2013/14 New Faculty

  • Karl Gerth 

    Professor, History
    Hwei-chih and Julia Hsiu Endowed Chair in Chinese Studies
    Appointment effective 7/1/13

    Karl Gerth writes on the history and contemporary implications of Chinese consumerism.  His latest book, As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers are Transforming Everything, explores the wide-ranging ramifications and future implications of China’s shift toward a market economy over the past thirty years.  Professor Gerth’s first book, China Made: Consumer Culture and the Creation of the Nation, examines the connections between nationalism and consumerism in China in the first half of the twentieth century.  In addition, he has published and presented papers on comparative aspects of modern Chinese and world history, including “Consumption and Consumerism in East Asia,” “The Origins and Implications of Chinese Brand Nationalism,” and “The Ecological Implications of Chinese Consumerism.”  He has been awarded numerous grants to support his research including from the British Academy, the Fulbright Foundation, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Blakemore Foundation, and the Japanese Ministry of Education scholarship for two years of study at Tokyo University.  He currently is completing a book that uses archival materials, periodicals, memoirs, and interviews conducted in China to investigate the survival of market practices in the nation’s urban centers following the establishment of Communist rule in 1949.  In addition, he is the Chinese co-team leader of the Oslo-based Ceres21 Project currently investigating innovative adaptations in the automotive and power industries to climate and environmental change on three continents.  After receiving his PhD in modern Chinese history from Harvard in 2000, he taught at the University of South Carolina until his 2007 move to Oxford University, where he was the Dame Jessica Rawson Fellow & Tutor in Modern Asian History at Merton College.    

  • Ulrike Strasser

    Professor, History
    Appointment effective 7/1/13

    Ulrike Strasser joined the Department of History in July 2013. She obtained her PhD at the University of Minnesota (1997) and held previous appointments at the University of California at Irvine, the Harvard Divinity School and UCLA. Trained as a historian of early modern Central Europe, Strasser has carried out research across a number of subjects and paradigms, including world history.  She is the author of the award-winning monograph State of Virginity: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Catholic State (Ann Arbor 2004, paperback 2007) and the co-editor of Gender, Kinship, Power: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary History (Routledge 1996). Strasser also published numerous articles on the history of early modern religion and politics; gender and sexuality; technology and media as well as transnational and global history and questions of theory and history. Strasser is currently finishing a monograph entitled “Consuming Missions: German Jesuits and the European Imagination of Pacific Spaces” and a co-edited collection entitled "Cultures of Communication, Theologies of Media". Strasser has received a number of awards for excellence in teaching and research. Among other things, she was awarded fellowships from the Harvard Divinity School, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Herzog-August-Bibliothek and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

  • Daniel Vitkus

    Professor, Literature
    Rebeca Hickel Endowed Chair in Elizabethan Literature
    Appointment effective 7/1/13

    Professor Vitkus did his doctoral work at Columbia University, completing his degree in 1992.  After finishing his doctoral studies, Vitkus worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.  Prior to his appointment to the Rebeca Hickel Endowed Chair in Elizabethan and Early Modern Literature at UCSD, he taught in the English Department at Florida State University (2000-2013).  He is the editor of Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England (Columbia UP) and Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England (Columbia UP).  He is the author of Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean, 1570-1630 (Palgrave) and numerous articles on early modern literature and culture. Vitkus is co-editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies and has edited a Barnes and Noble edition of Othello.  In his research and teaching, Vitkus focuses primarily on English writings from the early modern era (1500-1700), but he sees Elizabethan and Early Stuart theater as a node in a network of cultural production that was global in scope.  Vitkus views the early modern era as a time connected to our own by the subsequent history of capitalism, imperialism and globalization.  His scholarship demonstrates that, in the cultural artifacts of early modern England, we can perceive signs of a transformation during which the first institutions of a global capitalist system emerged as a result of economic phenomena that connected London with a world-wide commercial and geo-cultural matrix.  Vitkus is especially interested in the exchange and flow of texts, ideas, people and goods across borders and between cultures.  He studies the way that these exchanges, and their representation in literary texts, work to construct various identities--racial, national, class-based, and gendered identities.  His scholarship pays close attention to a range of activities that brought English culture into contact and engagement with cultures in other parts of the world, sometimes in peaceful exchange, and sometimes in conflict, including colonization, travel, long-distance trade, diplomacy, warfare, piracy, and slavery.  In his work, Vitkus looks at a range of genre: travel writing, epic poetry, the postcolonial novel, English representations of Islamic culture, captivity narratives, and the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  This last area of interest is central to Vitkus’s scholarship and teaching.  He argues that, in early modern London, the newly constructed permanent playhouses (along with gun-bearing ships and joint-stock corporations) were among the leading cultural and technological innovations produced by the Elizabethans.  According to Vitkus, the early modern theater in London offered a high-tech imaginative geography of elsewhere:  it was a site of cultural production that thrived on the reception and reformulation of information from and about other parts of the world.  Vitkus, in exploring the transformation from a medieval, feudal society to a modern, capitalist one, stresses the complexity of this historical process.  He is interested in showing how “modernity” was not an autogenetic Western European phenomenon but in many ways was made possible by contact and exchange with other parts of the world and was generated by--and indeed defined by--an interaction, imitation and improvisation that took place in various spaces of hybridity.

  • Amy Cimini

    Assistant Professor, Music
    Appointment effective 7/1/13

    Amy Cimini earned her Ph.D. in Historical Musicology in 2011 from New York University. Prior to her appointment at UCSD, she held an Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellowship in Music Theory from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011-2013 as well as a visiting position in Music Theory at the College of William and Mary in 2010-2011. Cimini is a historian and performer of music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Broadly, she is interested how performers, composers and audiences practice and theorize listening as an expression of community, sociability and political alliance, with special focus on improvisation, sound art and installation practices. Her book project "Listening in the Future Tense" examines the use of biological and ecological sound sources in late 20th century experimental music circles. "Listening in the Future Tense" animates surprising connections between these practices and developments in bioengineering, medicine and policy in the U.S. in order to understand how techniques of listening attuned to bodies, built spaces and ecological systems distribute knowledge, agency and security unevenly across the socio-political field. Cimini is also an active violist working across improvised, rock, noise and contemporary classical genres. She views performing, touring and recording as unique opportunities to merge research with creative practice. In her teaching, she draws on this experience to animate discussion, debate and creative engagement with how notions of identity and community are formed in situated events of performance and listening, from the concert hall to the classroom. Cimini looks forward to offering in courses in 20th century music history and music theory that reflect her commitments to critically engaged performance as well as specialized courses in music and political thought, philosophies of music, acoustic ecology as well as sound and new media.

  • Andy Lamey

    Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment, Philosophy
    Appointment effective 7/1/13

    Andy Lamey received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Australia in 2011. His PhD research was supported by an Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Prior to his appointment at UCSD, he was a fixed-term lecturer at Monash University in Melbourne. A highly rated instructor who has contributed to the scholarship of teaching and learning, Dr. Lamey will teach undergraduate courses in ethics and applied ethics.

  • Brian Cross

    Assistant Professor, Visual Arts
    Appointment effective 7/1/13

    Brian Cross received his MFA in Photography from California Institute for the Arts in 1992.   He is a filmmaker and photographer who has achieved great distinction in the intersecting fields of cinema, music, design, and cultural studies. He creates performative documentaries, videos, and photographs whose subject matter is primarily concerned with global music culture, particularly, though not limited to, the genre of Hip Hop. His interest in this phenomena is at once aesthetic, historical, and ethnographic:  he sees relevance not only in artistic forms, but in the social and cultural histories that these forms reveal, as they intersect with the dynamics of contemporary urban communities.  In this way he draws on traditions and methods across the visual and performing arts, social sciences, and urban studies.  Cross will serve several core curricular needs within our Media major, particularly in the areas of photography, digital imaging, and film, while advancing the research and pedagogy of the Department in significant ways through his work in digital cinema, performative media, speculative design, and field-based practice.  The forms of public outreach and community endeavor that he has long pursued will be a vital contribution to diversity, especially in his engagement with African-American and diasporic musical traditions and communities in the Southern California region and across the Americas.