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New Joint Faculty Appointments Announced


Excerpted from Five College Ink NewsBreaks

Recent searches carried out this year have resulted in the appointment of four new joint faculty positions in the following fields: Architectural Studies, Middle Eastern History, Art and Technology, and Theater. All the positions begin in the fall of 2007.

The initial three years of the appointments in Architectural Studies, Middle Eastern History, and Art and Technology are being funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fourth, a visiting position in theater for sound design, will be supported by a combination of funding from Five Colleges and the hosting institution, the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

These shared positions enable departments to plan for impending retirements or to introduce specialized or emerging areas of study into the curriculum. The joint appointment was among the earliest forms of cooperation developed through the consortium. Three of the new appointments are being shared by two or three institutions; the fourth, in theater, is for a three-year visiting lecturer.

Joint appointments are normally proposed by Five College departments or programs that commit to collaborative planning. Additional positions are expected to be made over the next several years.

Middle Eastern Studies
Nadya Sbaiti has been appointed Five College Assistant Professor of History to teach the social and cultural history of the modern Middle East. This is a tenure-track position, based at Smith, to be shared primarily between Smith and Mount Holyoke in collaboration with the history departments of the other campuses. She currently serves as coeditor of the peer-reviewed Arab Studies Journal and helped produce the documentary film About Baghdad.

Art and Technology
John Slepian has been appointed to a shared position between Hampshire and Smith colleges to further collaboration between their respective arts and science programs and those of the Five Colleges in general. This is a full-time, continuing appointment at the assistant professor level, for which Hampshire College will serve as the home institution with Slepian teaching at Hampshire and Smith. Those serving on the search committee comprised representatives from studio art, engineering, computer science, and cognitive science. Slepian received a BFA in film and television from New York University in 1988 and worked for many years in commercial television and new media before returning to school in fine art. For the past two years, he has served as the Luther Gregg Sullivan Visiting Artist in Digital Media at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Theater—Sound Design
Robert Kaplowitz has been appointed Five College Visiting Lecturer in Sound Design for a period of three years, beginning this fall. In this position, shared by all five institutions, he will be based in the university’s Department of Theater. While the position serves the needs chiefly of theater, it has implications and benefits for other performance arts, such as music and dance, in which sound design plays a crucial role.

Prior to accepting this appointment, he had been teaching introductory and advanced courses in sound design for both New York University’s Undergraduate Drama Production and Design Track and the Playwrights Horizons Direction and Design programs. His courses will be open to students in any discipline, including theater, dance, music, and film.

Thom Long has been named Five College Assistant Professor of Architectural Studies. The position will be based at Hampshire College and shared among three campuses: Hampshire, Amherst, and Mount Holyoke colleges. A practicing designer and architect in Northampton, Long is the founder and creative director of Vision Laboratory, a small, decade-old interdisciplinary design practice.



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