Newhouse Center for the Humanities Welcomes Scholars

July 18, 2009
Molly Tarantino

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College will welcome 12 scholars — working on topics ranging from religious conversion in Japan and India, to acoustics and aesthetics in the 19th century — for the 2009- 2010 academic year.  Several of the scholars will teach undergraduate courses and faculty seminars; all will be involved in collaborative conversation throughout the year with one another and the Wellesley College community.

Mary Cornille distinguished visiting professor in the humanities:

  • Deborah Klimburg-Salter, professor for Asian art history at the Institute of Art History of the University of Vienna, will teach the undergraduate course “The Buddha’s Biography: Buddhist Narrative Art in India” this fall and another on the Indo-Tibetan temple in 2010. She will also lead a faculty seminar, “The Role of the Museum Between Nationalism and Globalism.”

Visiting Faculty:

  • Colin Channer, the author of the novels Waiting in Vain, Satisfy My Soul and The Girl with the Golden Shoes, will continue a three-year term at Wellesley teaching courses in fiction and screenwriting as the Newhouse visiting professor in creative writing.
  • Bryan Turner will continue his three-year term as the Alona Evans distinguished visiting professor. He will also be in residence at the Newhouse Center, where his research has focused on the comparative sociology of secularism.

Newhouse fellows pursue their own scholarship while engaging in the intellectual life of the college. Fellows regularly meet with one another, sharing their works in progress and sometimes serving as mentors to student research assistants. The fellowships are open to Wellesley College faculty on sabbatical, to junior and senior faculty members at other colleges and universities and to unaffiliated scholars and writers.

  • Charlie Fisk, the Phyllis H. Carey professor of music at Wellesley, will use the spring of 2010 for his project, “Chopin and Personal Memoir.”

  • Pat Giersch, associate professor of history at Wellesley, will spend fall 2009 on the project “Ethnicity, Geography and Inequality in China, ca. 1550-ca. 1937.”

  • Caroline Jones, professor of art history and the director of History, Theory and Criticism at MIT, will work on “Desires for the World Picture and the Global Work of Art.”
  • T. James Kodera, professor of religion at Wellesley, will work on “The ‘Untouchables’ and Religious Conversion in Japan and India.”

  •  Amanda Leff will be a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the English department. She will continue her dissertation, “Text in Context:  Representing Writing in Medieval Religious Narrative.

  • Laura Quinney, associate professor of English at Brandeis University,  will work on the project “The Impossible Self (Romantic Ideas of the Self’s Relation to Itself).”

  • Carlos Ramos, associate professor of Spanish at Wellesley, will spend fall 2009 on his study, “Albadas in the Spanish Tradition:  A Thousand Years of Love and Alienation.”
  • Alexander Rehding, professor of music at Harvard University, will continue his study, “Notes on Sound:  Studies on Acoustics and Aesthetics in the 19th-Century.”
  • Maria San Filippo will continue as a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in cinema and media studies. She will work on her dissertation, “Having it Both Ways:  Bisexualities/Bi-textualities and Contemporary Crossover Cinema.”

For more information on the Newhouse Center, visit

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.