Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Campus Box 0390
Abdulkareem Said Ramadan obtained his Ph.D. in applied linguistics with a specialization in Arabic language acquisition at the University of Damascus, Syria. He earned an M.A. in Arabic syntax and morphology and a B.A. in Arabic language at the same institution. His current research interests include sociolinguistics and foreign language education. Prof. Said Ramadan worked most recently at the University of Virginia, teaching Arabic and coordinating the Arabic program there. He has taught at the Middlebury College Arabic School each summer since 2006. In previous years, he was a lecturer in Arabic at Washington University in St. Louis, the French Institute for the Middle East (IFEAD), the British Council, and the Arabic Department of the University of Damascus. He has also served as a coordinator of the Arabic program at the Arabic Language Center of the University of Damascus, where he taught Arabic as a second language. In 2004, he attended an ACTFL-sponsored Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Workshop.
Resident Fellow in Arabic, Interdisciplinary Studies
Campus Box 0390
Plank Hall 116 A
Gettysburg’s Arabic Language Instruction Program welcomes Katrien Vanpee. Professor Vanpee is a Ph.D.-Candidate in Arabic Literature & Linguistics at the Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies, Georgetown University. She is preparing a dissertation on nabati poetry, the oral vernacular poetry of the Arabian Peninsula. In the fields of classical and modern Arabic literature and poetry, her research interests revolve around the mu'allaqat, the poetry of the sa'alik, and the contemporary literary production of the Arabian Peninsula. In the field of Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL), she focuses on language learning strategies. She has taught Intensive Modern Standard Arabic at the Summer Language Institutes of Middlebury College and Georgetown University. Katrien received her Arabic training in Belgium, Tunis, Cairo, Italy, and Qatar.
Professor Vanpee teaches Elementary Arabic classes at Gettysburg.
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Campus Box 2985
Plank Hall room 305
(717) 337 - 6195
Amy Evrard obtained her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2005. She is a cultural anthropologist interested in women's rights, human rights, gender, social movements, transnationalism, Islam, and the Middle East/North Africa region. Prof. Evrard's current research involves the women's rights movement in Morocco and how activists attempt to localize transnational feminist ideas such as "equality" and "women's human rights" in ways that make them more relevant and meaningful to Moroccan society. In 2011, she is continuing her interests in human rights, law, and political status by beginning a new research project on Christian communities in Syria and the United States.
Assistant Professor, History
Campus Box 0401
(717) 337 - 6556
Karen Pinto is a native of Karachi, Pakistan. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University for "Ways of Seeing.3: Scenarios of the World in the Medieval Islamic Cartographic Imagination." She joined the faculty at Gettysburg College in 2007 as an assistant professor in the History Department. Prior to Gettysburg she taught at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon (2003-2007). She has worked extensively with medieval Islamic maps in Oriental manuscript libraries around the world. She is a specialist in Middle Eastern and North African; Islamic Cartography: and Arabic, Persian, & Turkish Illustrated Manuscripts. Her publications include: "Capturing Imagination: The Buja and Medieval Islamic Mappamundi," in Views from the Edge: Essays in Honor of Richard W. Bulliet (Middle East Institute, Columbia University, 2004), "Surat Bahr al-Rum: Possible Meanings Underlying the Forms," in Eastern Mediterranean Cartographies (Institute for Neohellenic Research, 2004), "Passion and Conflict: Medieval Islamic Views of the West" in Mapping Medieval Geographies (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and "Public vs. Private: Fatih's Interest in Maps Revisited Through the Ottoman Cluster" (forthcoming Imago Mundi). She is currently working on two book projects: "The Mediterranean in the Islamic Cartographic Imagination" and "Maps and Time in the Islamic Context" and on a digital encyclopedia of Islamic maps called MIME (Medieval Islamic Maps Encyclopedia). She offers classes on: Islamic History (HIST 208); History of Islamic Technology (HIST 278); Ottoman History (HIST 330); US-Middle East Relations (HIST 2379); and a Senior Capstone on "Mediterranean Encounters."
Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
Campus Box 0408
(717) 337 - 6790
Megan Adamson Sijapati received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the field of Religious Studies, with a South Asia and Islamic regional focus. Her ongoing research interests are in the intersections of religious experience, authority, and revival, and in religious violence and non-violence. Her research to date has focused on contemporary Islam and Muslim religious movements in Nepal, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley. She is the author of Islamic Revival in Nepal: Religion and a New Nation, (Routledge, 2011), which is based on her field research in Nepal, and a number of other essays. Her courses include Introduction to Islam (REL 270), Islam in the Modern World (REL 272), Islam in South Asia (REL 357), Experiencing the World(s) of Islam (FYS 175), and Religious Diversity and Conflict in South Asia (REL 360).
Assistant Professor, Political Science
Campus Box 0406
(717) 337 - 6039
Yasemin Akbaba was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She received her Ph.D. from University of Missouri- Columbia in August 2006 and started teaching at Gettysburg College in Fall 2006. Her research focuses on mobilization of ethnic and religious groups as well as international conflict (with a specific look at Middle East). She teaches courses on War and Politics, International Relations, Contemporary Issues in Middle East and Ethnic Conflict.
Associate Professor, Religious Studies
Campus Box 0408
(717) 337 - 6461
If you sign up a course with religion professor Stephen Stern, be forewarned - he's going to mess with your head. Take his Introduction to Religion class, for example. "What is sacred?" he asks on the first day. Shrugs ripple through the room. "Is the American flag sacred?" "Yes," students respond almost unanimously. "Why?" "Because of what it symbolizes," someone says, and others nod. "Would you be offended if it's burned?" "Yes, absolutely," most reply. "But isn't freedom of expression one of the things it symbolizes?" Stern prods. "And if that's the case, shouldn't you allow someone to burn it?" You get the idea. Throughout the discussion, Stern takes great pains not to reveal his perspective. You argue one side, he'll push back on the other. "The whole goal is to show them that life is paradoxical," he says. "They get very confused and they get really passionate, but they're hooked - and they love the discussion that follows." "The art of good teaching is making information relevant to students and challenging their assumptions," he says. "It doesn't matter if the subject is Islam, or Judaism, or secular philosophy. If you can make it relevant, they'll be drawn to the courses." In one course, the Holocaust becomes a starting point for a broader discussion of discrimination. Students come to understand how discrimination manifests itself in black-white relations on America's streets, or even among different groups on campus, often in ways they don't realize. "It's easy to hate the Nazis and feel sorry for the Jews," Stern says. "The hard part is to look at the Holocaust and see what lessons we can learn for our daily lives." In a course on the Hebrew Bible, most students say they think Eve seduced Adam into eating the apple. But Stern challenges them to find evidence of this in the text. When they can't - because, he says, it isn't there - conversation turns to how our views are shaped and what the implications are for our lives. "It creates a really interesting dilemma," he says. "But that's what college is all about." The point, Stern emphasizes, is not to get students to agree with his or any other point of view, but to help them ask good questions, listen to others' perspectives, and develop informed opinions about things that matter. "I get satisfaction when students articulate what they have to say and do it well," he says. "I like it when students realize that they're smart. When they get engaged and you see the brains popping, that's exciting."
Associate Professor, Psychology
Campus Box 0407
(717) 337 - 6198
Kathleen Cain received her PhD in psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. She is a developmental psychologist who studies children's social and emotional development, and she has published articles and given conference presentations on the children's motivation and their beliefs about themselves and others. Her courses include Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood, Laboratory in Social and Personality Development, History of Experimental Psychology, and a first year seminar, The World's Children. From 2005 to 2009, Kathy was the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and then the Acting Vice Provost. She spent a year teaching and conducting research in Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar before returning to full-time teaching at Gettysburg College. Currently, she is involved in a research project with Egyptian colleagues that examines the psychosocial adjustment of Egyptian children with Type I diabetes.