episode in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His articles and book reviews have appeared in Arab Studies Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies and Israel Studies Review. Hazkani taught previously at NYU, University of California, Berkeley and California State University, East Bay. Hazkani will teach courses on the history of the Jews of Muslim lands, their migration in the twentieth century and their subsequent acculturation in Israel.

School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


Assistant Professor, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Mauro Resmini earned his doctorate in Italian studies and modern culture and media from Brown University in 2014. His research focuses on film, media studies and critical theory, with a specific interest in contemporary Italian culture and society. His articles and essays have appeared in American Imago, Camera Obscura, The Italianist and in the edited collection “The Essay Film: Dialogue, Politics, Utopia.”  Resmini previously served as a lecturer at Maryland, where he taught film studies. He is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the intersections between cinema and radical politics in Italy between the late 1960s and late 1980s.   

School of Music


Professor and Director, School of Music

Jason Geary is a musicologist with research interests in nineteenth-century Germany. He holds a degree in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a doctorate in musicology from Yale University. Geary authored “The Politics of Appropriation: German Romantic Music and the Ancient Greek Legacy,” and is currently working on a book exploring themes of childhood in nineteenth-century music. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright Commission and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Geary taught at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, where he also served as associate dean.  


Assistant Professor, School of Music

William Robin earned his doctorate in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016. His research and teaching focuses on contemporary music in the United States and the role of institutions in shaping artistic discourses. His dissertation traces how a movement known as indie classical established itself in American musical life. Robin has published in the Journal of Musicology and presented conference papers at the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music. An active public musicologist, he contributes regularly to The New York Times and received a 2014 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies


Associate Professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Maura Keefe is a contemporary dance historian and scholar-in-residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Keefe is working on a collection of essays on contemporary dance forms and cultures. Other research includes the relationship between dance and sports. Published essays have appeared in “Taken By Surprise: The Dance Improvisation Reader,” “When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders” and Performance Journal. Keefe served on the board for the Congress on Research in Dance  and as chair of the Department of Dance at the College at Brockport, where she taught prior to coming to Maryland. Keefe earned an M.F.A. in choreography and performance at Smith College and a doctorate in dance history and theory from the University of California, Riverside.


Assistant Professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Lisa Nathans is a certified Colaianni Speech Practitioner and a Designated Linklater Voice Instructor. Nathans received her M.F.A. in voice studies through Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has taught for the California Institute of the Arts, Stella Adler Academy, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Royal Welsh College, Royal Central School, the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota. Her graduate dissertation investigated diverse strategies for teaching phonetics to conservatoire acting students. Lisa is a professional voice and dialect coach, and a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.