2008/09 New Faculty

  • Nancy Kwak

    Assistant Professor of History and Urban Studies and Planning
    Department of History

    Dr. Kwak received her Ph.D. in International Urban History from Columbia University in 2006 and has taught the last two years as an Assistant Professor of the History of Globalization at Polytechnic University in New York City. She received graduate fellowships from the Andrew Wellington Cordier Fellowship in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University (2001-2003), the Lowenheim Prize for archival research in 2002, a Fulbright Fellowship to Singapore in 2003, a Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History Fellowship (2005), and a Lehman Center Doris Quinn Fellowship (2006). Dr. Kwak’s dissertation, “A Citizen’s Right to Decent Shelter: Public Housing in New York, London, and Singapore 1945-1970,” explores the history of urban planning and public housing policy by comparing and contrasting patterns in postwar urbanization and public housing in New York City, London, and Singapore. She combines transnational and comparative research in her studies of urbanization, “globalization,” and planning by focusing on the exchange that occurred between urban planners, architects, businesspeople, and bureaucrats in the period after World War II. She also has already begun work on a second project that examines the role of American non-governmental organizations in shaping postwar urban development plans in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan through archival research in the Korean National Archives, the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the World Health Organization. After her B.A. in History at UC Berkeley in 1994, she received her M.Ed. at Harvard in 1996 and taught for three years at Balboa High School near the Excelsior District in the urban working class, Mission Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco. As a graduate student, she held a Cordier Teaching Fellowship in Conceptual Foundations of International Politics at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Adjunct Professorships at La Guardia College where she taught the History of New York City and the History of Minorities, at Fordham University where she taught the History of American Pluralism, and at Brooklyn College where she taught Public History. At UCSD Dr. Kwak will teach courses on U.S. Urban History, International Urban History, and the Sustainable Urban Environment in the History Department and the Program in Urban Studies and Planning.

  • Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond

    Associate Professor
    Department of Literature

    Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000.  Among her other honors and awards, at Berkeley she was the recipient of a UC Berkeley President's Dissertation Year Fellowship and an Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship.  She has formerly held visiting positions in Portuguese and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia (1997-98), in Portuguese at UCLA (1999), and in Portuguese and English at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (1999-2002).  In 2003 she was awarded a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship and served as Visiting Fulbright Professor of American Literatures at the Federal University of Pernambuco, in Recife, Brazil.  She returned to the University of Puerto Rico as an Assistant Professor of Literatures of the Americas until 2005 when she was appointed Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.  Dr. Isfahani-Hammond has published a monograph entitled White Negritude: Race, Writing and Brazilian Cultural Identity, an edited volume entitled The Masters and the Slaves: Plantation Relations and Mestizaje in American Imaginaries,as well as a number of articles and reviews.  She has been presenting conference papers and giving invited lectures regularly since 1996.  At UCSD, she will oversee development of a Literature Department program in Portuguese language instruction, while also offering undergraduate courses in Brazilian literature and culture for our Spanish and our Literatures of the World majors.  Her graduate teaching will be especially important for the department's Spanish section and for the campus' Latin American Studies Program. Additionally, her work on race and racialization in Brazilian culture will make her a resource for students who are working in African Diaspora studies, a growing sub field in which our department is gaining strength and acclaim. Isfahani-Hammond is also at work on a new book project with the working title, Animal Bodies: Race, Speciesism, Postcoloniality. Focusing primarily on Brazilian literature and culture, this project joins a broader field of recent research in the humanities and social sciences concerning how an engagement with the many life forms and environments that coexist with human societies can reshape our understanding of politics, culture, ethics, and history.

  • Cristina Rivera-Garza

    Department of Literature

    Cristina Rivera-Garza is a trained historian, having received her PhD in Latin American History from the University of Houston in 1995. She continues to publish articles in history, but is primarily known today for her poetry and fiction, for which she has a growing international reputation. Among numerous other publications, Rivera-Garza is the author of four published novels; three volumes of short stories; two books of poetry; and a collection of her own essays. Carlos Fuentes, Mexico's most renowned living author, has described Rivera-Garza's first novel, Nadie me vera llorar, as "one of the most beautiful and perturbing novels ever written in Mexico." Rivera-Garza has been the recipient of several honors and awards for her creative work, including the 2005 Premio International Anna Seghers award in Berlin and the 2001 Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Latin American Award for Best Book published by a Woman throughout the Spanish Speaking World. She has extensive teaching experience in both the fields of History and Creative Writing. She was on the faculty of the Department of History at San Diego State University from 1997-2003; and from 2004-2008 she was on the faculty of the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)-Toluca Campus, where she was Professor de Planta and the Co-Director Catedra de Humanidades (in which capacity she supervised graduate level research and writing). Rivera-Garza has also been Visiting Professor at UCSB (Summer 2007 and Summer 2008); and she has been appointed to two endowed chairs for visiting faculty, the Felice Massie Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Washington University in St. Louis (Spring 2008), and the Catedra Rosario Castellanos at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Summer 2008). A highly-regarded teacher, Rivera-Garza has received several teaching awards, as well as enthusiastic praise from past students. Rivera-Garza will teach fiction and poetry, and will offer additional classes in Latin American studies and critical gender studies. She will play a central role in the development of our new MFA in Writing, and she brings an exciting cross-cultural and bilingual dimension to the creative writing program here in the UCSD Literature Department.

  • Susan Narucki

    Department of Music

    Recognized as one of today's leading interpreters of contemporary music, Ms. Narucki is a well-known soprano who will serve as a Professor of Voice. During her performance career, she has held several appointments in academia: as an Artist-in-Residence at UC Davis; a visiting faculty member at UC Santa Barbara, Cornell University, Yale University's Contemporary Music Institute, and Mannes School of Music in NYC; and a faculty member of the Yellow Barn Summer Music School and Festival. Narucki has enjoyed close collaborations with numerous composers, presenting over one hundred world premieres in opera, concerts, and recordings during the past twenty years, garnering many prestigious awards along the way. Her extensive award-winning discography includes the world premiere operas by Louis Andreissen, Writing to Vermeer, on Nonesuch (New York Times- Best Classical Recordings of 2006), and Pascal Dusapin, To Be Sung, on MFA Radio France, as well as a DVD of the Netherlands Opera production of Claude Vivier's Reves D'un Marco Polo on Opus Arte(2006 Diamant Award - Opera Magazine). She earned a 2002 Grammy nomination in the Best Classical Vocal Performance for Elliott Carter's Tempo e Tempi, all on Bridge Records. Ms. Narucki's expertise extends to classical vocal performance in the context of chamber music, the concert stage, and opera. Susan Narucki joins the faculty of the University of California at San Diego in Fall of 2008 as Professor of Voice/Soprano, and will begin teaching individual voice instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as master classes, and a graduate composition seminar focused on composing for voice.

  • Katharina Rosenberger

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Music

    Ms. Rosenberger is a graduating doctoral student, completing her composition dissertation at Columbia University in October 2008. She arrives at UCSD with a sophisticated body of work, establishing her as an accomplished and innovative composer and multi-media artist. Most of her work takes place in an interdisciplinary context confronting traditional performance practice in terms of how sound is produced, heard, and seen. Her works typically link her music and installations with theatre, video art, and modern dance. Her skills are an excellent compliment to our current composition faculty and have great potential to make an important contribution to our Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts Major (ICAM). Her notable honors and awards include Composer-in-Residence with the Orchestre de Niimes ( France) in 2005 and a fellowship the following year at GMEM, Centre National de Creation Musicale(Marseille), where she completed a major installation work. Both are very distinguished opportunities usually accorded to experienced composers well beyond their student years. Her work has been shown at the Chelsea Art Museum, Gallery Engine 27, The Tank in New York, Deep Listening Space, Kingston, Theatre de Nimes, Gallery District, Marseille, Theater Ballhaus, Berlin, Teatro Sala Uno, Rome, and Museum fur Gestaltung, Zurich, among others, and has been featured at a host of music festivals. Recent performances include the world premier of parcours IIIwith the Manhattan Sinfonietta at Merkin Hall, New York, and participation at the 2008 "Global Interplay Composer Meeting" concert and conference in Shanghai, China. Rosenberger has the experience and potential to teach a wide range of subjects, including composition, computer music, sound installation, music theory, and history. She engaged in undergraduate teaching in ear training at Columbia University, and has been an invited guest lecturer at a number of conservatories and art colleges in France and Switzerland, giving seminars on new media art, computer music techniques, sound and image, and sound art. In her first year Professor Rosenberger will teach undergraduate courses in composition and music theory, as well as a graduate seminar on installation art.

  • Alan Burrett

    Acting Professor of Lighting Design
    Department of Theatre and Dance

    Born in London, Mr. Burrett's internationally acclaimed work for theatre, dance and opera has been seen in over 30 countries. He began his career as the resident designer with Bejart ballet in Brussels where he designed sets, costumes and lights for numerous productions, as well as for the 300th Anniversary of Moliereat the Comedie Francaise and various productions for the Paris Opera Ballet and French television. Later he was appointed Technical Director for the Ballet of the Opera of Lyon where he also designed the sets, costumes and lighting. He returned to London to become head of lighting at the English National Opera. Mr. Burrett continued his lighting career in the UK and Europe designing over fifteen memorable productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as at The Royal National Theater, Royal Opera Covent Garden, The Paris Opera, Munich Opera and the Burgtheater Vienna, He enjoyed collaborating with noted directors such as; Adrian Noble, John Caird, Keith Warner, David Thacker, Claus Peymann, Sir Peter Hall, Sam Mendes, Matthew Warchus, Trevor Nunn, David Leveaux and Francesca Zambello. He lit large-scale arena productions of the Operas Carmenand Toscain London, Germany, Australia and Japan and the complete works of Beckett for the Gate Theatre in Dublin, New York and London.  At the 1992 World's Fair in Seville he was part of the design team for the Spanish Pavilion project and later created the lighting for the U.S tour of Duran Duran. In 1995 Alan Burrett began a 10-year collaboration with LA Opera and in 2001 was invited to become their first resident lighting designer where, to date, he has designed twenty-five productions.  Mr. Burrett will bring this remarkable international experience to the Department of Theatre and Dance to become the new Head of the graduate program in Lighting Design.  He will lead graduate and undergraduate courses in lighting design that draws from his diverse interdisciplinary research in lighting, costume and set design for theatre, dance and opera.

  • Lisa Porter

    Associate Professor of Stage Management
    Department of Theatre and Dance

    Ms. Porter received her MFA from Yale University and brings to the Department of Theatre and Dance an international reputation for her work in stage management.  She is currently the Production Stage Manager for the world premiere of The Third Storyby Charles Busch at the La Jolla Playhouse, following recent productions for The Old Globe Theatre and the New Vision Arts Festival in Hong Kong. Ms. Porter has toured extensively, both nationally and internationally, with productions by renowned directors Robert Wilson, Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, Laurie Anderson, Anne Bogart, Richard Foreman, Tina Landau, David Warren, Richard Foreman, Kenny Leon, Ong Keng Sen, Mark Wing-Davey, and David Gordon.  On Broadway, she has worked on The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Steel Pier.   She has also worked as assistant director, unit production manager, and associate producer on three films by independent filmmaker Hal Hartley, and was the Managing Director of Mr. Hartley's production company, Possible Films, from 2002-2004. In 1991, Ms. Porter received a Watson Fellowship to study theatre management at the Royal National Theatre in London, the Laterna Magika in Prague, and to work on the world premiere of Athol Fugard's Playlandat the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.  She was a visiting faculty member at the Yale School of Drama from 2002-2004. As the Head of Stage Management since 2005 in the UCSD Theatre and Dance graduate program, Ms. Porter has been at the forefront of her field, approaching stage management from a scholarly, research-oriented perspective, closely examining the relationship between creativity, leadership, human dynamics and organizational behavior. Her continued work at UCSD will help define this entire discipline as a collaborative, artistic endeavor that she advocates through the publication of her research. A highly regarded educator, Ms. Porter will lead graduate and undergraduate courses in stage management, and will assume the position of the Director of Theatre for the Department.

  • Anya Gallaccio

    Department of Visual Arts

    Professor Gallaccio was educated at Goldsmiths College in London, UK during a very important moment in the history of the school. She and her peers there became known internationally as "Young British Artists," taking the art world by storm during the 1990s. Gallaccio's artistic practice is in large-scale atmospheric installations that morph and change through time and in relation to the spaces in which they are situated. The installations are at once ephemeral and monumental and it is within this seeming paradox that Gallaccio's work lives. A prolific and hard-working artist, since 1991 she has created at least one, and in many cases three or more major solo installations each year in Rome, London, Zurich, Brussels, Los Angeles, New York, Basel, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Siena and Sao Paulo. She is represented by the contemporary arts gallery Blum & Poe in Los Angeles, and her work is collected in major cultural institutions such as Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; The Seattle Art Museum; Tate, London; and Victoria and Albert Museum, London in addition to numerous private collections. Gallaccio is expected to make a significant contribution to the MFA program in the Department of Visual Arts teaching Art Practice and Critique courses and mentoring studio and installation artists as they develop their practices in relation to the larger contemporary art world.

  • Cauleen Smith

    Acting Associate Professor
    Department of Visual Arts

    Professor Smith received her MFA (terminal degree) from the Dept. of Theatre/Film/Television at UCLA in 2001. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Austin and the Massachusetts College of Art prior to her appointment at UCSD. Smith's film work addresses issues of race and ethnicity, especially African and African American culture, through formally inventive means. Smith was awarded a Rockefeller Inter-Cultural Media Arts Fellowship which she used to write, direct and produce her first narrative feature film, Drylongso(1998). Drylongso, which explores American attitudes towards young black men, was selected for the American Spectrum of Sundance Film Festival, and won Best Feature Film at Urbanworld, and the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival. In 2001 Smith's screenplay, "I Am Furious Black" was selected for the Sundance Writer's Lab, and again for the Sundance Director's Lab. Her filmography includes experimental media projects that range from feature films to film shorts to multi-channel media installations. Her current feature-length film project, which has been awarded support from Creative Capital Foundation and Art Matters, has grown out of her interest in Nigeria's indigenous film production industry ("Naija" movies are distributed worldwide among the Nigerian community and  Lagos is known as "Nollywood." While at UCSD, Smith will be teaching a broad range of core media courses including screenwriting, film production and editing and media installation.