Program Director
Terri Carney
Terri Carney
Professor – Spanish

Dr. Terri Carney

Professor of Spanish
Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Butler University, JH391A (940-8438)

Program Faculty and Staff
Chad Bauman
Chad Bauman
Professor – Religion

Professor Bauman grew up in eastern Pennsylvania before going to Goshen College, in Northern Indiana, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree. After college, Professor Bauman went to Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) and earned both an M.Div. and Ph.D. degree, while teaching courses on Buddhism and Islam at PTS, Princeton University, and The College of New Jersey.

Professor Bauman’s earliest research focused on the interaction of low-caste Christians and Hindus in colonial Chhattisgarh. His book on the topic, Christian Identity and Dalit Religion in Hindu India, 1868-1947 (Eerdmans Publishers, 2008) won the prize for Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies, 2006-2008, from the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. During this time period, Professor Bauman also conducted research on Sathya Sai Baba, a popular, miracle-working Indian guru with an international following that extends even to the city of Indianapolis. 

From 2008 to 2019, Professor Bauman conducted research on Hindu-Christian conflict. His most recent book, published by Cornell University Press, is Anti-Christian Violence in India, and earlier he published a book on the same topic with specific reference to Pentecostals and the public controversies surrounding conversion (called Pentecostals, Proselytization, and anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary India). Both this book and a volume he co-edited with Richard Fox Young (Constructing Indian Christianities) were named as prize finalists for the Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies (History/Ethnography), 2013-17, by the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. 

Another volume, The Routledge Handbook of Hindu-Christian Relations (co-edited with Michelle Voss Roberts) was published at the end of 2020.

His future projects will likely focus on religion and the law in Asia, and on the experiences and treatment of Hindu minorities in predominantly Christian countries.

Butler Teaching Assignment 

Professor Bauman teaches introductory surveys of the world’s religions as well as upper-level courses on Hinduism and Buddhism. He has recently taught topical courses such as "Religion, ‘Cults,’ and (In)Tolerance in America," “Religion, Politics and Conflict in South Asia,” “Religion, Gender, and the Goddess in Asia,” "Race and Religion in America," and “Theory and Method in the Study of Religion.” 

Natalie Carter
Natalie Carter
Senior Lecturer, English

Natalie Carter holds a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in American Literature and Culture from George Washington University.  Her research and pedagogical interests include trauma theory, gender and sexuality studies, and the dynamics of race, ethnicity, and violence in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century literary and cultural artifacts.  Scholarship includes publications on Dorothy Allison, Julia Alvarez, and Ernest Hemingway, as well as works addressing violence against women and race-related trauma in American society.  She teaches American Literature and Culture in addition to courses in the Honors and First-Year Seminar Programs, and is Affiliate Faculty in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) program.

Carter is an elected member of the Faculty Senate; a Social Justice and Diversity (SJD) Faculty Mentor; member of the FYS Advisory Committee; and the advisor for several student organizations.  She has been named Butler University’s Woman of Distinction (2019), and received the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2021).   

Krista Cline
Krista Cline
Associate Professor – Sociology

I am Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Butler University. Before coming to Butler, I earned a dual-title Ph.D. from Purdue University in sociology and gerontology. I then spent at year at the University of Missouri as a postdoctoral scholar in the Research Center for Human Animal Interactions. 

My research interests include the roles of women and mothers, health and body weight issues, and social psychology. I teach a variety of courses including;  families, international crime, gender, race, and crime, health and society, aging and the life course, and gender and society.

My research is currently funded by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). This research examines mothers’ perspectives of the benefits of interscholastic activities of their high school students. This is a 10 year longitudinal study that begin in the fall of 2019. I also host the podcast, MOMent with Mom, with members of the NFHS. 

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Vivian Deno
Vivian Deno




Fall 2022

MW 1-2:15 HST 305 Vexing Women: Transnational Feminist Histories and Struggles, 1870-1940

MW 2:30-3:40 American Visions

Spring 2022

MW 1-2:15 American Visions

T/TH 1-2:15 Formation of Modern America

Fall 2021

MW 1-2:15 HST 342 US Workingwomen in the Modern City, 1870-1940

T Dolly Parton’s America: Gender, Region, & Culture

  • Check out our Spotify playlist for our course read, Sarah Smarsh, She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs (2020)

Jiling Duan
Future Faculty Teaching Fellow
Elise Edwards
Elise Edwards
Professor – Anthropology

My research interests include the history and culture of Japan, the anthropology of sport, the anthropology of science, gender studies, feminist theory, historical anthropology, mass/popular culture, theories of embodiment, urban anthropology, and visual culture. Most of my fieldwork has focused on cultures of sport in Japan and while I study and teach about all kinds of sport, football (soccer) is my ultimate passion. I continue to work on my primary project about soccer, corporate sport, the recession of the 1990s, and national identity in Japan, but have also written recently about the new professional women’s soccer league in Japan and the history of women’s professional soccer/football globally; I’m also interested in issues related to trans* athletes in Japan and the U.S.

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Sonnet Gabbard
Sonnet Gabbard
Instructor, RGSS

Dr. Gabbard is the full time faculty member in Department of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is a proud Butler alumnus (’05) where she received a B.A. in Political Science. She worked as a community organizer, political consultant, and communications director for progressive social justice movements for five years in Philadelphia and throughout California, before returning to academia. Dr. Gabbard received an M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) from the University of Cincinnati. She then attended THE Ohio State University where she received her PhD in WGSS.

Dr. Gabbard’s work engages with transnational sexuality studies and feminism, critical development and human rights discourses, queer of color critique, and post-conflict studies. Her research specifically looks at the relationships between supranational and international development agencies/organizations and grassroots feminist and LGBTQ movements. She is also interested in queer BIPOC representation in popular culture, thinking and writing about feminist pedagogy, and cuddling her geriatric corgi, Gracie.

Irune Gabiola
Irune Gabiola
Professor – Spanish


A native from Bilbao (Basque Country), I moved to the US in 2000 to pursue graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. While I was growing up, I lived in France and Belgium which introduced me to different cultures and languages. From this exposure, I decided to study Latin American and Caribbean cultures while familiarizing myself with feminisms, queer studies, postcolonial and transatlantic studies.

Over my twelve years at Butler, I have developed numerous original courses including “Women on the Road: Representations on Women’s Migrations in Hispanic Cultures”, “Slavery in the New World”, “Revisiting History through Film”, or “The Role of Sports in the Construction of Gender, Sexuality, Race and National Identity”, “Women Going Green: Tales of Toxic Environment and Corporate Waste” among many others. These courses inform my students’ intellectual curiosity and expose them to a multiplicity of perspectives on identity, critical thinking, and sociocultural awareness. I am fortunate to work at a University where I can expand my desire to always learn new material through teaching courses that I am passionate about, and connecting them with research. Similarly, I have been able to intersect teaching interests with my research agenda on alternative family and nation formations in the Caribbean; what led to the publication of my first book.

Likewise, my area of research has been extended due to the flexibility offered by Butler to study new regions and topics of inquiry through Study Abroad programs, and instructional and research grants. My second books explores affect theory, ecofeminisms, intersectional struggles, and social activisms in Honduras, Central America. The tragic death of Berta Cáceres led me to develop an intellectual and critical mindset regarding extractivism in Latin America, which is one of the most violent forms of neocolonialism exercised upon indigenous communities whose land and human rights have been completely erased. Furthermore, the urgency to conceptualize and validate alternative ecological cosmologies based on affective relations with nature and with others presents potential for democratic encounters, radical transformation, and social justice.

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Lee Garver
Associate Professor – English
Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh
Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh
Professor – Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media

Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh is the Richard M. Fairbanks Professor of Communication and served as the Interim Dean from April 2021 to December 2022. Before her appointment as Interim Dean, Dr. Geertsema-Sligh served as Director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media for five years. She joined Butler University in 2005 and has taught classes in news writing, gender and news, and global media. Dr. Geertsema-Sligh holds a doctorate in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Communication from Washington State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from North-West University in South Africa. She is a past chair of the International Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and a past co-chair of the Gender and Communication section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research. Her research has been published in several leading academic journals.

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Allison Harthcock
Associate Professor – Communication & Media Studies
Brent Hege
Brent Hege
Senior Lecturer – Religion


Born and raised in southcentral Pennsylvania in one of only two counties in the Commonwealth without a traffic light, Brent Hege earned his BA in Religion and History with a minor in Classics from Gettysburg College (PA) in 1998. He completed the Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung Diplom (German Language Certificate) at the Goethe Institut in Dresden, Germany, in 2000 while completing his MA in Historical Theology with a minor in New Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (PA). He earned his PhD in Theology with Distinction from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, VA, in 2007. His dissertation was awarded the 2010 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise by the Forschungszentrum Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He was honored by his alma mater with the 2013 Gettysburg College Young Alumni Achievement Award and in 2015 he was elected an honorary member of Butler’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 2017 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching from Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2017 he was appointed Center for Faith and Vocation Scholar in Residence and in 2020 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Religion. He has taught at Butler since 2008. 

Teaching Duties

As a faculty member of Butler’s Religious Studies program, Hege teaches the yearlong First Year Seminar "Faith, Doubt, and Reason," occasionally teaches the introductory course in world religions, and teaches the following upper-division courses: God, Theologies of Liberation, Evil, Religious Pluralism, Ecotheology, Philosophy of Religion, and Existentialism. In 2015-2016 he directed the Butler Seminar on Religion and World Civilization on the topic "Religion, Race, and Culture" and in 2018-2019 he directed the newly renamed Butler Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs on the topic "Sacred Spaces: Intersections of Religion and Ecology." In 2022-2023 he is again directing the Butler Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs on the topic of "Faith and Activism."" Hege is also the CFV Scholar in Residence, where he works with the CFV Scholars on issues of interfaith engagement and vocational discernment. He occasionally contributes to the CFV blog with reflections on his work as CFV Scholar in Residence. He also has a podcast, "Faith and Vocation," featuring interviews with CFV Scholars and Butler’s religious leaders. At Butler Hege holds affiliate faculty status in the programs of Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Peace and Conflict StudiesScience, Technology, and Environmental Studies, and the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability


Hege’s research focuses on the history of Christian thought and contemporary Christian theology, with special attention to 19th- and early 20th-century liberal Protestant theology, continental philosophy and philosophical theology, contemporary constructive theology, Lutheranism, and theology and culture. In addition to his award-winning first book, Faith at the Intersection of History and Experience: The Theology of Georg Wobbermin (Wipf and Stock, 2009), he has published articles and invited review essays in a number of European and American journals, including Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte/Journal for the History of Modern Theology, Theologische Zeitschrift, Theology and Science, Radical Philosophy Review, Politics and Religion, and Teaching Theology and Religion. He is also a frequent reviewer of books on historical and contemporary theology for Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology. He has presented papers at national and regional academic conferences, including The American Academy of Religion and The Southwest Popular Culture Association and The American Culture Association, as well as being a frequent guest lecturer and panel member for school, church, and community programs. His second book, Myth, History, and the Resurrection in German Protestant Theology, was published by Pickwick Press in 2017. His most recent book, based on the first semester of his popular Butler First Year Seminar, is Faith, Doubt, and Reason (Wipf and Stock 2020). In 2020 he was elected to the editorial council of Dialog: A Journal of Theology

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Ashley Hutson
Ashley Hutson
Terri Jett
Terri Jett
Faculty Director of the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement

Dr. Terri Jett is originallyfrom Richmond, California and has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies, an M.P.A. fromCSU-Hayward and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from AuburnUniversity. She is a Professor of Political Science, an affiliate facultymember of the Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, the Peace andConflict Studies Program and the Faculty Director for the Butler University Hubfor Black Affairs and Community Engagement.

 Dr. Jett is the twice- Emmy nominated moderator of WFYI Simple Civics  and serves on a number of boards includingIndiana Humanities and the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

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Jeana Jorgensen
Jeana Jorgensen
Lecturer – History-Anthropology

Dr. Jeana Jorgensen earned her PhD in Folklore with a minor in Gender Studies from Indiana University. Her scholarship focuses on representations of gender and sexuality in fairy tales, ranging from canonical tales like those of the Grimms’ to contemporary fairy tales in film, fiction, and poetry. She has published nearly 30 academic articles and book chapters in journals such as the Journal of American Folklore, Marvels & Tales, Journal of Folklore Research, Cultural Analysis, and more. Other areas of scholarship include dance, body art, feminist and queer theory, the digital humanities, and the history of sex education.

Dr. Jorgensen also writes for more public audiences, with the 2021 publication of her book Folklore 101: An Accessible Introduction to Folklore Studies and over a decade of blogging at a variety of outlets. She appears regularly on podcasts and YouTube shows to talk about her work with folklore and fairy tales as well as her research in gender studies, which ranges from topics such as ethical non-monogamy to moral panics around marginalized genders and sexualities. Her creative writing, from retold fairy tales in poetic form to flash fiction, can also be found scattered around obscure corners of the internet.

When not teaching, reading, researching, or writing, she also directs two dance troupes and bakes with her sourdough starter.

Mira Kafantaris
Mira Kafantaris
Assistant Professor – English

Mira Assaf Kafantaris (she/her/hers) specializes in Premodern Critical Race Studies, Shakespeare, and Early Modern Culture. She is completing her first manuscript, titled Royal Marriage, Foreign Queens, and Racial Formations in the Early Modern Period. Her public-facing work has appeared in The SundialThe MillionsOverland JournalThe RamblingThe ConversationMedium-Equity, and The Platform. She is co-editing, with Sonja Drimmer and Treva B. Lindsey, a special issue of the Barnard Center for Research on Women’s journal, The Scholar and Feminist Online, titled "Race-ing Queens."

Dr Assaf Kafantaris is affiliated with Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Butler and is the 21-22 Folger Shakespeare Library and Society for the Study of Early Women and Gender Margaret Hannay Fellow. 

Professional Statement: As an immigrant, an uninvited guest, and a minority faculty, I embody an anti-racist, intersectional, and decolonial agenda in my teaching, research, and service. My professional mission is to be a vital member of collectives working for global social justice. I value collegiality, collaborations, the “care that carries,” to adapt from the poet Claudia Rankine. In my role, I seek to be a compassionate teacher, a committed scholar, a vocal activist who opens doors, makes connections, elevates, and sustains my communities in the struggle for liberation. 


  • PhD, The Ohio State University, 2014
  • MA, American University of Beirut, 2007
  • BA, Lebanese University, 2004

  • Lynne Kvapil
    Lynne Kvapil
    Associate Professor of Classics

    Lynne A. Kvapil, known by her students as Dr. K, is an archaeologist specializing in ancient Greece and Aegean Prehistory. Her research focuses on the Mycenaean Greeks, particularly farming, warfare, the manufacture of ceramics, and labor organization and management. As an active field archaeologist, Dr. K travels to Greece every summer, where she is the Assistant Director of the Nemea Center of Archaeology Excavations at the Mycenaean cemetery at Aidonia and the Petsas House Excavations at Mycenae. Dr. K has been awarded research funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mediterranean Archaeological Trust to support her ongoing research on the Mycenaean Greeks, and she has been a part of a successful grant-writing team that has been awarded funding from the Archaeological Institute of America and the Loeb Foundation to support the excavations at Aidonia.

    At Butler University, Dr. K teaches in all aspects of the ancient Mediterranean world, but most often she teaches about Ancient Greece, including Ancient Greek language courses, Ancient Greek Art and Myth, Ancient Greek Perspectives. She also teaches upper level courses in Ancient Greek and Roman Art and Architecture and Women in Antiquity. Dr. K is also a co-director of the Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology and Classics (AMCA) lab, which won a 2015 Butler University Innovation Grant and which aims to help put the material culture of the ancient world into the modern classroom.

    Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer
    Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer

    Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Before arriving at Butler in Autumn 2021, they completed their PhD (philosophy, 2021) at Ohio State University, MA (philosophy, 2015) at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and BA (philosophy, 2013) at the University of Missouri – Columbia. 

    Their area of specialization is political philosophy, with a focus on feminist perspectives, public reason, and global justice. 

    For more information about Lavender’s research, teaching, and CV, visit:

    Su-Mei Ooi
    Su-Mei Ooi
    Associate Professor – Political Science

    Director of Academic Affairs for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

    Faculty Director of Butler in Asia Program, Center for Global Education 

    Su-Mei Ooi joined the Department of Political Science and Peace & Conflict Studies program in 2010, shortly before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a joint specialty in international relations and comparative politics. 

    Prior to settling down in Indianapolis, Ooi studied and worked in many different parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. Her lived experiences have shaped Ooi into a dedicated educator who believes strongly in the importance of critical global citizenship education in the United States. At Butler, she teaches courses in international relations and Asian politics with the express purpose of helping students to understand that there are many different ways of being in this world. She particularly encourages students to seek better solutions to global problems by re-imagining new possibilities for a better world. Ooi grew up in Singapore and Malaysia. Since 2017, Ooi has also led students to Malaysia and Singapore on the Butler in Asia program, which offers students the unique opportunity to live and work in Asia for 7 weeks in the summer.

    As an affiliate faculty of the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, Ooi also believes in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning and working environment for all. At Butler, she works closely with senior administration in her role as the Director of Academic Affairs for DEI. In terms of curricular affairs, she is also responsible for Asian and Pacific American representation in the Core Curriculum, as she led a team of excellent colleagues in the development of GHS 212: Asian Americas. She works closely with students as well and is the faculty advisor of the student group Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (APIA).

    Although Ooi’s research expertise is in democratic development and human rights in East Asia, she has expanded the scope of her research in response to issues and problems beyond her core interest. More recently, her scholarship addresses peace on the Korean Peninsula, US-China relations, global education, and the well-being of faculty in teaching-focused institutions. She also believes in integrating teaching and scholarship and has mentored students in the research and publication process at Butler.

    In her personal time, Ooi enjoys the company of her husband, daughter and a pet hamster named Mochi (aka Momo). She is also an active member of the Asian and Pacific American community in Indianapolis. She is on the Board of the Indianapolis Chinese Community Center, inc and is a member of the Indiana Association of Chinese Americans and the National Asian and Pacific American Women’s Forum.

    Teaching Expertise:

    International Relations, US-China Relations, East and Southeast Asian Politics, Chinese Politics, Human Rights and Humanitarianism, International Political Economy

    Research Specialization:

    Comparative Democratization, Transnational Activism, Human Rights, East Asian Politics and International Relations, Global Citizenship Education


    PhD Political Science

    University of Toronto (Canada)

    MA (Southeast Asian Studies)

    National University of Singapore (Singapore)

    LLB (Bachelor of Laws, with Honors)

    University College London (United Kingdom)



    Korea Foundation Fellowship

    Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Fellowship

    Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Fellowship

    Dr. David Chu Scholarship

    Political Science Award, University of Toronto 

    Volkswagen Foundation Fellowship 

    Marabeth Pereira
    Marabeth Pereira
    Administrative Specialist, Interdisciplinary Programs

    Marabeth joined Butler’s Interdisciplinary Programs in August 2022. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Michael’s College and a Master of Arts from Sacred Heart University. She previously worked for Hamilton Southeastern Schools Corporation and has three children, the youngest of whom currently attends Butler University.

    Corey Reed
    Corey Reed

    Corey Reed is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty member in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) program at Butler University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College, double majoring in English and Philosophy, his Master of Arts degree from the University of Louisville in Comparative Humanities, and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. His dissertation was entitled “Black-Male Imagos and Counternarrative Resistance: An Africana Existentialist Framework for Black-Male Analysis.” He specializes in Africana Philosophy and the Critical Philosophy of Race and Racism, with sub-interests in Existentialism, Phenomenology, Feminism/Male Theory, 20th Century French Continental Philosophy, and Aesthetics. His forthcoming publications include "Signifying the Sound: Criteria for Black Art Movements" (Journal of Aesthetic Education: Summer 2023) and "#ProtectBlackWomen and Other Hashtags: Using Amílcar Cabral’s Resistance and Decolonization Framework as an Ethic for Obligations Between Black Agents" (C.L.R. James Journal: Winter 2022). He also co-authored a Higher Education Ethics Case Study featured in the book Ethics in Higher Education: Promoting Equity and Inclusion Through Case-Based Inquiry (2021) with a corresponding podcast episode featured here: Some of the courses he has taught include Feminist Theory, Biomedical Ethics, Contemporary Moral Problems, Racism, Prejudice and Difference, and Africana Philosophy. 

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    Alexander Roehrkasse
    Alexander Roehrkasse
    Assistant Professor – Sociology & Criminology

    Alex Roehrkasse is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology. He is also a faculty affiliate in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. 

    Alex’s research focuses on inequality, crime and punishment, families and children, and quantitative and historical methods. He is particularly interested in the ways that families interact with the legal, criminal justice, and child welfare systems, with consequences for racial, class, and gender equity and child well-being. 

    Alex teaches courses on introductory sociology, sociological theory, research methods, social statistics, victimization, incarceration and inequality, and prison abolition, among others. 

    Before joining the faculty at Butler, Alex held postdoctoral fellowships at Cornell and Duke Universities. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. in economics from Brown University. More information about Alex’s research and teaching is available at

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    Ann Savage
    Ann Savage
    Professor – Communication & Media Studies
    Julie Searcy
    Assistant Professor – Anthropology
    Sholeh Shahrokhi
    Sholeh Shahrokhi
    Professor – Anthropology

    Sholeh Shahrokhi is a Professor in Anthropology in the Department of History, Anthropology, and Classics, at the college of LAS at Butler University.

    Dr. Shahrokhi received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 2008.  In the same year, she began teaching at Butler in the Department of History and Anthropology, and across interdisciplinary programs such as Race Gender and Sexuality Studies; Peace Studies; International Studies; and Global and Historical Studies.

    Her scholarship focuses on explorations of power as manifested in an intersectional and discursive expressions of gender, race, body, age, religion and ethnicity, urbanity, as socio-cultural frames of differences

    Her research projects in Iran, France, the UK, and the United States have focused on the formation of gendered norms, ideas about sexuality, and most recently on the "crisis" of refugees in Europe and the political north. She has conducted research on art of/by refugees, creativity and aesthetics in political protest in Iran and across the Middle East; a gendered reading of visual politics of the body emerging from contemporary Iranian protest scene; alternative sexualities and lifestyles among young Iranians in the US; spatial claims to the city, the notion of trespass as resistance to urban violence among a category called "runaway daughters" in Tehran; contemporary trends in cosmetic surgeries, shifting ideals of masculinities, femininities, and beauty in Tehran. Her writing on Iran aims to diversify representation of the people, while remaining critical of strategies that exclude “others”.

    Selected published works:

    I. Book Chapters

    Gender and Sexuality: An Anthropological Approach (2017), in Ethnology, Ethnography and Cultural Anthropology, [Eds. Paolo Barbaro], in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, [] 

    Iranian War Cinema: The Art of RememberingPain, in the Iranian War Cinema: National Identity, Ethnic Diversity, and Gender Issues, (2012). Edited book by P. Khosronejad. S. K. Publishing, Oxford:UK.

    Beyond “tragedy”: A Cultural Critique of SexTrafficking of Young Iranian Women, in Sex Trafficking, Human Rights, andSocial Justice, (2010). Edited volume by T. Zheng. Routledge, NY.

    II. Articles: 

    Life jackets on shore: Anthropology, refugees, and the politics of belonging in Europe, in Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia 4(2):11-33. (2018). Sean KingstonPublishing. Oxford: UK.

    Body Aesthetics and Protest Art In Contemporary Iran (2014)

    Adolescents’ perspective on addiction (2005) co-author.

    III. Selected Conference Papers: 

    "Family Albums in Flux: Portraits of life and memory across borders." Photo Albums Twisted Meaning: Between nostalgia and trauma. Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and DOX – Center for Contemporary Art. Prague, Cz. (November 2021).

    "Life in Fragments: Anthropology and Art Across the Border". Hostile Terrain 94. Butler University. (October 2021). 

    "Crossing the Border: Anthropology, identity politics, and the role of Art." A workshop organized by Zanan: Iranian Women in Northern California (April 2021).  

    “Art-Activism – an exercise in love: Stories from Iranian refugees living in Europe.” Didar VaGoftar Seminar: A critical inquiry special group of Iranians in Indiana. Zionsville, Indiana. (2019)

    “Between Lights andShadows: The art of ‘seeing’ refugees.” European Association of SocialAnthropologists (EASA). Staying, Moving, and Settling conference. StockholmUniversity. Stockholm, Sweden. (2018).

    “Living as Trans*: The experiences from fieldwork in Tehran, Iran.” Transgender Lives in GlobalPerspective: Trans Lives in Iran. Religion Seminar by the Center for Faith andVocation at Butler University and the Desmond Tutu Center at the ChristianTheological Seminary. (2016)

    Engendering the Protester: Body politics and sexual representation of the Iranian protests (2012)

    Body Beautiful: Making the Figure of Women in Film, Contemplation on the Iranian New Wave Cinema of the Past Decade (2009)

    Courses (Butler):

    I. Core Courses in the Social World
                SW 215 Being Human: An Introduction to Anthropology (Social Justice Diversity approved)
                SW 233 Political Islam in Paris

    II. Core Courses in Global and Historical Studies
                GHS207 Global Women: Rights and Resistance
                              (Cross-listed: Gender Women Sexuality Studies, Social Justice Diversity approved)
                GHS211 Modern Middle East and North Africa (Social Justice Diversity approved) 

    II. Core Courses in Perspectives in the Creative Arts
                PCA 215 Art Across Borders: Refugees in Political North

    IV. Courses in Anthropology (Majors/Minors)
                AN 311 Trespass: Anthropology of Power & Difference
                             (Cross-listed: Peace and Conflict Studies, International Studies)
                AN 315 Gender and Colonialism (Cross-listed: GWSS)
                AN 320 Gender and Sexuality Through Globalization (Cross-listed: GWSS)
                AN 326 Youth and Global Cinema (cross-listed: IS and PACS)
                AN 328 Popular Culture: Michael Jackson
                AN 340 Non-western Art: Ethnographic Art
                AN 345 Conflict Resolution Through Art (Cross-listed: PACS, IS)
                AN 352 Anthropological Method: Ethnography (Writing: WAC)
                AN 368 Coming of Age in the Middle East (Cross-listed: PACS)
                AN 390 Anthropological Theory

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    Ageeth Sluis
    Ageeth Sluis
    Professor – History

    I am a professor of Latin American History in the department of History and Anthropology, and affiliate faculty in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) and International Studies (IS). I am also currently the Director of Global and Historical Studies at Butler University.

    I teach courses on a variety of subjects, but all deal in some way with the interplay of power, culture, identity formations and historical shifts. 

    My scholarship generally lands at the intersections of gender, space, and the history of the Americas. You can find my articles in The Americas, the Journal of Urban History, and the Journal of Transnational American Studies (among others). My first book titled Deco Body/Deco City: Spectacle and Modernity in Mexico City (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) looks at how new ideas about femininity and female bodies influenced urban reform in Mexico’s capital city in the 1920s and 1930sMy new project, Warrior Power: Dreaming, Drugs, Death and the Search for Alternate Spirituality in Mexico during the Sixties and Seventies (tentative title), focuses on the interplay between the books and appeal of Carlos Castaneda, the history of anthropology, New Age sensibilities, popular imaginings of Mexico, and indigenismo.

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    Ania Spyra
    Ania Spyra
    Professor, English

    Ania Spyra grew up in a German and Polish speaking home in Upper Silesia in Southern Poland. She received her MA in Literature and Linguistics from the University of Silesia, and her PhD in English from the University of Iowa. Dr. Spyra’s research looks at the influence of migration on the language of literature. She has published articles on feminist contestations of cosmopolitanism, multilingualism and transnationalism, most recently in Studies in the Novel, Contemporary Literature and Comparative Literature. Dr. Spyra teaches a wide range of courses in Transnational and Postcolonial Literature, Translation and Creative Writing. In her commitment to Global Education, she twice directed Butler University’s Global Adventures in Liberal Arts (GALA) as well as taught short term study abroad courses in Cuba, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. 

    Kristin Swenson
    Kristin Swenson
    Professor – Communication & Media Studies
    Brynnar Swenson
    Brynnar Swenson
    Associate Professor – English

    Brynnar Swenson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society (2008). He is Associate Professor and the Director of the M.A. in English. He teaches American literature, literary theory, and cultural studies and his research focuses on literature, continental philosophy, and the history of capitalism. He is the editor of Literature and the Encounter with Immanence (Brill / Rodopi, 2017), and his essays have appeared in Cultural Critique, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, New American Notes Online (NANO), Letterature d’America, and The Baltic Journal of Law and Politics.

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    Robin Turner
    Robin Turner
    Associate Professor, Political Science

    Robin L. Turner is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Butler University in the USA and an honorary research associate of the Society, Work, and Politics Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Dr. Turner served as the founding director of the Social Justice and Diversity Butler University Core Curriculum requirement from 2017 to 2019.  She earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley and a masters degree in social science (African politics) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Her research, writing, and teaching span multiple fields, including political science, gender studies, African studies, development studies, tourism studies, political ecology, and geography.

    Dr. Turner’s research focuses principally on how public policies shape rural political economies, influence identities, and affect people’s behavior in southern Africa. She uses interviews, ethnography, and archival research to examine the interplay between state policies and local practices over time and to look closely at how past and present ways of structuring property and authority shape local political economies and influence constructions of identity. She has published on topics ranging from the politics of tradition; dispossession, property, and nature tourism; and field research to decolonial pedagogy.

    Dr. Turner teaches courses that help students better understand the perspectives, experiences, and political strategies of historically marginalized people in Africa, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Her courses contribute to the political science major and minor, to the core curriculum, and to several interdisciplinary programs She led the the development of a new Global and Historical Studies course centered on the question, "What is Freedom," with grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities,  Her recent course offerings include:

    • PO 151 Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • PO 350-SAC African Politics
    • PO 351-SJD Politics of Gender & Sexuality in Africa
    • PO 352 Comparative Political Economy
    • PO 354-SJD Environmental Justice
    • PO 490 Senior Seminar on Women and Politics across the World
    • PO 490 Senior Seminar on Political Economy
    • GHS 206-SJD Resistance and Reaction: Resistance and Reaction: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa
    • GHS 210-SJD Freedom and Movement in the Transatlantic World

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    Teigha VanHester
    Teigha VanHester
    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Teigha VanHester (she/they) is a disruptive intellectual and unapologetic scholar who received her PhD in English Studies and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate at Illinois State University. She has lived in over 10 countries and currently serves as an assistant professor of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. As a native of South Central Los Angeles, California, speaker of Mandarin Chinese and diasporic woman; she writes to have her community of nuanced individuals seen. Teigha has presented at CCCC, the Watson Conference, Computers and Writing, Community Writing,  and Cultural Rhetorics. She has received the Scholars for the Dream award from 4Cs, is a Forum Editorial Fellow, and a Writing Residency and Emerging Scholar Award from Coalition for Community Writing. 

    Teigha utilizes her embodied experiences and code-meshed scholar-activist can be characterized as unbossed and unbothered. By placing into praxis a abolitionist and liberated pedagogy, Dr. V to contribute to the Sustainable Resistance and Afro-Nostalgia in Black Femme Creativity by focusing on Rhetorical Co-optation/Colonization, Unapologetic Blackness, Collective Trauma, and Black Feminist Ecology. Dr. V occupies all of the most marginalized spaces within the academy and constantly strives to make the invisible, visible; looking to critique, connect, and create performances that liberate. 

    Spring 2023 Office Hours provided

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    Peter Wang
    Peter Wang
    Instructor of Art History

    As Lecturer of Art History, Dr. Peter Wang is the founding coordinator for the Art History Major/Minor at Butler University, where he specializes in Modern and Contemporary art, history of photography, American art and visual culture. Before arriving at Butler University, he taught at Saint Mary’s College, Indiana as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University with a dissertation entitled The Profane and Profound: American Road Photography from 1930 to the Present. He received his M.A. in Art Studies from National Central University, and a B.F.A. from National Kaohsiung Normal University, both in Taiwan.

    Dr. Wang’s primary research examines the enduring marriage between photography and the American road trip, including photographs by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, and Stephen Shore, among others. He is currently transforming his dissertation into a book manuscript and a series of journal articles while expanding this genre study on aspects of road experiences of women, minorities, and foreigners. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Terra Foundation for American Art, Ministry of Education in Taiwan, and the Center for the Humanities at Temple University.

    Course Offering:

    ART105 Art History Survey I (Fall)

    ART205 Art History Survey II (Spring)

    ART312 Design: History and Theory (WAC)

    ART314 Museum Studies (cross-listed as AA383)

    ART315 Postmodernism in the Arts (WAC)

    ART316 Modernism in the Arts (WAC)

    ART317 American Art and Visual Culture (SJD/WAC)

    ART319 World History of Photography (SJD/WAC)

    ART320 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary Art (SJD; elective for Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)

    ART352 Nature’s Nation: Art, Environment, and Sustainability (elective in humanities for Environmental Studies)

    ART382 Special Topics in Art and Visual Culture

    PCA202 Introduction to Art History

    GHS212 Asian Americas: Empire, Diaspora, and Identity in the Modern World (SJD)

    Office Location: JCX111A MTWR 2:30-3:30pm (Jordan College Annex, 5144 Boulevard Pl)  

    Office Hours:

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