Faculty Research Interests in the Humanities

At Roanoke College, the Humanities include the following departments:

  • English: Literary Studies, Communication Studies, and Creative Writing
  • Fine Arts: Art, Art History, Music, Theatre
  • History
  • Modern Languages
  • Religion & Philosophy

Faculty research interests are listed by department, then alphabetical by faculty member.

English

Dr. Melanie Almeder
Associate Professor, almeder@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Contemporary Novel
• Native American Literature
• Creative Writing
Works with students on research: yes

Ms. Cynthia Atkins
Senior Lecturer, atkins@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Contemporary American Poetry
Research interests:
• Mental illness and the artistic temperament
• Literature and poetry
• Visual arts
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Thomas J. Carter
Associate Professor, carter@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Literary Journalism
Research interests:
• Journalism
• Mass Communication
• War Reporting
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Erica F. Cooper
Assistant Professor, ecooper@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Communication-Rhetoric
Research interests:
• Critical Race and Critical Rhetorical Theory
• Rhetoric of Race in Health Care
• Impact of Race and Socioeconomic Status in Primary Classrooms
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Paul Hanstedt
Professor, hanstedt@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• General Education
• Non-fiction, particularly travel writing fiction
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Michael A. Heller
Professor, heller@roanoke.edu
Specialty: American Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Peace and Justice Studies
Research interests:
• Spiritual Autobiography
• Nonviolence, Gandhi, Peace and Justice Studies
• Creative Nonfiction and Personal Journal
Works with students on research: Yes

Dr. Katherine A. Hoffman
Professor, hoffman@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Renaissance literature
Research interests:
• Renaissance women writers
• Sri Lankan literature and culture
• Pedagogical development
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Martha Kuchar
Professor (Chair), kuchar@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Russian literature
Research interests:
• Russian and East European literature
• World Literature
• Grammar and Language
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Wendy Larson-Harris
Associate Professor, larson@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Medieval Literature
• Women's Spirituality
• Gender Studies/Film Studies 

Dr. Srikanth Mallavarapu
Assistant Professor, mallavarapu@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Literary Theory
• Postcolonial Studies
• Science and Technology Studies (STS)
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Kenneth W. McGraw
Assistant Professor, mcgraw@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Research interests:
• Rise of the Novel and Print Culture
• Studies in Sexuality
• Masculinity Studies
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Debra B. Melican
Assistant Professor, melican@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Race and Media
Research interests:
• Media effects
• Critical race theory
• Political communication
Works with students on research: yes

Ms. Jennifer O. Rosti
Visiting Instructor, rosti@roanoke.edu
Specialty: British Romantic literature
Research interests:
• Service Learning in Writing Courses
• Factors Contributing to Student Success in College
• Humanities Pedagogy
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Virginia Stewart
Associate Professor, stewart@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Post/colonial Caribbean Studies
• Atlantic Studies
• African-American Studies
Works with students on research: Yes

Dr. Dana-Linn Whiteside
Associate Professor, whiteside@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Medieval English Literature
• Renaissance Drama
Works with students on research: Yes

Fine Arts

Dr. Joseph L. Blaha
Associate Professor, jblaha@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Music
Research interests:
• Composition
• Jazz Improvisation
• Band Conducting

Dr. James Hargrove
Assistant Professor, hargrove@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Art History
Research interests:
• 19th-Century French Sculpture
• 19th-Century British Sculpture
• 19th-Century European Painting
Works with students on research: yes

Ms. Elizabeth Heil
Associate Professor, heil@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Computer Graphics
• Air Brush Painting, Printmaking Explorations
• Electronic Publication Projects, Film and Mixed Media, Communications Projects
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Jane C. Long
Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professor of Art History, long@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Italian Renaissance Art
• Audience Reception of Art
• Gender Issues
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Gordon Marsh
Professor (Chair), marsh@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Music
Research interests:
• Music and Culture
• Theory and History of Music
• Musical Performance and Composition

Mrs. Jennifer Ruhland
Teaching Associate, ruhland@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Theatre-Costumes
Research interests:
• Costume construction
• Costume design
• Specialty makeup
Works with students on research: yes

Ms. Marianne Sandborg
Teaching Associate/Resident Artist, msandborg@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Music/Voice; Classical, Music Theater
Research interests:
• Vocal pedagogy
• Nutrition
Works with students on research: yes, via Senior Projects in Music

Dr. Lisa Warren
Associate Professor, warren@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Women Playwrights

Mr. Alan Weinstein
Part-time Lecturer/Resident Artist, weinstei@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Music, cello
Research interests:
• cello/bass
Works with students on research: yes

History

Dr. Gary L. Dent
Adjunct Associate Professor, gdent@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Eighteenth Century Virginia History; American Revolution; History of Architecture and Preservation; American Sports History; Baseball in the 1920's; The Jazz Age in America
Research interests:
• Architecture (American and Italian)
• Early Twentieth Century Sports (Football & Baseball)
• Slave Labor
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Gary Gibbs
Professor, gibbs@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• English History, Scottish History, Irish History, London History, Reformation History
• Indian (South Asian) history
• Ovid's Metamorphoses and its Reception
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Jason Hawke
Assistant Professor, hawke@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Ancient History (Greece and Rome)
Research interests:
• Greek Legal and Intellectual History
• Greek Cultural Influence on Rome
• Greek and Roman Epic
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Mary Henold
Associate Professor, henold@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• American Women's History
• American Catholic History
• Recent American Social and Cultural History
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Whitney A.M. Leeson
Associate Professor (Chair), wleeson@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Historical Archaeology
• Medieval Prosopography
• Early Modern Material culture
Works with students on research: yes

Mr. John D. Long
Senior Lecturer, jlong@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Local and regional history
• World War II
• Modern Europe
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. John G. Selby
John R. Turbyfill Professor of History, selby@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Civil War
Works with students on research: yes

Mr. Wayne Strickland
Senior Lecturer, strickla@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Regional planning and development
Research interests:
• Environmental planning
• Transportation planning
• Economic development
Works with students on research: yes, but his time is limited

Dr. M. Ivonne Wallace Fuentes
Assistant Professor, wallacefuentes@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Latin American History
Research interests:
• Latin America
• 20th Century Revolutionary Politics
• Women and Gender Studies
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Robert A. Willingham
Associate Professor, willingham@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Modern European History
Research interests:
• German history
• Holocaust
• Middle East
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Stella Y. Xu
Assistant Professor, sxu@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• History of China
• History of Korea
• History of Japan
Works with students on research: yes

Modern Languages

Ms. Giuliana F. Chapman
Teaching Associate, chapman@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Italian
Research interests:
• Italian Film and Film History
• Language Pedagogy
• Literature of Post-World War II Italy
Works with students on research: yes

Ms. Barbara O. Hassell
Lecturer, hassell@roanoke.edu
Specialty: German
Research interests:
• Weimar Germany and the "new woman"
• Resistance to Nazi oppression within the Confessing Church
• Gender roles within German culture
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Charlene F. Kalinoski
Professor (Chair), kalinosk@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Spanish
Research interests:
• Spanish Golden Age Literature and Culture
• Foreign Language Pedagogy and Assessment
Works with students on research: yes

Ms. Yasuko Kumazawa
Lecturer, kumazawa@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Japanese language and literature
Research interests:
• Japanese pedagogy
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Tatyana S. Munsey
Lecturer, munsey@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Russian language and literature
Research interests:
• Russian Literature
• Russian Language
• Russian/Ukranian Culture
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. James Ogier
Professor, ogier@roanoke.edu
Specialty: German
Research interests:
• Pre-Christian Scandinavian Mythology
• Scandinavian Languages
• The Ancient Maya
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Elda Stanco
Visiting Assistant Professor, stanco@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Contemporary Latin American Literature
• Urban Novel
• Urban Cultural Studies
Works with students on research: yes

Mrs. Christine Stanley
Teaching Associate, cstanley@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Spanish
Research interests:
• Computer Based Language Acquisition
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Lynn K. Talbot
Professor, talbot@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture
Research interests:
• Contemporary Spanish Literature
• Camino de Santiago
• Letters of Frieda Lawrence
Works with students on research: Yes
Six of the essays in her book, Following the Yellow Arrow. Younger Pilgrims on the Camino, were written by Roanoke College students.

Religion & Philosophy

Dr. Brent A. Adkins
Associate Professor (Chair), adkins@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Philosophy
Research interests:
• European Philosophy
• Metaphysics
• History of Philosophy
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Robert D. Benne
Director of the Center for Religion and Society, benne@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Christian ethics
Research interests:
• Christian higher education, Christian ethics
• Social interpretation
• Theology and ethics of Luther, Lutheranism, and Reinhold Niebuhr
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Jennifer K. Berenson
Professor, berenson@roanoke.edu
Specialty: New Testament, Early Christianity
Research interests:
• Ancient understanding of Jesus
• Paul and later Pauline literature
• Women in early Christianity
Works with students on research: yes

The Rev. Dr. Paul Hinlicky
Tise Professor in Lutheran Studies, hinlicky@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Religion
Research interests:
• Systematic Theology
• Theology of Luther
• The Western Philosophical Tradition

Dr. Marwood Larson-Harris
Teaching Associate, mdharris@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Religion
Research interests:
• Zen Oxherding Pictures
• Buddhism
• Buddhism and Film
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Gerald R. McDermott
Jordan-Trexler Professor, mcdermot@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Religion
Research interests:
• Jonathan Edwards
• Theology of world religions
• Christian theology and American religion

Dr. Aaron Sherwood
Visiting Assistant Professor, sherwood@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Biblical Studies
Research interests:
• Hebrew Bible
• Second Temple Judaism
• New Testament
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Monica L. Vilhauer
Assistant Professor, vilhauer@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Ethics
• Existentialism, Hermeneutics
• Feminist Theory
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Ned Wisnefske
Schumann Professorship of Lutheran Theology, wisnefsk@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Modern Theology
Research interests:
• The Relation Between Morality and Religion
• The Relation Between Science and Religion
• The Relation Between Philosophy and Religion
Works with students on research: yes

 
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