August 08, 2006

Foreign language and literature Department attracts seven new scholars

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The fall semester brings seven new faces to the foreign language and literature department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The new faculty members hail from diverse backgrounds and bring with them an array of experiences. The department is part of the College of Liberal Arts.

"The scholars we have hired are fluent speakers of at least five languages. Two of them are natives of other countries," said Anne Winston-Allen, chair of the department. "Their fields of study include non-traditional literature by women, minority authors, works from countries outside the traditional boundaries of literary studies and innovative combinations of media such as literature and dance. I would like to read these works and study these media myself. As our student body becomes more diverse and more internationalized, the courses offered will reflect these changes and how we think about them. I can't wait!"

H. Paul Brown, assistant professor of classics, earned his doctoral degree at The Ohio State University. His research concerns pragmatics in ancient Greek language, the works of Roman historian Tacitus and his teaching duties will include ancient Greek and classical mythology.

Anne F. Carlson, assistant professor of French (methodology and literature), received her doctoral degree in French at the University of Wisconsin in 2001, where she focused on the study of contemporary French and Francophone literatures and cultures, foreign/second language methodology and instructional technology. Carlson will teach a broad range of courses in French and foreign languages, serve as coordinator of the French graduate assistants and pursue her current research project on dance in the texts of North African Francophone women writers.

Suzanne B. Faris, instructor of classics, earned a doctoral degree from Bryn Mawr College, for a dissertation on Roman identity and oratory, and her research interests include cultural identity, Romanization and urbanization. Faris holds bachelor's and master's degrees in classics as well as a law degree from Tulane University. She worked briefly as a lawyer before returning to classics. She will teach Latin, Roman civilization and mythology.

Thorsten Huth, assistant professor of German, is a native of Bremen, Germany. He received a doctoral degree in German applied linguistics from the University of Kansas with a dissertation on "Conversation analysis and culture in the German language classroom." Huth, whose specialization is second-language acquisition, will teach first and second-year German courses as well as upper-division courses in the history of the language and in the linguistic structure of German.

Thyra Knapp, instructor of German, recently completed a dissertation at the University

of Wisconsin-Madison, on the figure of the outsider in modern German fiction. Knapp will introduce a new course in German film.

Rosemary Peters, assistant professor of French (literature), received a doctoral degree from Harvard University in 2003 with a specialization in the French 19th-century novel. Her research examines the links of worlds and underworlds in the novel: the material culture, urban intersections, religious traditions, literary rites and criminal networks that make the system function as both fiction and artifact.

Jennifer Smith, assistant professor of Spanish, comes from the University of Indiana with a doctoral degree in peninsular literature (late 19th and 20th century Spain) and a minor in French. A generalist, she will teach all levels in language, culture and peninsular literature courses.

Winston-Allen said faculty and students will benefit from the infusion of new blood. "We need to keep current on new scholarship and teach courses that reflect the changing world in which this generation of students and the next will live," she said.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.