UCI School of Humanities welcomes Dean Tyrus Miller and nine new faculty

UCI School of Humanities welcomes Dean Tyrus Miller and nine new faculty

 Office of the Dean October 2, 2018

In addition to Miller, nine new faculty join the school with expertise spanning the Italian Renaissance to ancient Iran

The University of California, Irvine welcomes Tyrus Miller as dean of the School of Humanities with appointments in the Departments of English and Art History. Miller joins UCI after almost 20 years at UC Santa Cruz, where he served most recently as vice provost and dean of graduate studies and oversaw 36 doctoral and more than 50 master's programs across the campus.

Cross-pollinating the future
New dean believes interdisciplinary humanities are key to addressing complex contemporary problems. Click here to read the full story.

During the summer, Dean Miller was a guest of Claudia Shambaugh's "Ask a Leader" on KUCI Radio. In the interview, he discusses his priorities as dean, how the humanities fit into the context of the university, and what interdisciplinary cross-campus partnerships he'd like to see take place. We invite you to listen to the segment here.

Please join us in welcoming these scholars to UCI:

Matthew P. Canepa, Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran, Department of Art History and Program in Visual Studies

Dr. Matthew P. Canepa, an historian of art, archaeology and religions, joins UCI from the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on the intersection of art, ritual and power in the eastern Mediterranean, Persia and the wider Iranian world.

His newly published book is entitled The Iranian Expanse: Transforming Royal Identity through Landscape, Architecture, and the Built Environment (550 BCE – 642 CE) (UC Press, 2018). It is a large-scale study of the transformation of Iranian cosmologies, landscapes and architecture from the height of the Achaemenids to the coming of Islam. His publications include The Two Eyes of the Earth: Art and Ritual of Kingship between Rome and Sasanian Iran (University of California Press, 2009; paperback ed. 2017), the first book to analyze the artistic, ritual and ideological interactions between the late Roman and Sasanian empires in a comprehensive and theoretically rigorous manner. It was awarded the 2010 James Henry Breasted Prize from the American Historical Association for the best book in English on any field of history prior to the year 1000 CE.

Canepa earned his Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago and his B.A. in art history and psychology from University of Colorado, Boulder.

Fun fact: Matthew grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is incredibly excited to return to the west after a long Midwestern exile.

Qian Du, Lecturer Potential Security of Employment, Academic English/ESL

Dr. Qian Du received her Ph.D. and M.A. in foreign, second and multilingual language education from the Ohio State University, where she also taught English academic writing courses to international undergraduate and graduate students. Before joining UCI, she worked as the undergraduate composition coordinator in the Linguistics Department at Ohio University. Her research focuses on academic literacies development, intercultural rhetoric, and reading and writing connections. Her work has appeared in English for Academic Purposes, Journal of Second Language Writing and System. She is currently working on a project that examines what constitutes convincing argumentation in different cultures and how source use plays a role in argument construction.

Fun fact: In her spare time, Qian likes to hike and camp with her two border collies.

Sandra Harvey, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies

Dr. Sandra Harvey's research focuses on the production of race and gender through surveillance technologies originating in colonialism and chattel slavery. Her current book project, Passing for Free, Passing for Sovereign traces narratives of race/gender passing within science, settler colonial law, and Enlightenment philosophy. Her writing has appeared in Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience.

Harvey was a UCI Chancellor's ADVANCE Postdoctoral fellow with the Criminology, Law, and Society Department in 2017-2018. She earned a Ph.D. in politics with a designated emphasis in history of consciousness from UC Santa Cruz and an M.A. in sociology from the Universidad de Chile.

Fun fact: In her spare time, Sandra enjoys dancing timba and reading literature and fiction about her hometown (Oakland, CA/Huichin).

Joseph Jeon, Professor, Department of English

Dr. Joseph Jonghyun Jeon joins us from Pomona College where he taught for seven years. Jeon's research focuses on transnational Asian/American literature and visual culture with a particular emphasis on film and poetry. He is the author of Vicious Circuits: Korea's IMF Cinema and the End of the American Century (Stanford University Press, forthcoming 2019) and Racial Things, Racial Forms: Objecthood in Avant-Garde Asian American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2012). His work has appeared in positions: asia critique, Cinema Journal, and Representations. He was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in South Korea for the 2016-2017 academic year, and, though he is very happy to be here in Irvine, he very much misses living in Seoul.

Jeon earned his Ph.D. in English from UC Berkeley and his B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University. In addition to Pomona, he also taught previously at the University of San Diego.

Fun fact: Joseph enjoys cycling, traveling, and taking his daughter to museums.

John Murillo, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies

Dr. John Murillo III joins UCI from California State University, Dominguez Hills where he was a lecturer of Africana studies and humanities. Murillo's research interests include African-American literature (20th and 21st Century), Black studies, creative writing and theoretical physics.

Murillo earned a Ph.D. in English from Brown University and a B.A. in English from UCI. While at UCI, Murillo worked as staff, and briefly as co-editor, of Umoja News Magazine, and held the position of director of communications for UCI's Black Student Union.

James Robertson, Assistant Professor, Department of History

Dr. James Robertson joins UCI from Woodbury University where he was Assistant Professor of Politics and History. His research focuses on the intellectual history of Eastern Europe, particularly the philosophical and literary cultures of the Balkans. His current book project, Literature, Politics and the Balkan Idea on the Yugoslav Left, 1870-1956, interrogates the imagined geographies that underpinned the intersection of revolutionary politics and literary modernism in Yugoslavia. His work has appeared in East European Politics and Societies and Nationalities Papers.

Robertson received his Ph.D. in history from NYU and his bachelor's in history and philosophy from the University of Sydney.

Fun fact: James is an avid fan of cult horror films, with a special fondness for the Italian giallo tradition.

Chelsea Schields, Assistant Professor, Department of History

Dr. Chelsea Schields' scholarship explores the histories of sexuality, race, and decolonization in Europe and its former empires. Schields is assistant editor of The Political Thought of African Independence (Hackett, 2017) and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism. She is currently at work on a book manuscript about sexual politics and imperial aftermath in the Dutch Caribbean.

Schields earned her Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Goucher College.

Fun fact: Chelsea was born and raised in Orange County. She is happy to return home after many years spent living on the East Coast.

Deanna Shemek, Professor, Department of European Languages and Studies

A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Dr. Deanna Shemek arrives this fall from UC Santa Cruz, where she taught for twenty-eight years in the Department of Literature. She holds a B.A. in English (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) and master's and Ph.D. degrees in Italian (Johns Hopkins University). Shemek's research focuses on the Italian Renaissance, with special interests in women writers and in such popular forms as adventure narratives, letters, and staged comedies.

Her most recent book is a collection of 830 letters she selected and translated from the correspondence of Isabella d'Este, princess of the Renaissance city-state of Mantua. She co-directs IDEA: Isabella d'Este Archive, which offers students and researchers new ways to explore the culture of early modern Italy through digitally available materials, and is currently finishing a book on Isabella d'Este as a Renaissance correspondent.

Fun fact: Deanna loves dogs. She shares her life with her husband, Tyrus Miller, and their canine, Bentley, a Papillon-Corgi mix who rescued them in 2016.

Elizabeth Tinsley, Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies

Dr. Elizabeth Tinsley joins us from Columbia University where she did a Ph.D. in religion, and previously to that, Otani University in Kyoto, where she attained a Ph.D. in Buddhist culture. Tinsley has also undertaken research fellowships at Yokohama City University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She researches Buddhist history and culture in Japan, and is currently writing about mountain gods, spirit possession, and Buddhist institution formation. She also works on the visual culture of Buddhism in postwar subcultures of Japan. She has published in various academic journals in both Japan and the U.S.

Tinsley has also earned M.A.s in history of art at the University of Cambridge and in Japanese studies from SOAS University of London.

Fun fact: In her spare time she loves creative writing, cooking for friends, and comedy.

Group photo: bottom row, from left to right: Deanna Shemek, Elizabeth Tinsley and Qian Du. Top row, from left to right: Joseph Jeon, Sandra Harvey, Matthew Canepa, James Robertson and Chelsea Schields