AHSS Welcomes 3 New Chairs

UALR’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) will open the fall semester Aug. 20 with three new department chairs.


They are Karen Bryan, chair of the Department of Music; Jeffrey Nash, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology; and Trey Philpotts, chair of the Department of English.


All three came aboard July 1 and replaced chairs who had retired.


Before taking over UALR’s Music Department, Bryan was the associate director of the School of Music at Arizona State University in Phoenix and was a member of the musicology faculty.


Her research includes African-American opera companies, performers of the mid 20th century, the influence of labor unions on performing organizations in the 1930s and 1940s and 19th century Italian opera.


“When I visited UALR, I was impressed by the quality of the students and faculty and by the enthusiasm they all showed for the department and for the study and performance of music,” said Bryan.


Bryan co-edited Moors, Militants, and Minstrels: Representing Blackness on the Operatic Stage slated for publication in 2010. She is currently completing a book on performer Mary Cardwell Dawson who founded the National Negro Opera Company in 1941.


She received a master of arts in musicology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in musicology from Indiana University. Bryan will teach a course in American music in the spring 2010 semester.


Nash, new chair of sociology and anthropology, came to Little Rock from Springfield, Mo., where he was teaching at Missouri State University. He previously taught at Macalester University in St. Paul, Minn., and at the University of Tulsa.


“I research public life in urban settings,” said Nash. “I have written about a wide range of activities from sports to leisure time activities to race relationships. My recent research publication is a comparison of the way portrayals of race have changed on popular television programs. I compared All in the Family with Curb Your Enthusiasm.”


In the fall, Nash is teaching a class using the situation comedy Seinfeld to illustrate sociological concepts. Nash received a master of arts in sociology from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington State University.


Trey Philpotts took over as chair of the English department after teaching at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville since 1993. While at ATU, he received faculty excellence awards for both scholarship and teaching.


“I moved to UALR because of its excellent academic reputation,” said Philpotts. “I also welcome the change to a more metropolitan area, one with many cultural opportunities.”


His research includes Victorian literature, specifically the works of Charles Dickens. In addition to authoring companion volumes to Dickens’s works Little Dorrit and Dombey and Son, Philpotts is the Review Editor for Dickens Quarterly and has recently contributed a chapter titled “Dickens and Technology”  to  the book A Companion to Charles Dickens, published in 2008.


In the fall, Philpotts will teach an interdisciplinary seminar examining the literature, arts and popular culture of the Victorian period.


Philpotts received a master of arts in English from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware in Newark.


Contact information for the chairs is as follows: Bryan (501) 569-3295 or at kmbryan@ualr.edu; Nash, (501) 569-3173 or at jenash@ualr.edu; and Philpotts (501) 569-3161 or at hlphilpotts@ualr.edu.


UALR’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences houses 11 departments: art, English, history, international and second language studies, music, philosophy and liberal studies, political science, psychology, rhetoric and writing, sociology and anthropology and theatre arts and dance. For more information about the college, contact (501) 569-3296.

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