The College of Liberal and Creative Arts welcomes 10 new tenure-track faculty members to its ranks this academic year. These rising stars bring a wealth and breadth of expertise to share with students in subjects as diverse as the University itself, including Mayan art and culture, the history of LGBT movements in America, consciousness and feminist studies, politics in the European Union, independent filmmaking and the use of social networking in teaching the Chinese language.
Scott Boswell, Cinema, now gets to teach full time, after serving as the department’s production coordinator for six years.
Boswell's feature debut The Stranger in Us won the Audience Award at the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival in Colorado and was named the ninth best film of 2010 by the Bay Area Reporter. His award-winning shorts include One Fine Morning (2002) and Katydid (2004), which can be found on the DVD compilation NOT GAY. In 2005, Boswell directed Spin the Bottle, a mockumentary featuring drag celebrity Peaches Christ.
Prior to his employment at SF State, Boswell ran The Factory, an Oakland-based, award-winning short-film production collective for teenagers. Boswell earned his Master of Fine Arts in Cinema from SF State in 2004.
Why do our Facebook friends post so often about the television shows they’re watching? Jiyoung Cha, Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, is exploring why we all want to get social with our TV watching.
Cha, who comes to SF State from George Mason University, received an award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to study this subject. Overall, Cha’s research focuses on adoption of new media, business models of new media and the relationship between new technologies and traditional media from management and marketing perspectives. Her work has appeared in publications including the Journal of Media Economics, International Journal on Media Management, the Asian Journal of Communication, Journal of Interactive Advertising and Journal of Electronic Commerce Research.
Cha earned her Ph.D. in mass communication from University of Florida.
Cheryl Dunye, Cinema, joins SF State on a roll, having won the award for Best Short Film at Frameline 38, San Francisco’s international LGBT film festival, in June. Her winning film, Black is Blue, tells the story of a character who has transitioned from female to male and runs into a former partner from the past.
Dunye’s feature films include Stranger Inside, an HBO production that garnered Dunye a 2002 Independent Spirit Award nomination for best director; Miramax’s 2004 comedy My Baby’s Daddy, starring Eddie Griffin, Anthony Anderson and Michael Imperioli; and The Owls, based on Dunye’s own story exploring lesbian culture approaching middle-age.
Dunye, a Liberia native, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in film from Rutgers University.
Dubbed by the Boston Review as “the metaphysician of contemporary American poetry,” Andrew Joron, Creative Writing, is also an essayist and translator. His work takes its inspiration from science, philosophy and music. He started writing sci-fi poetry, then expanded his scope to include avant-garde and innovative techniques.“Had Wallace Stevens met Isaac Asimov in heaven (the) poems would be the transcript of their talk,” Duke University Professor Joseph Donahue has said of Joron’s work.
Martha Kenney, Women and Gender Studies, joins the faculty after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Women’s Studies at Duke University. Her scholarship explores the intersection between science and storytelling in multiple genres of writing from science fiction and fables to scientific articles and science-and-technology-studies literature.
At University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned her Ph.D. in the history of consciousness and feminist studies, Kenney was a graduate fellow in the Science and Justice Training Program.
Have a question about linguistics, semantics or revitalized indigenous languages? Look no further than Jenny Lederer, English Language and Literature.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently called upon Lederer to assess the implications of the word “techie.” She is also working with graduate students on gender identity and gender transition, leading to a recent interview with Slate.com. Lederer has also helped create mobile apps for the ancient Patwin language of the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians in Colusa.
Lederer earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from University of California, Berkeley.
Students will now be able to work closely with a renowned expert on Mayan art and culture. Victoria Lyall, Museum Studies, joins SF State as an associate professor after working at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as associate curator for art of the ancient Americas.
Lyall’s research interests focus on the narrative arts of the ancient Maya during the ninth and 10th centuries, investigating bilingualism, literacy and the ongoing tension between text and image in pre-Columbian narratives from the ancient to the colonial period. She has conducted fieldwork involving the documentation of mural programs across the northern Yucatan and received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Ethnic Art Council of Los Angeles and more.
Lyall earned her Ph.D. in Pre-Columbian art history in 2011 from University of California, Los Angeles.
Scott Siegel, International Relations, will teach courses on international political economy, the international relations of Europe and Introduction to International Relations. His research interests center on issues related to the European Union, comparative European politics and international political economy. Siegel’s first book, The Political Economy of Noncompliance (Routledge, 2011), explains why some European Union member states violate international law more than others.
Siegel earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University and has taught at the University of Chicago and Postnaval Graduate School.
Marc Stein, the new Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Endowed Chair in History, is a historian of U.S. law, politics and society. His research and teaching interests include constitutional law, social movements, gender, race and sexuality.
Stein’s 2011 book, Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Routledge, 2012), is an accessible overview of an important and transformational struggle for social change. “Stein is meticulous in his work, outlining the creation of groups, their coalitions and schisms, while keeping his eye on the big picture,” historian Holly Baggett says.
Stein, who comes to SF State from York University, earned his Ph.D. in history from University of Pennsylvania.
A donation by alumnus Robert Pasker and his wife Laurie Pitman in 2000 established the Pasker Chair, bringing to SF State a leading historian in U.S. constitutional and legal history.
Yang Xiao, Foreign Languages and Literatures, has developed analyses and proposals related to the use of social networking to enhance Chinese language teaching. Coming from the University of Southern California, Xiao focuses her research on Chinese sociolinguistics, second-language acquisition and computer-assisted language learning. She has also examined notions of identity and writing anxiety as they relate to Chinese heritage learners.Xiao earned her Ph.D. in Chinese linguistics and pedagogy from University of Hawaii, Manoa.