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Faculty appointments

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Named professorships, promotions, tenure announced

Two College of Arts and Sciences faculty members have been recognized with named professorships, and 21 faculty members have received other promotions. All will be effective Sept. 1.

Meredith K. Ray has been appointed Elias Ahuja Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and Thomas Leitch has been appointed Unidel Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr. Chair in Writing in the Department of English.

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Meredith Ray

​Meredith K. Ray

Meredith Ray

Ray is a professor of Italian and interim chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, where she teaches courses on medieval and Renaissance Italian literature, history and culture, including women writers of early modern Europe, Italy in the age of the Scientific Revolution and Dante's Divine Comedy in Italian and in translation.

She is affiliated with the Department of Women and Gender Studies and the European Studies program at the Center for Global and Area Studies.

Ray’s research focuses on Italian women's writing of the 16th and 17th centuries, early modern science and philosophy, epistolary writing and convent culture. She is the author of several monographs on women in early modern literary and scientific culture, and she has co-edited translations of works by Machiavelli and Arcangela Tarabotti, the radical 17th century nun and feminist.

Her current book project, forthcoming from Routledge, is Twenty-Five Women Who Shaped the Italian Renaissance. It shows how women – too often relegated to the sidelines or omitted entirely from histories of the Renaissance – impacted the profound literary, cultural and political developments of the 16th and early 17th centuries, situating them not as isolated cases of female exceptionality, but rather as part of a larger and more complex tapestry of Renaissance achievement.

Ray has received fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Renaissance Society of America. Her books have been recognized with awards from major professional associations including the American Association of Italian Studies and the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

She is co-founder and co-editor, with Gary Ferguson of the University of Virginia, of “The Early Modern Exchange,” an interdisciplinary series published by the University of Delaware Press, and general editor of the Routledge Series, “Twenty-Five Women Who…”, inspired by her current book project. She has served as the visiting Charles Speroni Endowed Chair in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and as president of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

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Thomas Leitch

​Thomas Leitch

Thomas Leitch

Leitch is a professor in the Department of English who trained as a literary scholar at Columbia and Yale, moving into cinema studies when he discovered a love of storytelling that transcended literature and leading to his first book, What Stories Are: Narrative Theory and Interpretation.

He teaches film studies and literature at UD and has taught undergraduate courses in film, specializing in popular Hollywood genres from romantic comedy to film noir, and graduate courses in literary and cultural theory. He is the author of nine books, the editor of two others and is currently editing a collection of essays, The Scandal of Adaptation.

Leitch has also written more than 100 essays, publishing extensively on narrative theory, genre theory and popular culture.

His books include Perry Mason and Crime Films, which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2003, and books about Alfred Hitchcock. Over the past 10 years, most of his work—especially Film Adaptation and Its Discontents: From “Gone with the Wind” to “The Passion of the Christ”—has focused on the process of textual adaptation and its broader implications for the teaching of English.

His most recent books are The History of American Literature on Film (2019), the Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies (2017) and Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age (2014).

A two-time alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar, Leitch has taught as a Fulbright Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He serves on the steering committee of the Delaware Teachers Institute and on the editorial boards of Literature/Film Quarterly, Adaptation, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Hitchcock Annual, Studia Filmoznawcze, the Contemporary Film and Media Studies series published by Wayne State University Press, and the Adaptation and Visual Culture series published by Palgrave Macmillan. He regularly reviews mystery and suspense fiction for Kirkus Reviews, where he is mystery editor.

Promotions and tenure announcements

The University of Delaware Board of Trustees approved the promotions of 21 faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences and awarded emeritus status to several retiring professors at its spring meeting on May 25.

Promoted to the rank of professor were the following associate professors who had previously been granted tenure: Erin Cassesse, political science and international relations; Marie-Christine Delbeau, School of Music; Lars Gundlach, chemistry and biochemistry; Rachael Hutchinson, languages, literatures and cultures; Joanne Miller, political science and international relations; Chiara Sabina, women and gender studies; Daniel Stevens, School of Music; and Dannagal Young, communication.

Promoted from associate professor to professor, without tenure, were Max Michael McCamley, English, and Sarah Trembanis, Associate in Arts Program.

Assistant professors promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure were: Jasmin Cloutier, psychological and brain sciences; John Crowley, communication; Mahya Ghandehari, mathematical sciences; Dominique Guillot, mathematical sciences; Lisa Jaremka, psychological and brain sciences; Abdol-Razagh Oskooii, political science and international relations; Lauren Reynolds, School of Music; and Sarah Wasserman, English.

Promoted to the rank of associate professor without tenure were Zhiyin Renee Dong, languages, literatures and cultures; Jennifer Lobasz, political science and international relations; and Devon Miller-Duggan, English.

New CAS emeriti faculty are Christopher Boorse, professor emeritus of philosophy; John Courtright, professor emeritus of communication; Alfinio Flores, Kathleen and David Hollowell Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education; Lana Harrison, professor emerita of sociology and criminal justice; Linda Pellecchia, associate professor emerita of art history; David Stone, professor emeritus of art history; and Gerald Turkel, professor emeritus of sociology and criminal justice.

Article by College of Arts and Sciences communications staff

Published July 15, 2021

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