New Faculty in Academic Year 2018-2019

CFLLC welcomes faculty with new and visiting positions in Arabic, Chinese, German, and Russian. You can check out the content courses they will be offering and learn about their teaching and research interests.

Brahim El Guabli | Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies

Brahim El Guabli

  • ARAB 249 / COMP 249 (F) Trauma and Memory in Maghrebi and Middle Eastern Literatures
  • ARAB 420 (F) Current Events from the Maghreb and the Middle East
  • ARAB 209 (S) Saharan Imaginations

Brahim El Guabli was born and raised in a rural Berber village in the South of Morocco. Brahim investigates Moroccan literature’s engagement with the traumatic legacies of what came to be known as the “years of lead” in Morocco (1956-1999). Drawing on texts written in French and Arabic, Brahim probes how testimony and memory dialogue with, contest, and unsettle both the historiography and historiographical production of post-independence Morocco. Using an interdisciplinary approach to conduct a new reading of an important corpus of novels and memoirs, Brahim places questions of loss, agency, citizenship and historiographical justice at the center of trauma and trauma narratives as they pertain to the situation in Morocco. Brahim’s latest work has been exploring the Saharan space as a nexus of ecocritical, mnemonic and aesthetic discourses in the Maghreb and the Middle East. In addition to book chapters, Brahim’s work has appeared in Arab Studies Journal, The Journal of North African Studies, Francosphères, and International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (forthcoming, 2018). He is also the co-editor of the special issue of The Journal of North African Studies entitled “Violence and the Politics of Aesthetics: A Postcolonial Maghreb Without Borders.”


Roxana Blancas Curiel | Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Mexican Literature and Culture

Roxana Blancas Curiel

  • RLSP 230 (Course Title TBA)

Roxana Blancas Curiel was born and raised in Mexico City, where she completed her Licenciatura in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In 2016, she received her Ph.D. in Contemporary Mexican and Iberian Peninsular literature from the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation, entitled “(In)Visible Bodies: Transnational Alliances, Cultural Technologies, and Narrativity in the Iberian Peninsula and Mexico,” explores intersections between cultural technologies, narrativity and the diverse dynamics enacted between and within the concepts of visibility and invisibility, in three different spaces that rely on the interconnectedness of transnational alliances. Her current research encompasses the contributions of the performance of female masculinity in our understanding of femininity and masculinity outside the heteronormative spectrum in Mexican social imaginary. She considers the portrayal of women in armed conflicts, muralismo, propaganda posters, comic books, paintings, corridos, engravings, film, and social movements towards the construction of national identity, nationalism, and power. Her aim is to contribute to the current efforts in order to shed light on the ways in which cultural production has shaped representations of marginalized subjects and its intersection with race, gender, and social class.


Theresa Brock | Visiting Assistant Professor of French

Theresa Brock

  • RLFR 103 (F) Intermediate Studies in French Language and Francophone Cultures
  • RLFR 215 (F) The French Adventure: Word, Sound, and Image in the Digital Age
  • RLFR 220 (S) Fairy Tales: Love and Politics at the Sun King’s Court
  • RLFR 310(S) Le Moyen ge en images: Decoding the Middle Ages

I come to Williams College from Penn State, where I completed a Ph.D. in French & Francophone Literature with a graduate minor in Women’s Studies, and where I also designed and taught upper-level courses. I am a scholar of early modern France with strong interests in literature, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and the relationship between word and image. My teaching and research interrogate points of overlap between our current understandings of these topics and the writings and culture of the early modern world. How can we approach early modern texts and modern-day representations of them ethically, respecting both our own vantage point and the historical and cultural difference that these texts represent? In what ways might early modern engagement with what we now call gender, sexuality, and visual culture inform our present experiences of visual and technological immersion, as well as feminist activism? I will be teaching 3 courses here at Williams that address these questions, among others: The French Adventure (Fall 2018), Fairy Tales (Spring 2019), Le Moyen Âge en images (Spring 2019). I also examine similar topics of inquiry in my forthcoming article in Women in French Studies on gender and genre in Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron and in my book manuscript, entitled Women and Spiritual Politics: The Heptaméron’s Approach to Reform.


Jason Cieply | Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian

Jason Cieply

  • RUSS 277 (F) The Self Under Stalin: a Geneology of Soviet Subjectivity
  • RUSS 204 (S) Russia’s Long Revolution: A Survey of Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Russian Cultures

Jason Cieply is an enthusiast of Russian culture interested in the ways revolution makes us think, feel, and speak. He completed his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford University in 2016 and is currently at work on his book project, Voices of Enthusiasm: Revolutionary Emotion and Interclass Imitation in Soviet Narrative Fiction. His research explores one state of mind historically associated with revolutionary societies — enthusiasm  — and the Soviet artists, who shaped and were shaped by it in the first years of the Soviet project.  At Williams Cieply is teaching two courses focusing on the relationship between artistic experimentation, revolutionary politics, and subjectivity in twentieth-century Russian culture, as well as courses in Russian language. His recent publications include the article, “The Silent Side of Polyphony: On the Disappearances of ‘Silentium!’ from the Drafts of Dostoevskii and Bakhtin” (Slavic Review).


Carl Cornell | Visiting Lecturer in French

Carl Cornell

  • RLFR 305 (F) “Where We Are & Where We Go: Spaces & Places of Contemporary France”

Carl Cornell is currently completing his Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include urban studies, modernity and postmodernity, 20th- and 21st-century French literature, the poetics of space, and sustainability. In his dissertation, entitled “Oikos: Sustainability, Dwelling, and Culture in Urban France,” he examines how cultural initiatives impact the creation of livable spaces in French cities. He received a Chateaubriand Fellowship for fall 2016 to conduct on-site research in Angoulême, Lyon, and Nantes, the three cities that serve as case studies for his dissertation. Part of his findings appeared in a July 2018 article in Contemporary French Civilization entitled “Past into future: the ‘rewriting’ of Angoulême’s identity.” He has extensive experience teaching both online and in residence, and has also maintained an active interest in the digital humanities, especially as they inform fresh approaches to classroom instruction.


Radwa El Barouni | Visiting Lecturer of Arabic

Radwa El Barouni

  • ARAB 416 (S) Arabic Short Stories

Prior to moving to the States for her Ph.D., Radwa El Barouni taught at Alexandria University in Egypt and in Morocco. She is currently writing her dissertation titled “Renarrating al-Andalus in the Arabic Novel from the Nahḍa to the Present: Iterations of Subjectivity, Community & State” which investigates the literary historical imaginary of al-Andalus, exploring nearly a dozen novels that span over a hundred years from diverse countries in the Arabic speaking world. Through these literary representations, she investigates the intellectual, aesthetic and socio-political production of an Arab historical imaginary and the literary staging of the Arab past and future. Using a hybrid methodology, she engages theoretically with broader issues about the use of time in historical fiction, and the genre’s porous borders and its incorporation of a diverse display of genres found in classical Arabic adab and historiography like biography, akhbār, and travelogues and the implications of that for the specificity of Arabic historical fiction and the selective processes involved in its writing. The dissertation argues that the recent surge of Arabic historical fiction, which is coextensive with the absence or inaccessibility of archives, serves to intervene in and counter historical narratives engineered on a national level that use different discursive methods controlled by the state, and helps destabilize regime monopoly over historical meaning. She also examines how these literary historical narratives influenced and were affected by notions of subjectivity, the state and community and the intersection between the three. Her other research interests lie in dystopic fiction, graphic novels, development of genres and literary theory. El Barouni also has a long time interest in pedagogy, cultural competency and translation, and her latest published translation can be accessed here.


Lu Kou | Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese

Lu Kou

  • CHIN/COMP 225 (F): The Fantastic in Chinese Literature
  • CHIN 420 (S): Masterpieces in Modern Chinese Literature

Lu Kou will receive his Ph.D. in pre-modern Chinese literature in May 2018 from Harvard University with a secondary field in Classical Philology. Lu’s research interests include medieval Chinese literature and culture, adaptations of classical tales in vernacular genres and modern media, and comparative studies of Chinese Middle Period and medieval Europe. His dissertation project, “Courtly Exchange and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy in Early Medieval China,” examines the power of rhetoric to construct royal authority in the period of division (known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties, 420–589), when several rival states competed for dominance. It explores how “words” can be used as a weapon to participate in the power struggle and shape people’s perception of the reality. His next project on early medieval historiography, specifically, the polemic nature of history writing, investigates the flimsy boundary between historical truth and literary imagination. Lu’s teaching interests include Chinese poetry, fantastic narratives, and Chinese language, with a particular interest in the transformation of pre-modern literature in the modern/contemporary world.


Natalie Lozinski-Veach | Visiting Assistant Professor of German

Natalie Lozinski-Veach

  • GERM 118 (F) Animal Subjects (tutorial)
  • GERM 210 (S) Stranger Things: The German Novella

Natalie Lozinski-Veach completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Brown University in 2016. Her research explores the intersections of language, animal studies, and aesthetics in modern German and Polish literature and theory. Additional teaching and research interests include Holocaust and trauma studies, gender, posthumanism, critical and literary theory, and film. Most recently, she has published the article “Embodied Nothings: Paul Celan’s Creaturely Inclinations” in the journal MLN.


Carolina Melgarejo-Torres | Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish

Carolina Melgarejo Torres

  • RLSP 209 (F) Spanish for Heritage Speakers

Carolina was born and raised in Mexico City, where she studied linguistics at El Colegio de México. She is completing her PhD on the semantics of spatial expressions in Mexican Spanish. Between 2012 and 2018, Carolina taught Spanish at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University. In her dissertation, she investigates which lexical semantic traits contained in prepositional adverbs determine the spatial, temporal, and discursive use these expressions. Carolina’s research also engages with normativity in Spanish, particularly revealing the role that reference texts and authoritative institutions play in defining hierarchies between the different regional Spanish dialects. Previously, she studied Hispanic Literature in la UNAM, during which time she created community programs for youth and children in social development centers. There, she used Mexican legends, Latin American microfiction, and telenovelas to bring awareness of the importance that narration holds for the construction of individual, interpersonal, and cultural identities. Carolina’s work appeared in Estudios de Gramática del Español and Boletín de Lingüística, and was presented in conferences of Mexico and South America.

Carolina holds the Derek Bok Center’s Teaching Certificate. This certification focused on Spanish teaching for second language and heritage learners. As language pedagogue, she specialized in teaching techniques and methods for Spanish heritage speakers. She developed a wide database of teaching resources that focus on recognizing students’ linguistic background and expanding their sociolinguistic skills. As part of the heritage speaker initiative that she worked in, Carolina participated in experiential learning and community-based projects, designed to create bridges between the academic and Latino/a communities. For her, the purpose of language education is to provide learners with the tools and resources to reinforce intercultural and cross-community relations.