Texas Tech University

Faculty Focus

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Dr. Julian Frederick Suppe

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Dr. Julian Frederick Suppe just completed 50 years of teaching and 47 as a professor. He came to Tech as Chair of the Philosophy Department 14 years ago after retiring from the University of Maryland. From 2002 – 2010 he was Chair of CMLL. Since then he has been Professor of Classics stationed at the TTU Seville Center.

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Q. Dr. Suppe, most your career you were a philosopher and historian of science. Moving from Philosophy to CMLL must have been quite a switch.
A. It definitely was. While both are in the humanities, the cultures and intellectual styles are very different. I’m something of a polymath so I found the switch and the differences exhilarating. I also found that I’d much rather Chair a big messy complex college-sized department like CMLL than a smallish Philosophy one.

Q. What did you like best about Chairing CMLL?
A. The diversity, both intellectually and culturally, makes CMLL exciting. Plus the graduate students are fantastic. Céfiro is an excellent example. But what I liked best was the complexity. I like solving problems and a department like this one provides lots of problems to solve.

Q. Tell us about your research.
A. Resuming research endeavors after stepping down as Chair, it made good sense to do so in Classics since I have a substantial background in Ancient Greek science and philosophy. My primary foci are Roman Spain and Ancient Greece. I’m especially interested in Roman gold mining in Spain and the place of personification in the evolution of ancient Greek and other languages.

Q. Tell us about the Tech Seville Center.
A. As Chair, I promoted and facilitated study-abroad and was especially pivotal in the development of the Seville Center which is the only American university program where one can do immersion Spanish with no prior knowledge of the language. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to now be a part of what I helped build. The proximity to Roman and Greek archaeological sites really facilitates my work as a Classicist. From a teaching perspective I especially love guiding the Seville Center's tours to Itálica (a monumental UNESCO World Heritage Site just 6 miles from Seville that was home of Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius I). For most students it is their first encounter with an ancient archaeological site and I love making it come alive for them. For many it is a mind-blowing experience.

Q. Personal hobbies and interests?
A. There is not a lot of separation between my work and my hobbies. I’m lucky to be paid to do what I’d rather do anyway. For example, I travel a lot in summer, but it is mostly to archaeological sites and museums. I’m very into opera and Seville has excellent opera. I’ve also gotten into Zarzuela - a Spanish form of entertainment something like Gilbert & Sullivan. Plus I adore being embedded in Andalusian culture. And the food here!

Q. Would you like to add something else interesting about yourself or your work?
A. Yes. As Chair I was blessed to be assisted by a fantastic Associate Chair, Lorum Stratton. I am so happy that an endowed study-abroad scholarship is being created in his name. I want CMLL faculty and alums to contribute generously to it. I am issuing a challenge: I will match all donations up to a total of $2,500 (which, being a quarter of the minimum endowment will get us half-way there).

Dr. George Cole

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George Cole
Associate Professor of Spanish
2005-

Dr. George Cole is an Associate Professor of Spanish and the Director of the Division of Spanish and Portuguese. He is of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent and was born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

He holds a Bachelor's degree in French Language and Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master's from Washington State University and a PhD from Arizona State University. He specializes in 20th-century Latin American Literature and Culture, with an emphasis on Cuba and Puerto Rico; on Afro-Cuban Literature, Culture and Religions; on 20th-century Latin American Drama; and Hispanic Cinema. Some of his research interests include: Caribbean Ritual Theatre, the Historical Novel, Hispanic Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy, Detective Fiction, Comic books, and anthropological approaches to literature. Currently, he is preparing a book on the figure of Sherlock Holmes in contemporary Hispanic Fiction.

Dr. Cole has over 18 years of experience working in the theatre as an actor, producer, director, and playwright. He has been nominated to an AriZoni Theatre Award twice for his work as an actor in the plays "The Mission" (2002) and "Romeo y Julieta" (2004). He is the author of “Y el director… dónde está?” (2007) and “La indocumentada” (2008).

He is also a writer, Círculos concéntricos (2014) is his first poetry book. His second, Hojas sueltas, will be published next year. His finishing the manuscripts of an Afro-Cuban short stories book, Caminando con Ifá, and a steampunk novel that takes place in 19th Century Seville.

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