Regular Faculty

Professor Caroline Heldman

Caroline Heldman, Chair

Professor, Critical Theory and Social Justice
B.A., Washington State University; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University
Caroline Heldman specializes in the presidency, media, gender, and race in the American context.
Professor Bevin Ashenmiller

Bevin Ashenmiller

Associate Professor, Economics; Advisory Committee, Urban and Environmental Policy
B.A., Princeton University; Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara
Bevin Ashenmiller is an Environmental Economist whose research falls into three areas: recycling, evaluation of environmental programs, and energy and climate policy.
Professor Phillip M. Ayoub

Phillip M. Ayoub

Associate Professor, Diplomacy and World Affairs
B.A., University of Washington; M.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Ph.D., Cornell University
Phillip Ayoub's research bridges insights from international relations and comparative politics, engaging with literature on transnational politics, gender and politics, norm diffusion, and the study of social movements. Read his Oxy Story profile.
Professor Erica Ball

Erica Ball

Professor of History and Black Studies
B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A., Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Erica L. Ball is a cultural historian specializing in nineteenth and early twentieth-century African American history.
Professor Mary Christianakis

Mary Christianakis

Professor, Critical Theory and Social Justice
B.A., UCLA; M. Ed., UCLA; M.A., Loyola Marymount University; Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Mary Christianakis is a professor of language, literacy, and culture. She studies literacy development, language, and discourse from a critical sociocritical perspective.
Professor Allison de Fren

Allison de Fren

Associate Professor, Media Arts & Culture
B.A., Grinnell College; M.F.A., New York University; Ph.D., University of Southern California
Allison de Fren teaches new media theory and practice.
Professor Nancy Dess

Nancy Dess

Professor, Psychology; Advisory Committee, Neuroscience
B.A., UCLA Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Nancy Dess' work is rooted in the ancient underpinnings of mammalian behavior.
Professor Sharla Fett

Sharla Fett

Professor, History; Advisory Committee, American Studies
B.A., Carleton College; M.A., Stanford University; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Sharla Fett teaches courses on early U.S. and African American history, including the Atlantic World, Slavery and the Antebellum South, U.S. Women’s History, and Collective Memory and Slavery’s Legacies. Read her Oxy Story profile.
Head shot of Michael Gasper

Michael Gasper

Associate Professor, History
B.A., Temple University; M.A., Ph.D., New York University
Gasper was named a 2013 Mellon New Directions Fellow for his research project "Post-Ottomanism and Rethinking the Modern Middle East”
Headshot of Professor Nina Gelbart

Nina Gelbart

Professor, History; Anita Johnson Wand Professor of Women's Studies
A.B., Harvard University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago
Nina Gelbart's teaching specialties are early modern European history, French Enlightenment and Revolution, women's history, and the history of science and medicine.

Susan Grayson

Professor, Spanish and French Studies; Advisory Committee, Group Language
A.B., M.A., Ph.D., UCLA; Ph.D., Wright Institute Los Angeles Attestation d’études, Université de Bordeaux
Grayson has taught the 18th- and 19th-century French novel, French feminism, women's studies, literary criticism, and French grammar and composition at all levels.

Laura Hebert

Associate Professor, Diplomacy and World Affairs
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee M.A., University of Oregon Ph.D., University of Denver
Hebert's research interests center on gender, human rights, international law, and international organizations, with a geographic emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and a thematic focus on gender-based violence.
Professor Caroline Heldman

Caroline Heldman

Professor, Critical Theory and Social Justice
B.A., Washington State University; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University
Caroline Heldman specializes in the presidency, media, gender, and race in the American context.
Professor Amy Holmes Tagchungdarpa

Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa

Associate Professor, Religious Studies
B.A., Victoria University of Wellington; Ph.D., Australian National University
Areas of specialization: Buddhism in Tibet, the East and South Asian Himalayas, and beyond.
Professor Maryanne Horowitz

Maryanne Horowitz

Professor, History
A.B., Pembroke College, Brown University; M.A.T., Harvard University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Cultural historian Maryanne Horowitz teaches courses on Ancient Athens and Renaissance Florence; Renaissance and Enlightenment Individuals; Europe and the Middle East from Antiquity to 1700; Changing Views of Women, Gender, and Sexualities; and the Humanities from the Renaissance to the Present.
Professor Mary Lopez

Mary J. Lopez

Professor, Economics; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a and Latin American Studies
B.A., UC Riverside; M.A., Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Professor Lopez is a labor economist. Her research focuses on the labor market and entrepreneurial outcomes of Latinos and immigrants, unauthorized immigration, U.S. immigration policy, and poverty.
Professor Heather Lukes

Heather Lukes

Associate Professor, American Studies
B.A., UC Berkeley; M.A., Ph.D., UCLA
Heather Lukes teaches courses on queer theory, queer color critique, queer L.A., and psychoanalysis.
Professor Amy Lyford

Amy Lyford

Professor, Art and Art History
B.A., Pomona College; M.A., Boston University; Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley
Amy Lyford’s research centers on twentieth-century American and European artistic practices, with a special interest in the histories of photography and sculpture.

Richard Mora

Associate Professor, Sociology; Affiliated Faculty, Latino/a & Latin American Studies
B.A., Harvard College (Sociology); M.A., University of Michigan (Education); M.A., Harvard University (Sociology); Ph.D., Harvard University (Sociology & Social Policy)
Dr. Mora teaches courses on masculinities, youth cultures, education, immigration, violence, & social inequality
Professor Clair Morrissey

Clair Morrissey

Associate Professor, Philosophy
B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; M.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Clair Morrissey is a moral philosopher who specializes in practical ethics and political philosophy.
Professor Jennifer Piscopo

Jennifer Piscopo

Associate Professor, Politics; Advisory Committee, Latin American and Latino/a Studies
B.A., Wellesley; M.Phil, University of Cambridge; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Jennifer Piscopo teaches classes on gender and global politics, Latin American politics, Latino/a politics, and elections.
Professor Julie Prebel

Julie Prebel

Associate Professor, American Studies and Writing & Rhetoric; Director of Writing Center & Programs
B.A., UC Berkeley; M.A., Cal State San Francisco; Ph.D., University of Washington
Julie Prebel teaches courses in writing/composition, rhetorical theory, and cultural studies.
Professor Lisa Sousa

Lisa Sousa

Professor, History; Advisory Committee, Latina/o and Latin American Studies
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., UCLA
Sousa specializes in the histories of colonial Latin America, indigenous peoples and languages of Mexico, and women, gender and sexuality.
Professor Eileen Spain

Eileen Spain

Carl F. Braun Professor of Chemistry
B.S., Sonoma State University; Ph.D., University of Utah
Eileen Spain teaches physical chemistry II (quantum mechanics and spectroscopy) and nanochemistry.
Prof. Kristi Upson-Saia

Kristi Upson-Saia

Professor, Religious Studies
B.A., University of Washington; M.Div., Princeton Theol. Sem.; Ph.D., Duke University
Areas of specialization: religions of the late ancient Mediterranean world; dress and performativity; history of medicine
Professor Yurika Wakamatsu

Yurika Wakamatsu

Assistant Professor, Art and Art History
B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; A.M., Harvard University; Ph.D., Harvard University
Yurika Wakamatsu teaches East Asian art history, including pictorial narratives, woodblock prints, comics and anime, and gender and visual culture. Read her Oxy Story profile.

Jean Wyatt

Professor, English
A.B., Pomona College; Ph.D., Harvard University
Jean Wyatt teaches courses in contemporary American fiction, modern British literature, and race and gender studies. She is the recipient of the 2003 Sterling Award for outstanding scholarship and teaching.

On Special Appointment

Motoko Ezaki

Motoko Ezaki

Non-Tenure Track Professor, Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture; Advisory Committee, Group Language
B.A., M.A., Seinan Gakuin University; M.A., Ph.D., UCLA
Ezaki teaches Japanese language and literature courses.

Melinda Houston

Non-Tenure Track Associate Professor, Kinesiology
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles; M.S., California State University, Fullerton; Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Professor Melinda Houston teaches Sport and Exercise Psychology, Sport in U.S. Society, Motor Learning and Control, and Introduction to Kinesiology. She is a certified mental performance consultant.

Erica Preston-Roedder

Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Philosophy
B.A. Stanford University; M.S., UNC Chapel Hill; Ph.D., New York University
Erica Preston-Roedder specializes in applied ethics. She also has interests in philosophy of race/gender, public philosophy, and philosophy of psychology.  In recent work with Occidental College, she...

Affiliated Faculty

Professor Viviana MacManus

Viviana MacManus

Assistant Professor, Spanish and French Studies
B.A., Occidental College; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Viviana MacManus teaches courses on U.S. and transnational feminist movements, women of color, feminist research methods, race and gender in the media, as well as Latin American/Latinx film and literary studies and Latin American human rights.
Prof. Malek Moazzam-Doulat

Malek Moazzam-Doulat

Non-Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Critical Theory and Social Justice
B.A., Occidental College; Ph.D., State University of New York, Stony Brook
Prof. Moazzam-Doulat teaches courses on social and political philosophy.
Jacob Alden Sargent

Jacob Sargent

Associate Director, Instruction & Research, CDLA
B.A., Bates College; Ph.D., University of Virginia
Jacob Alden Sargent is Associate Director for Instruction and Research for the CDLA and affiliated faculty in the Cultural Studies Program.