Honors Seminars Fall 2014 Instructors
Dr. Gary L. Comstock
Professor of Philosophy
Gary L. Comstock is a professor of philosophy at NC State who does research on ethical questions in the biological sciences. He has written one book, Vexing Nature? On the Ethical Case Against Agricultural Biotechnology, which was called a "watershed" in the discussion of genetically modified foods. Another critic wrote that the book's nuanced treatment of both sides of the issue is "virtually unprecedented in applied philosophy." Comstock also edited the books Life Science Ethics, Religious Autobiographies, and Is There a Moral Obligation to Save the Family Farm?. For two years he was a Fellow at the National Humanities Center. He spends his free time listening to string quartets, dragging his walker at noon onto the basketball floor in Carmichael, and wondering what goes on in horses' heads.
Dr. Lee A. Craig
Alumni Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Economics
Dr. Lee A. Craig is Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics and the Head of the Department of Economics at N.C. State University. He received B.S. and M.A. degrees from Ball State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economic history from Indiana University. Professor Craig teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on microeconomics, financial markets and institutions, and economic history. His current research interests include state and local public finance; the history and financing of pensions and social security; international business cycles; the impact of nutrition on long-run economic growth and the standard of living; and the history of the newspaper industry. He has published more than 90 scholarly articles, chapters, and reviews on these and related topics.
Craig's books include: Josephus Daniels: His Life and Times (Chapel Hill: UNC Press); State and Local Retirement Plans in the United States, with Robert L. Clark and John Sabelhaus, (London: Edward Elgar, 2011); A History of Public Sector Pensions in the United States, with Robert L. Clark and Jack Wilson, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003); The European Macroeconomy: Growth, Cycles and Integration, 1500-1913, with Douglas Fisher, (London: Edward Elgar, 2000); The Integration of the European Economy, 1850-1913, with Douglas Fisher, (London: Macmillan, 1997); and To Sow One Acre More: Childbearing and Farm Productivity in the Antebellum North, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993) - for which he won the Allan Nevins Prize, presented by the Economic History Association. Professor Craig was a chapter editor of Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition, published by Cambridge University Press; he is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina Press; and he is on the editorial boards of Cliometrica and Historical Methods.
Professor Craig has been a research fellow and research economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1991-2004). He is a former trustee of the Economic History Association, and the long-time executive director of the Cliometric Society. He is also a former fellow of the Center for Demographic Studies at Duke University (1991-94), and a former Marshall Fund Fellow at the Seminar für Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Universität München, Germany (1996). Professor Craig has been a visiting professor of economics at Duke University (2000-04 and 2006-2012), and he has lectured and given seminars at universities and colleges around the world.
In addition to his research accomplishments, Professor Craig is a former winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award in the NCSU College of Management (2000-01), and has three times been the N.C. State College of Management’s nominee for the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ Teaching Award (2003-2004, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008). He is a faculty fellow at the Foundation for Teaching Economics in Davis, California, and a member of the North Carolina Academy of Outstanding Teachers. "
Dr. Christopher J. Crosbie
Christopher Crosbie is Assistant Professor in the English Department. He has just completed his first book, a study of the influence of classical philosophy on early modern revenge tragedy. Parts of this project have appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly and English Literary Renaissance, and its earliest incarnation won the J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize from the Shakespeare Association of America. He has three other articles (not from this project) just out, or forthcoming, as well. "Francis Bacon and Aristotelian Afterlives" has just been published in The Blackwell Companion to British Literature. "Shakespeare and the Sword of Lath: The Longleat Manuscript Reconsidered" and "The Comedy of Errors, Haecceity, and the Metaphysics of Individuation" are forthcoming in English Literary Renaissance and Renaissance Papers, respectively. An avid theater-goer, he focuses his classes in equal measure on the philosophical contexts and performative possibilities of early modern drama. "
Dr. Paul C. Fyfe
Paul Fyfe teaches nineteenth-century British literature and courses in the "digital humanities" -- or what happens to books, reading, interpretation, and communication when humanities materials and methods shift into digital contexts. He learned about both as a graduate student at the University of Virginia, specializing in Victorian literature and working on digital archive projects. He has previously taught at Florida State University in the English department and the interdisciplinary History of Text Technologies program, offering classes in media history and theories of the "text" from print to digital. At NC State, he researches Victorian literature and how its study -- and humanities inquiry more generally -- can be augmented with digital tools. Find out more at http://go.ncsu.edu/pfyfe or on Twitter at @pfyfe.
Dr. Michael Grimwood
Michael Grimwood received degrees from Duke and Princeton Universities. He has taught in the English Department at NCSU since 1975. He has published a book and articles on William Faulkner and American literature. From 1990 to 2009, he co-chaired the World Literature Program, a joint effort of the Department of English and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. He has won awards from the University and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for teaching, advising, and research..
Dr. Timothy Hinton
Timothy Hinton is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at NC State University. After high school, he studied law and politics at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. From there, he went to Oxford where he received a graduate degree in philosophy. He came to the US in 1991 and graduated with a PhD in philosophy from MIT five years later. He has taught at NC State since 1996 and was a visiting professor at Cornell University between 2003 and 2005. Dr Hinton has been a member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers since 2008 and has published a dozen papers in philosophy journals. He is currently editing a book on the political philosophy of John Rawls due to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.
Dr. Sharon Joffe
Teaching Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head
Dr. Sharon Joffe was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in English and French and a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Town, Dr. Joffe came to live in the United States. She received her M.S. Ed. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Joffe is currently a Teaching Associate Professor and Assistant Head for Scheduling in the Department of English at North Carolina State University where she teaches courses in British literature and South African literature. Her book, The Kinship Coterie and the Literary Endeavors of the Women in the Shelley Circle, was published in April 2007.
Dr. Jonathan C. Kramer
Teaching Professor of Music and Arts Studies
Dr. Jonathan C. Kramer is Teaching Professor of Music and Arts Studies at North Carolina State University, and Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology at Duke University. As a cellist, he has performed as principal of the Tucson Symphony and as a member of the San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras and the North Carolina Symphony. Among his teachers are Aldo Parisot, Gordon Epperson, Raya Garbousova, David Wells, Madeline Foley, and Maurice Gendron. He has concertized extensively as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. as well as in Russia, India, Korea, Canada, Austria, Bulgaria, U. K., Switzerland, and Italy. He has performed with The Mostly Modern series of San Francisco, Mallarme Chamber Players, Duke University Encounters Series, the Piccolo Spoletto Festival, Raleigh Chamber Music Guild; and presented solo concertos with a number of regional orchestras. He has recorded for Albany Records, and Soundings of the Planet Studios. He is on the teaching faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Institute and frequently accompanies Rumi translator Coleman Barks in poetry readings. He has served as moderator of the Pedagogy Panel at the American Cello Congress and his An Homage to Pau Casals for cellist and narrator has been presented at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, the 92nd St. Y in NYC, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and elsewhere. Kramer maintains an active cello studio, and former students have attended Juilliard, Peabody, Manhattan, New England Conservatory, and other schools of music.
As ethnomusicologist, Dr. Kramer has been awarded Senior Fulbright Fellowships at Banaras-Hindu University in India and at Chosun University in Kwangju, South Korea, and spent two summers at the Institute for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Seoul. He has lectured on global issues in music and aesthetics in the United States, the U. K., Korea, India, China, Japan, Uganda, Canada, Suriname, and for the Semester at Sea program during their spring, ’06 around the world voyage. He has presented papers before the Society of Ethnomusicology, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, the Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata, India, and the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research with whom he participated in the 2006 fieldwork expedition and conference in Yulin, Shaanxi Province, PRC. Recently, he has consulted with the Tibetan (now Plateau) Endangered Music Project in Qinghai Province, PRC and has read papers on the subject in Shanghai and Beijing and was quoted by National Geographic Magazine in their article on the Project. In March, 2008 he presented a lecture at the invitation of the US Embassy in Parimaribo, Suriname (former Dutch Guyana) on "Surinamese Music in a Global Context." Since then he has twice returned to Suriname as a consultant in the role of the performing arts in the development of cultural tourism.
Most recent research has involved work in indigenous music and ritual practices in a multi-ethnic region of Western China, and in traditional forms of sacred music in Uganda and Ethiopia. Dr. Kramer was a member of the Tanglewood II Symposium (2007) on the Future of Music Education at Williams College, and one of the primary authors of the Tanglewood II Declaration. He is currently writing a college-level World Music textbook with associate Dr. Alison Arnold called "What in the World Is Music?" He holds advanced degrees from Duke and the Graduate School of the Union Institute where he completed a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and Performance Studies with a dissertation on traditional Korean music.
Dr. Charles Ludington
Teaching Assistant Professor
Chad Ludington studied history at Yale University as an undergraduate, but before pursuing his doctorate at Columbia University he had a variety of jobs and adventures. To wit, he played professional basketball in France, traveled very slowly by train from Seville to Hong Kong, worked as a prep chef, a wine store salesman, and a genealogist for a Franco-Irish-English-American Family. While in graduate school at Columbia he continued to work in a wine store, and was also a high school JV basketball coach. He is proud to say that his team was the second-best JV high school team in a metropolitan area of over 8 million people. Admittedly, that metropolitan area was London and not New York City. Related to my historical interest in food and wine, he spends an inordinate amount of time cooking, thinking about food, and contemplating what wines will complement the food he is making.
Dr. Ludington's research interests have focused on the connections between political culture, political thought, and material culture in England, Scotland, and Ireland (c. 1500 to c. 1860) in a European and Atlantic context. He has published works on the history of British and Irish political thought, the Huguenot Diaspora in Ireland, and the political meanings and uses of wine in England and Scotland. He recently completed his first book, The Politics of Wine in Britain: A New Cultural History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). He argues that the taste for wine, meaning what wine one consumed and how one consumed it, was an expression of political beliefs (and therefore party allegiance), competing conceptions of masculinity, social class, and social aspirations. Consequently, the taste for wine both reflected and helped to construct political power. As well as being a major study of political culture during the very time the British state was being created, his book is a methodological attempt to move beyond the years of theorizing about “New Cultural History,” and actually to write it. Thus, his book endeavors to reconcile the materialist insights of social historians of the previous generation and the dexterous decoding of language, cultural practices, and material objects that is the distinguishing feature of more recent cultural history.
Dr. Ludington's current research interests include a global history of cheddar cheese, and a study of the role of Irish merchants in the invention of first growth Bordeaux wines, the wines for which the region is most famous.
Dr. Catherine Mainland
Catherine Mainland studied German in her native Scotland before moving to North Carolina in 2001. She received her MA and PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006, then a second MA in English Literature from NCSU in 2008. She has taught a range of American and Western World Literature survey courses, both at NCSU and Campbell University. Given this diverse background, she considers herself a generalist, and has published and presented on Kate Chopin, Georg Hermann, Mary Shelley and ETA Hoffmann, literature pedagogy, and Scottish literature of the fourteenth century. In her spare time, Dr. Mainland reads in English, German, Dutch, and French, and talks about literature with her book club. If no-one else is available, she’ll also talk about literature to her increasingly senile cats, who enjoy this immensely.
Dr. Lelia S. May
Associate Professor; Director, English Honors Program
Dr. May's principal area of interest is the nineteenth-century British novel and culture. She has published articles on eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and American literature in a number of academic journals such as ELH, Studies in English Literature, Philological Quarterly, Philosophy and Literature, Studies in Short Fiction, and Modern Language Review, as well as a book entitled Disorderly Sisters: Sibling Relations and Sororal Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Literature that focuses on the pivotal role of the sister figure in nineteenth-century literary representations. She is the Director of the English Department Honors Program, as well as a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers.
Dr. Alicia Ebbett McGill
Alicia McGill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History. She received a BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University. Dr. McGill has always been fascinated by human diversity in the past and present and the ways that people connect with history and has conducted archaeological and cultural anthropology research in Cyprus, Honduras, Belize, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Dr. McGill has academic interests in heritage, public history, and anthropological studies of education. She has conducted extensive research in Belize, focusing on the ways constructions of the past are promoted through public venues like tourism, education, and archaeology, and how these constructions shape the cultural production of young citizens. Dr. McGill is particularly interested in the ways messages about the past are interpreted and negotiated by teachers and youth as they navigate racial and ethnic politics in the present. Her most recent publications focus on national cultural diversity rhetoric in the Belizean state and intersections between colonial dynamics, community connections with the natural landscape, and local heritage work.
At NC State Dr. McGill teaches courses on the Ancient Americas, Frauds and Mysteries in History, Cultural Resource Management, and International Cultural Heritage. In the next few years, she hopes to take NC State students to Belize to learn about archaeological research, tourism, and environmental conservation.
Dr. Jennifer Anne Nolan-Stinson
Dr. Jennifer Nolan-Stinson earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies from the University of Maryland in 2008, and teaches courses on twentieth-century U.S. literature and culture. In addition to the English, Honors, and Science, Technology, and Society (STS) courses she regularly teaches, she has developed a new interdisciplinary course in American Studies for NC State, which was offered for the first time during the spring 2012 semester. Her interest in interdisciplinary work began as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with majors in English and Philosophy, and she followed this with an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. Dr. Nolan-Stinson has published and presented on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American reading practices, genre reading, teaching American literature, and the materiality of the book, and her current research interests include ethnographic approaches to studying reading and the intersections between consumption, display, design, and marketing of paperback books. She also will serve as President of the Zeta of North Carolina chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for the 2013 - 2014 academic year.
Dr. Thomas P. Phillips
Having completed a multidisciplinary Ph.D. at Concordia University, Montreal, in 2007, I am currently active as an English lecturer, a fiction and theory writer, and a composer of minimalist, electro-acoustic music. I have had the great fortune of seeing these creative endeavors come to fruition in book publication and in numerous CD releases. I also perform music, alone and in collaboration, on an international scale. However, literary scholarship (most recently on brevity and the contemporary French novel) and pedagogy remain central to my artistic work in so far as they afford an invaluable theoretical foundation, not to mention an immensely pleasurable career.
Dr. Molly M. Pryzwansky
Molly Pryzwansky received her B.A. in Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, with honors in Classical Studies). Her Ph.D. in Classical Studies comes from Duke University, where she was the recipient of the Bass Advanced Instructorship in 2006-7. In 2007-8, Dr. Pryzwansky held the Kathryn Conway Preyer Fellowship for Advanced Study in History from Wellesley College for her work on Suetonius, a 2nd-cent. A.D. Roman biographer. Dr. Pryzwansky has also studied at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the American Academy in Rome, and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Since 2011 she has been a Research Associate (rédacteur) for L’Année Philologique, American Office. Her article on the reception of Cornelius Nepos was recently published in the Classical Journal (“Cornelius Nepos: Key Issues and Critical Approaches,” CJ 105.2 [2009-10]: 97-108) and she has recently spoken at the annual meetings of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the American Philological Association, and the Archaeological Institute of America.
Dr. Sanem Soyarslan
Sanem Soyarslan is an assistant professor of philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. She specializes in the history of ethics and early modern philosophy, with a particular emphasis on the philosophy of Spinoza. Soyarslan has an ongoing interest in ethical theories both ancient and modern. Her recent work focuses on Spinoza's distinction between reason and intuitive knowledge and its ethical implications. In her next major project, Soyarslan aims to develop a detailed and accurate account of Spinoza's ethical thought by situating it in its historical context, giving special attention to ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and the Stoics and to Spinoza's near-contemporaries, especially Descartes.
Dr. Aaron J. Stoller
Dr. Aaron Stoller is Associate Director for the University Honors Program at NC State. He obtained a B.A. in English Literature from Wake Forest University, an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Arizona, an M.Div. from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) at Virginia Tech. His work focuses on the social and epistemological foundations of education and, in particular, in post-secondary pedagogy and theories of creative inquiry. His work was most recently published in the Journal of Aesthetic Education ("Educating from failure: Dewey’s aesthetics and the case for failure in educational theory," (Vol. 47 (1): 22-35). He has recently presented scholarship at the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy and the South Atlantic Philosophy of Education Society (SAPES), where his work was selected for inclusion in the 2013 SAPES yearbook.