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Spring 2009 Faculty Fellows

Spring Seminar: Ethical Life in a Global Society

Arturo Arias, Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, specializes in 20th-century Spanish-American and indigenous literatures. He teaches ethnographic approaches to cultural studies. He has published Taking their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America, among other books. His current project guides Western critics in dialogue with indigenous critics of an emerging Maya literature.


Richard Heyman, Lecturer at the Department of Geography and the Environment, has expertise in urban and cultural geography, the history of geographical thought, and critical pedagogy. His research interests include urban social and economic restructuring associated with globalization and the ways in which marginalized groups organize in response to such changes.


Barbara L. Jones, Assistant Professor of Social Work, co-directs the school’s Institute for Grief, Loss, and Family Survival. Her research focuses on the needs of children with cancer and their families and health behavior interventions with potential to reduce suffering and distress. Currently the President of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers, she is conducting research on pediatric palliative care, mindfulness meditation interventions for children with cancer, Hispanic/Latino adolescent cancer survivors and on the health promotion needs of childhood cancer survivors.


Brad Love, Assistant Professor of Advertising, investigates the persuasive capabilities of mass media, particularly as applied to pro-social topics such as public health. He practices his belief that academia should share the burden of social problems by reaching out to populations not well served by the medical community. He embraces the use of digital technologies, for which messages can be tailored to various audiences, to help overcome health disparity.


Paul V. Martorana, Assistant Professor of Management, specializes in dispute resolution; judgment and decision making; and organizational behavior. He has expertise in perceptions of and reactions to injustice and inequality. He examines how psychological factors predict when and how individuals initiate change. A current research project is "Power, Emotion and Voice: Individual Reactions and Responses to Societal Myths Concerning A Stereotyped Group."


Suzanne Seriff is a museum curator, public folklorist, and senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology. For the past twenty years, she has combined community work with folk artists, toymakers, and tradition bearers throughout Texas and Greater Mexico with her academic and museum interests in issues of representation and the global marketplace. Her current project is an NEH-sponsored traveling exhibit, film and community outreach program, titled, "Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America Through Galveston Island," which shines a historic lens on the transoceanic immigrant gateway of Galveston Island in the 19th and 20th century as a way to engage contemporary audiences in broader issues of immigration and identity throughout our nation's history, including the timely issue of Who can be an American in a post 9/11 world?, and who gets to decide?


Jennifer M. Wilks, Assistant Professor in English, is an affiliate of the Center for African and African American Studies and the Program in Comparative Literature. Her research interests include comparative Black modernism and Caribbean literature. She will be working on her second book, Diasporic Carmens, exploring the opera and its popular re-creations, such as films set in African diasporic contexts.


João H. Costa Vargas, Associate Professor of Anthropology, has ties with the Center for African and African American Studies; Women and Gender Studies; and Latin American Studies. He studies activist anthropology and specializes in Africa, Brazil, and U.S. Black communities. The author of Never Meant to Survive: Genocide and Utopias in Black Diaspora Communities, he analyzes and reports on conditions that lead to and justify marginalization.