2014/15 New Faculty


VitzMatthew Vitz

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Dr. Vitz received his Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from New York University in 2010. While at NYU he was the recipient of a Fulbright-García Robles scholarship and an ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship. He has since been a postdoctoral fellow at the renowned Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD and the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas (Institute of Historical Research) at Mexico’s National University (UNAM). Dr. Vitz’s research interests span the environmental, energy, and urban history of Mexico and Latin America more broadly. He has published articles in several of the leading journals in his field including the Hispanic American Historical Review and is currently completing his book manuscript that reinterprets the modern history of Mexico City, the largest city in the Americas, from an environmental perspective. From 2011-2012 Dr. Vitz served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College where he was a highly regarded teacher of Latin American history. At UCSD Dr. Vitz will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental history and Latin American history with a focus on Mexico.


Cristina Della ColettaCristina Della Coletta

Chancellor's Associates Chair in Italian Literature
Appointment effective 8/15/14

She was appointed dean of Arts and Humanities and holds the Chancellor's Associates Chair in Italian Literature. Prior to her arrival at UC San Diego, Della Coletta served as associate dean for humanities and the arts, in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Virginia, where she was also a professor of Italian in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

She holds a Laurea in Lingue e letterature straniere from the Università di Venezia, Italy, and a master’s degree in Italian from the University of Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. in Italian from UCLA in 1993.  Her research and teaching interests include historical fiction, Italian cinema and film adaptation, women’s and cultural studies, and the use of technology in the humanities.

She is the author of the books “When Stories Travel: Cross-Cultural Encounters Between Fiction and Film” (Johns Hopkins UP 2012); “World’s Fairs Italian-Style: The Great Expositions in Turin and Their Narratives” (Toronto UP, 2006); and “Plotting the Past: Metamorphoses of Historical Narrative in Modern Italian Fiction” (Purdue UP, 1996).  She is completing a digital project entitled “Turin 1911: The World’s Fair in Italy,” which she began under the aegis of a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia (2009-2011).  She is also working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled “Fascist Spectacles: The Semiotics of Power and the Languages of Dissent During the Fascist Era in Italy (1922-1943).”

In 2006, she was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize in Italian Studies for “World’s Fairs Italian-Style.”  She received numerous teaching and mentoring awards, such as the University of Virginia Faculty Mentoring Award in 2012, the UVA Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award in 2010, and the Horace W. Goldsmith Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.  She was a visiting professor at the John Hopkins University (2004) and has lectured extensively in the United States and Europe.  Her articles and reviews have appeared in PMLA, MLN, Italica, Rivista di studi italiani, The Italianist, Annali di’Italianistica and Studi novecenteschi, among other journals. 

In her administrative capacity, Della Coletta was a fellow at the Berkeley Institute on Higher Education (2014); the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (2013), and the University of Virginia’s Leadership in Academic Matters Program (2009).  In her former role as associate dean of humanities and the arts at the University of Virginia, she spearheaded the creation of the Institute of World Languages and the College’s Interdisciplinary MA Program in European Studies, and contributed to the launching of the Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures.

MiyaoDaisuke Miyao

Hajime Mori Endowed Chair in Japanese Language and Literature
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Dr. Miyao received his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at New York University in 2003. An innovative scholar, Professor Miyao is the author of Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom (Duke University Press, 2007, which won the best book in history award from the Association of Asian American Studies (2009); Eiga wa neko de aru (Cinema is a Cat: Introduction to Cinema Studies, Tokyo: Heibon sha, 2011); and The Aesthetics of Shadow: Lighting and Japanese Cinema (Duke, 2013). Professor Miyao was also the intellectual/scholarly editor of the Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema (2014). Before taking up his former position at the University of Oregon, he was awarded postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University in the East Asian Studies Program and at UC Berkeley in the Film Studies Program. During his tenure at the University of Oregon, Professor Miyao was awarded the very prestigious ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship that allowed him to conduct significant research in Lyon, France. An internationally recognized authority in the field of cinema studies, and Japanese cinema in particular, Professor Miyao is especially renowned for his research on cinematic production, transnational relations in the history of cinema, and aesthetics in a transnational frame. Professor Miyao has a broad range of teaching interests. At the undergraduate level, he will teach courses in film and literature, cultural studies, visual cultures, literatures of the world, and Asian American studies. At the graduate level, he will offer seminars that will draw students interested in Japanese culture, comparative cinema studies, and modernity from several departments (Literature, Visual Arts, Communication, and History).

MyerstonJacobo Myerston

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Dr. Myerston completed an M.A. in Classical Philology and Comparative Religion at the University of Tübingen in Germany before receiving his Ph.D., in 2014, in the Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World at the University of Chicago. He was the recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program Scholarship, the Ephron Fellowship and University of Chicago Century Fellowship. Dr. Myerston is an innovative scholar with wide-ranging intellectual interests in Classics, comparative religion, archeology, classical philology, Latin American literature, and the digital humanities. Dr. Myerston is an innovative scholar with wide-ranging capabilities and considerable teaching experience as a T.A. and as an Instructor at the Universidad de los Andes, the University of Chicago, and in The Odyssey Project. He is well qualified to teach many graduate courses in our curricula in Classics, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Theory, and Spanish. At the undergraduate level, we anticipate that Dr. Myerston will be a successful teacher not only for Literature Department course offerings in Literatures of World, Classics, and Spanish, but also those of Revelle Humanities and MMW.

NicolazzoSarah Nicolazzo

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Dr. Nicolazzo received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Theory at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. She has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Josephine de Karman Dissertation Fellowship, a Mellon Graduate Research Fellowship, a Presidential Prize Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a Centennial Scholar at Barnard College between 2002-2005. Dr. Nicolazzo is an innovative scholar with wide-ranging intellectual interests and considerable teaching experience as a T.A., as an Instructor, and as a graduate fellow and TA Trainer in Penn’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Nicolazzo’s research displays an impressive command of such topics as race theory, disability studies, critical gender studies, and trans-Atlantic studies. Her teaching interests include British literature of the long eighteenth century, early American literature, Romanticism, literature and theories of the Black Atlantic, law and literature, history of race, literary theory, postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality studies, and the history of capitalism. Her expertise in these areas will allow her to make an immediate impact in our graduate program, and her infectious enthusiasm for eighteenth-century literature and ideas are sure to inspire our undergraduate students.


ErbeThomas Erbe

Appointment effective 7/1/14

Tom Erbe has played an important role in American experimental and electronic music of the last 20 years. In addition to his pioneering and widely used program SoundHack, he is one of the most sought after and respected sound engineers for contemporary music.

Tom studied computer science and music at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and got his initial audio engineering experiences as an intern for WEFT, WPGU, and Faithful Sound Studios.

Tom was Technical Manager of the Computer Audio Research Laboratory (CARL) at the University of California, San Diego (1984-1987). While at CARL, Tom helped develop an electronic violin, a DSP based sound processor, and an early computer music production workstation.

Tom was Technical Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College (1987-1993). At CCM, he worked as computer music and recording engineer with composers Robert Ashley; David Rosenboom; Larry Polansky; James Tenney; and Alvin Curran. During his time at CCM, Tom created the award-winning program SoundHack, which he continues to develop. He also designed and developed a DSP-based sound processor for use with HMSL, and a 4-channel spatial audio processor for the NASA Ames Research Center.

In 1993, Tom joined the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) as Studio Director of the School of Music, and Director of the Center for Experiments in Arts, Information, and Technology. At CalArts, Tom continued his work with SoundHack and spectral techniques, while teaching courses in computer music, programming, and audio engineering. Tom directed the design and construction of the Dizzy Gillespie Recording Studios at CalArts, where he recorded many CDs of experimental music.

Tom rejoined the faculty of UCSD in 2004 as the Department of Music Studio Director and Lecturer in Computer Music and Music Technology. While at UCSD, Tom has developed and released several new software packages including: Spectral Shapers, a set of creative spectral filter plugins; Pvoc Kit, plugins exploring time, pitch and phase stretching; Freesound, a set of simple audio filters; and Delay Trio, a set of plugins exploring a wide range of delay techniques. As Studio Director, Tom has planned, designed and coordinated the installation of the 7 music production studios, as well as the audio-visual component of the classrooms and 3 concert halls in the new Conrad Prebys Music Center.

Tom's recent activities include creating and performing the first new version of John Cage's "Williams Mix" since it's original interpretation in 1952. He also recently developed two new Eurorack synthesizer processors: the Echophon, a pitch-shifting delay line; and the Erbe-Verb, a modulated reverb processor.

Stephanie RichardsStephanie Richards

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Exploring the space between new music, improvisation and performance art, trumpeter and composer Stephanie Richards examines the physical, visual and auditory interactions of live music performance. As reflected in recently commissioned works, Rotations for twelve choreographed musicians and carousel and Trading Futures for six hundred found sound surfaces, Stephanie's theatrical tendencies often result in compositional collaborations of sound, sight and movement.

Stephanie has become a prominent voice in experimental improvisation, collaborating with artists such as improvisational pioneers Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, John Zorn and Anthony Braxton, composer Helmut Lachenmann and performance artists Mike Kelly and Yoko Ono.  As a founding member of Asphalt Orchestra, created by the new music collective Bang on a Can, Stephanie has worked with David Byrne, St. Vincent, Susan Marshall, Tyondai Braxton among others, and performed alongside Kronos Quartet, The Pixies and hip hop artists Kanye West, A-Trak and Common.

Championing new music for brass, Stephanie has premiered works from stages such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Barbican, the Blue Note NYC,  the Guggenheim Museum and others. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, McGill University, California Institute of the Arts and has held residency at Stanford University. In addition to performing and composing, Stephanie encourages the performance and commissioning of new music and jazz as Vice-President of the Festival of New Trumpet (FONT).

Drawing from experience in creative performance practices, Stephanie looks forward to providing opportunities for dialogue and active performance in the community through courses focusing on improvisation and new music curation, aiming to collectively question and challenge conventions of music presentation.  


AllaisLucy Allais

Henry E. Allison Endowed Chair in the History of Philosophy
Appointment effective 3/1/15

Professor Allais works on Kant’s philosophy, on topics related to wrongdoing and justice, such as forgiveness and punishment. She is also interested in bioethics.

Allais’s published work has two main components. The first, in the history of philosophy, is a sustained body of work interrogating different aspects of Kant’s transcendental idealism. The second is work on moral emotions and responding to wrongdoing, with a central focus on understanding forgiveness. She has recently completed a book manuscript on Kant’s transcendental idealism, a topic on which she has published numerous articles. Her work on Kant’s theoretical philosophy also includes articles challenging the dominant reading of Kantian intuition, which holds that, for Kant, we cannot be perceptually presented with, or represent, particular things independently of our applying, or having the ability to apply, conceptsto these particulars, and therefore sees him as proponent of something like the contemporary positions that deny that there can be representational mental content independent of concepts.

In addition to working in the history of philosophy, she has interests in moral psychology, and on moral issues surrounding justice and responding to wrongdoing. In this area she has published articles on forgiveness, on restorative and retributive justice in relation to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and ethical issues raised by encounters with beggars. She also has interests in bioethics, particularly in relation to infectious disease, and to the testing and treatment of HIV.

She is now starting a large project on Kant’s account of free will in his metaphysical, moral and psychological theories.

McKenzieKerry McKenzie

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Dr. McKenzie earned her PhD at the University of Leeds, England, in 2012.  From there she went to the University of Calgary, Canada, to take up a postdoctoral fellowship in Logic and Philosophy of Science, and after that to the University of Western Ontario to take up a postdoc in Philosophy and Science there.  Her research concerns the metaphysics of science, and in particular how high-energy physics impacts upon traditional philosophical questions concerning fundamental reality and the ways in which that reality is constrained. The interdisciplinary nature of her research is reflected in her unique courses, in which philosophy majors can bring a scientific dimension to their discipline while science students are encouraged to develop an enriched philosophical perspective on their own work.  Over the next few years, Dr. McKenzie is aiming towards writing a book on the metaphysics fundamentality, a work that will be informed by the history of both philosophy and science and her experiences in the classroom.

Theatre & Dance

BarricelliMarco Barricelli

Appointment effective 7/1/14

Marco Barricelli has been a major figure in the American Theatre for more than two decades and is most well known for his leading roles in Shakespearean works at the top venues throughout the country. This Julliard graduate was a lead actor and member of the theater company of the venerable Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) from 1985 -1993, before joining the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco as an actor and member of teaching faculty from 1997 - 2005. From 2007 -13 he served as Artistic Director at the UC Santa Cruz-based Shakespeare Santa Cruz and is currently Co-Artistic Director of the reformulated and independent theatre company, Santa Cruz Shakespeare. Professor Barricelli is a dedicated and masterful theatre-maker whose range extends from the classical repertoire to the contemporary, television, and with a significant career as an artistic director. We look forward to his many contributions to our professional actor training program and artistic productions.

BurelleJulie Burelle

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Julie Burelle holds a PhD from the joint program in Drama and Theatre at UC San Diego and UC Irvine. Originally from Quebec, Canada, Julie has studied and taught theatre on both coasts of Canada and of the United States. She earned a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Toronto. Julie’s recent research focuses on how questions of First Nations sovereignty, cultural identity, and nationhood are negotiated through performances in the particular context of Quebec, a province whose national aspirations have often occupied center stage. Her case studies include theatrical and cinematic performances, First Nations hip hop, and political and land-based protests. Julie has presented her work in multiple international settings and she has published in TheatreForum as well as in the book Theatres of Affect edited by Erin Hurley.

As a practitioner, Julie works in collaborative settings and has served as a dramaturg for plays (The Robbers directed in Toronto by Johanna Schall, Kasimir and Karoline, directed in San Diego by Larissa Lury), for dance projects (Les Noces choreographed by Allyson Green with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, Dee(a)r Spine by Sam Mitchell) and for documentary films (Québékoise by Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins). Her play for puppet, Le Fil d’Ariane, developed through an apprenticeship in Mexico City at the company Marionetas de la Esquina, was presented in Toronto in 2008.

SteinDeborah Stein

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Deborah Stein is an internationally produced playwright and one of the most innovative, exciting new voices in American Theatre today. Her plays have been produced/developed by many notable organizations such as the Guthrie Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Women's Project & Productions, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Playwrights' Center, as well as international entities in Poland, Ireland, Edinburgh (Traverse Theatre) and Prague. She collaborated with Pig Iron Theatre Company on six new works, including Shut Eye, and was twice nominated for the Barrymore Award for best new play. Her writing is published in TheatreForum, Play: A Journal of Plays and The Best American Poetry of 1996. Commissions include the Guthrie Theater, The Children's Theatre Company and the EST/Sloan Project. Ms. Stein holds an MFA from Brown University and is a two-time Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights' Center and member of New Dramatists.

Visual Arts

Alena WilliamsAlena J. Williams

Assistant Professor
Appointment effective 7/1/14

Alena J. Williams received her A.B. in Fine Arts at Harvard University in 1998, and received her Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University in 2014. Her research areas include modern and contemporary art, film and media history and theory, the interrelation of art and technology, and the epistemology of the image. She is currently preparing a book-length study, The Total Experiment: Cinema and the Modernist Work of Art, on the relationship between postwar multimedia installations and performances and the dynamic artworks and environments of early modernism. Before joining the UCSD faculty, Williams pursued research and pedagogical activity internationally in a diverse range of forms—exhibitions, residencies, screenings, workshops, and research seminars—at some of the most important educational and cultural institutions. She was the curator of Nancy Holt: Sightlines, an international traveling exhibition on American artist Nancy Holt’s Land art, films, videos, and related works from 1966–80 for the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University (2010-13), and published a companion book with the University of California Press (2011). Her research and projects have been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation. Teaching across the fields of Art History and Media on the work of both neglected and canonical artists, media practitioners, and filmmakers, Williams will be a key participant in the Visual Arts department’s rethinking of the curriculum, especially the Media area, helping to tie the program to new interdisciplinary initiatives across the arts, humanities, and sciences.