CSSH announces faculty hires and promotions

College of Social Sciences and Humanities Dean Uta Poiger is pleased to announce the college’s 2013-14 new faculty hires, as well as recent faculty promotions.

The new arrivals for the fall include 15 tenured and tenure-track faculty members, five full-time lecturers, five visiting faculty members, three visiting scholars, and the college’s first professor of practice.

“We are very proud of our new faculty colleagues,” said Dean Uta Poiger. “They join a vibrant intellectual community and bring a great deal of expertise in areas of importance to the college and the university, including fields such as the digital humanities and computational social science; public administration; environmental health , science, and ethics; writing and rhetoric; public history; security and resilience; and international affairs.”

Effective July 1, Northeastern University also promoted two CSSH faculty members to the rank of full professor, granted tenure and promotion to associate professor to three CSSH colleagues, and awarded tenure to two more.

New hires, tenured and tenure-track

Tim Cresswell, professor of history and international affairs

Professor Cresswell has a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an expert in human mobility, the social history of place and travel, and social and cultural geography. He comes to Northeastern from the University of London where he was a professor of human geography.

Max Abrahms, assistant professor of political science

Professor Abrahms was most recently a postdoctoral fellow in political science at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA and in his research he focuses on human security, terrorism and government responses, comparative politics, and international relations.

John Basl, assistant professor of philosophy

Professor Basl, who studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Northeastern, received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studies environmental ethics and bioethics, and the philosophy of biology, and will be a faculty member in the Ethics Institute. He was most recently an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowling Green.

Nicholas Beauchamp, assistant professor of political science

Professor Beauchamp was most recently a lecturer at Columbia University after receiving his Ph.D. from NYU. He is a computational social scientist and will be affiliated with the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. He is interested in modeling the interplay between speech, belief, and political behavior using automated text analysis and machine learning.

Victoria Cain, assistant professor of history

Professor Cain joins Northeastern from NYU where she was an assistant professor and faculty fellow in the museum studies program. She studies late 19th and 20th century United States visual and material culture, the popularization of knowledge, and the history of educational and cultural institutions. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Mai’a Cross, assistant professor of political science and international affairs

Professor Cross will be on leave on a research fellowship at the ARENA Centre for European Studies in Oslo, Norway for the 2013-14 academic year. She most recently taught at the University of Southern California as an assistant professor of international relations. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and studies public diplomacy, smart power, international relations theory, and European politics.

Gretchen Heefner, assistant professor of history

Professor Heefner is an expert on the United States and world history. Her research focuses on national security policy in the United States during the Cold War. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University and was most recently a visiting assistant professor of history at Connecticut College.

Benedict Jimenez, assistant professor of political science

Professor Jimenez comes to Northeastern from Rutgers University – Newark where he was an assistant professor of public affairs and administration. His research focuses on finance and management performance of state and city governments. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Dietmar Offenhuber, assistant professor of visualization and information design

Professor Offenhuber has a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and in the College of Arts, Media, and Design. Most recently, he was a research follow at MIT’s Senseable City Lab. He explores accountability technologies and emerging user roles in urban infrastructural systems.

Christopher Parsons, assistant professor of history

Professor Parsons, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, studies scientific and cultural exchange in the French Atlantic world, and aboriginal and colonial cultures in the emergence of early modern and enlightenment science. He joins the Northeastern faculty from the University of Pennsylvania McNeil Center for Early American Studies where he was a Barra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.

Mya Poe, assistant professor of English

Professor Poe, previously an assistant professor of English at Penn State University, earned her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She specializes in writing assessment, writing in the disciplines, and linguistic diversity.

Benjamin Schmidt, assistant professor of history

Professor Schmidt completed his Ph.D. at Princeton University and was recently a graduate fellow at the Cultural Observatory at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His research foci include American intellectual and cultural history, the history of attention, statistical methods, and text mining in conceptual history. He also joins the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks.

Laura Senier, assistant professor of sociology and health sciences

Professor Senier has a joint appointment in CSSH and in Bouvé College. Most recently an assistant professor of community and environmental sociology and family medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she studies genetics and genomics in public health programs. She also focuses on community-based environmental health research and joins Northeastern’s Social Science and Environmental Health Research Institute.

Philip Thai, assistant professor of history

Professor Thai completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He joins the history department as an expert in modern Chinese legal and economic history, political economy, digital humanities, and historical GIS.

Sara Wylie, assistant professor of anthropology and health sciences

Joining Northeastern last year as a research scientist affiliated with the Social Science and Environmental Health Research Institute, Professor Wylie is also director of Toxics and Health Research of the Public Laboratory for Open Science and Technology. She received her Ph.D. from MIT and studies issues of environmental justice, while generating new community-based methods for environmental monitoring.


New hires, professor of practice

Julia Flanders, a professor of practice in English

Professor Flanders has a joint appointment in CSSH and in the Northeastern Library, where she is director of the Digital Scholarship Group. She also directs the Women Writers Project and serves as editor-in-chief of Digital Humanities Quarterly, an open-access, peer-review online journal of digital humanities. She received her Ph.D. in English literature from Brown University.


New hires, full-time lecturers

Aaron Block, lecturer in English

Block joins the Writing Program in the Department of English. He received his M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College.

Jeremy Bushnell, lecturer in English

Jeremy Bushnell has an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona and is interested in literary fiction, digital literacy, game design, and film. He is also the fiction editor at

Sarah Finn, lecturer in English

Sarah Finn has her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She will teach composition, social justice pedagogies, ELL, and affect theory for the English department.

Edward Moss, lecturer in English

Edward Moss received his M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. Previously a part-time lecturer in the English department, he will teach in the Writing Program.

Sebastian Stockman, lecturer in English

Sebastian Stockman has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College and will be teaching writing in the Department of English.


Visiting faculty

Jordan Fox-Kemper, visiting lecturer in human services

Jordan Fox-Kemper holds an M.S.W. from Boston College and specializes in issues of sexual violence, domestic violence, and women’s health. She will teach the senior seminar for the Human Services Program.

Ryan Kennedy, visiting research assistant professor of political science

Professor Kennedy studies comparative politics and international relations, primarily dealing with stability and change in political institutions. He earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and is visiting from the University of Houston.

Nancy Kimelman, visiting lecturer in economics

Professor Kimelman is an accomplished economist and market analyst with over 25 years of financial market experience. She teaches macroeconomics, most recently at Tufts University. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Brown University.

Rachel Trousdale, visiting associate professor of English

Professor Trousdale’s scholarly interests are in modernism, postmodernism, contemporary poetry, transnational fiction, humor studies, and graphic novels. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University.

Gustavo Vicentini, visiting assistant academic specialist in economics

Vicentini’s research focuses on industrial organization and applied econometrics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Boston University and spent the past year as a full-time lecturer for the Department of Economics at Northeastern.


Visiting scholars

Mark Lichbach, visiting scholar in political science

Visiting from the University of Maryland where he is a professor of government and politics, Professor Lichbach teaches comparative politics, globalization and conflict, and social movements and protests. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.

Phyllis Thompson, visiting scholar in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality StudiesPhyllis Thompson is expecting her Ph.D. from Harvard University in the American studies, with a secondary field in studies of women, gender, and sexuality, in November of 2013. Her research interests lie in 19th and 20th century American literature and culture; representations of gender, race, and class; and the history and politics of sexuality and gender.

Dov Waxman, visiting scholar in political science and co-director of the Middle East Center

Beginning in fall of 2013, Professor Waxman co-directs the Middle East Center. As of fall 2014, he will also join the Northeastern faculty as professor of political science, international affairs, and Israel studies. He specializes in Middle East politics, nationalism and ethnic conflict, and contemporary Jewry. He received his Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.


Published On: September 1, 2013 | Tags: ,
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