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Seven New Department Chairs Appointed in the College of Liberal Arts

Seven new department chairs have been appointed in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin this fall.

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Seven new department chairs have been appointed in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin this fall.

“The caliber of scholars who will be joining the College of Liberal Arts in their new leadership roles is phenomenal,” says Randy L. Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Each new chair has distinguished herself or himself in his or her respective field and has shown a commitment to teaching. Collectively, they will serve as an incredible asset to their departments and to our college.”

Four of the new chairs are women, which brings the proportion of female faculty in leadership roles closer to their numbers within the college faculty.

College of Liberal Arts department chair appointees for 2010-11 include:

Kristen Brustad, Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Brustad, an associate professor, has been with the university since 2006. Her research includes Arabic language and literature, and her current project is a book on language ideology. She received her doctorate from Harvard University. She is co-author of the widely used textbook series Al-Kitaab fii Ta’allum al-Arabiyya, now entering its third edition. Other recent publications include “Jirmanus Farhat,” in the Essays in Literary Biography: Arabic Literary Culture 1350-1830 (Harrassowitz, 2009) and “Drink Your Milks! -at as Individuation Marker in Levantine Arabic” in Classical Arabic Humanities in Their Own Terms (Brill, 2008). She has received numerous fellowships and teaching awards.

Capt. Dan Dixon, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit
The 26th commanding officer in Naval ROTC’s history, Dixon has been with the university since August 2010.  He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, received his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, attended flight training at Pensacola, Fla. and Meridian, Miss. where he earned his wings, and attended the Empire State Pilot School at RAF Boscombe Down, United Kingdom. Among his numerous deployments, he was executive officer and commanding officer onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to joining the university, he reported to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and was the military assistant to the director, Defense Research and Engineering.

Mary Neuburger, Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies
Neuburger, an associate professor in the Department of History, has been with the university since 1997. She received her doctorate from the University of Washington. She is the author of “The Orient Within: Muslim Minorities and the Negotiation of Nationhood in Modern Bulgaria.” Her second book with the working title “Inhaling Modernity: The Social Life of Tobacco in Bulgaria 1856-1989,” is under review at Cornell Press. She is also co-editor, along with Paulina Bren, of “Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Postwar Eastern Europe” (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Jill Robbins, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
An associate professor, Robbins has been with the university since 2007. Her research interests include 20th century Spanish culture, Spanish poetry, Trans-Atlantic studies, ethics and gender. She received her doctorate from the University of Kansas. She was associate dean for undergraduate study, School of Humanities at University of California-Irvine. Robbins is author of the books “Frames of Referents: The Postmodern Poetry of Guillermo Carnero” (Bucknell University Press, 1997) and “Crossing Through Chueca: Lesbian Literary Identities in Queer Madrid” (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming).  She has also edited two volumes, P/Herversions: “Critical Studies of Ana Rossetti,” and “Rethinking Spain from across the Seas.”

Christine Williams, Department of Sociology
The Christie and Stanley E. Adams, Jr. Centennial Professor in Liberal Arts, Williams has been with the university since 1988. She is also affiliated with the university’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. Williams studies gender and sexuality in the workplace. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. Williams has written and edited several books, including “Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality” (University of California Press, 2006) and “Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace” (Emerald, 2010). She is the former editor of the journal Gender and Society.

James W. Pennebaker, Department of Psychology
The Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts, Pennebaker returns as chair after a sabbatical. He previously was chair from 2005-2009. He has been with the university, where he received his doctorate, since 1997. His research explores the links between traumatic experiences, expressive writing, natural language use, and physical and mental health. He is author or editor of eight books and more than 200 articles. Pennebaker has received numerous awards, grants and honors.

Cory Juhl, Department of Philosophy
Juhl, a professor, has been with the university since 1992 and has been interim chair for the year. His research includes philosophical logic, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. He received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. His papers have appeared in Philosophy of Science, Synthese and Analysis, among other publications and he is co-author of “Analyticity” (Routledge, 2010).