Nine new professors have joined the New College team this fall. As mini classes began last week and fall classes start this week, here is some insight into who these instructors are and what they will be teaching.
Eric Blix, Writer-in-Residence
Ph.D., University of Utah
M.F.A., Minnesota State University, Mankato
B.A., University of Minnesota
Professor Blix’s writing and research is broadly concerned with the ways in which “the Anthropocene” is made, sustained and altered—as both a concept and a (highly unstable) ecological reality. He is currently working on two projects: one is a multi-modal collage novel addressing such subjects as climate change, terrorism, supermarkets and the Freudian death drive; and the other is a digital hypertext that is part biography of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, part history of the rural park movement of the 19th century, and part genealogy of modern public health. He is teaching “Networked Narratives: Intermediate Fiction Workshop” and a craft seminar entitled “Experiments in Electronic Literature.”
Caitrin Eaton, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D., Computer Science, University of South Florida
B.S., Computer Engineering, Tufts University
Professor Eaton’s research grew out of her fascination with how robots can be used to support the study of animal life, and how animal physiology can support the design of more capable robotic systems. She collaborates with biologists to design robots and physics-based simulations as testbeds for physiological hypotheses, and uses principles of animal physiology to design more agile and energy-efficient robots. She will be teaching “Machine Learning for Visual Thinkers” and “Intermediate Python: Modeling & Simulation.”
Farahnaz Golrooy Motlagh, Visiting Assistant Professor of Data Science
M.S. and B.Sc., Computer Engineering, Near East University (NEU), Nicosia, Cyprus
Professor Golrooy Motlagh’s research interests are in Data Mining, Machine/Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analysis, Natural Language Processing, and Computational Social Science. Her recent research has focused on Multi-Pattern Recognition-aided Relationship Prediction Models, using advanced data mining and deep learning techniques. She will be teaching “Topics in Computing for Data Science.”
Yidong Gong, Assistant Professor of Medical Anthropology
Ph.D., and M.A., Duke University
M.Phil., University of Cambridge
B.A., Shanghai International Studies University
Professor Gong is interested in how sociocultural and political conditions shape illness and healing, and how medical expertise and ethics influence biopolitics in transnational healthcare. His current book project—based on extended participant observation, semi-structured interviews and archival research—examines China’s longstanding medical programs in South Sudan, exploring how they integrate business interests with humanitarian aid. He will be teaching the Module 1 course “Beyond the Body: Anthropology of Surgery,” the Module 2 course “History of Anthropological Theory” and the full-term course “Anthropology of Humanitarianism.”
Alexandria Griffin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion
Ph.D., Religious Studies, Arizona State University
M.A., Women’s Studies in Religion, Claremont Graduate University
B.A., Anthropology, University of Utah
Professor Griffin’s research interests focus on African American Catholic history; race, religion and sports; religion and popular culture; and LGBTQIA Mormon history and identity. She will be offering courses on “African American Religions” and “Christianity in America.”

Fahmida Hamid, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D., Computer Science & Engineering, University of North Texas
M.S. and B.Sc., Computer Science & Engineering, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Professor Hamid’s research interests are in the area of Information Retrieval (IR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), and she has taught computer science courses on information retrieval, algorithm analysis, computation theory and functional problem solving (as well as a research-focused course for undergraduate students). She will be teaching “Object-Oriented Design” and “Natural Language Processing.”
Arun Kumar, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Ph.D., Chemistry/Biosensor, University of Delhi
Professor Kumar’s research interests are in nanomedicine, regenerative medicine, 3-D bioprinting, and cell therapy and molecular diagnosis. He will be teaching “Introduction to Forensic Science” and “Biochemistry I.”
José Martínez, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
D.M.A., Music Composition, University of Texas at Austin
M.M., Music Composition, Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship, University of Missouri
B.M., Percussion Performance and Composition, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá
Professor Martïnez’s musical compositions incorporate influences ranging from Colombian folk tunes, heavy metal and Latin music, while utilizing audio sampling and contemporary composition techniques. He has written solo compositions as well as chamber music and orchestral works, often with live electronics. He will be teaching “Introduction to Performance with Live Electronics” and co-teaching “Music and the Environment.”
Paul Zajac, Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
M.A., Pennsylvania State University
B.A., Loyola College (Maryland)
Professor Zajac’s current research project centers on the Protestant Reformation’s impact on concepts of contentment and its representation in English Renaissance literature. He is interested more generally in emotion and embodiment as expressed in literature and religion. He will be teaching “Shakespeare in Popular Culture” and “Nature and the Environment in English Literature.”

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