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2014-2015 New Faculty Cohort Group Photo


The College of Arts and Humanities welcomes new faculty cohort to UMD.





American Studies English | History SLLC | Linguistics Music | TDPS | Women's Studies


Department of American Studies

La Marr Jurelle Bruce: Assistant Professor, Department of American Studies,

La Marr Jurelle Bruce earned his doctorate in African American studies and American studies from Yale University in 2013. An interdisciplinary humanities scholar specializing in black expressive cultureBruce has received grants from the Beinecke Library at Yale, the Carter G. Woodson Institute and the Mellon Foundation. His work appears in African American Review (for which he earned the 2014 Weixlmann Prize), Black Queer Studies 2.0 (forthcoming) and TDR. His book project, “How To Go Mad Without Losing Your Mind: Madness, Blackness, and Radical Creativity,” ponders black artists who have mobilized “madness” for art-making, self-making and world-making.

Nancy Raquel Mirabal:  Associate Professor, Department of American Studies,

Nancy Raquel Mirabal earned a doctorate in history at the University of Michigan in 2001. Prior to her appointment at College Park, she was associate professor in the Latina/o Studies department at San Francisco State University. Mirabal has published widely in the field of Afro-diasporic Studies, and is the author of the forthcoming “Hemispheric Notions: Diaspora, Masculinity, and the Racial Politics of Cubanidad in New York, 1823-1945.” She is also co-editor of “Keywords in Latino Studies” and first editor of “Technofuturos: Critical Interventions In Latina/o Studies” (2007). Mirabal is currently conducting research on the politics of gentrification, displacement and discourse on Latina/os.

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Department of Communication

Lindsey Anderson: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication,

Lindsey Anderson received her doctorate in organizational communication from Purdue University in 2014 after completing her dissertation “There Goes Another Little Piece of Your Heart: Exploring the Intersections of Communication, Emotional Labor, and Age.” She plans to continue to build her research program, which focuses on communication assessments and communication education when coupled with organizational processes related to employee age and emotion. Anderson's research has appeared in Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Teacher and Communication Yearbook.


Nick Joyce: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication,

Nick Joyce was awarded a doctorate in communication from the University of Arizona in 2014. His research is focused on how intercultural communication can be used to foster empathy and improve intergroup attitudes. Joyce has published in Communication Research and The Journal of Media Psychology. At the University of Maryland, Joyce will continue to pursue his research on the pro-social uses of media, as well as the cognitive processes (the role of identity, social learning, etc.) through which communication fosters positive change.

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Department of English

Chanon Adsanatham:  Assistant Professor, Department of English,

Chanon Adsanatham earned his doctorate in composition and rhetoric from Miami University in 2014. He researches and teaches comparative rhetoric, multimodality and digital writing pedagogy. Adsanatham's work on new media composition and writing apprehension has appeared in Computers and Composition, Multimodal Literacies, Emerging Genres and Thoughts. He is currently working on a monograph about how conduct constitutes an important form of rhetoric in the Thai culture, drawing upon archival and field research in Bangkok, his native city.



Julius B. Fleming, Jr.: Assistant Professor, Department of English,

Julius B. Fleming, Jr. earned a doctorate in English and a graduate certificate in Africana studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Fleming specializes in African-American literature and culture with particular interests in performance, race, region, modernity and citizenship. His book project, "Staging Civil Rights: Literature, Performance, and Innovation," examines the centrality of black poetry, drama, and performance to the modern Civil Rights Movement. He has published articles in Callaloo and The Southern Quarterly, and has been invited to write for an edited collection about playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Julius will co-edit a special issue of Callaloo on the U.S. South.

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Department of History

Christopher Bonner: Assistant Professor, Department of History,

Christopher Bonner earned his doctorate in history from Yale University in May 2014. His primary interests lie in African-American and early American history. He is currently at work revising his dissertation titled, “The Price of Citizenship,” a study of black politics and the creation of citizen status in the mid-nineteenth century. Bonner will teach courses on the diverse peoples and ideas that came together in making the United States. His second project will explore the paths to black freedom in early America.



Ting Zhang: Assistant Professor, Department of History,

Ting Zhang received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 2014. She is a cultural and legal historian of late imperial China, with a particular research interest in print culture and the circulation of legal knowledge. Before joining the Department of History at Maryland, Zhang taught courses at the University of Delaware and University of California, San Diego. She has published articles in Late Imperial China and Journal of Zhejiang University. She is now working on revising her dissertation, “Information and Power: Printing, Law, and the Making of Chinese Legal Culture, 1644-1911,” into a book manuscript.

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School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Mercédès Baillargeon:  Assistant Professor, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures,

Mercédès Baillargeon earned her doctorate in French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. Her dissertation, “Aesthetics and Politics in Contemporary Women’s Autofiction,” explores media culture and the female literary persona in contemporary French culture. Her research focuses on the aesthetics, ethics and politics of twentieth and twenty-first century first-person narrative; the intersection between public/private discourses; and the (de)construction of personal and/or collective identities. Baillargeon co-edited “Remous, ressacs et dérivations autour de la troisième vague féministe" (2011). She is currently working on (post)nationalism in contemporary Québécois cinema.

Thayse Leal Lima:  Assistant Professor, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Thayse Leal Lima earned her doctorate in Portuguese and Brazilian studies from Brown University in 2014. Her dissertation, "Latin Americanizing Brazil: Intellectual Exchange and the Transnationalization of Brazilian Literature and Culture," traces the efforts of Brazilian and Hispanic American intellectuals to include Brazil in the Latin American literary canon. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Field Research Grant from the Tinker Foundation. Her articles and book reviews have appeared in journals such as Hispania, Brazil/Brasil and Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies. At the University of Maryland, Lima will work to integrate Brazilian and Hispanic American scholarship.

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Department of Linguistics

Omer Preminger: Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics,

Omer Preminger earned his doctorate in linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011. He spent the following year as a postdoctoral associate at MIT and Harvard. He then joined the faculty at Syracuse University, where he has spent two years. Preminger's research focuses on syntactic and morphological theory, and the languages he has worked on include Basque, Hebrew and Kaqchikel. His monograph, “Agreement and its Failures,’ appears with MIT Press in September 2014. Preminger intends to work with the linguistically diverse populations of the College Park region, starting in fall 2014, when teaching a practicum-style graduate class with a local speaker of Oromo.

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School of Music

Craig Kier: Associate Professor, School of Music,

Craig Kier earned his master of music degree in vocal accompanying from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2001. Prior to his appointment as director of the Maryland Opera Studio, Craig maintained a busy schedule conducting with opera and ballet companies throughout the United States. Recent highlights include engagements with Houston Grand Opera, Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Atlanta Opera. Continuing his long-standing relationship with Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet, Kier will soon make his conducting debuts with Opera Birmingham and Opera Santa Barbara.

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School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

James M. Harding: Associate Professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies,

James M. Harding completed his doctorate in comparative literature in 1991 at College Park. His work focuses on the history of experimental theatre and on performance studies. Past academic posts include professorships at the University of Warwick (UK), Freie Universität (Berlin) and the University of Mary Washington. “The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s)” appeared in 2013, and articles have been published in TDR, Theatre Journal and Theatre Survey. Harding is completing a new monograph, “Performance, Transparency and the Cultures of Surveillance,” and a co-edited anthology “Center-Staging the Sixties: Mainstream and Popular Performance in a Turbulent Decade.” He has received Fulbright and DAAD fellowships.

Jared Mezzocchi:  Assistant Professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies,

Jared Mezzocchi received his Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from Brooklyn College in 2009. He has designed with New York City's 3-Legged Dog and Baryshnikov Arts, and toured with Big Art Group. Locally, he has designed for Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth and Theater J. Regionally, Mezzocchi works with Milwaukee Rep, Cleveland Playhouse and CompanyONE. Last year, he co-designed with Guilio Cappellini for Design Week in Milan as well as Connect4Climate. He will soon design for a Surf Museum in Montauk, NY. He has taught at NYU's Playwrights Horizons and Brooklyn College's M.F.A. program in Performance and Interactive Media Arts. Mezzocchi continues to direct multimedia theater at Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton, NH.

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Department of Women's Studies 

Alexis Lothian:  Assistant Professor, Department of Women's Studies,

Alexis Lothian earned her doctorate at the University of Southern California in 2012. She previously taught English and Women's Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In her fields of queer studies, speculative fiction, and digital media, she has published in Camera Obscura, Cinema Journal, Journal of Digital Humanities and International Journal of Cultural Studies. She has also edited a special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology on feminist science fiction. Her principal current projects are the completion of the monograph based on her dissertation, "Deviant Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Time," and continuing development of creative practice in remix video.

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