New Face in the Department Office. The department is pleased to welcome Debbie Laird as its new administrative coordinator. Debbie comes to us with extensive administrative support experience, most recently at the University of Riverside. She has already made noticeable improvements in the day to day operations of the department office, and we all look forward to working with her.
New Courses in Sociology. This academic year and next, the department is offering courses in sociology for the first time. Kim Babon has joined us this spring as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociology and is teaching "Introduction to Sociology." Professor Babon received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught previously at Wake Forest University and other institutions. In the fall, Professor Babon will teach a special topic course called "Society, Space, and the Environment."
Tan Back in Residence. The department welcomes Chang Tan back from a productive fall sabbatical abroad. She resumes her teaching duties and is also coordinating the eleven sections of the department's core course, HSA 10, "Critical Inquiry." Professor Tan is profiled in this semester's Faculty Spotlight.
Faculty scholarship. Recent and forthcoming publications and other scholarly endeavors by department members include the following:
Bill Alves's DVD Celestial Dance, containing five of his compositions, was published last fall (for information: http://www.iotacenter.org/store/videos/alves_dvd). The third edition of his book, Music of the Peoples of the World, is forthcoming this spring.
Debra Mashek is lead author on "Wanting less closeness in romantic relationships," Basic And Applied Social Psychology, 33:4 (2011), 333-345. She also contributed two articles to The Science of Relationships: Answers to Your Questions about Dating, Marriage, and Family, ed. Gary Lewandowski, Jr., Timothy J. Loving, Benjamin Le, and Marci Gleason (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2011).
Rachel Mayeri's Primate Cinema will premiere at the Abandon Normal Devices festival in Liverpool, August 29-September 2, 2012. "A 20 minute two channel video installation," she says, "the right channel is a drama for chimpanzees, shot in L.A. with seven actors dressed as chimpanzees, including one whose facial expression was controlled through animatronics. The right channel documents actual chimps' reactions. The project is the result of a year long project at the Edinburgh Zoo, in which chimpanzees voluntarily accessed a research pod to watch television, a common form of enrichment for chimps in captivity. (For information: http://www.rachelmayeri.com/projects/primate-cinema/)/)
Paul Steinberg's book Comparative Environmental Politics: Theory, Practice, and Prospects, is forthcoming next year from MIT Press. Co-edited with Stacy D. VanDeveer (political science, University of New Hampshire), the book is the first classroom text in this new field, which explores how different countries around the globe respond to environmental problems.