Faculty members put their knowledge into action so students and others are able to benefit from it. Recently, faculty published journal articles, presented at domestic and international conferences, and much more.
Professor of Philosophy Jennifer Hansen published an article with Penn State University Press titled, “A Pluralist Hope: Or, Against Optimizing Neurochemistry on Some Moonlit Dream-Visited Planet.” in the 37th volume of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy.
She also published the article “How My Experience with Depression Made Me a Feminist: It’s Not just About the Neurons,” in the Beyond Belief Blog.
Hansen’s research interests include the Philosophy of Psychiatry, Feminist philosophy, American Pragmatism (John Dewey and William James), and Phenomenology. At St. Lawrence, she regularly teaches Ancient Greek Philosophy, Africana Philosophy, Introduction to Philosophy, introduction to Health Humanities, and Philosophy of Psychiatry. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from SUNY Stony Brook and an M.A. in Philosophy from Boston College.
Sara L. Ashpole
Sara Ashpole is an associate professor of environmental studies and the current holder of the R. Sheldon ’68 and Virginia H. Johnson Professorship in the Sciences. Ashpole co-authored a paper titled “Ongoing Declines for the World’s Amphibians in the Face of Emerging Threats” in the top-ranked international Journal Nature and was recently interviewed on CBC radio.
Ashpole has a passion for the study of biodiversity, and her environmental research includes working closely with governmental, NGO, Indigenous peoples and private landowners in the Great Lakes region and the Okanagan River Valley in British Columbia, examining impacts on amphibian and turtle populations. Some of her projects include long-term amphibian population monitoring, wetland construction and rehabilitation, road ecology, non-native vertebrate species mitigation, agricultural eco-toxicology, landowner stewardship, community outreach, education, and citizen science.
In the classroom, Ashpole integrates both a theoretical and applied research approach often utilizing the Environmental Studies Living Lab, developing practical field research methods and professional skills needed for jobs in the environmental field.
Associate Professor of Education Jeff Frank published his paper "John Dewey and Psychiatry: Overcoming Resistance to Growth" in a special issue on psychoanalysis and American pragmatism in the Open Edition Journal.
Frank’s article “Sounding the Call to Teach in a Social Media Age: Renewing the Importance of Philosophy in Teacher Education,” was also published in the Journal of School & Society. He discusses the challenge of attracting young people to the teaching profession amid a perceived teacher shortage.
Chalk Beat recently published another of Frank’s articles titled “Schoolwork Shouldn’t Double As Screentime.” In this piece he expresses frustration with the increasing reliance on screens for children's schoolwork, emphasizing the negative impact on their learning experience and the importance of human connection in education.
In Frank’s article “AI, Autonomy, and the Risks of Infantilization,”which was published by Prindle Post, he shares the potentially negative consequences of increasing dependence on artificial intelligence in decision-making.
Professor Emeritus of Canadian Studies and English Robert Thacker was recently awarded the Donner Medal at the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) biennial meeting in Washington, D.C. The Donner Medal in Canadian Studies is presented biennially for distinguished achievement, scholarship and program innovation inCanadian Studies in the United States. The recipient must be active in and make contributions in teaching, scholarship, administration, or public affairs. Thacker has been a member since the 1980s and attributes his success to his recent book publication about Alice Munro titled Alice Munro’s Late Style published by Bloomsbury Academic in London.
Associate Professor and Chair of the Canadian Studies department Neil Forkey accepted the medal on Thacker’s behalf. Forkey and Frank P. Piskor Professor in Canadian Studies Joseph Jockel participated in the ACSUS meeting Nov. 16-19. Jockel contributed to a roundtable discussion on the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Forkey presented a paper based on his research into grassroots environmental groups in the St. Lawrence River watershed. He also moderated a panel on Canadian environmental issues, and presided over the business meeting of the Middle Atlantic and New England Council for Canadian Studies.
Thacker says he is “edified and humbled by this award, which has previously gone to colleagues I consider mentors as well as friends. In many ways too, this a recognition of St. Lawrence University, where a succession of presidents and deans made it possible for Canadian Studies to thrive and, in myriad ways, fostered my ongoing scholarship. Without the university’s deep support, I could not have become Alice Munro’s biographer nor done many other things as a teacher and a scholar. I am so very grateful.”
Director of Digital Initiatives Eric Williams-Bergen received a Grant from Northern New York Library Network to Support an A.I. Collaboration Space for Digital Storytelling in the Owen D. Young Library.
Williams-Bergen is a member of the University’s Library leadership team and brings his knowledge of scholarly resources and emerging technologies to help the libraries and IT focus on the planning, implementation and support of digital projects. For this grant Williams-Bergen proposed an “A.I. Collaboration Space for Digital Storytelling” within ODY’s new Digital Scholarship Studio to provide students and faculty with access to emergent A.I.-driven apps and digital equipment. This will be a space for experimentation and conversation/critique, guided by St. Lawrence University's 10th learning goal (“a capacity to examine critically the relationship between humans and technology.”)
Director of ESOL and Multilingual Student Academic Support Robin Rhodes gave a presentation at the Symposium on Second Language Writing on October 26, in Tempe, Arizona. Her presentation was titled: “Pedagogical Redesign in Higher Education ESOL: Racism, Antiracism, and Multilingual Identity.” Rhodes joined instructors from around the world to discuss second language writing at the top international conference on the topic.
Rhodes’ research specializes in linguistically and culturally sustaining English pedagogy, teacher training and English instruction abroad, along with language and education in East Africa, and asset-based instruction in ESOL courses.
Associate Professor of History Howard Eissenstat contributed a chapter in a peer-reviewed collection, “A Hundred Years of Republican Turkey: A History in a Hundred Fragments” published by Amsterdam University Press. This book explores the centennial history of the Republic of Turkey, tracing its political, economic, social, and cultural transformations over the past century.
Eissenstat drew on his expertise in Turkish Affairs for the Middle East Institutes article, “Special Briefing: A New Israel-Gaza War and Regional Reverberations.” He was also quoted by Radio France International on the probable fallout for US-Turkish relations. Eissenstat was later quoted in a discussion of Turkey’s response in Greek Daily Ethnos.
His recent publication titled “A Rocky Outlook for Turkey-US Unhappy Marriage” on Middle East Institute regards tensions in US-Turkish relations.
Eissenstat’s research has focused increasingly on contemporary Turkish domestic and foreign policy, especially on issues of rule-of-law, minority rights, and the reshaping of political culture under the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art History Rachael Jones participated in the exhibition “Can Clay Help Better the World?" Jones extended the invitation to her Wheel Throwing Intensive students. They were tasked with making eight bowls each, five of which were to be donated to Steve Hilton's (MSU-Texas) collaborative project, "Empty Bowls," on exhibition at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota as part of the national exhibition, "The Practice Is The Point."
Students join nationally known artists in this exhibition, and over 100 artists collaborated to make over 1,300 bowls. After the exhibition, these bowls will be distributed as "seed bowls" throughout the country to local arts organizations that want to host their own "Empty Bowls" events.
These events gather togethr ceramicists to make bowls, then sell them with a cup of soup or chili, and the proceeds go to local food banks and food security initiatives in their cities. Over $62,000 in proceeds have already been pledged to fight hunger across the United States.
Jones’ research is focused on Socially Engaged Art Practice, Community Art, Art & Ecology, Art & Social Justice, along with Systems Thinking.
Professor of World Languages, Cultures, and Media and Coordinator of Asian Studies Zhenjun Zhang has published an essay with Nanjing University Press titled, “Observations on the Depictions of Beauties in Classic Chinese Poetry and Rhapsody from Three Perspectives,” in the Collection of Essays Congratulating the 80th Birthday of Professor William Nienhauser.
Zhang’s work focuses on Classical Chinese Literature, history, religion and culture.
Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the World Languages, Cultures, and Media department Eloise Brezault presented at an international conference in Dakar on African literature and Ecology. Her paper, “Afrofuturism, Performances and Environmental Dystopias: In Search of a New Ecopoetics of Place,” was the foundation of her presentation.
Brezault draws from Mbembe’s ideas in Brutalisme (2020) and Garnier’s latest book Écopoétiques Africaines (2022) to discuss Afrofuturism and ecological narratives in the performances of Congolese artists and the videos clips of Belgo-Congolese slammer and singer Baloji in his songs Capture and Zombies.
St. Lawrence’s Faculty Focus is a regular roundup of noteworthy faculty news.