Tenure Awarded to Seven Faculty Members

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 14, 2011 — On the recommendation of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, the Williams College Board of Trustees has promoted seven faculty to the position of associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2011. They are Edan Dekel, classics; Sarah Goh, chemistry; Sarah Hammerschlag, religion; Gage McWeeny, English; Bernard Rhie, English; Mihai Stoiciu, mathematics; and Tara Watson, economics.

Edan Dekel

Edan DekelDekel is interested in Greek and Roman poetry, comparative epic, Biblical studies, ancient Judaism, and medieval literature. His book, “Virgil’s Homeric Lens,” which reassesses the relationship of the “Aeneid” to the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey,” is forthcoming from Routledge in June.

At Williams since 2005, Dekel has taught advanced Greek and Latin courses, as well as Jewish studies and classics courses in translation, including “Ancient Wisdom Literature” and “From Adam to Noah: Literary Imagination and the Primeval History In Genesis.” He held a fellowship from the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2008-09 and an Andrew W. Mellon fellowship in Humanistic Studies in 1996-97. He received his B.A. from Brown University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah Goh

Sarah GohGoh investigates non-covalent assemblies based on biological systems through a variety of organic chemistry processes. She has held a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation Research in Undergraduate Institutions for a project titled “Self-Assembled PEG-Peptide Copolymers for Biomedical Applications.”

Goh’s work has been published in several scholarly publications, including “Biomacromolecules” and “Journal of Polymer Science, Polymer Chemistry.” She teaches introductory- and intermediate-level organic chemistry, as well as an advanced course on physical organic chemistry. She received her B.S. from the University of Michigan, her M.S. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah Hammerschlag

Sarah HammerschlagHammerschlag’s research fields include modern Jewish thought, Continental philosophy, literary theory and critical theory, and European intellectual history. Her book, “The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought” was published by the University of Chicago Press last year. She received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to work on her second book, “Sowers and Sages: The Renaissance of Judaism in Postwar Paris.”

Among the courses she has taught since joining Williams in 2005 are “Judaism: Innovation and Tradition,” “Endtimes: Messianism in Modernity,” and “The Turn to Religion in Postmodern Thought.” She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.A. from Hollins College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Gage McWeeny

Gage McWeenyMcWeeny’s research and teaching centers on Victorian literature and culture. His book “The Comfort of Strangers: Social Intimacy and Victorian Literature,” for which he held an Oakley Center fellowship in 2008-09, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2011. He is also interested in twentieth century fiction and contemporary experimental writing.

He is the co-editor of a Longman Edition of Charles Dickens’ “Hard Times” (2003), as well as the author of recent articles that have appeared in “NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction” and “Victorian Poetry.” He has written for the arts journal “Cabinet” and is also a contributor to programs on BBC Radio 3 and 4. Recent courses he has taught at Williams include “The Nineteenth-Century British Novel” and “Borrowing and Stealing: Originality in Literature and Culture.” He received his B.A. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Bernie Rhie

Bernie RhieRhie is interested in the connections between philosophy and literature, with an emphasis on 20th-century literature and ordinary language philosophy. His current book project, “The Philosophy of the Face: Theorizing the Face in the 20th Century,” explores the philosophical significance of faces, face perception, and physiognomy for a number of key 20th-century thinkers, including Levinas, Wittgenstein, and Deleuze.

In addition, Rhie is co-editor of a collection of critical essays titled “Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism,” which is forthcoming from Continuum. Courses he has taught at Williams include “The Problem of Modernity and the Modernist Imagination,”
“The Ethics of Fiction,” “Introduction to the Novel,” and a course on J.M. Coetzee. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mihai Stoiciu

Mihai StoiciuStoiciu conducts research on orthogonal polynomials on the unit circle, on random matrices, and on the spectral properties of random operators. His work has been published in “Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society,” “Journal of Approximation Theory,” and “Duke Mathematical Journal.”

Stoiciu has held visiting academic appointments at the Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical Science in Cambridge, England, in 2008, and at the University of California, Irvine, in 2008-09. At Williams, he teaches courses on linear algebra, functional analysis, complex analysis, numerical analysis, calculus, and probability. He received his B.S. from the University of Bucharest and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology

Tara Watson

Tara WatsonWatson specializes in labor economics, public finance, health economics, urban economics, and economic demography. Currently, her ongoing projects examine barriers to Medicaid participation among immigrants, and school choice and segregation.

She has been published in “Public Finance Review,” “Journal of Human Resources,” “Review of Income and Wealth,” “Journal of Health Economics,” among others. Her work on income segregation as well as minimum age drinking laws and pregnancy complications has been covered in mainstream media. At Williams, she teaches on public finance, poverty, health disparities, and econometrics. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

To visit the college on the Internet:www.williams.edu