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Tulane Faculty Author Spotlight

Amy Pfrimmer is Assistant Professor of Music and the Lillian Gerson Watsky Professor in Voice at Tulane University where she has been Voice Area Coordinator and Director of the Vocal Music Concert Series since 2007. Her repertoire and creative work encompasses a wide range of music, with particular focus on Romantic and 20th Century opera, oratorio, concert literature, and song. In 2018, she revived Tulane’s Opera Workshop, directing and musically preparing students for their roles in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. She has sustained interests in sacred and liturgical music, the music and style of J.S. Bach, G.F. Händel, Giacomo Puccini, César Franck, Cécile Chaminade and Luise Reichardt, and a particular affinity for the French mélodie.


Mohan Ambikaipaker is Associate Professor of Communication.  He is a social anthropologist and cultural studies scholar who studies the dynamics of multiracial societies. His research trajectory is comprised of three strands (U.K., Malaysia and the U.S.) and aims to examine the shifting configurations of racism and racial structures that go beyond bipolar frameworks of analysis (for example, Black-White or Asian-White dynamics). Professor Ambikaipaker has constructed a long-term comparative research agenda that builds cross-national perspectives in theorizing connections between critical cultural communication, intersectional racial identities, and globalized nation-states.


Holly Flora is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs for Newcomb Art. Her scholarly work explores the themes of narrative, imagination, materiality, and gender in the devotional art of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy. She has received a number of research fellowships and awards, including the Jean-Francois Malle Fellow at the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence in 2015-16, and the Artists and Scholars grant from the Louisiana State Board of Regents in 2016-17. Drawing upon her museum experiences, Prof. Flora teaches a course on the ethics of collecting for the Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law and the Arts every summer in Siena, Italy, and teaches courses on museum education in Tulane's undergraduate study abroad program in Ferrara, Italy.


James Alm is Professor and Department Chair of Economics. His most recent research areas include tax compliance and tax evasion, the marriage tax, tax and expenditure limitations, tax amnesties, taxpayer responses to tax reforms, enterprise zones, the determinants of state economic growth, and corruption. He has worked extensively on fiscal and decentralization reforms in numerous countries, including Bangladesh, Jamaica, Grenada, Indonesia, Turkey, Hungary, China, Egypt, the Philippines, Russia, Uganda, Nigeria, India, Colombia, Nepal, Ukraine, Pakistan, South Africa, and Tunisia. Alm's international projects have been funded by the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Monetary Fund.


Peter Cooley is Director of Creative Writing, Professor of English, and Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities.Three times a recipient of Mortar Board commendations at Tulane, Cooley received the Inspirational Professor Award and the Newcomb Professor of the Year Award. From 1970-2000 he was Poetry Editor of North American Review and is currently Poetry Editor of Christianity and Literature. He has been an Atlantic Younger Poet, The Robert Frost Fellow at the Breadloaf Writers' Conference, a Yaddo Fellow, and an Ossabaw Island Fellow. Peter has received fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, The Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the state of Louisiana's ATLAS Program. He is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and of the Marble Faun First Place Prize in Poetry given by the Faulkner Society. 


Bouchaib Gadir is a Senior Professor of Practice, Arabic. His research interests include: Language learning theories, Medieval Arabic literature, Polyphony in Modern Arabic novel and Identity and Exile in the Francophone Novel of the Maghreb. 


Ari Ofengenden is Professor of Practice of Jewish Studies and heads the Hebrew program at Tulane University. He is the author of Liberalization and Culture in Contemporary Israel (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018) and Introduction to the Poetry of Abraham Shlonsky (De Gruyter, 2014), as well as articles on Israeli culture and German-Jewish literature. Professor Ofendenden was the chief editor of the Journal of Comparative Literature and Culture and is currently the series editor of Books in Comparative Cultural Studies of Purdue University Press. He is an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and has been invited for talks at Dongguk University, Shangani International Studies, Harvard Kennedy School, and Weill Medical College.


Stephanie Porras is Associate Professor of History of Art and Associate Chair, Director of Graduate Studies in Newcomb Art. She specializes in Northern European art of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. Professor Porras’s research and teaching interests include: early modern print culture, the idea of antiquity in the North, the emergence of genre imagery, early modern notions of the copy and the export of Flemish prints across the early modern globe.


Anna Mitchell Mahoney is the Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Political Leadership and the Director of Research for the Newcomb College Institute. She has taught a range of courses at the university level including Introduction to Women’s Studies, American Government, Congressional Politics, American Race Relations, and Women and American Politics. Professor Mahoney's research is centered on women’s representation and gendered institutions which is explored in her manuscript on the origins of women’s caucuses in state legislatures.


Dan Purrington is Emeritus Professor of Physics. His research interests include: Theoretical Studies of Classical (ocean acoustics) and Quantum (few nucleon systems) Scattering History of Physics (17th, 19th centuries) Archaeaoastronomy. In his tenure he has authored several books: Frame of the Universe (1983), with Frank Durham Some Truer Method: The Heritage of Isaac Newton (1989) with Frank Durham, Physics in the Nineteenth Century (1997),The First Professional Scientist: Robert Hooke and the Royal Society of London (2009).


Mark Vail is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of Political Science. His research interests focus on the comparative political economy of advanced industrial societies, with a particular focus on Western Europe, economic and social policy, and the influence of political ideas and ideologies. Professor Vail has published work in the Journal of Comparative Politics, the European Journal of Political Research, Governance, West European Politics, and the Journal of Common Market Studies, among other venues.


Robert Birdwell is Visiting Assistant Professor of English. He researches, teaches, and publishes on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature in the U.S. as well as critical theory.


Yigit Akin is Associate Professor of History. He is a historian of the Modern Middle East with research interests that include social and cultural history of the late Ottoman Empire and early Republican Turkey, with a particular focus on the First World War, war and society, gender, nationalism, and social movements.

Laura Helen Marks is Professor of Practice of English. Her work on pornographic genre, adaptation, and neo-Victorian studies has appeared in Sexualities, Phoebe, and Neo-Victorian Cities, and is forthcoming in Porn Studies and From Porno Chic to the Sex Wars: The Destabilization of American Culture and Politics in the 1970s. Marks is also a regular contributor to the adult film oral history podcast, The Rialto Report.


Aidan Smith is Director of the Newcomb Scholars Program and teaches its first year seminar, The History and Philosophy of Higher Education: The Role of College Women. She also coordinates Newcomb’s feminist film initiatives. 


Ronna Burger is Professor of Philosophy, Catherine & Henry J. Gaisman Chair and Director of Judeo-Christian Studies, Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies, and Director of the Religious Studies Minor. She offers seminars almost every semester on particular works of Plato or Aristotle. She has recently been teaching a series of courses, “Bible and Philosophy,” on different topics each term, such as “Women in the Bible,” “The Political World of the Bible,” or “The Problem of Evil.”


Eduardo Silva is Professor of Political Science and Friezo Foundation Chair in Political Science. His research focuses on Latin American politics, and he has published extensively on the political economy of state-society relations, sustainable development with a focus on forest policy, and mass mobilization. He has conducted extensive field research in Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Venezuela. He also has expertise in the Andean countries and Argentina. He has been a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. State Department and the Center for International Forestry Research in Bangor, Indonesia.


Iñaki Alday is Dean of the School of Architecture. Since 2016, he has been the co-director and founder (with Pankja Vir Gupta) of the Yamuna River Project, a long-term, interdisciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in the Delhi area. Both in academic research and in practice, Alday promotes a new attitude towards the transformation of our environment and how architecture can contribute to the inhabitation of the most challenged areas of the planet. He utilizes a multidisciplinary global vision and social and environmental ethics to examine the role of architecture and architects.


Suresh Sikka is Professor and Research Director of Urology, Andrology Research & Clinical Labs Director, Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Human Genetics, and Associate Member of Center of Bioenvironmental Research and Cancer Center. He is responsible for setting up a CLIA-approved Andrology Clinical and Research Laboratory at Tulane Medical Center, catering to the needs of many infertility and sexual dysfunction patients. Professor Sikka's current research focus is oxidative stress-related signal transduction pathways and gene expression involved in prostate tumorigenesis (BPH and cancer) and drug targeting.


Parisa Kordjamshidi is Assistant Professor of Computer Science and holds a joint appointment as a research scientist at IHMC. Her main research interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, information extraction and declarative learning based programming. Professor Kordjamshidi has worked on the extraction of formal semantics and structured representations from natural language, with a specific focus on spatial semantics representation. Her current research is dedicated to declarative learning based programming (DeLBP). 

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