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Accolades Fall 2015

News about the publications, creative activities, and recognition given our faculty, staff, and graduate students
December 17, 2015
December 17, 2015
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Publications & Creative Activities

Associate Professor Lee-Ann Breuch (writing studies) had her article, “Glocalization in Website Writing: The Case of MNsure and Imagined/Actual Audiences,” published by Computers and Composition

Associate Professor Bianet Castellanos (American studies) has a new publication, “Idealizing Maya Culture: The Politics of Race, Indigeneity and Immigration Among Maya Restaurant Owners in Southern California.” It appears in the new volume of Diálogo 18(2) “Reframing Immigration in the Américas.”

Professor Michal Kobialka (theatre arts & dance) presented A Requiem for Tadeusz Kantor at the Cricoteka in Kraków, Poland on December 7 to close the centennial celebrations and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Kantor’s death on December 8, 1990.

Professor Anatoly Liberman’s (German, Scandinavian & Dutch) Russian translation of all 154 sonnets by Shakespeare, Transliteration: Vil'iam Shekspir, Sonety. V perevodakh i s predisloviem Anatoliia Libermana. [Translation: William Shakespeare, Sonnets. Translated with an introduction by Anatoly Liberman. Moskva [Moscow]: Iazyki slavianskikh kul'tur [The Languages of Slavic Cultures], 2015. 333 pages], was recently published by one of the most prestigious publishers in Moscow.

Professor Alex Lubet (music) published two articles recently: "The Bioethics of Music, the Music of Bioethics," in Medical Problems of Performing Artists, and "Social Confluence Theory, as Applied to Cases of Disability Status and Korean Identity" (co-authored with Hyangeun Kim, Kosin University, Korea).

Associate Professor Michael Sommers (theatre arts & dance) revived The Holiday Pageant on December 10, marking 30 years since the first time it was staged. Written and directed by Sommers, who also plays Lucifer, this production reassembled many of its original cast including faculty member Luverne Seifert and actor/playwright Kevin Kling, plus Sarah Agnew, and Liz Schachterle (BA ‘07, art). The Holiday Pageant runs through December 21.

Assistant Professor Adriana Zabala (music) was a guest artist in the Montclair State University Chorale's presentation of Alzheimer’s Stories, an uplifting work that acknowledges the devastating effects of the disease and focuses on hope and the strength of the human spirit.


Professor Erika Lee's (IHRC & history) The Making of Asian America has been chosen by the LA Times as one of 31 nonfiction books (and eight history books) for its "Great Reading for the Season" list. 

Professor Jean O’Brien (American Indian studies) has worked with her colleague Professor Robert Warrior (University of Illinois) to develop the Journal of Native American and Indigenous Studies. This new journal has been awarded the Council of Editors of Learned Journals' award for best new journal for 2015.

Grants & Fellowships

The Immigration History Research Center has received a new $148,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities in the Public Square Grant. The grant will fund Global Minnesota: Immigrants Past and Present, a yearlong series of public programming organized by the IHRC in 2016 to engage diverse public audiences across the state on immigration's role in shaping American life. This is the second NEH grant the IHRC received this year.

Professor Anatoly Liberman (German, Scandinavian & Dutch) has been elected Fellow of the Dictionary Society of North America.  

December 3, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Associate Professor Qadri Ismail’s new book, Culture and Eurocentrism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) was published recently.

Associate Professor Timothy Lovelace (music) performed Brahms's Op. 99, Op. 100, and Op. 101 as guest pianist in the Matisse Trio November 16 to 19.

Professor Alex Lubet (music) and Teaching Specialist Maja Radovanlija's (music) performance of Lubet's composition, Eliyahu Hanavi, is available online.  

Associate Professor Fernando Meza (music) presented his lecture/demonstration "Are you REALLY ready for the call?" at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the largest gathering of percussionists worldwide, in San Antonio, Texas on November 14. Meza also performed Osvaldo Golijov's "Mariel" for marimba and cello with Pitnarry Shin of the Minnesota Orchestra at MacPhail Center for Music's Antonello Hall during the Bakken Trio series on November 22.

Professor Jeylan Mortimer (sociology) is co-editor of a newly published book, Handbook of the Life Course, Vol.II (Springer), which identifies future directions in life course research and policy.

Assistant Professor Adriana Zabala (music) is performing the role of Paula in the Arizona Opera's production of Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas. The Arizona Republic said of Zabala's performance, "Adriana Zabala is a standout as Paula for her melancholy mezzo, along with her wonderful comic chemistry with Levi Hernandez as Álvaro." 


Assistant Professor Jack DeWaard (sociology, MPC) will be attending the United Nations climate change conference. His research focuses on the causes, characteristics, and consequences of human migration and increasingly has focused on migration and population displacement caused by environmental conditions and climate change.

November 19, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Professor Lydia Artymiw (music) performed a solo recital for the Fine Arts at Bethany Concert Series at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn. on November 1 and at the University of Washington in Seattle on November 8 and presented a master class there on November 9.

Professor Dean Billmeyer (music) performed works of Georg Muffat, Samuel Barber, and J.S. Bach on the 1998 Casavant Frères organ at the Church of St. Louis, King of France in St. Paul. 

Associate Professor Immanuel Davis (music) performed at the Judith Zaimont 70th Birthday Celebration at Symphony Space in New York City on November 7 with pianist Joanne Polk. Other New York City performances include a duo baroque flute recital on the Midtown Concerts Series and a weekly early music series performance at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, on November 12. He also performed Ravel's Chanson Madecasses at the Tenri Gallery with the St. Urban Salon Series on November 13. On November 14, Davis was part of the Amnesty International's Benefit Concert: Frank Martin's Sonnets to Cassandra

Senior lecturer Preston Duncan (music) gave a class and concert at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on November 6. He will also present a class at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on November 20.

Associate Professor Alexander Fiterstein (music) will replace Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst this month in some St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concerts. Find out more in this MinnPost article

Professor Steve Gudeman (anthropology) has a new book, Anthropology and Economy, to be published by Cambridge University Press, in which he deals with many modern economic problems in Western societies.

Professor Michal Kobialka (theatre arts and dance) delivered guest lectures in London in October as part of the UNESCO Year of Tadeusz Kantor. The Polish avant-garde theater director, painter, and set designer is being celebrated with a number of events in honor of the centennial of his birth. Michal, author of definitive books on Kantor's work, lectured at the University of London and the Tate Modern. In August he traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, to participate in an international Kantor exhibition.

Professor Paula Rabinowitz (English) has had 3 books published recently:

Professor Marty Roth (English) published "Advertising/Pornography/Art: The French Drink Poster" in the October issue of The Journal of Popular Culture

Professor Julie Schumacher (English) published the essay "What My Mother Wanted Us to Pack" in The New York Times.


Teaching Specialist Karla Grotting (theatre arts & dance) and Eclectic Edge Ensemble have received a Sage Award for Outstanding Dance Performance for Lost Voices in Jazz: Choregoraphers of the Minnesota Jazz Dance Company.

Professor Mathew LeFebvre (theatre arts & dance) has received an Ivey Award for excellence in Costume Design.

Grants & Fellowships

Professor Christopher Phelan (economics) was elected to be one of the 13 new fellows of the Econometric Society

Teaching specialist Toni Pierce-Sands (theatre arts & dance) and Uri Sands (both founders of TU Dance) were among 37 new USA fellows for 2015 announced by United States Artists (USA) this month.

Adjunct professor and alumna Ginny Sims (art) was awarded a 2015 Jerome Travel and Study Grant. Sims will travel to England to survey historical ceramic practices.


Professor Peter Wells (anthropology) has been honored by the Prehistoric Society with a conference entitled "Dynamics of Art, Design, and Vision in Iron Age Europe” to be held at the University of Edinburgh from June 3 - 4, 2016.

November 5, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Senior lecturer Preston Duncan (music) performed a concert and a presented a saxophone master class at the New England Conservatory on October 23, 2015. He also performed at the Live at Michiko webcast concert series from New York City on October 24, 2015.

Assistant Professor Tim Hunter (linguistics) was one of 10 faculty invited to participate and present at a workshop on computation and linguistic theory held at MIT in October 2015. The workshop brought together researchers working on computational models of human sentence comprehension grounded in the kinds of grammars proposed by modern linguistic theory.

Professor David Lipset (anthropology) had his new article, "Hero, Savage, or Equal?: Representations of the Moral Personhood of Pacific Islanders in Hollywood Movies," published in Pacific Studies. 38(2):103-139.

Professor Tanya Remenikova (music) performed as a member of the Hill House Chamber Players on October 26, 2015. The program included music by Kreisler, Mozart, Granados and Gaustavino. See the performance preview in the Star Tribune.

Grants & Fellowships

Professor Charlotte Melin (German, Scandinavian & Dutch) and Associate Professor Dan Philippon (English) received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) that was facilitated by CLA's Center for German and European Studies to team teach a course on transatlantic environmental humanities with two colleagues from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich.

October 22, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Professor Ananya Chatterjea's (theater arts & dance) Ananya Dance Theatre represented the United States and Minnesota at the Crossing Borders Festival & Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September.

Professor Ray Gonzalez (English) had his new book of poetry, Beautiful Wall, published by BOA Editions. Reviews are in the current issues of Booklist, Library Journal, and NBC[.]com.

Assistant Professor Claire Halpert (linguistics) published a new book, Argument Licensing and Agreement, with the Oxford University Press.

Associate Professor Maki Isaka (Asian languages & literature) has a new book completed, Onnagata: A Labyrinth of Gendering in Kabuki Theater, that will be available in January.


Associate Professor Luis A. Ramos-García (Spanish & Portuguese) has been appointed by the Casa de las Américas 2016 Literary Award as a jury member. The award was founded in 1959 in Havana, Cuba as a Latin American counterpart to the British Booker Prize and the US Pulitzer Prize.


Professor Ananya Chatterjea (theater arts & dance) was honored with a special citation during the Sage awards for her outstanding contribution in teaching.

Associate Professor Nathan Kuncel (psychology) and Professor Paul Sackett (psychology) have been named the 2016 recipients of the Jeanneret Award for Excellence in the Study of Individual or Group Assessment by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The award is for their article "Resolving the assessment center construct validity dilemma (as we know it),” published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

October 8, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Professor Erika Lee (IHRC, history) had an op-ed published commenting on the legacy of the 1965 Immigration Act in the context of the 50 year anniversary of its passing into law.

Associate Professor Fernando Meza (music) was at the Javeriana University in Bogotá, Colombia from September 21-27 offering a weeklong percussion seminar for students of this school, the National University, and the Youth Philharmonic of Colombia.

Associate Professor Kathryn Pearson's (political science) new book, Party Discipline in the US House of Representatives, was published by the University of Michigan Press. This breakthrough study examines the disciplinary measures party leaders use to "command loyalty from members."


Professor Brenda Child (American studies) won the Jon Gjerde Prize for the best book authored on a Midwestern history topic for her book My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2014).

The Immigration History Research Center has been awarded a Digital Humanities Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to expand their innovative project, Immigrant Stories, to a national scale.

Professor Phyllis Moen (sociology), along with her co-authors, was selected to receive the 2015 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for the American Sociological Review article, "Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network."

Professor Julie Schumacher (English) won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for her 2014 comic novel Dear Committee Members (Doubleday). She is the first woman receive the award since it was established in 1996.

Grants & Fellowships

Regents Professor William Iacono and Professor Monica Luciana (psychology) have received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. The University of Minnesota is one of 11 research project sites for the study and received $21.4 million of about $150 million expected to be awarded over the next five years.

Associate Professor Alan Love (philosophy) received a $2 million John Templeton Foundation grant. His work is focused on advancing a new approach for scientific metaphysics.

Associate Professor Andréa Stanislav (art) is the 2015-16 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow. Stanislav is known for creating ambitious, monumentally scaled multimedia installations that explore the relationship between site and community, and between artist and audience.


Professor Emeritus Joseph Schwartzberg (geography) recently made a commitment to create a graduate fellowship for CLA students studying global governance as part of the U's Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

September 24, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Associate Professor Cawo Abdi (sociology) published, “Defying Borders: Migration in the age of security” a short piece speaking from the perspective of migrants.

Associate Professor Immanuel Davis (music) was featured on Classical Minnesota Public Radio's “Learning to Listen” in conversation with host Alison Young ahead of his September 23 recital with Associate Professor Timothy Lovelace (music) celebrating Davis' teacher Julius Baker.

Senior lecturer Preston Duncan (music) performed as a featured guest artist at the 3rd annual International Saxophone Meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay on August 14. He also taught several classes at the conference and the National Conservatory.

Assistant Professor Dan Griffin (geography) was featured in a film, One Way to Fight the Drought: Study Trees, that is part of “The Collectors,” a series of short documentaries from FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films. 

Associate Professor Ron Krebs (political science) published a new book last month titled Narrative and the Making of US National Security (Cambridge University Press).

Professor Erika Lee (history, IHRC) received a glowing review of her new book, The Making of Asian America, in the New York Times Sunday Book Review

Professor Joachim Savelsberg (sociology) published his new book, Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur (University of California Press). This work contributes to our understanding of how the world acknowledges and responds to violence in the Global South.

PhD candidate Nicole Scott (cognitive science) published, “Female-female competition in primates: why humans aren't as progressive as we think.” M. Fisher (Ed.), in Handbook of Women and Competition (New York: Oxford University Press). It was published online and will be available in print in early 2016. 

Research associate Theresa Vann (history) published Hospitaller Piety and Crusader Propaganda: Guillaume Caoursin's Description of the Ottoman Siege of Rhodes, 1480 (Ashgate) in July 2015. 


Associate Professor Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch (writing studies) was recently awarded the 2015 Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication Award for Excellence in Program Assessment. 

PhD candidate Andrea Miller (psychology) won the 2015 Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing, one of just 10 students from US law schools to be so honored. Miller is both a JD candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School and a PhD candidate in the University of Minnesota's Department of Psychology. Her winning paper is entitled "The Separate Spheres Ideology: An Improved Empirical and Litigation Approach to Family Responsibilities Discrimination."

Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award Recipients

The College is pleased to announce the Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award recipients for the 2014-2015 academic year. Please join us in congratulating the following Arthur "Red" Motley award winners:

  • Associate Professor Matthew Mehaffey (music)
  • Assistant Professor Moin Syed (psychology)

Grants & Fellowships

Associate Professor Alan Love (philosophy) was awarded a $2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for his work on biological practice to scientific metaphysics. He has coinvestigators from Calgary, Geneva, and Chicago. Their goal is to advance a new branch of scientific metaphysics based on the forms of practice that are responsible for success across the sciences. The beneficial long-term changes anticipated include: (a) increased collaboration among metaphysicians and philosophers of biology; (b) a novel perspective on the metaphysical implications of biology; and (c) encouraging junior researchers to pursue similar research in different areas of scientific inquiry.

Professor Chris Uggen (sociology) and graduate student Rob Stewart were awarded a Spencer Foundation Education and Social Opportunity Program Grant for $50,000 titled: “Criminal Records, Race, and College Admissions.”

ICGC Global Food Security Fellows

With the support of the Office of the Vice President for Research and MnDRIVE funding, the Interdisciplinary Center for Global Change (ICGC) will offer its first of a kind fellowships to support graduate student research focused on interdisciplinary approaches to global food security with a particular emphasis on questions of social justice and global food security. More info.

The following CLA graduate students have been named ICGC Global Food Security Fellows for 2015:

  • Aaron Eddens (American studies)
  • Simrat (Simi) Kang (gender, women & sexuality studies)
  • Brian Wilson (philosophy)

ICGC Scholars

The new 15 ICGC scholars, represent 9 different departments within 5 colleges and schools at the UMN. They come from countries including India, USA/Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Uganda, China, and Zimbabwe. This exceptional group of students bring a wealth of intellectual energy, academic and personal experience and a shared commitment to understanding issues of social justice.

  • Kriti Budhiraja (sociology)
  • Alexandra Algaze Gonzalez (Spanish & Portuguese)
  • John Little (history)
  • Keavy McFadden (geography, environment & society)
  • Anuradha Sajjanhar (sociology)
  • Julie Santella (geography, environment & society)
  • Abraham Seda (history)
  • Ashwini Srinivasamohan (geography, environment & society)
  • Alexander Steele (history)
  • Wei Ye (anthropology)
September 10, 2015

Publications & Creative Activities

Associate Professor Cawo Abdi (sociology) published her book, Elusive Jannah, a portrait of the very different experiences of Somali migrants in the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and the United States.

Professor Mark Bjork (music) taught master classes, presented two weeklong courses for teachers, and performed in four faculty chamber music concerts in the Villar Performing Arts Center during June at the Colorado Suzuki Institute and Chamber Music of the Rockies.

Associate Professor John De Haan (music) taught lessons and master classes at La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy in July. School of Music students attended the opera training program and performed parts in Puccini's Madame Butterfly, Rossini's Italian Girl in Algiers, and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

Professor Steve Gudeman (anthropology) had his new edited volume (with Chris Hahn) published this summer. Oikos and Market covers the Greek financial crisis from an anthropological standpoint.

Professor Diane Katsiaficas (art) has returned from Egypt, where she and Jeff Rathermel​ (Director of Minnesota Center for Book Arts)​ co-taught ​a workshop ​for 13 young Egyptian artists ​at the Library of Alexandria​ entitled​ ​"AT PRESENT: Exploring the Visual Language of Change and Documenting Our Artistic Zeitgeist."​ This project was funded in part by the University of Minnesota Imagine Fund.

Professor Alex Lubet (music) performed premieres of 16 works for acoustic guitar (two of his own compositions and 14 pieces written for/dedicated to him) as featured soloist in a concert on New York’s Composer's Voice series.

Professor Guerino Mazzola's (music) DVD, Imaginary Time, was published this summer. The DVD features Mazzola with musicians Heinz Geisser and Shiro Onuma live in performance at the Yokohama Airegin, Japan. Imaginary Time is described as "85 minutes of passionate e-motive music in a swirling, telepathically attuned interplay."  And Mazzola's new book Computational Counterpoint Worlds (Julien Junod, and Octavio Alberto Agustín-Aquino, co-authors) is now available on Springer Press.

Associate Professor Yuichiro Onishi (African American & African studies) and graduate student Tia-Simone Gardner (gender, women & sexuality studies) have published the essay "Abbey Lincoln and Kazuko Shiraishi's Art-Making as Spiritual Labor." It appears in the anthology Traveling Texts and the Work of Afro-Japanese Cultural Production: Two Haiku and a Microphone, edited by William H. Bridges, IV and Nina Cornyetz (Lexington Books, 2015).

Assistant Professor Tamsie Ringler (art) conducted an iron pour at the Weisman Art Museum during Northern Spark in June. She cast the Mississippi River and all its tributaries.

Assistant Professor Paul Shambroom (art) has an exhibition at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, LOST. Work by alumnus Andy Mattern (MFA '12) also appears in the exhibition, which is on view through October 18.

Associate Professor Dean Sorenson (music) released Colors of the Soul, his debut CD as a leader, on August 29 at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar in St. Paul. The CD features an all-star line-up of Twin Cities jazz veterans including instructor Phil Hey (music) on drums.

Associate Professor Wendy Zaro-Mullins (music) performed chamber music and taught at the prestigious InterHarmony International Music Festival held in Arcidosso, Italy in July.


Associate web manager Kendrick Erickson (student services) received an IT@UMN Spot award. He was nominated by the College of Biological Sciences, since they and many other colleges use several of our CLA-developed systems in their processes. In his nomination it was noted that he is "an outstanding example of what teamwork and intercollegiate collaboration should look like at the U. Kendrick's willingness to work across collegiate levels is a great example of how IT@UMN can collaborate."

Professor Paula Rabinowitz’s (English) 2014 book American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street (Princeton) is the co-winner of the 2015 DeLong Book History Book Prize, presented by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP).

Professor David Samuels (political science) received the American Political Science Association's 2015 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award which is awarded annually for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs.

Associate Professor Barbara Weissberger (Spanish & Portuguese) was honored with The Advocates for Human Rights’ Volunteer Award for her work as a Spanish interpreter in immigration court for unaccompanied minors from Central America.

Grants & Fellowships

Associate Professor Jason McGrath (Asian languages & literature) received a grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to fund an August 2015 conference on Chinese film.

Professor Rachel Schurman, (sociology) principal investigator, and her co-investigators were awarded $480,000 on 5-year geography and spatial sciences NSF grant, for their project, "The Impact of Value Chain Approaches on Gender and Food Security." Co-investigators are from Wesleyan University, University of Massachusetts, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Macalester College.

The following faculty and graduate students received American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) 2015 fellowships. For an overview of all 2015 ACLS fellowship recipients, refer to

  • Professor Gail Lee Dubrow (history) ACLS fellowship for Japonisme Revisited: Reckoning with the Embrace, Appropriation, and Survival of Japanese Culture in America, 1868-1945
  • Associate Professor Vinay Gidwani (geography) ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for The Country and the City: For a Poetics of Informal Economies in Contemporary India
  • PhD candidate Akshya Saxena (cultural studies & comparative literature) Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for Vernacular Englishes: Language and Democratic Politics in Post-liberalization India
  • Associate Professor Shaden M. Tageldin (cultural studies & comparative literature) Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Toward a Transcontinental Theory of Modern Comparative Literature
  • Associate Professor Christophe Wall-Romana (French & Italian) ACLS fellowship for Kinopsis: Astronomy, Photography, and Pre-Cinema in the Nineteenth Century

Professional Societies

Professor Andrew J. Oxenham (psychology) was elected a member of the Acoustical Society of America Executive Council. 

Professor Joachim Savelsberg (sociology) was recently elected chair of the Section for Human Rights of the American Sociological Association.

Professor Valerie Tiberius (philosophy) was elected vice president/president elect of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association.

Paul Timmins (career services) was elected as National Career Development Association’s 98th national president. Paul will serve as president in FY 17-18 and subsequently prepare for the next two fiscal years as president-elect-elect and president-elect.