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New department chairs appointed in Arts and Sciences

Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences has announced the appointment of several department chairs and program directors, effective July 1.

Jonathan Culler will chair Romance studies for a two-year term through June 2010. He joined the faculty in 1977 and is the Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Culler primarily teaches courses on literary theory and aspects of the history of the lyric. He has published widely on 19th century French literature (especially Flaubert and Baudelaire) and on contemporary literary theory and criticism (especially structuralism, deconstruction and French theory). He is completing a term as president of the American Comparative Literature Association.

Chairs appointed to five-year terms ending in June 2013 are:

Barbara Baird, chemistry and chemical biology. Baird, Ph.D. '79, is the Horace White Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. She joined the Cornell faculty in 1980. Her research interests include biophysical chemistry and the structure and molecular mechanisms of immunological receptors.

Matthew Evangelista, government. Evangelista, M.A. '84, Ph.D. '86, teaches courses in international and comparative politics. On the faculty since 1996, his teaching and research focus on the relationship between gender, nationalism and war; ethical and legal issues in international affairs (including international humanitarian law), transnational relations and separatist movements. He was director of Cornell's Peace Studies Program from 2002-08 and of the international relations concentration from 1996-2001.

Several other chairs were appointed for three-year terms ending June 30, 2011. They are:

Kraig Adler, neurobiology and behavior. Adler joined the department in 1972; this is his third appointment as chair. He also has served as vice provost for life sciences. Adler is a faculty fellow at Carl Becker House and faculty adviser to the undergraduate Cornell Herpetological Club. His research centers on photoreception and orientation of vertebrates and the behavior, ecology and evolution of amphibians and reptiles.

Kaushik Basu, economics. Basu is a professor of economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies, director of the Center for Analytic Economics and director of the Program on Comparative Economic Development. His courses at Cornell have included development economics, game theory and industrial organization. He joined the faculty in 1994.

Jeffrey Hancock, cognitive science. He succeeds Michael Spivey as co-director (with Morten Christiansen) of the interdisciplinary program. An associate professor with appointments in communication and computing and information science, Hancock has conducted research into social interactions and computer-mediated communication, language and technology, deception and its detection and figurative language.

Ellis Hanson, English. Hanson came to Cornell in 1995. He also teaches in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. His teaching and research interests include Victorian literature, psychoanalysis, decadence and aestheticism, film, and lesbian, bisexual and gay literary studies.

Robin McNeal, Asian studies. McNeal, associate professor of Chinese history, language and literature, joined the faculty in 2000. His teaching includes classical Chinese language, text studies, and history and thought of the pre-imperial and early imperial eras. His current research is on social organization and mobilization as evidenced in early military treatises, discovered texts and works of political philosophy from the pre-Qin period.

Neil Saccamano, comparative literature. Saccamano is an associate professor of English and comparative literature and came to Cornell in 1986. His research and teaching interests include 18th-century English and French literature; 18th-century aesthetic, moral and political philosophy; print culture and post-structuralist theory.

Anette Schwarz, German studies. An associate professor and director of graduate studies in her department, Schwarz joined the faculty in 1997. Her teaching and research interests include romanticism, realism, 20th-century literary theory, psychoanalysis and the philosophy of language.

Roberto Sierra, music. Sierra is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities and has served as director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Music. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1992. Sierra's teaching focuses mainly on composition, and his interests extend to theory, orchestration and analysis. He received the 2003 Academy Award in music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he was recently awarded the first Sphinx commission to compose a piece to be performed by prominent orchestras in 2009-10.

Amy Villarejo, theatre, film and dance. Villarejo, associate professor of film, came to Cornell in 1997. She previously was director of the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. Her research interests include documentary and experimental film, television, theories of feminism and sexuality, queer film and culture, the intersections between cultural studies and cinema, and racism and left politics in mid-century American film, television and radio. Her book "Lesbian Rule: Cultural Criticism and the Value of Desire" won the 2005 Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Andrew Willford, anthropology. Willford is an associate professor of anthropology and Asian studies who joined the faculty in 2000. His research has focused on various forms of Tamil and Hindu displacement, revivalism and identity politics in Malaysia.

Other appointments in the college:

John Bowers will be the acting chair of linguistics for one year, while John Whitman is on leave.

Tim Murray is the new director of the Society for the Humanities, succeeding Brett de Bary.

Derk Pereboom will serve as chair of philosophy through June 2009, while Scott McDonald is on leave.

Saul Teukolsky's term as chair of physics will be extended an additional year, through June 2009.

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