Each year, the College of Arts & Sciences recruits leading scholars and researchers from around the world to grow the ranks of its faculty. The faculty members listed below, including researchers, lecturers, instructors and visiting professors, arrived new on campus for the 2013/14 academic year.

Research Assistant Professor

Catherine West, PhD (University of Washington)

Assistant Professor of Astronomy Catherine Espaillat

Catherine Espaillat is an expert in observational astronomy over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, including radio, optical, and near infrared observations. Her research focuses on understanding planet formation around young stars, particularly by characterizing the “footprints” that baby planets leave behind as they form. She has a BA in Astronomy from Columbia University and a PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from the University of Michigan.


Nathan Stewart, PhD (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)

Kathryn Spilios, PhD (Cornell University)

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ksenia Bravaya

Ksenia Bravaya has already established a reputation as a leader in the area of quantum mechanical calculation of complex materials. She is a co-author on 19 peer-reviewed publications and has been a contributor or principal presenter on more than 30 conference presentations or departmental colloquia. Her primary research interests focus on quantum chemistry problems in biology and materials science, ranging from understanding how birds orient with respect to the weak magnetic field of the earth, to helping design new molecular electronics materials with a special emphasis on magnetic effects, including spintronics and magnetophotovoltaics. She also is interested in continuing her efforts in computational methodology development. Bravaya holds BS and MS degrees in chemistry and a PhD in theoretical and computational quantum chemistry from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia.


Daniele Ramella, PhD (Boston University)

Jennifer Steele

Assistant Professor of Classical Studies Alexander Nikolaev

Alexander Nikolaev is both a classicist and a linguist whose research has centered on where language and literature meet. As a historian of literature, he works on archaic Greek poetry (Homer, Hesiod, Archilochus, Sappho), focusing on the origins of different traditions of poetry and specific poetic languages they employ. As a linguist, he is primarily interested in Greek historical linguistics and etymology and currently is working on a lexicon to early Greek poetry in which the standard philological methods are augmented by etymology. Nikolaev also has done work on the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European languages and on the history of other Indo-European languages and language families, including Hittite, Sanskrit, Old Persian and Avestan, Old Irish, Tocharian and Balto-Slavic. He already has published a book and more than two dozen articles in the top, peer-reviewed journals in his fields, including the Journal of Hellenic Studies, Classical Quarterly, American Journal of Philology, Glotta, and the Journal of American Oriental Society. He earned his PhD at Harvard University in 2012 with the dissertation “Historical Poetics and Language History: Studies in Archaic Greek Poetry.”


Andrei Lapets, PhD (Boston University)


Catherine Klancer, PhD (Boston University)

Gabrielle Sims, PhD (New York University)

Robin Stevens

Professor of Earth and Environment and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center Anthony Janetos

Anthony Janetos joined Boston University in May 2013 as Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and Professor of Earth and Environment. Before coming to Boston University, Janetos was director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, where he managed an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists, engineers and social scientists committed to understanding the problems of global climate change and their potential solutions. Janetos has devoted his career to high-impact global change science and policy and has written and lectured widely on the need to understand the scientific, environmental, economic, and policy linkages among the major global environmental issues. He has testified before Congress many times on a range of environmental issues and has published extensively in both natural science and social science venues. Janetos received an AB degree in biology from Harvard University and MS and PhD degrees in biology from Princeton University.

Assistant Professor of Economics Samuel Bazzi

Samuel Bazzi is an empirical development economist with secondary interests in international trade, labor economics, and applied econometrics. His dissertation contains an empirical analysis of the effect of financial constraints on labor migration flows in a developing country. He has published papers in American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics and Economic Journal. Bazzi received his BA in economics and international relations from the University of Southern California in 2005 and his PhD in economics from University of California, San Diego, in June 2013. Bazzi’s paper in Economic Journal received the Royal Economic Society Prize for the best non-solicited paper published in the journal in 2012.

Assistant Professor of English Minou Arjomand

Minou Arjomand has published articles in Theatre Survey and Perspectives on Europe and is a contributing author and translator for The Routledge Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies. She is co-founder of Morningside Opera, an artists’ collective, and has extensive credits as dramaturg and director for opera performances. Arjomand is currently writing Theatre on Trial: Staging Justice in the United States and Germany, a book about how post-World War II trials inspired and shaped modern drama. Artists in Europe and the United States, she argues, strove to develop new forms of political theatre in which audiences, like juries, for example, could reflect and pass judgment on controversial stories told to them. Arjomand has a BA magna cum laude in German and Comparative Literature and a PhD in English and Comparative Literature, both from Columbia University.

Assistant Professor of History Ana Maria Reyes

Ana Maria Reyes comes to Boston University as a seasoned educator, thanks to a decade of experience teaching courses on Latin American art at Northwestern University while a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where earned her MA and PhD degrees in art history. Los Andes University Press in Bogotá recently accepted her dissertation for publication in Spanish. She also has published several essays and conference papers and has contributed to an interdisciplinary, co-edited volume, Simón Bolívar: National Myth and Cultural Sign, which is under advance contract with the University Press of Florida. Reyes earned her BA degree in psychology from Boston College, with minors in art history and studio art.

Professor of the Practice of International Relations Robert G. Loftis

Robert G. Loftis is a retired Foreign Service Officer who served in Africa, Latin America, Europe and Oceania. Over the course of his 32-year career, he worked on political military affairs, the United Nations, human rights and democracy promotion, international health, flood and other emergency relief, and conflict resolution and stabilization efforts. His last overseas posting was as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho. Other recent assignments included Senior Advisor for Security Negotiations and Agreements (where he negotiated the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq), Senior Advisor for Avian and Pandemic Influenza, Deputy Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (National Defense University), and Acting Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Loftis has a BA in Political Science from Colorado State University.

Assistant Professor of International Relations Jeremy Menchik

Jeremy Menchik is a specialist on comparative politics, religion, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and qualitative and multi-method research. His doctoral dissertation, Tolerance Without Liberalism: Islamic Institutions and Political Violence in Indonesia, recently received honorable mention for the 2013 Aaron Wildavsky Dissertation Award for the best dissertation on religion and politics from the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association. Based on two years of field research in Indonesia, his dissertation examined the meaning and practices of tolerance in the world’s largest Muslim organizations. He is currently preparing his dissertation for publication as a book and developing related projects on the origins of intolerance, the relationship between religion and nationalism, and the deployment of identity symbols in democratic elections. Prior to arriving at BU, he was a Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center, a research associate at the American University of Beirut, and a fellow at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion. Menchik earned a BA in political science at the University of Michigan and a PhD in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


John Bergdall, PhD (Brandeis University)

Assistant Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature Yuri Corrigan

Yuri Corrigan studies the intersections between literature, philosophy and psychology in nineteenth-century Russian and European culture, with particular focus on issues of personality and identity. His current book project, Imprisoned in the Other: Dostoevsky and the Riddle of the Self, examines the evolution of Dostoevsky’s conception of personality in the context of Russian and European cultural and intellectual history. He explores Dostoevsky’s literary output as a prism for the clash and convergence of many, often mutually contradictory conceptions of selfhood, drawing theoretical models from areas as diverse as ancient Greek philosophy, Patristics, German idealism, Romanticism, Russian Orthodoxy, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis and trauma studies. More generally, Corrigan’s area of interest is the culture war that galvanized Russian society from the 1830s until the Bolshevik revolution, with particular attention to those authors who found themselves in mediational roles (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Solovyov, Chekhov, among others). Before coming to Boston, Corrigan was assistant professor and head of Russian Studies at the College of Wooster, and, before that, visiting lecturer at Wellesley College. He holds MA and PhD degrees in Russian literature from Princeton University.

Associate Professor of the Practice of Comparative Literature Roberta Micallef

Roberta Micallef is the co-editor with Sunil Sharma (MLCL) of On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing, (Boston: Ilex, 2013), an anthology of 19th and 20th century travel writing by Muslim travelers to and from the Persianate world, and has published numerous articles in Turkish studies and gender studies. She is finishing a book-length study of Muslim women’s autobiographies. An international leader in Turkish language education, she serves as Executive Secretary of the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages and was a founder of the West Asia discussion group at the Modern Language Association (MLA). She is among the first to receive ACTFL training toward Turkish oral proficiency testing and has received NSA and numerous other grants for teacher training projects, professional workshops, and materials development. As the professional-development coordinator for Turkish and Turkic languages for the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC), she has helped to develop national proficiency standards and language-pedagogy webinars. Micallef received her PhD in comparative literature from the University of Texas in Austin. She previously taught Turkish language and culture and women’s studies courses at Uppsala University (1997-2000) and the University of Utah (2000-2005) before accepting a position at Boston University in 2005.


Olga Livshin, PhD (Northwestern University)

Amber Navarre, PhD (Pennsylvania State University)


Lucia Pastorino, PhD (University of Milan)


Irina Meketa, PhD (Boston University)

John Grey, PhD (Boston University)

Visiting Professor

Alessandra Fussi, PhD (Pennsylvania State University)

Assistant Professor of Physics and Bioinformatics Kirill Korolev

Kirill Korolev is a biophysicist who is interested in quantitative descriptions of biological evolution and their applications to important biomedical questions, such as the evolution of antibiotic resistance and the development of cancer tumors. He has made numerous presentations at scientific meetings and has already published thirteen papers in major refereed journals, including Nature, Science, PNAS, Physical Review Letters, and Reviews of Modern Physics. Before coming to Boston University, Korolev held a prestigious Pappalardo Fellowship at MIT. He has a BS in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and a PhD in theoretical condensed matter physics from Harvard University.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Rosella Cappella

Rosella Cappella joins the College after earning a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and spending a year on a post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College. Cappella’s research addresses a central but under-studied question in international relations: how do states find the money to wage war which, we all know is very costly financially as well as in terms of human life and suffering? What mixture of borrowing, taxation and printing money do states use, and what are the economic and political consequences of these choices? Professor Cappella’s thesis, soon to be a book, The Political Economy of War Finance, gives the answers based on research covering the period form 1800 to the present. Professor Cappella will teach a range of courses in international relations theory and foreign policy.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Katherine Krimmel

Katherine Krimmel comes to CAS with a PhD from Columbia University to teach in our public policy field. Using an historical approach, Krimmel explores how parties forge alliances with powerful interests in policymaking and also seeks to explain why in the United States (unlike, for example, Canada), states that receive disproportionate federal funds are often the most opposed to federal spending. Professor Krimmel’s teaching will strengthen the policy field, popular with students but hitherto under-staffed.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Sam Ling

Already considered a leader in the fields of vision science and cognitive neuroscience, Sam Ling investigates vision from neural, perceptual and attentional perspectives using psychophysics, imaging (TMS and fMRI), and computational modeling. Ling has published numerous influential studies in leading refereed journals on a range of questions, including how attention alters the visual appearance of items, how emotion affects early vision and potentiates the effects of attention on early vision, and how neural changes brought about by sustained attention lead to impairments in contrast sensitivity over time. Ling’s publications have appeared in such journals as Current Biology, Psychological Science, and Nature Neuroscience. He has a BS in psychology from Penn State and a PhD in psychology from New York University.

Assistant Professor of Romance Studies Rodrigo Lopes de Barros

Rodrigo Lopes de Barros’ research investigates questions of race and the role of Afro-Cubans and Afro-Brazilians in shaping the national imageries of their countries. He is interested in the relationship of literature to the other arts, the history of concepts such as race and ethnicity in Brazil and in other Latin American countries, and the close connections between Brazil and Cuba. In addition, Lopes de Barros writes fiction, has directed an experimental film, and has translated into Portuguese articles by some of the foremost literary critics of our day. Lopes de Barros has a B.A. in law and an MA in literary theory, both from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Assistant Professor of Romance Studies Jennifer Row

Jennifer Row brings to Romance Studies a combination of skills rare for a young scholar. Not only does she have expertise in the French 17th century, she also has the ability to teach French authors in relation to British ones. Her dissertation, on concepts of time in 17th century French theater, and her special training (Ecole Normale Supérieure and Cornell’s renowned School for Criticism and Theory) have given her a rich background in contemporary literary theory, and she anticipates participating in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University. She is an experienced writing teacher and was assistant director of Cornell’s Knight Writing Program. Row has PhD from Cornell University in comparative literature.


Katherine Lakin-Schultz, MA (University of Virginia)

Maria Datel, MA (Universidad de Buenos Aires)

Mary Beth Raycraft, PhD (New York University)

Assistant Professor of Sociology Joseph Harris

Joseph Harris is an expert on the comparative political analysis of health care and health policy. He has consulted widely for international development organizations, including the World Bank and the UNDP. His dissertation explored the role of professional networks, medical expertise, and AIDS activism in the development of universal healthcare in Thailand, Brazil, and South Africa. His publications include an article that won the 2012 Best Graduate Student Paper Award from the Association of Asian Studies. Published in the Journal of Contemporary Asia, the paper is titled “Who Governs? Autonomous Political Networks as a Challenge to Power in Thailand”. Harris earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane University, his Master’s at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Itai Vardi,  PhD (Boston University)

Visiting Professor

Michaela Pfadenhauer, PhD (TU Dortmund University)

Visiting Associate Professor

Sanghera Balihar, PhD (University of Lancaster)


Kevin Barents, MFA (University of Florida)

Somy Kim, PhD (University of Texas at Austin)