(Top, l-r): Zeynep Devrim Gürsel (International Studies), Rivi Handler-Spitz (Asian Languages and Cultures), William Hart (Religious Studies), Andrea Kaston Tange (English), (Bottom, l-r) Mark Mandarano (Music), J. Ernesto Ortiz-Díaz (Hispanic and Latin American Studies), and Karin Vélez (History)

St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester College has granted tenure status to the following seven faculty members: Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, International Studies; Rivi Handler-Spitz, Asian Languages and Cultures; William Hart, Religious Studies; Andrea Kaston Tange, English; Mark Mandarano, Music; J. Ernesto Ortiz-Díaz, Hispanic and Latin American Studies; and Karin Vélez, History.

Gürsel is a cultural anthropologist who wrote Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation (University of California Press, 2016), an ethnography of the international photojournalism industry during its digitalization at the beginning of the 21st-century. She is also the director of Coffee Futures, the first in a series of short ethnographic films that explore contemporary Turkish politics through the prism of the everyday life of women. Her next project investigates the intersections of photography, politics and sovereignty in the late Ottoman Empire.  Gürsel received her PhD and MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her BA from Yale University, magna cum laude.

Handler-Spitz‘s research focuses on comparisons between the literatures of China and Europe in the 16th-century. She is the author of Symptoms of an Unruly Age: Li Zhi and Cultures of Early Modernity (University of Washington Press, 2017) and co-editor and co-translator of A Book to Burn and A Book to Keep (Hidden): Selected Writings of Li Zhi (Columbia University Press). Courses she teaches include “Cramming for the Exam: Chinese Education in Literature and History,” “Opulence and Decadence: China, Europe, and the Early Modern World,” “Masterpieces of Chinese Literature,” and “Cross-Cultural Encounters: China and the West.” Handler-Spitz received her PhD and MA from the University of Chicago and her AB from Columbia University. She has also studied at National Taiwan University.

Hart, the holder of the Margaret W. Harmon Chair in Christian Theology and Culture, researches the intersection of religion, ethics, and politics. His current projects include a comparative analysis of human sacrifice in religion and statecraft and associations among religion, slavery, race, criminality, and animality. Classes he teaches at Macalester include: “Martin and Malcolm: Racial Terror and the Black Freedom Struggle,” “Human Sacrifice: Killing for God and State,” “Colonial Rites: Anguish, Otherness, and the Study of Religion,” and “Slaves, Animals, and Fetuses: Race and Ethical Rhetoric.” Hart received his PhD from Princeton University, his MA from Arizona State University and his BA from the University of Arizona.

Kaston Tange’s interests lie in 19th-century British literature and culture, including travel narratives, colonialism and empire, gender and class identities, visual and print culture, domesticity, childhood, Anglo-Jewish life and migrations. She teaches “Novel: Domestic Adventures: Imperialism and the Comforts of Home,” “Feasts and Famines: Food, Hunger, and Consumption in 19th-century Britain,” “Seminar: Globetrotters and Armchair Travelers: Victorian Subjects See the World,” “19th-century British Lit: Writing the Self: 19th-century Authorship, Identity, and Pushing the Boundaries,” “Studies in Literature: Ghosts of the Victorians,” and “1859.” She holds a PhD and MA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a BA from the University of Vermont, magna cum laude.

Mandarano conducts the Macalester Orchestra, a select ensemble of 50-60 students that performs a wide range of orchestral literature and plays several campus concerts each year. Previously, he was the Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and has conducted with New York City Opera. He is Artistic Director at Sinfonietta of Riverdale, which he founded, and at Salt Bay Chamberfest, he writes program notes and gives pre-concert lectures. At Macalester Mandarano teaches “Music Appreciation,” “Conducting,” and “The Total Work of Art: Richard Wagner’s Ring.” He received his MM from the Peabody Conservatory and his BA from Cornell University.

Ortiz-Díaz is interested in Latin American and 19th-century literature with a focus on narrative and poetry. His approach is comparative, and his focus is on the two Iberian hemispheres that constitute the regions of Spanish America and Brazil. He teaches “Modern Hispanic Novel and the Visual Arts,” “Accelerated Elementary Portuguese,” “Portugal Meets the ‘Other’: Portuguese Sailors in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia” (15th -17th-centuries), and “Journeys through Brazil.” Originally from Monclova, Mexico, he received his PhD from the University of California, Davis, his MA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his BA in Spanish from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.

Vélez’s research interests include the history of the Atlantic World, early Modern Iberian and French empires, and popular religion. She is particularly interested in religious encounters, comparative empire, the transoceanic spread of Catholic devotion, the experience of indigenous women on the American frontiers, and the communal formulation of myths. At Macalester she teaches “Going Global: The Experiment of World History,” “Pirates, Translators, Missionaries: Between Atlantic Empires,” “Conversion and Inquisition: Religious Change,” “Science, Magic and Belief,” and “Oceans in World History.” Vélez received her PhD and MA from Princeton University and her BA from Williams College.

January 30 2017

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