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 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

Mary Jane Hewitt Department Chair in Black Studies; Professor of Black Studies; American Studies Affiliated Faculty; History Affiliated Faculty
B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A., Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Erica L. Ball is a historian who specializes in nineteenth and 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 Sharla Fett

Sharla Fett

Robert Glass Cleland Professor of American 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.

Michael Gasper

Associate Professor, History
B.A., Temple University; M.A., Ph.D., New York University
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 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 Rise, Fall and Rebirth: Europe since the Enlightenment; Humanities from the Renaissance to the Present; Europe and the Middle East from Antiquity to 1700; Ancient Athens and Renaissance Florence, and Renaissance to Revolution! She welcomes interest in changing views of women, gender, and sexualities, and of human rights.
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.
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 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

David B. and Mary H. Gamble Professorship in Religion
B.A., University of Washington; M.Div., Princeton Theol. Sem.; Ph.D., Duke University
Areas of specialization: late ancient Mediterranean religions; dress and performativity; history of medicine, health, and healing 

On Special Appointment

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 Bevin Ashenmiller

Bevin Ashenmiller

Associate Professor, Economics
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 Mary Lopez

Mary J. Lopez

Professor, Economics
B.A., UC Riverside; M.A., Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Professor Lopez is a labor economist. She specializes in immigration and immigration policy, Latino entrepreneurship, 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

Arthur G. Coons Professor in the History of Ideas
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.
Professor Viviana MacManus

Viviana MacManus

Assistant Professor, Spanish and French Studies
B.A., Occidental College; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Viviana Beatriz MacManus’s research and teaching focuses on Latin American and Latinx feminist theory, literature, film, and cultural studies.
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.

Richard Mora

Associate Professor, Sociology
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 Julie Prebel

Julie Prebel

Associate Professor, American Studies; 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 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.