A diverse group of scholars and teachers joins the College of Liberal Arts.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

One wrote a book about the funerals of AIDS victims in Swaziland. Another is researching an eighteenth-century French artist and his aesthetic relationship to Madame de Pompadour. A third is examining the impact of ethnic and religious identity on political elections in India. They are all part of the group of 24 impressive faculty members appointed in the College of Liberal Arts this year.

Assistant Professors


rachel burdin

Rachel Steindel Burdin
Assistant Professor
English and Linguistics

Rachel Steindel Burdin’s research focuses on variation in intonation, particularly in Jewish languages and contact situations. Her dissertation, partially funded by a National Science Foundation dissertation grant, examined variation in the production, perception and social meaning of Yiddish-influenced intonation. This research, and her work more broadly, makes use of a wide variety of techniques, including participant observation, acoustic analyses, perceptual experiments and media studies in order to get a fuller picture of the range and nature of variation in intonation. Burdin teaches courses in sociolinguistics, linguistics field methods, and phonetics and phonology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She earned a B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at Ohio State University.





ileana chirila

Ileana Chirila
Assistant Professor
Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Ileana Chirila’s research and teaching interests include contemporary transcultural/transnational literatures in French, Francophone literatures, French cultural studies, emergent Romani literature in French and multiculturalism. A book project, “Reinventing the Republic: Sino-French Literature in the Cosmopolitan Age,” looks closely at cultural, political and geographical realities underpinning the literature of Francophone writers of Chinese origins. A second book project explores one of the very few real “world” literatures, produced by Romani writers in Romani and several other languages. Chirila’s work has appeared in journals or volumes in the United States, Canada, Portugal, France and Romania. At UNH, she teaches courses in French civilization and culture, and French literature. She earned a B.A. at the University of Craiova, Romania, an M.A. at the University of Kentucky, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at Duke University. She taught at North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University and UCLA.





wenjin cui

Wenjin Cui
Assistant Professor
Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Wenjin Cui specializes in modern and contemporary Chinese literature and culture, film studies and critical theory. Her current research focuses on the issue of biopolitics in modern Chinese culture, exploring the dynamic space between biological life and cultural production presented in a broad range of modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film and art. Her dissertation, “The Trans-formation of Life: Lu Xun and Chinese Modernity,” investigated a biopolitical mode of modernity through the study of Lu Xun (1881-1936), the most prominent cultural figure of modern China. A new project explores the biopolitical configuration of everyday life in contemporary China. Cui teaches a wide range of courses from modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film, to literary theory and biopolitical discourse, to Chinese language. Cui earned a B.A. at Renmin University of China, an M.A. at Peking University and a Ph.D. at New York University. She subsequently taught at Sun Yat-sen University and Grinnell College.





madhavi devasher

Madhavi Devasher
Assistant Professor
Political Science

Madhavi Devasher specializes in ethnic politics, especially in South Asia, with a secondary interest in international relations focusing on conflict behavior. Her current book project examines the impact of ethnic and religious identity on elections in democratic societies by studying the political choices and representation of the large, vulnerable Muslim minority in India. Her work draws on qualitative and quantitative methods, extensive fieldwork in India and language proficiency in Hindi, Urdu and French. Her research also intervenes in current Indian political debates, which she addressed through an op-ed in the Indian Express in the lead up to the 2014 Indian National Elections. She is currently teaching courses on ethnic politics and violence, and politics in Afghanistan. Devasher earned a B.A. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Yale University. She was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton.





michelle gibbons

Michelle Gibbons 
Assistant Professor

Michelle Gibbons’ research interests include rhetorical theory and criticism; the rhetoric of science, technology and medicine; vernacular public discourse and the digital humanities. Her work has been published in journals such as Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Philosophy of Science, Journalism History, and Argumentation and Advocacy. In 2015, her article “Beliefs about the Mind as Doxastic Inventional Resource: Freud, Neuroscience, and the Case of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care” won the Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology’s Article of the Year Award. Gibbons is currently working on a book that investigates the rhetorical deployment of commonsense psychological beliefs. She teaches courses in propaganda and persuasion, rhetorical theory and criticism, and digital rhetoric. Gibbons earned a B.A. at Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgia Tech and a faculty position at SUNY Delhi.





casey golomski

Casey Golomski
Assistant Professor

Casey Golomski is a cultural and medical anthropologist working in sub-Saharan Africa. His research explores the interplay of medicine and religion in social reproduction across the life course. Topically, he is interested in healthcare and healing, aging, death and dying, the body, ritual and religion, care, work, value and risk. He is an associate editor for the African Journal of AIDS Research and a board member for the Northeast Workshop on Southern Africa. He recently completed a book on funerals as sites of cultural change due to AIDS in Swaziland and is beginning new work on eldercare, race and dependency in South Africa. He currently teaches courses on peoples and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, and medical anthropology. Golomski earned a B.A. from St. Norbert College and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. Subsequently, he was an associate lecturer at UMass Boston and a University Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.





lyn tjon soei len

Lyn Tjon Soei Len
Assistant Professor
Women’s Studies

Lyn Tjon Soei Len’s research centers on the political-philosophical foundations of transnational private law, specifically focusing on the intersection of private lawmaking and issues of social injustice, and most notably on issues of global injustice and gender inequality. Her first book, “Minimum Contract Justice,” details a capabilities-based perspective on the moral limits of contract through a case-based illustration of transactions for goods made by women who work in sweatshops. Her current research project further explores contractual demarcations of the moral limits of consumption. At UNH, Tjon Soei Len teaches courses on feminism and the law, and the moral limits of markets. She joins the UNH faculty after one year as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School and one semester as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes, France. She earned a Ph.D. and LL.M. from the University of Amsterdam.





ivo van der graaff

Ivo van der Graaff
Assistant Professor
Art and Art History

Ivo van der Graaff’s research focuses on the urbanization process and architecture of (pre-) Roman Italy with an emphasis on civic monuments. One strand of his research looks at the development of fortifications and their role as monuments in urban environments. Since 2001 he has worked on a variety of field projects in Greece, the Netherlands and Italy, including as field director of the Oplontis Project, which studies a luxury villa and a wine distribution center buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. van der Graaff teaches courses from introductory art history to advanced seminars on architecture and visual culture in Republican Italy. He earned a combined B.A and M.A. from the University of Amsterdam and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He spent two years as a research associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.





susan wager

Susan Wager
Assistant Professor
Art and Art History

Susan Wager specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art and material culture. Her research focuses on the social, political and material significance of the transmission of images in the early modern world. Wager’s current book project is a study of the relationship between the eighteenth-century French artist François Boucher, the royal mistress Madame de Pompadour and the aesthetics of translation. Wager has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants from institutions including the Mellon Foundation and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. From 2012 to 2014, she held the Samuel H. Kress Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. In 2015, Wager was curator of the exhibition “Madame de Pompadour, Patron and Printmaker” at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. She currently teaches introduction to art history and eighteenth-century European art. Wager holds a B.A., M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.





ann zimo

Ann Zimo
Assistant Professor
Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies

Ann Zimo’s research interests pertain to intercultural interactions in the medieval Mediterranean, particularly in the context of the crusader states. Her book project explores the place Muslims and Muslim communities held in various spheres of life within the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Other interests include digital humanities, identity, travel and the use of the past for modern political purposes. Zimo has received several national fellowships in support of her work, including from the Social Science Research Council, the Council for American Overseas Research Centers, and the Council for European Studies. Her studies have taken her all over Europe and the Middle East, including Jordan, Malta, Italy, Austria and Israel. At UNH, she teaches humanities courses in the medieval Mediterranean and the ancient world. Zimo earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. from Cardiff University, Wales, and a Ph.D. from the University of  Minnesota.




Clinical Faculty

susan hess

Susan Hess
Clinical Assistant Professor

B.S., St. Lawrence University, 1978
M.Ed., Harvard University, 1983
Ed.D., Boston University, 1990

Courses: Counseling







kathryn mccurdy

Kathryn McCurdy
Clinical Assistant Professor

B.A., University of Kansas, 2004
M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2005
Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, 2016

Courses: Exploring Teaching, Internship and Seminar in Teaching, Seminar and Practicum in Teaching






Research Faculty


Bethany Silva
Research Assistant Professor, Community Literacy Center Director

B.A., Middlebury College, 1998 
M.F.A., Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2005

Research: literacy studies, place-based pedagogies, researc/z methodologies




donna brown

Donna Brown

B.A., Merrimack College, 1985
M.S., University of New Hampshire, 1995

Courses: English as a Second Language








bethany caldwell

Bethany Caldwell

B.S., University of Iowa, 1995
M.A., Kent State University, 2000
Ph.D., ibid., 2004

Courses: Research Methods in Psychology, Psychobiology, Drugs and Behavior







tomasen carey


Tomasen Carey
Senior Lecturer


B.A., University of New Hampshire, 1987
M.Ed., ibid., 1993

Courses: Issues in Teaching English and the Language Arts, Advanced Topics in Literacy Instruction







dilsa deniz

Dilsa Deniz
International Affairs

B.A., Firat University, Turkey, 1985
M.A., Istanbul University, Turkey, 1999
Ph.D., Yeditepe University, Turkey, 2011

Courses: Global Issues in International Affairs







katerina karaivanova

Katerina Karaivanova

B.A., Kenyon College, 2010
M.A., University of New Hampshire, 2013
Ph.D. and M.S.T., ibid., 2016

Courses: Navigating the Graduate Student Pathway, Statistics in Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Child Development






hsiang tu

Hsiang Tu

B.M., University of Calgary, 2002
M.M., The Juilliard School, 2004
D.M.A., ibid., 2010

Courses: Applied Piano; Piano Ensemble;  Materials, Methods, Piano Music








Allysha Winburn

B.A., Yale University, 2003
M.A., New York University, 2008

Courses: The Human Story: Evolution, Fossils and DNA; World Archaeological Cultures: North America; Intro to Forensic Anthropology







Visiting Faculty

smita lahiri

Smita Lahiri
Visiting Assistant Professor

B.A., Bryn Mawr College, 1992
M.A., Cornell University, 1997
Ph.D., ibid., 2002

Courses: Peoples and Cultures of the World; International Perspectives: Science, Geography and Politics







qun wan

Qun Wan
Visiting Faculty
Languages, Literatures and Cultures

B.A., Sichuan International Studies University, 1997
M.A., ibid., 2011

Courses: Conversational Chinese, Elementary Chinese








lihua wang

Lihua Wang
Visiting Faculty
Languages, Literatures and Cultures

B.A., Hebei Teachers University, 1995
M.A., ibid., 2003

Courses: Intermediate Chinese, Independent Study in Chinese








ling zhu

Ling Zhu
Visiting Faculty
Languages, Literatures and Cultures

B.A., Xinan University, 2008
M.A., Sichuan Normal University, 2013

Courses: Elementary Chinese








All photos by Perry Smith Photography.