Scripps College Welcomes New Tenure-Track Faculty

CLAREMONT, California - August 29, 2016


Scripps College announces the hiring of 11 new tenure-track faculty members with the start of the 2016-17 academic year. Their expertise includes a wide range of areas such as development economics, race politics, classical modernism, Cuban womanhood in Havana, the evolutionary drivers of biodiversity, and the prioritization of positivity.

“This group of educators contributes wonderfully to the excellence in teaching and depth of scholarship for which Scripps is known,” said Amy Marcus-Newhall, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “We are pleased to welcome them to the Scripps community.”

The newest tenure-track faculty of Scripps College follow:

Gabriela Bacsan

Gabriela Bacsan is an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures at Scripps College. She earned her BA in Spanish and Latin American literatures and political science at UC Berkeley. She completed her MA and PhD in literature, with a specialization in Latin American cultural studies, at UC San Diego. Bacsan’s fields of interest are Caribbean studies, transnational and intersectional representations and conceptualizations of queerness in Latin America, historical memory studies, critical geographies, and tourism studies. Her research centers on Cuban literatures and cultures with a focus on the intersections of gender, race, and sexuality. Bacsan’s book project examines how contemporary cultural productions by Cuban women both within the island and in the diaspora explore and challenge contemporary transformations of urban space, the effects of migration, and the implications of post-soviet subject formation of Cuban womanhood in Havana since the 1990s. One of the articles she is currently preparing for publication examines the Cuban Ministry of Tourism’s current marketing campaign, focusing specifically on how gender, race, and authenticity are deployed to sell the island as paradise. 

Nayana Bose

Nayana Bose is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Scripps College. She earned her BSc in economics from University of Calcutta in Calcutta, India, and she earned her MA in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India. Bose received her PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2015. Her fields are development economics, labor economics, and applied econometrics. She is primarily interested in studying the economic situation of individuals in low-income countries and analyzing the effect of public policy on economic development by concentrating on poverty, gender, labor market outcomes, and intra-household resource allocation. Bose’s dissertation focused on evaluating the impact of the 100day anti-poverty program in India, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, on household well-being, intra-household budget allocation decisions, and marginalized groups. She has also studied the Employment Guarantee Scheme from a political economy perspective by concentrating on political reservations for women leaders to assess whether women leaders have a role model effect in attracting more women to participate under the Scheme, and to assess whether women leaders’ allocation of funds for various public works under the Scheme reflect women’s preferences. Bose’s current project focuses on the impact of property rights for women in India. 

Lahnna Catalino

Lahnna Catalino is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Scripps College. She earned her BA in communication at McDaniel College, and her MA in general experimental psychology at Wake Forest University. She completed her PhD degree in social psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Broadly speaking, her research interests are in the study of emotions, emotion regulation, well being, and health. Through surveys, experience-sampling methods, and laboratory studies, she seeks to understand effective ways people deliberately pursue happiness (i.e., positive emotions). Catalino shows that people who proactively seek out pleasant events when organizing daily life report more positive emotions and fewer depressive symptoms than people who do not; she developed a personality scale to measure this individual difference, prioritizing positivity. This research suggests one effective way to pursue happiness involves weaving pleasant events into daily life and contributes to the current debate in affective science about whether or not the pursuit of happiness backfires. She has published in journals such as Emotion, Journal of Research in Personality, and Psychological Science

Wendy Cheng

Wendy Cheng is assistant professor of American studies at Scripps College. She received her AB from Harvard University in English and American language and literature, her MA in geography from UC Berkeley, and her PhD in American studies and ethnicity from the University of Southern California. Cheng’s research focuses on race and ethnicity, comparative racialization, critical geography, urban and suburban studies, and diaspora. Her book, The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), develops a theory of regional racial formation through the experiences and perspectives of residents of majority nonwhite, multiracial suburbs, and won the 2014 Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Asia and Asian America. Her coauthored book, A People’s Guide to Los Angeles (with Laura Pulido and Laura Barraclough; University of California Press, 2012), for which she was also the photographer, is a guide to sites of alternative histories and struggles over power in Los Angeles County. Her current research focuses on the political activism of Taiwanese student migrants to the U.S. Cheng is a board member of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers and the Journal of Urban History and was a founding member of Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies. She was recently named a Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Emerging Scholar and is the recipient of the 2016 Early Career Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. 

Findley Finseth

Findley Finseth is an assistant professor of genomics in the W.M. Keck Science Department of Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Pitzer Colleges. She received her BSc in biology from the University of Virginia and her PhD in ecology and evolution from Cornell University. Finseth’s research program investigates the evolutionary drivers of biodiversity. By complementing modern genomics studies of natural populations with classic genetics experiments, Finseth’s work offers novel insight into the maintenance of genetic variation, the processes of adaptation and speciation, and the evolution of the genome itself. As a Presidential Life Sciences Fellow at Cornell University, Finseth investigated how sexual selection shapes genes involved in reproduction in birds. During her dissertation, she received teaching awards and was named a P.E.O. Scholar. Currently, Finseth focuses on a group of California native wildflowers, Mimulus. Her work in Mimulus is broad, spanning studies of selfishly evolving genes to the genetic basis of thermally-adapted plants in Yellowstone National Park. Finseth’s research has been published in journals such as Proceedings of the Royal Society-B, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology, and PLoS ONE, and highlighted in national media outlets. Funding for her work has been provided by organizations including the National Science Foundation, the American Museum of Natural History, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Andrew W. Mellon foundation. 

Marino Forlino

Marino Forlino is an assistant professor in the Department of Italian at Scripps College. He has a Laurea Magistrale in foreign languages and literatures (English and German) from the University of Florence, a graduate Diploma in American Studies from Smith College, and a PhD in Italian from Rutgers University. Forlino’s areas of specialization include Italian literature from the Medieval through the Baroque periods (with a particular focus on Boccaccio and Basile), the history of the Italian short story, and the birth of the fairy tale. He is currently working on a manuscript on the influence of the Arabic prose tradition on Italian literature, focusing on a series of motifs – such as esotericism, eroticism, and exoticism – shared between Boccaccio’s Decameron and Basile’s Pentamerone, and the heritage of A Thousand and One Nights

Jenna Monroy

Jenna Monroy is an assistant professor of biology in the W.M. Keck Science Department of Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Pitzer Colleges. She received her BA from U Mass Amherst and her PhD from Northern Arizona University in biology. As an integrative physiologist, Monroy is broadly interested in the sensory, mechanical, and neuromuscular factors that influence movement in a variety of animal species from frogs to humans. Specifically, her work investigates how muscles function, not only as motors, but also as springs, brakes, and struts. Her recent work on the role of the elastic protein titin in active muscle has expanded traditional theories and fills in gaps in our understanding of muscle function. Monroy currently has a NSF RUI grant that funds a multidisciplinary collaborative project among biologists, chemists, and engineers at the Center for Bioengineering Innovation at Northern Arizona University. This work has led to many new and exciting ideas that build on the fundamental principles of muscle physiology and movement. She hopes to recruit students to work in her lab and travel to NAU to interact with faculty, postdocs, and students all working toward the collective goal of understanding titin function in muscle. 

Tessie Prakas

Tessie Prakas is an assistant professor in the English Department at Scripps. She received her PhD from Yale University in 2014 and her BA from Cambridge University, and comes to Claremont from Kenyon College in Ohio, where she held a two-year position as a visiting assistant professor. Her research focuses on early modern poetry and poetics, and especially on devotional lyric. Prakas’ current book project, Poetic Priesthood: Reformed Ministry and Radical Verse in the Seventeenth Century, argues that early modern poetry often served to provide models for religious devotion that were distinct from, and sometimes antithetical to, the established church. She has published in the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies and in a volume on Gender and Song in Early Modern Literature, and is currently completing an article on the sermons of John Donne. Prakas’ teaching has focused largely on Shakespeare and on 17th-century poetry; she looks forward to continuing that at Scripps and to developing new courses on early modern “outsiders” and on print and performance in the Renaissance. Prakas is also a committed choral singer; she is beginning work toward a new book project on music and literature in early modernity and is eager to get involved in performing early music in Claremont. 

Maryan Soliman

Maryan Soliman is an assistant professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies and has an appointment with Scripps College. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Soliman immigrated to the United States as a child with her family and was raised in the Los Angeles area. She received her BA in history from UC Berkeley in 2002, and her MA in history from San Francisco State University in 2005. Soliman earned her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. During the 2015–16 academic year, she held a postdoctoral fellowship with the African and African American Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Soliman’s research interests include the black freedom movement, labor organizing, and radical history. Her scholarship examines social movements’ race politics and views on capitalism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Soliman’s book manuscript—Reconstruction Relived: Communists, Race, and Southern Liberalism in 1930s Atlanta—explores the protest movement that emerged to defend the constitutional liberties of Communists facing state repression in Atlanta during the Great Depression. The project recognizes that responses to Communist race radicalism in the region provide a window into the worldviews and racial attitudes of southerners. 

Kevin Vennemann

Kevin Vennemann is an assistant professor in the Department of German Studies at Scripps College. He received his BA and MA in literature and history from Free University of Berlin in 2006, and a PhD in German from New York University in 2015. His fields of interest include 19th century comparative literature, theories of landscape, theories of fatigue and exhaustion, Holocaust studies, and art and architectural criticism. His most recent book, Sunset Boulevard. On Filming, Building, and Dying in Los Angeles (published in German in 2012), is an essayistic inquiry into the history of Hollywood cinema and the city of Los Angeles at the intersections of architecture, film, and race politics. A current book project examines the colonial Western gaze on the “noble poverty” of Japanese aesthetics and architecture as represented in travel accounts by Western visitors to early-modern Japan. His editorial and translation work includes volumes of fiction and nonfiction by Chris Kraus, Mark Greif, Franco Berardi, Milton Rokeach, and Else Lasker-Schüler. 

Carlin Wing

Carlin Wing is an assistant professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Media Studies at Scripps College. She earned her AB in visual and environmental studies and social anthropology at Harvard University, her MFA in photography and media at CalArts, and her PhD in media, culture, and communication at NYU. Her areas of interest include media and communication, science and technology, material culture, globalization, performance, disability, and play, games, and sport. Her book project, tentatively titled, Bounce: The Material Certainty of Sporting Chance, examines the history of bounce as a cultural technique and technology of interaction. The book project serves, in turn, as a historical and theoretical iteration of her ongoing project Hitting Walls, which consists of works made in a variety of media and forms, including large format photographs, webgrabs, experimental videos, sound installations, performances, texts, academic presentations, and participatory events. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and has published writing in Games and Culture, Public Books, Cabinet, Art Lies, and The Bulletin of the Serving Library

Tags: Faculty