2016 Faculty Biographies
The Rigor and Romance of Dance
Mindy Aloff, an adjunct associate professor of professional practice in dance and an adjunct lecturer in the First-Year Seminar Program at Barnard, is the author of Hippo in a Tutu: Dancing in Disney Animation and a collection of poetry, Night Lights. She is also the editor of Leaps in the Dark: Art and the World by Agnes de Mille and of The Unpicturelikeness of Pollock, Soutine and Others by Louis Finkelstein and is the author-editor of Dance Anecdotes: Stories from the Worlds of Ballet, Broadway, the Ballroom and Modern Dance. Her essays, features, reviews, and interviews on dance, literature, film, and other cultural subjects have appeared widely in U.S. and European periodicals, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Dancing Times, The Threepenny Review, The New Yorker, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Aloff is a graduate of Vassar College (A.B., English) and earned a master’s in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a past president of the Dance Critics Association, a past editor of the association’s newsletter, and a past editor of the Vassar Quarterly, as well as an erstwhile fellow of the Woodrow Wilson and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundations and a winner of a Whiting Writers Award. She is currently at work on two volumes, one as an editor, for The Library of America, and one as a writer, for the Yale University Press.
NY in Art and Film
Theodore Barrow is pursuing his PhD in Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He teaches a course on the architectural history of New York at Baruch College, in addition to giving walking tours of different neighborhoods in New York City. Focusing on the art and development of urban spaces in America, his work engages both ephemeral and more enduring views from the 19th century onwards.
Journalism and Politics in the Digital Age
Burcu Baykurt is a PhD candidate in Communications at Columbia University, where she studies how new technologies are affecting politics, urban inequality, and journalism. Before coming to Columbia, she studied Political Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London and completed her MA in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University on a Fulbright scholarship.
Performance, Page to Stage: Three Love Stories
Women’s Studies 101
Ms. Bleha holds an MA and MPhil from the English and Theatre PhD program at Columbia University. She also holds an MA in Text and Performance Studies from King's College, London / RADA. She has taught drama, literature, composition, and history at NYU's Gallatin School, Columbia University, Fordham University, and King's College, London, and she works as a dramaturg, director and producer with various NYC theatre companies and artists.
Introduction to Neuroscience
Leigh Boyd is a Barnard alum, with a BA in English and Psychology. In addition, she holds an MA in teaching from New York University, and is a PhD candidate in Cognitive Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has done research in a wide range of topics related to neurocognition, including neuromuscular communication, neurocognition and learning, collaboration and cognition, and media and emotional intelligence. In addition to her PhD research, she works as a personal trainer and yoga therapist.
What is Philosophy?
Taylor Carman, Professor of Philosophy, came to Barnard College in 1994. He has also taught at the University of California, San Diego. His teaching course load at Barnard includes "Phenomenology and Existentialism", "Recent European Philosophy," and "Hermeneutics, History, and the Human Sciences." In addition to his teaching duties for the Department of Philosophy, Professor Carman is also affiliated with Barnard's Comparative Literature Program.
Writing Our Lives: Writing Memoir and Personal Narrative
Jill holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University, where she has also taught. She teaches various Writing and Literature courses in the Liberal Arts department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (State College of New York), as well as privately in New York. A Barnard alumna, she is teaching Writing Our Lives, for the fourth consecutive year at Barnard's PCP. She writes personal memoirs for a variety of publications, is a contributing writer to the Women section of The Huffington Post, publishes an arts/style blog, and her novel Beautiful Garbage will be released in Spring 2013 from She Writes Press. Currently, she's working on a collection of nonfiction essays.
American Political Communication
Andi Dixon is a fourth-year PhD student at Columbia University studying Communications. Her research concerns the intersection of public policy-making and media effects, with special interests in American privacy law, the contemporary history of government secrecy and public policies aimed at securing global cities. Previously, Dixon studied interview-based research methodologies, completing an MA in Oral History in 2011 at Columbia University. In 2006, she received her BA in Political Science from Emory University. Her previous work experience includes public media production and reporting for This American Life and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Religions of New York
Liz Dolfi is pursuing a PhD in Religion at Columbia University in the North American Religions subfield. She is interested in women, gender, and sexuality in American religious history with particular emphasis on 20th century evangelical media, religious affect, and the politics of secularism(s). Her work is informed by theoretical commitments to feminist and queer studies, and her multidisciplinary research draws on both historical and ethnographic methods. She holds an MA and MPhil from Columbia University, an MAR from Yale Divinity School, and a BA from Vassar College.
The Art of Storytelling: A Writing Workshop
Alexandra Fields first came to Barnard College as an undergraduate studying English with a concentration in creative writing. Impacted greatly by her time spent studying at a women’s college, she has a particular passion for female voices in literature. Her work explores family, sexuality and gender, and is often set in her native Midwest. Fields’ writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and on The Other Stories podcast, and she serves as a teaching assistant to Barnard’s Millicent C. McIntosh Professor in English and Writing Mary Gordon. Currently she is pursuing an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in fiction writing, and working on her first collection of short stories.
Acting: Process and Performance
Religions of New York
Andrew Jungclaus entered Columbia’s doctoral program in North American Religions in 2012 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in American Studies and English Literature from the College of William and Mary (2009) and his master’s degree in religious history from the University of Oxford (2011). Before coming to Columbia, Andrew spent a year as a researcher at Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research exploring "the problem of evil" within American civil rights struggles. Broadly, Andrew’s research interests lie within the intersections of religion, politics, and economics that give shape to American life.
Screenwriting: The Short Form
Filmmaking: From Script to Screen
Helen holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BA from Brown University. She has made numerous short films including the award-winning Return to Sender, was an Associate Producer on the PBS documentary, New York, and authored the chapter on Subplots in Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). Helen teaches screenwriting, directing, and film production at Hunter College.
Issues in Women's Health
Jocelyn Killmer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Syracuse University specializing in gender, health, and South Asia. Her recent research explores the social worlds of young women doctors who migrate from urban medical colleges to village clinics in Rajasthan, India. She also holds a BA in Art History from Smith College and an MA in Anthropology from Syracuse University.
Acting: Process and Performance
Ari (BA—Yale University; MFA—University of California at Davis) is the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre 167, this year’s recipient of the 2015 Caffe Cino Fellowship for consistently producing outstanding work off-off-Broadway. At Theatre 167 she conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy—three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages—which were produced individually in Queens, then in rotating repertory as a 6-hour epic in Manhattan, and subsequently re-imagined as an immersive installation for Queens Museum. Her production of Pirira, set simultaneously in Malawi and New York, received the 2014 NYIT Award for Outstanding Premiere Production Of A Play and transferred off-Broadway. Other recent highlights include The Church of Why Not, based on an interfaith activist community, which premiered at the space that inspired it, and Mourning Sun, a new play set in Ethiopia and New York.
Psychology of Media
Jamie Krenn, PhD, is an adjunct assistant professor heading the Children's Media: Analysis and Evaluation area of focus within the master's program of Cognitive Studies and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include cognitive media processing, children’s television and culinary cognition. Her most recent project is as an educational curriculum
BSI: New York
Joe Liddicoat was on the faculty in Barnard’s Department of Environmental Science for 15 years and has remained involved in the development and teaching of Brownfield Action at Barnard and the City College of New York where he is an Adjunct Professor of Science; he has also been an Adjunct Professor of Science at NYU for 25 years. Joe’s BA was in English from Wayne State University, and following four years in the U.S. Navy as an officer (Chief Engineer on a destroyer), he received an MA in Earth Science from Dartmouth College and PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Joe’s primary research is in the history of Earth’s past magnetic field as recorded in rocks (paleomagnetism) and he currently does research as Visiting Research Scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The field localities for the research are Central America, Asia, the Mediterranean region, both coasts of the United States and the Mississippi Embayment (Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida).
Architectural Culture and NYC Design Studio
A researcher, educator and designer around architecture, Marcelo López-Dinardi specializes in investigating the production of disciplinary knowledge and how it can subvert the docility that is systematically embedded in the political body of a subject. He initiated his studies in Chile and later obtained his BArch from the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. He has written for, lectured at, and been a guest critic for numerous universities in the U.S. and abroad. After relocating to New York, he developed the thesis "Destructive Knowledge: Tools for Learning to Un-Dō." obtaining an MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. He recently co-edited the book Promiscuous Encounters for GSAPP Books. Marcelo is a partner of A(n) Office, based in New York and Detroit, and is an adjunct assistant professor of the Architecture Department at Barnard + Columbia and of the School of Architecture of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His firm, A(n) Office was selected to represent the US Pavilion in the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale themed The Architectural Imagination.
Introduction to Web Development (Liberal Arts Intensive)
Farheen Malik is a digital project manager at a New York City-based advocacy organization. She is passionate about building technology to promote civic engagement and, in due course, is active in the civic technology community. She is a self-taught web developer and loves introducing newbies to computer programming. Prior to her current position, she taught science and technology at an elementary school in the Bronx and supported teacher growth and learning at a professional development organization. She is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University where she earned a degree in International Educational Development and of University of California, Los Angeles where she earned a degree in English.
Place and Personal Essay: Being in New York
Thomas March is a poet and book critic who teaches English at The Brearley School. He holds an MA and PhD in English and American Literature from New York University. He has received the Norma Millay Ellis Fellowship in Poetry from the Millay Colony for the Arts, and an Artist/Writer Grant from Vermont Studio Center. Recent work appears in The Account, Assaracus, Bellevue Literary Review, RHINO, and Confrontation. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and his criticism has appeared in The Believer, Lambda Literary Review, and New Letters, among others.
Countercultures in World Literature and Film
Elizabeth Marcus is a final-year PhD Candidate in French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at MIT for the academic year 2015-2016. Her work focuses on the literatures and cultural history of the Francophone and Arab world, with a particular interest in intellectual networks, multilingualism, migration and cosmopolitanism. She received her BA in Modern History and French at the University of Oxford. In addition to her formal training, she has studied and conducted research in France, the UK, Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
Masterpieces of Art in New York City
Kent received his PhD in Art History from Columbia University, and earned his MS in Art History at the University of Chicago. Kent Minturn is a Postdoctoral Lecturer in the Department of Art History at Columbia University, and is currently completing a monograph on the French artist and writer, Jean Dubuffet. Kent was recently appointed Director of Columbia's MA Program in Modern Art, Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.
Dance in the City
Sydnie Mosley earned her MFA in Dance with an emphasis on Choreography from the University of Iowa, where she has also taught dance. She is an alumna of Barnard College where she earned her BA in Dance and Africana Studies. During her time at Barnard she traveled to Ghana to study traditional West African dance. Sydnie teaches dance technique, theory and history while performing throughout NYC and choreographing her own work.
History of Human Rights
Roz Myers, JD, is a writer and editor in the field of criminal justice, focusing on subjects related to crime victims, offender accountability, justice and ethics, and law and society. She teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has served for over fifteen years as the managing editor and legal columnist for Civic Research Institute. Her work has appeared in publications by West, Matthew Bender, and other major legal publishers. Ms. Myers is a doctoral candidate at John Jay, and a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley and Fordham University School of Law.
New York Explorations: Understanding Urban Landscapes
Elizabeth Pillsbury received her PhD in History from Columbia University in 2009. She has taught high school and college students at Columbia, Barnard, Horace Mann School, and Riverdale Country School. She brings to her classes her love of U.S. urban and environmental history. Her work explores the history of New York City, marine environments, and food production. In addition to teaching in the Pre-College Program, she teaches History and American Studies at Riverdale Country School and leads walking tours of historic neighborhoods in New York City.
Memory, Longing, and Identity in World Literature
James Reich received his PhD in Religious Studies from Harvard University in 2016. His research explores art, aesthetics, and literature in South Asia, and how these are influenced by religion. He also holds a BA in Religious Studies from Vassar College, and he has taught at Harvard University and The New School University.
Writing Place: Home and New York City
Mary Roma is an Instructor of English and Writing at New York University and Empire State College, and has taught for Teen Ink Magazine’s Summer in New York City Writing Program. She is a Curriculum Consultant for the mentoring organization, Girls Write Now, and leads writing workshops for teens at the New York Public Library. A native New Yorker, she has also traveled to Europe, Asia, and South America, especially Colombia. Her writing has been published in TRIPS magazine and she is a copy editor for the iPad based publication, PERISCOPE. In her spare time (and during spring migration), she takes bird walks in Central Park and hunts for foodie delights throughout New York City's multi-ethnic boroughs. She earned her MA in English and American Literature from New York University, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Bard College.
Lean In or Dig Deep: Varieties of Feminist Leadership
Michelle-Renée Smith, assistant professor of political science, joined Barnard’s faculty in 2011. She teaches courses on political theory, and on politics and race. Professor Smith’s current research centers on contemporary democratic theory, in particular the changing parameters of democratic inclusion in a post-national world. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and Alain Locke, one of its most original thinkers, are of special interest. Professor Smith is a Term Fellow at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University.
Science and the Law
The Exploration of Space
Ric holds an MA in Science Education from Stony Brook University, and a BS in Chemistry, with minors in Physics and History, from the University at Albany. For the past 26 years, he has taught courses in chemistry, physics, space exploration, and “science and society” at G.W. Hewlett High School on Long Island. His Master’s degree work was an examination of the history and legal cases related to the teaching of creationism in public school science classrooms, from the 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial” to the landmark 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard Supreme Court decision. Ric has also applied to NASA twice for consideration as an Astronaut Candidate, and has both rejection letters hanging proudly in his school office.
Contemporary Art NYC
Julia Westerbeke is an artist, curator and writer based in Brooklyn and San Francisco. With a community of fellow artists, she runs A.I.R. Gallery, the first artist-directed gallery for women in the United States founded in 1972. She works closely with the gallery’s Fellowship Program, which supports emerging artists through mentoring, professional development and exhibition space. Westerbeke served as the Visual Arts Curator at Barnard for 3 years, curating and organizing alumnae and student exhibitions at the McCagg Gallery and the Barbara Novak Gallery. She is a former Adjunct Faculty and Visual Arts Associate in the Art History Department at Barnard, and a Barnard alumna herself. Westerbeke holds an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Solo exhibitions include “The Deluge” at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco, and “Morphology,” at A.I.R. Gallery. For more information on exhibitions and press, visit the artist’s website: www.juliawesterbeke.com