Fall 2019 COH Faculty Hires

June 20th, 2019

The College of Humanities is pleased to welcome new faculty for the upcoming academic year.

“These are outstanding scholars who represent the breadth and diversity of Humanities scholarship and teaching,” said Dean Alain-Philippe Durand. “Their expertise in languages and cultures around the world will further our mission of graduating students equipped with the skills they need to succeed on the global job market.”

Awndrea Caves
Awndrea Caves, Lecturer
Africana Studies Program

Awndrea Caves is a University of Arizona alum, having earned her PhD in English in 2017.  For the past six years, she has served as an adjunct in the College of Humanities Africana Studies Program.  Additionally, she has taught various composition courses at Pima Community College for the last decade.  Her area of specialty is American minority women's autobiography and memoir, with her dissertation focusing on the Chinese American writer, Maxine Hong Kingston.  Her hobbies include ballroom dance and fiction writing.

Jonathan Jae-an Crisman, Assistant Professor
Department of Public and Applied Humanities

Jonathan Jae-an Crisman is an artist and urban scholar whose work considers the intersections between culture, politics, and place. His book Urban Humanities: New Practices for Reimagining the City, which stakes out new disciplinary terrain for the humanities, will be published in 2020 by MIT Press (with co-authors Dana Cuff, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Todd Presner, and Maite Zubiaurre). His current research focuses on the role that art and culture can play as forms of political engagement in gentrifying cities, and (with collaborator Maite Zubiaurre) on the forensic, cultural, and political practices around migrant death in the Borderlands. Work from his collaborative art practice has been shown at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, the West Bund Biennial of Arts and Architecture, and the Reykjavík Arts Festival. He was formerly the founding Project Director and Core Faculty for the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative, and remains a research affiliate with USC's Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB) and Race, Arts, and Placemaking Research Collaborative (RAP). He holds a PhD in Urban Planning and Development from the University of Southern California, Master of Architecture and Master in City Planning degrees from MIT, and a BA in Architectural Studies, Geography, and Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA.

Jasmin Savic
Jasmina Savic, Lecturer
Department of Russian and Slavic Studies

Jasmina Savic is a Ph.D. Candidate in Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and will defend her dissertation in August 2019. Savic received her M.A. in Slavic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her B.A. in Serbian Literature and Language from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her research interests include 20th- and 21st-century Russian literature and culture, gender studies, sexuality, erotica and pornography, postmodernism, public performance, émigré literature, and underground literature of the late-Soviet period. Her secondary research interests are South Slavic literatures, folklore, visual culture and languages, with primary focus on Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS). She has taught courses on Russian Literature, and Russian and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages.

Stephanie Springer, Senior Lecturer and COH Internship Director
Department of Public and Applied Humanities

Stephanie Springer is an experienced educator and administrator, she comes to COH from the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, where she directed the undergraduate internship experience, taught public health coursework, and served as the Director of Advising. In Spring 2019, Stephanie was recognized as one of three finalists for the University of Arizona’s Five Star Faculty Award for her excellence in teaching and engagement with undergraduate students. Stephanie has also been a Program Coordinator and Health Educator for the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, and a Program Coordinator, Youth Development Advisor, and Volunteer for the United States Peace Corps. Stephanie holds an MPH and graduate certificates in College Teaching and Geographic Information Systems from the University of Arizona. As an undergraduate, she double majored in Speech Communication and Anthropology at Kansas State University and also studied in Prague at Univerzita Karlova.

Johnathan Vaknin
Johnathan Vaknin, Assistant Professor
Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Johnathan Vaknin is joining the faculty of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese as an Assistant Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies. Prior to coming to Arizona, he received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. in Hispanic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. His research and teaching interests focus on the literature and philosophy of the Caribbean basin from the late-19th through 21st centuries. In his current project, he draws on insights from queer theory and the medical humanities to ask how creative works (novels, poems, sculptures, etc.) enable us to glean the temporal transformations produced by the experience of illness. Other research interests include phenomenology, gender and sexuality studies, music and popular culture, postcolonial theory, and Jewish cultural production from the Caribbean and Latin America.