Riché J. Daniel Barnes
Riché J. Daniel Barnes is a sociocultural anthropologist whose specializations are at the intersection of black feminist theories, work and family policy, and African Diasporic raced, gendered, and classed identity formation. Her work focuses ethnographically in the U.S. South, its connection to the Caribbean and the west coast of Africa, and the complexities of urban living. She is an award-winning teacher and scholar having won the 2019 AAA/Oxford University Press Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology award. Her book, Raising the Race: Black Career Women Redefine Marriage, Motherhood, and Community won the 2017 Distinguished Book Award for the Race, Gender, Class section of the American Sociological Association.
Kimberly Juanita Brown
Kimberly Juanita Brown's research engages the site of the visual as a way to negotiate the parameters of race, gender, and belonging. Her book, The Repeating Body: Slavery’s Visual Resonance in the Contemporary (Duke University Press) examines slavery’s profound ocular construction and the presence and absence of seeing in relation to the plantation space and the women who exist there. She is currently at work on her second book, tentatively titled “Their Dead Among Us: Photography, Melancholy, and the Politics of the Visual.” This project examines images of the dead in The New York Times in 1994 from four geographies: South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, and Haiti.
Christian Gundermann understands theory as a daily practice like breathing and eating. He teaches students in different contexts as diverse as the interpretation of films, the history of the queer movement, the questioning of the human/animal boundary, the historical study of horsemanship, the practice of body modifications, the connections between feminism and the sciences, the nexuses of power, knowledge, pleasure, and suffering etc. that there is no practice without theory, and that every theory is always already a practice.
Ren-yo Hwang’s interdisciplinary teaching and research include courses and scholarship in queer- and transgender-of-color critique, feminist-of-color anti-violence initiatives and genealogies, abolition, transformative justice and community accountability. Hwang's current scholarship examines carceral technologies of control and punishment, antiviolence reform-based state partnerships of the late 20th century, and discourses concerning the identification of violence.
Jacquelyne Luce’s teaching and research explore the interconnected worlds of activism, research, and care that contribute to the development, use and governance of emerging medical technologies, especially within the fields of assisted reproduction and genetics/genomics. She is the author of Beyond Expectation: Lesbian/Bi/Queer Women and Assisted Conception (University of Toronto Press, 2010). She teaches courses on feminist health politics, reproductive and genetic technologies, transnational medical mobilities, and feminist technoscience governance. She is currently exploring emerging transnational rare disease knowledge cultures and the ‘participatory knowledge politics’ of governing mitochondrial replacement techniques.
Karen Remmler’s interdisciplinary research and teaching in English and German focuses on the politics and cultures of memory in the aftermath of atrocity and war in European and transnational contexts; German literature, film, and sites of memory within transnational contexts; 19th century critical social thought through the lens of contemporary social critics; and the interrelationship between national processes of transitional justice and the work of memory in films by the descendants of genocide survivors and perpetrators in non-western contexts.
Sarah Stefana Smith
Sarah Stefana Smith is an interdisciplinary scholar and visual artist. Their research communicates between the fields of Black art and culture, queer of color critique and affect studies, performance and aesthetics. Smith’s studio practice looks towards the blur between abstraction and representation, infrastructure and materiality, space and ecology in photography, installation, and sculptural work. As a teacher Smith is interested in cross-pollination between matter and materiality and boundaries between human and species, lines of demarcation around difference – race, gender, sexuality – and how modes of difference are used to constitute and congeal belonging.
Angela Willey's areas of research include feminist science studies; history of race, gender, and sexuality in science; cultural studies; sexuality; and monogamy.
Biologist Sarah Bacon is fascinated by the relationship between mother and fetus during pregnancy. "What I'm really interested in is fertility and miscarriage," she says. "Eighty percent of what humans conceive is lost before birth." Bacon says that most pregnancies end before a woman even knows she's pregnant. She's trying to find out why by studying reproduction in rats, which have very similar pregnancies to humans. Bacon also studies the ways in which mother and fetus communicate through the placenta. "It's so powerful, such an enigma," she says. "There's no other relationship that is that physiologically intimate."
Mara Benjamin specializes in Jewish textual traditions and practices, including biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary hermeneutics; modern Jewish thought; and gender and religion. Her first book, Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity, examined the theological and political stakes of the endeavor to reinvigorate Jewish intellectual and social responses to the Bible, focusing on the work of Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929). Her second book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought,, investigates the religious dimensions of caring for young children in the context of Jewish thought and tradition.
Iyko Day's research and teaching focus on race, capitalism, settler colonialism and Asian American literature and visual culture. She is the author of Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism (Duke University Press, 2016).
Susanne Mrozik specializes in Buddhist Studies, with a focus on ethics and gender. Currently conducting ethnographic research on Sri Lankan Buddhist nuns, Mrozik has also researched Buddhist literary discourse on bodies, genders, and emotions. Her courses include “Body Images and Practices in Religious Traditions,” “Buddhist Ethics,” “Women and Buddhism,” and “All About Love.” Mrozik is Mount Holyoke College's advisor to the Five College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program.
A historian who continually pushes the boundaries of her discipline, Mary Renda focuses her teaching and research on US empire, women and gender, racism, activism, and the transnational contexts in which histories of North America and the Caribbean have taken shape. In addition to her course offerings on U.S. women's history, African-American women, and histories of empire, Renda teaches interdisciplinary gender studies courses. It's not a vacation from her area of specialty, however. "When I teach gender studies," says Renda, "it brings into sharper relief the importance of history."
Vanessa Rosa is an assistant professor of Latina/o Studies. Her research interests include the study of race and ethnicity, citizenship and national identities, and social stratification in cities. Rosa is currently completing a book manuscript titled Diversifying Cities: Between Gentrification and Revitalization which investigates the national-identity making effects of the urban revitalization of two public housing projects in Toronto, Ontario. Rosa teaches courses on housing, cities, and Latina feminism and incorporates community-based learning and civic engagement in her teaching, including projects with various local organizations in Holyoke and Springfield.
Eleanor R. Townsley
Eleanor Townsley is interested in the role of intellectuals in social life. She teaches a range of courses in social theory, media, gender, and social science research methods. Her recent work considers the rise of media meta-commentary in democratic deliberation, the social reorganization of expertise, and the changing social roles of academics as public intellectuals. Townsley served as associate dean of faculty from 2012 to 2016 and is the faculty director of the Nexus Curriculum to Career program.