Faculty notebook - April 2020


Abou Bamba, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, published “‘Mightier Than Marx’: Hassoldt Davis and American Cold War Politics in Postwar Ivory Coast” in International History Review 41.6 (2019): 1123–1144. Using the travels of Hassoldt Davis in Ivory Coast to explore the global Cold War in French West Africa in the 1950s, this article argues that the main line of confrontation in the postwar era did not always pit Americans against Russians. Besides bringing Francophone Africa into the historiography of U.S.-Africa relations, the article demonstrates a convergence of vision among American consular agents, U.S. transnational corporations, and an idiosyncratic travel writer.

Megan Benka-Coker, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, with co-authors Jennifer L. Peel, John Volckens, Nicholas Good, Kelsey R. Bilsback, Christian L’Orange, Casey Quinn, Bonnie N. Young, Sarah Rajkumar, Ander Wilson, Jessica Tryner, Sebastian Africano, Anibal B. Osorto, and Maggie L. Clark, published “Kitchen Concentrations of Fine Particulate Matter and Particle Number Concentration in Households Using Biomass Cookstoves in Rural Honduras” in Environmental Pollution 258 (March 2020): 113697. This paper evaluates two types of stoves in Honduras that are used for cooking. We measure concentrations of different particle sizes to understand combustion differences between the stoves, and a person’s exposure to harmful smoke. We are concerned that smaller particles produced by the stoves may have long-lasting health effects.

Emily Besecker, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, with co-authors Emily N. Blanke, Gina M. Deiter, and Gregory M. Holmes, published “Gastric Vagal Afferent Neuropathy Following Experimental Spinal Cord Injury” in Experimental Neurology 323 (January 2020): 113092. Following high-thoracic spinal cord injury, there are dramatic impairments of gastrointestinal (GI) functioning. While the exact mechanisms of GI dysfunction remain unclear, mechano- and chemosensory experimentation have revealed neural plasticity potential within the gastric vagal afferent nerves.

Michael Birkner, Professor of History, published “Interview with Frederick Weiser and Charles H. Glatfelter” in Der Reggeboge (Journal of the Pennsylvania German Society) 53.1 (2019): 3–22. This interview with two longtime members of the Pennsylvania German Society discusses key personalities and initiatives in publishing about Pennsylvania Germans and their history. It includes a discussion of a leading scholar in the field, Homer Rosenberger, for whom the Special Collections Reading Room in Musselman Library is named.

Scott Boddery, Assistant Professor of Political Science, with co-authors Laura P. Moyer and Jeff Yates, published “Naming Names: The Impact of Supreme Court Majority Opinion Attribution on Citizen Assessment of Policy Outcomes” in Law & Society Review 53.2 (June 2019): 353–385. This study shows that the manner in which the U.S. Supreme Court conveys its opinions to the public matters. Specifically, the gender of the authoring justice augments the level of support a given case receives, and those cases issued by the Court as an institution garner the most support from the public.

Bill Bowman, Professor of History and Edwin T. Johnson and Cynthia Shearer Johnson Distinguished Teaching Chair in the Humanities, published The World Cup as World History (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). This book brings together the research interests of world and sports historians as they have developed over the past several decades. It does so by following the history of soccer’s World Cup from 1930 to 2019, and analyzes the politics, economics, and cultural contexts of that competition.

Vernon Cisney, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Judaic Studies, published “In G.O.D. We Trust: The Desert of the Religious in The Broom of the System” in David Foster Wallace and Religion: Essays on Faith and Fiction, edited by Michael McGowan and Martin Brick (New York: Bloomsbury, 2019). In this book chapter, I explore the role of the Great Ohio Desert (G.O.D.) in David Foster Wallace’s first novel, The Broom of the System. While most scholars see this as nothing more than a playful acronym, I argue that the notion of God as a desert provides helpful insight into Wallace’s understanding of the religious. I use Søren Kierkegaard’s concept of faith (relatively unexplored in Wallace scholarship) to flesh this out.

Cisney published “Something to Do with a Girl Named Marla: Eros and Gender in David Fincher’s Fight Club” in Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 18.3 (Fall 2019): 576–599. In this essay, I argue that David Fincher employs the philosophy of yin and yang in his film Fight Club in order to critique toxic masculinity and rigid conceptions of gender more broadly, espousing instead a more fluid conception of gender, constituted by varying relations of active and passive forces.

Cisney published “The Poststructuralist Broom of Wallace’s System: A Conversation between Wittgenstein and Derrida” in Kritikos: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Postmodern Cultural Sound, Text, and Image 15 (Fall 2018, online). This peer-reviewed article explores the way in which David Foster Wallace employs the philosophies of Jacques Derrida and Ludwig Wittgenstein in his first novel, The Broom of the System, arguing that, contrary to popular views, Wallace leans more on Derrida than on Wittgenstein to work his way out of what he sees as the ways in which language traps us in our own private worlds.

Yunhua Ding, Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, published “Lorentz and CPT Tests Using Penning Traps” in Symmetry 11.10 (2019): 1220. This work investigates the prospects for testing spacetime symmetries using confined particles. It develops a theory focusing on novel types of symmetry-violating effects, and bridges the theory and experiments by testing it using experimental observations.

Annie Douds, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, with Eileen M. Ahlin, published “If You Build It, Will Vets Come? An Identity Theory Approach to Expanding Veterans’ Treatment Court Participation” in Criminal Justice Review (March 24, 2020, online). Through a series of interviews over an 18-month period with veterans’ court participants, their mentors, and program managers, the authors identified four aspects of veteran identity that influence their decisions on whether to seek inclusion in a treatment court program.

Douds, with Don Hummer, published “When a Veterans’ Treatment Court Fails: Lessons Learned from a Qualitative Evaluation” in Victims & Offenders 14.3 (April 2019): 322–343. After a veterans’ court participant died while under supervision, the authors conducted a process evaluation to determine where gaps in service and oversight may have contributed to the loss.

Chris Fee, Professor of English, with Jeffrey B. Webb, co-edited Encyclopedia of Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories in American History (2 volumes) (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2019). This timely primer on the vast popular American matrix of conspiracies and conspiracy theories looks behind the curtain to try to ascertain why so many of us are so willing to believe almost anything other than the official version of events. It also endeavors to address the development and appeal of conspiracy theories while placing them in the broader literary and cultural context of folklore and popular mythology. This collection of over 800 pages and some 200 entries was completed with the assistance of three Gettysburg College student assistant editors, who receive title-page credit: Anika Jensen ’18, Susanna Mills ’18, and Isabella Rosedietcher ’18. In addition, 22 Gettysburg College student contributors receive by-line credit for single-author entries of 1,500 words each (more than 10% of the total entries). The students are: Graham Alabdulla ’19, Kirstynn Bonsall ’18, Christian Boor ’18, Jonny Bray ’19, Melissa Casale ’19, Ruoxuan Chen ’19, Kelly Curran ’20, Dusty Hagedorn ’18, Jessica Hubert ’18, Anika Jensen ’18, Natalie Keznor ’18, Hayley Lund ’19, Lisa Maeyer ’19, Susanna Mills ’18, Jackson Mumford ’19, Andrew Nosti ’19, Ilana Olbrys ’19, Nick Przywarty ’20, Rebecca Rosenberg ’18, Charlie Tanquary ’18, Lauren White ’18, and Amy Whitsel ’19. In the fall of 2017, I taught a related course, ENG 310B: The Truth about Tall Tales—Saga, Myth, and Orality from the Lost Gods of Britain to Contemporary Conspiracy Theories; all of the named students except for Isabella were in that class. I want to take this opportunity to herald the accomplishments of these students, who wrote work every bit as good as (and sometimes markedly better than) their professional, highly-credentialed colleagues. The student editors did especially fine and professional work, for which they should receive accolades. This collection has won two significant national recognitions: the Reference and User Service Association [RUSA]’s Outstanding Reference Source of 2020, and Library Journal’s Best Reference of 2019. This speaks eloquently to the real-world abilities of our students in highly competitive venues, and we should celebrate that.

Tim Funk, Associate Professor and currently Chair, Department of Chemistry, with student colleagues Yidan Tang ’19, Rowan Meador ’16, Casina Malinchak ’13, Emily Harrison ’18, Kimberly McCaskey ’20, and Melanie Hempel ’20, published “(Cyclopentadienone)Iron-Catalyzed Transfer Dehydrogenation of Symmetrical and Unsymmetrical Diols to Lactones” in The Journal of Organic Chemistry 85.4 (December 27, 2020): 1823–1834. My Gettysburg College research students and I developed a sustainable, environmentally friendly method to synthesize lactones, a structural feature found in molecules ranging from perfumes to pharmaceuticals. We explored the reactivity of a variety of (cyclopentadienone)iron catalysts, and discovered that two of them afforded the desired products in good yields and high levels of selectivity.

Jeremy Garskof, Director of Technical Services, Musselman Library, with co-authors Ashley Fast, Melissa Oakes, and Doug Way, published “Throwing Back the Curtain: Getting Candid about Negotiating and the Value of the Library-Vendor Relationship” in Charleston Voices: Perspectives from the 2018 Conference, edited by Lars Meyer (Sullivan’s Island, SC: Against the Grain, 2019). This chapter, expanding a presentation given at the 2018 Charleston Library Conference, provides perspectives and strategies on library-vendor negotiations, with an emphasis on economics, relationships, and stakeholders. It also offers advice and best practices for those who are new to librarianship and library sales.

Darren Glass, Alumni Chair and Professor of Mathematics, with co-author Nathan Kaplan, published “Chip Firing Games and Critical Groups” in A Project-Based Guide to Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 2020). In this expository chapter, we describe the theory of chip firing games and algebraic structures associated to finite connected graphs. Throughout, we highlight past results by undergraduate students as well as suggestions for more research projects.

Glass, with co-authors S.K. Lucas and J.S. Needleman, published “Chutes and Ladders without Chutes or Ladders” in The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects—Volume 3: The Magic of Mathematics, edited by Jennifer Beineke and Jason Rosenhouse (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019). We look at how the game of Chutes and Ladders changes if you vary the size of the spinner and the board, and try to optimize the choices to make the game end as quickly as possible.

Nathalie Goubet, Professor of Psychology, with co-authors Karine Durand, Benoist Schaal, David J. Lewkowicz, and Jean-Yves Baudouin, published “Does Any Mother’s Body Odor Stimulate Interest in Mother’s Face in 4 Month-Old Infants?” in Infancy 25.2 (March–April 2020): 151-164. This work shows the role of olfaction in infants’ perception of their social world, in particular how maternal odors can affect infants’ attention toward faces.

Natasha Gownaris, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, with co-authors Christine M. Santora, John B. Davis, and Ellen K. Pikitch, published “Mapping Consensus on Global Marine Priority Regions” in Frontiers in Marine Science (October 25, 2019, online). We collated spatial information from 10 initiatives to map global marine priorities, highlighting regions of consensus that remain unprotected. Our goal is to inform marine protected area placement; the current UN target is 10% ocean protection by 2020. 

Gownaris, with co-author P.D. Boersma, published “Sex-Biased Survival Contributes to Population Decline in a Long-Lived Seabird, the Magellanic Penguin” in Ecological Applications 29.1 (January 2019): e01826. Using data from a 35-year study of a Magellanic penguin colony, we showed that female-biased mortality has led to an increasingly male-biased sex ratio (3 males to every female). This skewed sex ratio has led to population decline and increased rates of fighting among male penguins.

Ian Isherwood, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, published “Battle of Loos” in Oxford Bibliographies in Military History, edited by Dennis Showalter (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020). This is a peer-reviewed bibliographical article on the 1915 Battle of Loos.

Isherwood published “When the Hurlyburly’s Done: Civil War and Great War Veterans in History and Memory” in The Journal of the Civil War Era 9.1 (March 2019): 109–132. This article reviews the comparative historiography on veterans of the American Civil War and British soldiers of the First World War.

Laurence Marschall, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy, published “Astronomy” in The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2020 (New York: World Almanac Books, 2019). This is the annual astronomy update in the World Almanac, listing phases of the moon, celestial highlights, eclipses, positions of the planets, and information about the solar system and other objects in the heavens.

Brian Meier, Professor of Psychology, with co-authors Amanda J. Dillard and Courtney M. Lappas, published “Naturally Better? A Review of the Natural-is-Better Bias” in Social and Personality Psychology Compass 13.8 (August 2019): e12494. This review examines the preference for and perception of naturalness, and reveals that people have a bias for items described as natural in many domains including foods, medicine, beauty products, cigarettes, and lighting. These preferences abound even when the natural item is identical or not objectively better than the non-natural or synthetic item. We believe this bias may be driven by a natural-is-better default belief as well as the belief that natural items are safer than non-natural items.

Yoko Nishimura, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies, published “The Tale of the Tokugawa Artifacts: Japanese Funerary Lanterns at the Penn Museum” in Expedition 61. 1 (2019): 28–39. There are thousands of impressive Japanese prehistoric artifacts stored in the major arts, archaeology, and natural history museums of the United States alone. For example, the fortunate arrival at the Penn Museum in 1919 of a pair of bronze lanterns from Japan’s Edo period has only recently been fully appreciated. These funerary lanterns provide insight into the delicate place and power of women in elite Japanese society during that time.

Christopher Oechler, Assistant Professor of Spanish, published “The Enemy Outside the Gates: Isabel the Catholic Queen and the Extramural mujer varonil in Tirso de Molina’s Antona García” in Confined Women: The Walls of Female Space in Inquisitorial Spain, edited by Brian M. Phillips and Emily Colbert Cairns, Volume 25 of Hispanic Issues (2020): 146-166. In this article, I analyze Tirso de Molina’s early modern play Antona García. I find that the play relies on the hyperbolic antics of a rowdy peasant heroine to caricature the mythic legacy surrounding Isabel of Castile, effectively domesticating the queen within a prescriptive feminine space.

Oechler published “The Art of Dying: Mira de Amescua’s La hija de Carlos V and Ximénez de Enciso’s La mayor hazaña de Carlos V” in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 96.9 (October 2019): 889–904. This article analyzes how two early modern Spanish plays dramatize Charles V’s abdication and death. Focusing on stage directions and performance cues, I argue that the plays dialogue with early modern vanitas paintings and the ars moriendi literary tradition in order to promote the idea of a good death among theatergoers.

William O’Hara, Assistant Professor, Sunderman Conservatory of Music, published “Analytical Podcasting” in The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, edited by Leigh vanHandel (London: Routledge, 2020). This methodological article, about the use of podcasting to teach popular music analysis and sound production skills, is based on a project I use in my music theory classes at Gettysburg.

O’Hara published “Music Theory on the Radio: Theme and Temporality in Hans Keller’s First Functional Analysis” in Music Analysis 39.1 (March 2020): 3–49. This article parses Austrian-British music analyst Hans Keller’s distinctive method of “functional analysis”—which he called “the musical analysis of music”—by closely analyzing his interpretations, and contextualizing them within more recent theories of musical form.

Douglas Page, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, published “Europe’s LGBT Movement” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of LGBT Politics and Policy (September 2019, online). This peer-reviewed article evaluates existing research on LGBT+ politics in Europe through two themes: “progress/advancement” and “backlash/losses.” While rights and tolerance have expanded over the past few decades, political debates regarding LGBT+ rights have engendered more organized opposition to LGBT+ rights.

Rud Platt, Professor of Environmental Studies, with staff co-author Monica Ogra, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Globalization Studies, and co-authors Natalie Kisak, Upma Manral, and Ruchi Badola, published “Climate Change Perceptions, Data, and Adaptation in the Garhwal Himalayas of India” in Climate and Development (February 13, 2020, online). What people tell us about climate change is as important as what climate data tell us. This paper comes from the fun and fruitful collaboration of an environmental studies student, two Gettysburg College faculty, and the Wildlife Institute of India.

James Puckett, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, with co-authors Dan Gorbonos, Kasper van der Vaart, Michael Sinhuber, Andrew M. Reynolds, Nicholas T. Ouellette, and Nir S. Gov, published “Similarities between Insect Swarms and Isothermal Globular Clusters” in Physical Review Research 2.1 (March–May 2020): 013271. In this article, we compare the predictions of the classic, mean-field King model for isothermal globular clusters to observations of insect swarms. Detailed numerical simulations of regular and adaptive gravity allow us to expose the features of the swarms' density and velocity profiles that are due to long-range interactions and are captured by the King model phenomenology, and those that are due to adaptivity and short-range repulsion. Our results provide further support for adaptive gravity as a model for swarms.

Carol Reardon, Adjunct Professor of Civil War Era Studies, published “The Gettysburg Campaign” in The Cambridge History of the American Civil War: Volume I—Military Affairs, edited by Aaron Sheehan-Dean (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019). The Battle of Gettysburg has inspired a more voluminous literature than any single event in American military history for at least three major reasons. First, after three days of fighting on July 1–3, 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac lost more than 51,000 dead, wounded, captured, and missing, making Gettysburg the costliest military engagement in North American history. Second, Pres. Abraham Lincoln endowed Gettysburg with special distinction when he visited in November 1863 to dedicate the soldiers’ cemetery and delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address. Finally, Gettysburg gave the Union its first significant victory over Gen. Lee; the subsequent euphoria helped to fix in popular memory—if not in objective history—an enduring image of Gettysburg as the turning point of the Civil War.

Reardon published “Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall: A Place for Quiet Reflection” in Civil War Places: Seeing the Conflict through the Eyes of its Leading Historians, edited by Gary W. Gallagher and J. Matthew Gallman (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019). Much has been written about place and Civil War memory, but how do we personally remember and commemorate this part of our collective past? How do battlefields and other historic places help us understand our own history? What kinds of places are worth remembering, and why? In this collection of essays, some of the most esteemed historians of the Civil War select a single meaningful place related to the war and narrate its significance. Included here are meditations on a wide assortment of places—Devil’s Den at Gettysburg, Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, the statue of William T. Sherman in New York’s Central Park, Burnside Bridge at Antietam, the McLean House in Appomattox, and more. Paired with a contemporary photograph commissioned specifically for this book, each essay offers an unusual and accessible glimpse into how historians think about their subjects.

Richard Russell, Associate Professor of Psychology, with staff co-authors Carlota Batres and Alex L. Jones, and co-author Aurélie Porcheron, published “A Role for Contrast Gain Control in Skin Appearance” in Journal of Vision 19.13 (November 2019): 1–11. We found that skin appearance is affected by the color of surrounding surfaces.

Russell, with staff co-author Carlota Batres, and co-authors Aurélie Porcheron, Julie Latreille, Magalie Roche, and Frédérique Morizot, published “Cosmetics Increase Skin Evenness: Evidence from Perceptual and Physical Measures” in Skin Research & Technology 25 (2019): 672–676. We found that makeup makes the skin appear more even.

Russell, with staff co-author Carlota Batres, and co-authors Sandra Courrèges, Gwenaël Kaminski, Frédérique Soppelsa, Frédérique Morizot, and Aurélie Porcheron, published “Differential Effects of Makeup on Perceived Age” in British Journal of Psychology 110. 1 (February 2019): 87–100. We found that young women look older when wearing makeup, while middle-aged and older women look younger when wearing makeup.

Russell, with staff co-author Carlota Batres, and co-authors Sarah S. Kramer and Caroline G. DeAngelis, published “Examining the ‘Cosmetics Placebo Effect’” in PLOS ONE 14.1 (January 10, 2019): e0210238. In a field experiment, we tested the hypothesis that a person who believes she is wearing makeup has observably different behavior.

Tim Shannon, Professor of History, with Victoria Bissell Brown, co-edited Going to the Source: The Bedford Reader in American History, Fifth Edition (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2020). This is a new edition of a two-volume textbook designed for college-level U.S. History courses, which uses different types of sources to introduce students to historical methods and materials. For the new edition, Tim wrote new chapters on the Great Awakening of the 1740s and the Occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973.

Megan Adamson Sijapati, Professor and currently Chair, Department of Religious Studies, published “Sufi Remembrance Practices in a Meditation Marketplace of Mobile Apps” in Anthropological Perspectives on the Religious Uses of Mobile Apps, edited by Jacqueline H. Fewkes (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). This chapter discusses how religion is represented and encountered on mobile meditation apps. It examines digital/“online” presentations of religious practices, particularly representations of Sufism and in relation to “onground” communities, to understand how people encounter religion, specifically Islam, on mobile religious apps.

Stephen Siviy, John McCrea and Marion Ball Dickson Professor of Psychology, published “Basal Ganglia Involvement in the Playfulness of Juvenile Rats” in Journal of Neuroscience Research 97 (2019): 1521–1527. The basal ganglia is a system within the brain known to be important for motor control. This paper reviews the extent to which the basal ganglia is also involved in the modulation of play behavior, and the extent to which playful experiences impact basal ganglia functionality.

Carolyn Snively, Emerita Professor of Classics, with Goran Sanev, published “Archaeological Investigations at Golemo Gradište, Konjuh, 2012–2016” in Archaeology of a World of Changes: Late Roman and Early Byzantine Architecture, Sculpture and Landscapes. Selected Papers from the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies (Belgrade, 22–27 August 2016) (Oxford, UK: BAR, 2020). This article describes the investigations of the international project sponsored by Gettysburg College and the Archaeological Museum in Skopje at the site of Golemo Gradište, Konjuh, between 2012 and 2016. It focuses on the episcopal complex and the nearby residence, both dated to the sixth century AD.

Barbara Sommer, Professor of History, published “Alliance, Conflict, Migration, and Place in the Evolution of Identity in Portuguese Amazonia” in The Oxford Handbook of Borderlands of the Iberian World, edited by Danna A. Levin Rojo and Cynthia Radding (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). The vast waterways of equatorial South America facilitated exploration and inter-ethnic contact that led to conflict as well as cooperation and migration during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The chapter presents new evidence showing that some Indians who fled from the Portuguese colony up tributaries of the Amazon River became the supposedly uncontacted “tribes” of nineteenth-century explorers and twentieth-century ethnographers.

Eileen Stillwaggon, Benjamin Franklin Chair in the Liberal Arts and Professor of Economics, with student co-author Victoria Perez-Zetune ’16, and co-authors Stephanie R. Bialek and Susan P. Montgomery, published “Congenital Chagas Disease in the United States: The Effect of Commercially Priced Benznidazole on Costs and Benefits of Maternal Screening” in American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (February 24, 2020, online). In this work, we demonstrate that maternal screening and treatment for congenital Chagas disease provide benefits far in excess of program costs. Recent cost changes, from free provision by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to commercial distribution, make a trivial difference in the outstanding economic benefits.

Brent Talbot, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education, Sunderman Conservatory of Music, with staff co-author Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Program Director, Peace and Justice Studies, published “Critically Assessing Forms of Resistance in Music Edu­cation” in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Assessment in Music Education, edited by David J. Elliott, Marissa Silverman, and Gary E. McPherson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). In their classrooms, music educators draw upon critical pedagogy (as described by Freire, Giroux, and hooks) for the express purpose of cultivating a climate for conscienti­zação. Conscientização, according to Paulo Freire (2006), “refers to learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions and to take action against the oppressive el­ements of reality.” This consciousness-raising is a journey that teachers pursue with students, together interrogating injustices in communities and the world in order to transform the conditions that inform them. Learning to perceive social, political, and eco­nomic contradictions often leads to multiple forms of resistance in and out of music class­rooms. This chapter explores the following question: What do critical forms of assessment look like in music classrooms that use critical pedagogy and embrace resistance to foster conscientization?

Talbot, with co-author J. Hess, published “Going for Broke: A Talk to Music Teachers” in Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 18.1 (March 2019): 89–116. In 1963—a racially charged time in the United States—James Baldwin delivered “A Talk to Teachers,” urging educators to engage youth in difficult conversations about current events. We concur with Giroux (2011, 2019) that political forces influence our educational spaces and that classrooms should not be viewed as apolitical, but instead seen as sites for engagement, where educators and artists alike can “go for broke.” Drawing upon A Tribe Called Quest’s 2017 Grammy performance of “We the People . . .” as an example of the role of the arts in troubled times, we consider ways to work alongside youth in schools to respond, consider, and process current events through music.

Talbot published “Superdiversity in Music Education” in Pluralism in American Music Education Research: Essays and Narratives, edited by Diana R. Dansereau and Jay Dorfman (New York: Springer, 2018). Globalization has changed the social, cultural, and linguistic diversity of societies all over the world (Blommaert & Rampton 2011). As new technologies have rapidly developed alongside increased forms of transnational flow, so have new forms of language, art, music, communication, and expression. This rapid and varied blending of cultures, ideas, and modes of communication is what Vertovec (2007) describes as superdiversity—diversity within diversity. In this narrative, I explore the theoretical and methodological pluralism that has aided my research in diverse settings, drawing from post-structuralism, critical theory, sociolinguistics, complexity theory, and discourse analysis—specifically Scollon and Scollon’s (2003, 2004) recommendations for nexus analysis and Blommaert’s theoretical principles and concepts of ethnography, globalization, and superdiversity (2010, 2013). I promote a need to develop a robust toolkit for music education that (1) better analyzes how we position and are positioned as part of larger groups and practices operating within multiple layers of social, cultural, and historical context, and (2) better advocates for equitable practices and inclusive spaces in our field.

Beatriz Trigo, Associate Professor of Spanish and currently Chair, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with co-authors Mary Ann Dellinger and Ellen Maycock, published Indagaciones: Introducción a los estudios culturales Hispanos (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2019). This post-intermediate Spanish textbook introduces students to a wide variety of visual, audio, and written texts, and teaches critical textual analysis in Spanish through a cultural-studies approach.

Alex Trillo, Assistant Professor of Biology, with co-authors Wouter Halfwerk, Michiel Blaas, Lars Kramer, Nadia Hijner, Ximena E. Bernal, Rachel A. Page, Sandra Goutte, Michael J. Ryan, and Jacintha Ellers, published “Adaptive Changes in Sexual Signalling in Response to Urbanization” in Nature Ecology & Evolution 3 (2019): 374–380. This work investigates the effects of urbanization on male Túngara frogs. We show that urbanization changes the level of predation and parasitism, as well as the level of female choice. This leads to a change in the structure of mating calls of Túngara frogs.

Trillo, with student co-authors Tiffany L. Lam ’19 and Oliver Pickering ’22, and co-authors Christopher S. Benson, Michael S. Caldwell, and David M. Logue, published “The Influence of Signaling Conspecific and Heterospecific Neighbors on Eavesdropper Pressure” in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7 (2019): 292. This study models how eavesdropper predators and parasites are attracted to mixed-species mating aggregations, and how they choose which prey to attack. We specifically review the role of neighboring signalers in mediating these changes in eavesdropper pressure.

Mercedes Valmisa, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, published “The Reification of Fate in Early China” in Early China 42 (2019): 147–199. This article investigates the implications of fate (ming 命) as a non-subjective type of actor both for Chinese philosophy and twenty-first-century accounts of agency.

Valmisa published ““對中國哲學的「漢學挑戰」:一個從後學科角度出發的回應 (The ‘Sinological Challenge’ to Chinese Philosophy: A Response from a Post-Disciplinary Perspective) in 中國哲學與文化 16 (2019): 20–50. This methodological paper argues that it is possible and desirable to integrate sinological knowledge in philosophical research by focusing on the issue of authorless philosophy.

Valmisa published “The Happy Slave isn’t Free: Relational Autonomy and Freedom in the Zhuangzi” in Philosophy Compass 14.3 (March 2019): e12569. This article challenges the psychologizing identification of freedom with contentment in a dialog between the Daoist classic and contemporary social philosophy.

David Walsh, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, published “The Nature of Food: Indigenous Dene Foodways and Ontologies in the Era of Climate Change” in Indigenous Religions, edited by Graham Harvey and Amy Whitehead (New York: Routledge, 2018). This book chapter is a study of Dene hunting-based foodways, responses to climate change and the loss of caribou, and what these reveal about the theoretical study of ontologies and personhood.

Kerry Walters, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, published Harriet Tubman: A Life in American History (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2020). This full-length biography of one of the most important figures in the struggle against slavery situates her in her times and includes an essay exploring her contributions and an appendix of contemporary documents about her life.

Walters published Let Justice Be Done: Writings from American Abolitionists, 1688–1865 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2020). Nearly all of the American abolitionists were inspired in their crusade against slavery by their Christian faith. This collection of their writings demonstrates that religious faith can and rightfully should be a powerful force in calling out injustice, speaking truth to power, and planting seeds of change.

Andy Wilson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, with co-authors Grant D. Paton, Alexandra V. Shoffner, and Sara A. Gagné, published “The Traits that Predict the Magnitude and Spatial Scale of Forest Bird Responses to Urbanization Intensity” in PLOS ONE 14.7 (2019): e0220120. We show that traits such as migratory status, wingspan, and breeding success are all related to bird responses to urbanization.

Wilson, with co-authors Alexandra Shoffner, Wenwu Tang, and Sara A. Gagné, published “The Relative Effects of Forest Amount, Forest Configuration, and Urban Matrix Quality on Forest Breeding Birds” in Scientific Reports 8 (2018): 17140. The diversity of forest bird species was affected by the amount of forest cover and the types of habitat found in between forest blocks.

Randall Wilson, Thompson Endowed Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies, published America’s Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond, Second Edition (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). This updated and expanded second edition traces the oft-forgotten ideas of nature that have shaped the evolution of America’s public land system. It offers a fresh and compelling account of the most pressing issues facing national parks, forests, rangelands, and wildlife refuges, from their early beginnings through the first years of the Trump Administration.

Commentaries, blog posts, and general-audience publications

Scott Boddery, Assistant Professor of Political Science, posted “The One Change John Roberts Can Make to Depoliticize the Supreme Court” at Politico Magazine (March 18, 2020, online). Following the individualized attacks against Supreme Court justices from Republicans and Democrats, Prof. Boddery highlights numerous pieces of his research that points toward ways in which the Chief Justice can change the Court’s norms to protect the Court and its justices from future attacks.

Laurence Marschall, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy, published “A Black Hole Lightweight” in Natural History (February 2020): 6. This short news article about the discovery of a black hole smaller than any previously discovered helps in the understanding of how stars die in supernova explosions.

Marschall published “Milky Way Morphology” in Natural History (November 2019): 6. This contribution to a news column describes the latest results of a survey of stars mapping the shape of the Milky Way galaxy we reside in.

Jill Ogline Titus, Associate Director, Civil War Institute, posted “Reconstruction” at The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook (August 23, 2019, online). This brief essay explores both the history of the Reconstruction period and the way it is currently represented on the public-history landscape. The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook is co-sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the National Council on Public History (NCPH).


Ian Isherwood, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, reviewed Pandora’s Box: A History of the First World War, by Jörn Leonhard, in Journal of World History 30.4 (December 2019): 621–624.

Isherwood reviewed Baptism of Fire: The Birth of the Modern British Fantastic in World War I, edited by Janet Brennan Croft, in The Journal of Inklings Studies (March 2019, online).

Isherwood reviewed The War That Used Up Words: American Writers and the First World War, by Hazel Hutchison, in Journal of Military History 83.1 (January 2019): 263–264.

Mercedes Valmisa, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, reviewed The Wenzi: Creativity and Intertextuality in Early Chinese Philosophy, by Paul van Els, in Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies 67.2 (2019): 556–560. This review provides a critical summary of van Els’s work on the Wenzi’s textual history and reception, and analyzes key themes to understand the Wenzi’s structural consistency through its philosophy of action.

Professional papers and presentations

Yasemin Akbaba, Associate Professor of Political Science, with James M. Scott of Texas Christian University, co-directed a workshop titled “Teaching and Mentoring Undergraduate Research,” Pasadena, CA, September 26, 2019. This was one of eight workshops comprising the International Studies Association (ISA)’s Innovative Pedagogy Conference.

Michael Birkner, Professor of History, presented a paper titled “Facts, Censorship and Spin: The Challenge of Covering the Pacific War from Australia, 1942” at the Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies and British Studies Program, University of Texas, Austin, TX, October 18, 2019. This paper examines the experience of American journalists covering the Pacific War from Australia during the period of maximum danger from a Japanese invasion of Australia, and through the turning-point battle of Midway. How reporters dealt with censorship is a major focus of the work.

Dan DeNicola, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, gave an invited lecture titled “Democracy, Ignorance, and the Fall of Expertise” at the Royal Institute of Philosophy, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, December 10, 2019. The lecture examined the impact of public ignorance and the rejection of expertise as threats to contemporary democracies.

Shannon Egan, Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, with Anthony Cervino, Professor of Art, Dickinson College, presented a paper titled “Ejecta Projects: A Collaborative Curatorial and Studio Practice” at the 108th Annual Conference of the College Art Association (CAA), Chicago, IL, February 12–15, 2020. This paper, part of the panel “The Curatorial Turn: Reimagining the Disciplinary Boundaries Between Artists and Art Historians,” discussed how concerted collaboration between an artist and an art historian provides a new model for art exhibitions and curatorial practices.

Caroline Hartzell, Professor of Political Science, gave an invited lecture titled “Parsing the Peace: Citizens in Civil War Peace Processes” at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England, March 6, 2020. This talk, delivered as the annual invited John Burton Lecture sponsored by the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, University of Kent, focused on the role of civic engagement in civil war peace processes.

Rachel Lesser, Assistant Professor of Classics, delivered a paper titled “Sappho’s Mythic Models: Figuring Lesbian Desire through Heterosexual Paradigms” at the 151st Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), Washington, D.C., January 3, 2020. This paper, which was part of the Lambda Classical Caucus panel, examines how Sappho articulated her female homoeroticism through interaction with the mythological tradition. First, I argue that the available evidence does not indicate that Sappho invoked the female homoerotic myth of Kallisto and Artemis as a paradigm for her own desire. Instead, I show how Sappho represented her homoeroticism as simultaneously non-normative and heroic, yet shadowed by impermanence and loss, by carefully referencing or drawing inspiration from select heterosexual erotic mythic models, particularly Helen in fr. 16 and Tithonos in fr. 58 (the Tithonos poem), and possibly also Andromache in frr. 16 and 31.

Salma Monani, Associate Professor and currently Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, gave a keynote address titled “Indigenous Ecocinema: Reframing the End of the World” at the “Cinema and the End of the World” Symposium, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, March 9, 2020. This address—spotlighting Lisa Jackson (Anishinaabe)’s Virtual Reality project Biidaaban: First Light (2018)—discusses the unique way in which contemporary Indigenous cinema reflects on eco-anxieties of the “end of the world.”

Alice Brawley Newlin, Assistant Professor of Management, with Kristen Jennings Black, co-conducted an IGNITE! panel titled “Rejecting the Dull: Teaching Students to Know and Love Statistics” at the 34th Annual Conference of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology [SIOP], Austin, TX, April 23–25, 2020. In this session, we organized a panel of educators from a range of institutions to discuss how to effectively prep, manage, and assess learning in quantitative methods courses. I also presented a talk within the panel, which focused on how to manage student expectations, departmental norms, and math anxiety. [Note: Due to COVID-19, this conference was postponed.]

Newlin delivered an invited talk titled “The Digital Gig Economy: What’s New, What Do We Know, and So What?” at a meeting of the Gateway Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, St. Louis, MO, March 5, 2020. In this presentation, I gave an overview of the gig economy’s size and scope, as well as the current state of research and other developments regarding this portion of the workforce, with a focus on the implications for management and organizational researchers.

Newlin, with colleagues Erkut Konter, Cynthia L.S. Pury, and Anita P. Tam, presented a paper titled “Courage in Competition: Adaptation of the Sport Courage Scale for the United States and Validation of Factor Structure” at the 17th International Sport Sciences Congress, Antalya, Turkey, November 13–16, 2019. In this work, we develop an American English version of the Sport Courage Scale (SCS-AE), and discuss the modifications we observed in translating the measure from its original Turkish version.

Newlin, with student colleague Nathan Honey ’21, presented a paper titled “Extending Self-Determination and Worker Dependence Theories to Rideshare Gig Workers” at the 13th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health: Work, Stress, and Health, Philadelphia, PA, November 6–9, 2019. This work extends self-determination theory, a well-established theory of work motivation, to the relatively new context of rideshare work. Although the theory is generally supported for this population, there are key moderators (e.g., financial dependence, work engagement) to take into account.

Jack Ryan, Vice Provost, Dean of Arts and Humanities, and Associate Professor of English, presented a paper titled “Sometimes a Great Notion: The Consequences of Work” at the annual conference of the Film and Literature Association, Portland State University, Portland, OR, September 12, 2019. Ken Kesey’s second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, the story of the Stamper Family and their logging operation, was the first of his novels to be adapted for the screen. This paper examines scenes from the film that succeed in depicting Kesey’s vision of work as an anodyne against the absurd and how these same scenes fail to realize the full power of Kesey’s Pacific Northwest novel.

Megan Adamson Sijapati, Professor and currently Chair, Department of Religious Studies, delivered a colloquium talk titled “Islamic ‘Meditation’ in the Cyberspace of a Mobile App” at the Center for the Study of Religion in the City, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, November 12, 2019. The talk focused on one of the world’s most subscribed-to meditation apps and the way Islam is represented on it—raising questions of religious identity, hybridity, and the economics of representation in cyberspace.

Carolyn Snively, Emerita Professor of Classics, delivered a paper titled “Ecclesiastical Architecture in the Late Antique Province of Dardania” at “Ohrid and the Balkans, Archaeological Views: Scientific Gathering in Honor of the 80th birthday of Academician Vera Bitrakova Grozdanova,” Ohrid, North Macedonia, October 4–5, 2019. The paper provided a survey of the fifth- and sixth-century churches known in the Late Antique province of Dardania, in the modern countries of Kosovo, Serbia, and North Macedonia.

Barbara Sommer, Professor of History, presented a paper titled “Geographical Mobility and Interethnic Alliance in the Formation of Amazonian Identities, 1700-1800” at the 134th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA), New York, NY, January 5, 2020. This paper demonstrates how the occupation of geographical and ecological zones defined social and cultural identities among ethnic groups in eighteenth-century Amazonia, including peoples who chose to live in voluntary isolation.

Gina Velasco, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, gave an invited talk titled “The ‘Traffic in Women’ and the Politics of Filipina/o American Feminist Solidarity” at the “Disrupting Asian American Feminisms” Symposium, sponsored by the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, February 20, 2020. The talk explored the politics of representing “sex trafficking” within feminist movements for migrant workers’ rights.

Velasco gave an invited lecture titled “Queer and Trans Necropolitics in the Afterlife of Empire” at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, February 20, 2020. The lecture examined popular and scholarly responses to the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse LGBT nightclub and the 2014 murder of Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transgender woman, by Joseph Scott Pemberton, a U.S. Marine. Both events exemplify the forms of queer and trans death inherent to sites of ongoing U.S. imperialism.

Professional distinctions and awards

Natasha Gownaris, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, served on the selection committee of the Global Young Academy, which brings together young scientists who are interested in applying science to conservation, public health, and other global issues. This year, 40 new members were inducted from 30 countries to serve five-year terms.

Caroline Hartzell, Professor of Political Science, was awarded a grant in March 2020 in the amount of 300,000 Swedish Krona ($US 28,900) to hold a workshop at Gettysburg College. Attending the workshop, to be titled “Research on Citizens in Peace Processes: Addressing Common Challenges, Shaping a Joint Research Agenda,” will be international scholars engaged in microlevel research on the role of citizens in peace processes. The grant is given by the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish government agency for Peace, Security, and Development.

Benjamin Parker, Visiting Assistant Professor of Education, was awarded a short-term summer research fellowship from the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Winterthur, DE. The fellowship is in support of his manuscript, American Educational Iconography: Nationalistic Symbolism in the Architectural Ornamentation of Progressive Era Schools.

Tim Shannon, Professor of History, won the 2019 Frank Watson Prize, granted by the Centre for Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, for his book Indian Captive, Indian King: Peter Williamson in America and Britain (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018). The Watson Prize is awarded biennially for the best book in Scottish history published during the preceding two years.

Austin Stiegemeier, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, had two works selected for “Wide Open 11,” a juried exhibition held by the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists’ Coalition (BWAC). The paintings, Supernatation Station and Double Singularity, focus on a juxtaposition of beachside leisure activity with real and imagined existential crises of the contemporary environment. All selections were made by Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). [Note: The exhibition, scheduled for May 9–June 27 at the BWAC Gallery, Brooklyn, has been postponed due to COVID-19.]