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New Visiting Faculty

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Welcome to our new visiting faculty members, whose presence in CLA will enrich our intellectual community. Their appointments here range from a single semester to multiple years.

(Alphabetical by department)

Nuruddin Farah
Visiting Professor
David Michael Winton and Penny Rand Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts, 2010-11 - 2012-13
Department of English
Ph.D. 2000, DLitt (honoris causa): Literature, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Professor Farah, winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, is the author of ten novels, a nonfiction book, and various plays; his work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Having dealt with dictatorship and exile in earlier works, Farah has constructed his current trilogy (Links, Knots, and a forthcoming novel) to imagine possible modes of a return to Somalia. The central theme in his work is women's liberation in postcolonial Somaliland, which he sees as a precondition for political and individual freedom.


Brigitte Spreitzer
Visiting Associate Professor, Fall 2010
Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch
Ph.D. 1992, Karl-Franzens Universit├Ąt Graz, Austria

Professor Spreitzer is a specialist in medieval German literature. She deploys interdisciplinary tools to take a comprehensive look at homosexuality in the Middle Ages. Her other research area is psychoanalysis; she has studied the relationship between Austrian women authors and the emergence of psychoanalysis between 1880 and 1930. Professor Spreitzer's visit is part of the University of Minnesota's faculty exchange with Karl-Franzens-Universit├Ąt Graz.


Ofer Ashkenazi
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of History and Center for Jewish Studies
Ph.D. 2007, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Dissertation: "Making Sense of Modernity: Film and the Crisis of Liberalism in Weimar Republic."

Dr. Ofer Ashkenazi is a Teaching Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa. His research interests include German-Jewish history, Zionist history, and the international peace movement of the interwar years. His numerous publications addressing Zionism, Germany, and films include the forthcoming book, A Walk into the Night: Madness and Subjectivity in Weimar Film. Ashkenazi is currently working on a book addressing pre-1948 Jewish sport and body-culture in Palestine. Professor Ashkenazi's visit is sponsored, in part, by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).


Heidi Gengenbach
Assistant Professor, Spring 2011
Department of History
Ph.D. 1999, University of Minnesota
Dissertation: "Where Women Make History: Pots, Stories, Tattoos, and Other Gendered Accounts of Community and Change in Magude District, Mozambique, c. 1800 to the Present."

Professor Gengenbach's path-breaking dissertation on history and memory among Mozambican women won the Gutenberg-e prize of the American Historical Association and was published as an electronic book entitled Binding Memories: Women as Makers and Tellers of History in Magude, Mozambique by Columbia University Press in 2005. Gengenbach's intensive fieldwork in Africa has focused on rural women's social networks, agrarian livelihoods, food security, and environmental history.


Evan Roberts
Assistant Professor, 2010-11 - 2014-15
Department of History
Ph.D. 2007, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Dissertation: "Her Real Sphere? Married Women's Labor Force Participation in the United States, 1860-1940."

Professor Roberts' research interests are in the social and economic history of Australasia and North America in the 19th and 20th centuries. His research focuses on the United States and New Zealand, but it also touches on Australian and Canadian history for its connections and comparisons with his areas of primary focus. Professor Roberts' current research projects include health and living standards in New Zealand from the early 19th century to the present, and married women's work and the family economy in the United States between the Civil War and World War II.


Laura Sindberg
Assistant Professor, 2010-11
School of Music
Ph.D. 2006, Music Education, Northwestern University
Dissertation: "Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) in the Lived Experience of Students."

Professor Sindberg's research interests include instrumental music; teacher education; professional development; community engagement; comprehensive musicianship; music and gender; conducting; assessment, measurement, and evaluation; and popular music in the schools. Her primary research goals are to bridge research and practice in music teaching and learning.


William Wimsatt
Visiting Professor
David Michael Winton and Penny Rand Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts, 2010-11 - 2012-13
Department of Philosophy
Ph.D. 1971, Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
Dissertation: "Modern Science and the New Teleology."
Heinz Post-doctoral Fellow in Population Biology, the University of Chicago

Professor Wimsatt is a member of the Department of Philosophy, Committee on Evolutionary Biology and the Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago. He has taught in several areas including the history of science, social studies of science, mathematical modeling and simulation, and evolutionary biology. His work centers on the philosophy of the "inexact" sciences (biology, psychology, and the social sciences), the history of biology, and issues in and methodology for the study of complex systems.

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