Texas Tech University

Faculty Focus

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New Faculty

The Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures would like to welcome and introduce to you its new faculty members beginning in fall 2017.

Kristen Michelson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of French and Applied Linguistics

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I am so pleased to be joining Texas Tech and CMLL as Assistant Professor in French and Applied Linguistics this fall!

I earned my doctorate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona, where I worked on multiliteracies-oriented pedagogies in foreign language teaching. Since then, I have been directing the French basic language program at that great university in Norman where the Raiders sometimes visit. Prior to taking up SLA, I studied French literature in Minneapolis, taught English in Cologne, Germany, and worked in Study Abroad for over a decade in Milwaukee and Tucson. If you ask me where home is, I will probably say "right here".

Or, I might say Ohio, where it all began, and which officially became my favorite travel destination as soon as my nieces and nephews came along.

When I'm not working, you are likely to find me: 1) on a very long bike ride, 2) reading fiction in the hammock, and 3) looking for new music. (And, here is my official bid to those of you in the know in Lubbock to please help me find all the good music in town!)
My love for literature and music is perhaps because of the ways these forms of expression bring out the essence of cultures and identities. My scholarly work is rooted in these principles; i.e. how we make our humanness known—our values, our backgrounds, our quirks, our passions—by recruiting and combining signs and symbols to mean something to another individual, group, or mass audience; of intimates or strangers. Influenced by Multiliteracies pedagogies, I have been pursuing foreign language instructional techniques that can foster skills in learning to both read and express affect, identities, and cultures through new forms of representation, including language and visual media. These projects have included a simulation for French, where students adopted fictitious personas living together in an apartment building in Paris, and used their characters as a vehicle for developing unique and personal forms of expression. Recently, I have been exploring how digital tools can make reading a social activity through annotations and margin conversations within a community of readers, and a semiotic activity by interpreting texts through creation of new visual signs.

I am looking forward to joining the faculty in CMLL, a department where a sense of community prevails, and to meeting students and faculty throughout Texas Tech!

Brendan Regan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics

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Hello y'all/yous/vosotros/vocês! I am the new Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics in CMLL. I'm thrilled to join the CMLL faculty at Texas Tech University and to be able to work with such buena gente. My research and teaching interests include sociolinguistics, sociophonetics, phonetics, phonology, and linguistic anthropology. I am interested as much in language as a system as in language as a social practice, that is to say, the systematicity of language patterns and the ways in which individuals use language for interactional and stylistic aims. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, I seek to analyze the intersections of language, society, and culture. My research has focused on sociophonetic variation in Andalucía (a place that is a second home to me). However, I've begun to expand my research agenda into Spanish-English contact in Texas as well as into Portuguese sociolinguistic variation. I completed my Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics at The University of Texas at Austin and my M.A. in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics at Temple University.

I have taught courses in Spanish, Portuguese, and Linguistics. As I view sociolinguistic variation as an inherent part of language, I expose my students to a wide array of social and geographic linguistic variation, challenging students' notions of correct versus incorrect language.

I'm originally from the Philadelphia area (think: Phillies, Eagles, water ice, hoagies, cheesesteaks, trips down the shore). Some of my favorite things to do are running, riding my bike, walking through town, traveling, cooking, sipping coffee, and spending time with my wife. We're excited to be part of the Texas Tech community and I look forward to meeting you!

Pamela Zinn, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Classics

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I am honored and delighted to be joining the CMLL faculty this fall, as Assistant Professor of Classics. I did my PhD in Classics at Trinity College Dublin and have recently taught at Villanova University, Temple University, and the University of Delaware.! !

I came to Classics through science and history. I did my BA in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and - through my humanities courses - became fascinated by the ancient world. I was amazed, for example, by how much science certain thinkers knew without any modern technology! This inspired me to work on the Classical Tradition in my MPhil at the University of Cambridge and MA at the University of Pennsylvania. It became clear to me that my true intellectual passion lay in the Classics themselves. So, after a few years of lecturing, at the University of the Arts, Temple University, and Rutgers University - Camden, I moved to Ireland to pursue that passion. During my PhD, I also had the opportunity to spend a term as a visiting graduate student at Oxford and, thanks to a Young Researchers Fellowship, a month at the Fondation Hardt in Geneva.

My current research is on Lucretius and his De rerum natura, as part of my broader interest in Golden Age Latin poetry. I am also interested in the Roman contribution to Hellenistic philosophy, animals in antiquity, and ancient theories about the mind and senses. At present I am working specifically on animals and philosophy of mind in Lucretius' poem.

My hobbies include visiting archaeological sites, ranging from the medieval castles, forts, and tower houses of Britain and Ireland to the sanctuaries, fortifications, and monuments of Ancient Greece and Rome. If there is a hike involved to get there, so much the better! Poetry, art, horseback riding, and martial arts are other hobbies which I have pursued over the years and periodically return to. I look forward to seeing what others I might discover in Lubbock!!

Cornelia Sydnor Roy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Classics-Greek Prose

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Lucas Wood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of French

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I am very happy to be joining the Texas Tech faculty from Indiana University Bloomington, where I have taught French literature and culture for the past two years. Since earning my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, I have also been a lecturer at Penn State and a research fellow at Durham University in northeastern England.

Having grown up in Ottawa, Canada, I began learning French in the fifth grade and have loved the language ever since, although I am also an enthusiastic humanist (or dilettante) with interests in philosophy, art history, and other romance languages (Spanish and Portuguese). My interdisciplinary engagements inform my research on the cultures of the medieval Francophone world, since I believe that studying a period that predates the nation-state, linguistic regularization, and modern disciplinary and generic boundaries demands a correspondingly open-minded approach. I also enjoy the opportunity that undergraduate teaching affords to read and think with writers from all periods of French literature.

My primary research agendas, based on a diverse corpus of medieval French texts dating mostly from the 12th and 13th centuries, explore hermeneutic, generic, and ideological tensions within the interlaced literary discourses of chivalry and courtliness. In parallel to my first book project on the stakes of allegorical interpretation in Old French Grail romance, I maintain an active research interest in the relationships between gender and genre, and especially in courtly literature as a vehicle for both the dissemination of ideology and the critique of courtliness as a literary and cultural ideal. Along these lines, I have published on medieval erotodidactics and on the gender politics of werewolf narratives and tragic love stories, and I am currently looking at the 12th-13th century motif of the magical chastity test as a catalyst for the reimagining of courtly community. I am also increasingly attracted to the later Middle Ages, particularly the evolution of allegory and chivalry during the generatively traumatic Hundred Years' War. I look forward to sharing my work with you and learning from my wonderfully diverse community of new colleagues in CMLL.

Dr. Marta Tecedor Cabrero Takes New Position at Arizona State

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It is with sadness that the department announces the departure of Dr. Marta Tecedor Cabrero, Assistant Professor, Spanish and Director of Spanish lower-level courses.

She has taken a position as assistant professor of Linguistics at Arizona State University. She brought to Texas Tech a highly effective lower-level Spanish teaching method. Tecedor was instrumental in the development of the Hispanic linguistics specialization as part of the Spanish and Portuguese doctoral program. Her impact on the department will be felt for many years to come. Her creativity, commitment, and energy will be missed.