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Professor Abram joined the faculty in 1995. He earned his MFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University and received his BFA from the University of Central Florida. His recent work combines the traditional mediums of drawing and printmaking with other forms of artistic endeavor. As an artist and curator, he addresses the relationship of popular culture, community and personal expression in many of these ventures. He has exhibited his work in numerous solo/group exhibitions, here and abroad.
My research interests include environmental education and education for sustainable development (particularly with under-represented groups), environmental attitudes and behavior, environmental justice, multi-cultural education, theories of learning, and science education reform. I received my PhD in Natural Resources at Cornell University in 2009 studying environmental and science education. I obtained my BS and MS in Horticulture from Texas A&M where I studied the effects of a Junior Master Gardener Program on the environmental attitudes of children. I teach ENVS 101: People and the Environment, ENVS 102: Science and the Environment, ENVS 301: Junior Practicum, ENVS 280: Approaches to Environmental Education, and FYS 102: Science and the Community.
"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin" - Charles Darwin
Assistant Professor Hanada Al-Masri joined the department in 2012 and teaches Arabic. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Jordan, Jordan and her Ph.D. degree from Purdue University, Indiana.
Her research interests include linguistics, pragmatics and translation studies (with a focus on literary translation).
I have taught courses on transnational sexualities, Asian American women, Asian American history, women of color politics in response to 9/11, and women in the arts. At Denison, I teach the introductory class “Issues in Feminism” and a class called “Gender and Sexuality in American Orientalism” (Spring 2014). I currently serve as a board member of the Arab American arts organization, Mizna. In my free time I enjoy gardening, cooking, and creative writing. I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky.
My current research traces the anxieties surrounding Arab American migrant peddlers and their economic networks at the turn of the twentieth century and argues that this profession, which employed large number of men and women, constituted Arab immigrants as racial and sexual ‘others.’ My research shows that the transience of male Syrian peddlers and the gender and sexual transgressions of female Syrian peddlers posed a threat to claims of Syrian whiteness. Using theoretical frameworks from women of color feminist theory, post-colonial history, queer theory, and cultural studies, I read for both the presences and absences of the Syrian peddler in archives of popular culture, social welfare, and the early Arab American community.
I am also beginning a project that puts Arab American studies in conversation with studies of U.S. settler colonialism. Thus far, I am examining how Syrian migrant peddlers in the late 19th century were facilitators of settler colonialism in newly-acquired Native lands.
When I reflect on what I enjoy most about teaching my answer comes immediately: I am in the business of thinking. I view teaching as a multidirectional learning process especially successful at the liberal arts college, where we connect all fields of knowledge to establish intellectual foundations for life-long learning. Teaching at Denison University has given me a renewed desire to learn as I feel inspired by my colleagues’ examples and the students’ demands for excellence.
There are three goals that animate my teaching: I put students at the center of the learning process, I help them develop their self-awareness and intrinsic motivation (which I think are indispensable for life-long learning), and I provide collaborative learning environments as I see them critical to educating responsible citizens.
Specific themes that I incorporate into my classes are:
- Critical thought, active intellectual and social engagement, collaborative learning.
- Global and local identities: migration movements, nationalism.
- Gender identity. Representation and power of religious groups. Ethnic/race identification.
- Service learning pedagogy.
My teaching at Denison University is enhanced by my specialization in contemporary literatures and cultures of Spain. These are some topics I examine in my research, and that we analyze in most of my classes:
- 20th Century Peninsular literature, especially novel, with a cultural studies approach.
- Spanish peninsular film and women studies.
- Literature and cultures of Equatorial Guinea.
- Africa-Spain and Trans-Atlantic connections in history of thought.
- Service learning philosophies.
Belinda Andrews-Smith is the Coordinator of Vocal Studies for the Denison Music Department. She is an accomplished soprano who maintains a busy singing and academic career.
Belinda is a working performer. She has been a featured soloist in numerous performances of oratorios and cantatas and has appeared with the Vivaldi Travelling Circus, the Trinity Episcopal Chamber series, the Denison Concert Choir, the Kenyon College Chamber Singers, and the Welsh Hills Symphony. Belinda has also sung numerous opera roles including; The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Margot (The Desert Song), Alice Ford (Falstaff ), Adina (The Elixir of Love), Clorinda (La Cenerentola), Dama (Macbeth), Dame Carruthers (Yeomen of the Guard), Anna (Nabucco), The Queen of the Fairies (Iolanthe), and Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance). She is a frequent performer with Opera Columbus and Columbus Light Opera, and has appeared most recently in the 2004 Opera Columbus production of Iolanthe.
"Dr. Lauren Araiza joined the faculty at Denison in the spring of 2007. She teaches survey courses in African-American history and the U.S. since 1865. She also offers seminars on the Civil Rights Movement, the intellectual history of Black Power, the American West, and comparative social movements. Her other teaching interests include labor history, comparative race and ethnicity, and oral history.
Dr. Araiza's first book, To March for Others: The Black Freedom Struggle and the United Farm Workers, was published in the fall of 2013 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her book examines the complexities of multiracial coalition building in Amerian social movements by examining the relationships between the major organizations of the black freedom struggle and the UFW, a union of primarily Mexican American farm workers. Dr. Araiza has also published in the Journal of African American History and has contributed an essay to the edited collection, The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations During the Civil Rights Era (University of Nebraska Press, 2011).
Dr. Araiza received her BA from Williams College and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley."
When I started my college studies, my professional path was quite clear: I would become a professor of English in France. But life has a way to bring wonderful and unforeseen opportunities leading me to this small liberal arts college where I have enjoyed sharing my love for the French language, literature, and culture.
For each French course I teach my main objectives are to help my students develop their linguistic skills as well as a deeper cultural and literary appreciation for the French-speaking world, which will in turn allow them to become more mindful individuals who will enjoy communicating with people from 32 countries. Every speech act is a cultural act, every literary text is a cultural and ideological artifact which must be examined from various perspectives, critiqued, deconstructed in order to discover its subtleties and sometimes its contradictions. Therefore, I encourage my students to engage in this multi-faceted learning and to reassess their gender-, class- and nation-centered views and expectations.
My latest courses examine French gastronomy as an instrument of religious, political, and colonial power. Issues of national, social, and sexual identity are often at the center of my literature courses.
Since my teaching is vastly informed by my research, you will not be surprised to learn that I have written on food symbolism in literary texts, identity issues of marginalized characters in fictions from the Middle Ages and the 20th Century, and teaching grammar through fairy tales. Fascinated by French novelist and Literature Nobel prize winner André Gide’s works, his fictions remain at the core of my literary analyses. My two current projects entail a translation into English of Gide’s farce Les caves du Vatican, and a manuscript on food as a social marker of ostracization in Gide’s fictional works.
I have served on many university-wide committees. I am especially interested in enhancing student residential and academic life. Particularly involved in extracurricular activities, you will find me chatting at our weekly conversation group (café francophone), cooking with our French students in our Language and Culture House, playing pétanque, and attending the Richmond Film Festival (in Virginia) with some of our students.