People & Places: March 2018

Professor of English Christopher Bakken was recently a featured speaker at the symposium “Patrick Leigh Fermor: To Greece with Love” held at the University of Copenhagen. Bakken has a long-form essay about Jamaica forthcoming in The Iowa Review, as well as new poetry forthcoming in Parnassus: Poetry in Review and Copper Nickel.

Les Miserables Companion


Associate Professor of French Briana Lewis has launched a podcast entitled “The Les Misérables Reading Companion.” Stemming from her academic research and teaching, the podcast is designed to accompany a read-through of Les Misérables, and offers context and commentary intended to make Victor Hugo’s classic novel richer and more accessible for those without a background in French language, history, or culture. More information at

A research article by Amelia Finaret, assistant professor of global health studies, and Matthew Hutchinson ’19 (chemistry/GHS) was accepted and is forthcoming in a top nutrition journal: The Journal of Nutrition. The study examined the differences between children with and without missing nutrition data in large-scale national health surveys in Africa. The title of the paper is: “Missingness of height data from the Demographic and Health Surveys in Africa between 1991 and 2016 was not random, but is unlikely to have major implications for biases in estimating stunting prevalence or the determinants of child height.” This project was supported by Allegheny’s undergraduate science education grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Ivy Ryan
Ivy Ryan

Ivy Ryan presented a poster entitled “Determination of Diet in Newly Introduced Round Gobies in the French Creek Watershed” at the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Fisheries Society Spring Technical Meeting in February 2018 in Williamsport, Pa. This work highlighted two years worth of diet analysis on invasive round gobies, which is part of larger project determining round gobies range expansion and impact on native fauna within the watershed. This poster was co-authored by Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Casey Bradshaw-Wilson.

Professor of French Laura Reeck has published an essay on the Maghrebi-French filmmaker Rachid Djaïdani and his street filmmaking, “Guerrilla Filmmaking with Rachid Djaïdani.” It was published in the first edited volume to address French-language cinema as World Cinema in French, Cinéma-monde: Decentred Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French (eds. Gott and Schilt, Edinburgh University Press).

Assistant Professor of English Aline Lo recently published an article entitled “Locating the Refugee’s Place in Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying” in LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory. The article offers an analysis of Haitian refugees, detention centers, and the restorative qualities of Danticat’s memoir.

In January, Professor of Political Science Sharon R. Wesoky presented an invited paper, “Contemporary Buddhist practice and the (de)gendering of Chinese nationalisms” at the Workshop on Interrogating Buddhism and Nationalism, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

Seven Wind Symphony students joined with fellow musicians from across Pennsylvania to form the 71st Annual Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band, held at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Feb. 23–25. Twenty-two colleges and universities from across the commonwealth participated under the direction of internationally known composer/conductor Mark Camphouse. Allegheny students selected to participate were Dana O’Connor, clarinet; Keighley Harr, French horn; Perry Rusen-Murohovich, bassoon; Jonathan Schaeffer, tenor saxophone; John Scott, alto saxophone; Jonathan Mendez, euphonium, and Abe Stroka, baritone saxophone. The students were accompanied by Professor of Music Lowell Hepler, Assistant Professor of Music Julie Hepler and Adjunct Instructor of Music Ronald Stitt.

Associate Professor of Political Science Shanna Kirschner was interviewed for a story on Vox about the fighting in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.

Assistant Professor of English John MacNeill Miller published an essay in the online magazine Electric Literature entitled “Can Novels Change Our Attitudes About Death?“. The essay uses two recent novels to explore how we might overcome our fears of death by imagining death as a central part of our lives, rather than as their unimaginable endpoint.

Allegheny students collecting soils for climate change studies at Bousson
Allegheny students collecting soils for climate change studies at Bousson.
(Photo by Richard Bowden)

Professor of Environmental Science Richard Bowden coauthored the paper “The carbon quality-temperature hypothesis does not consistently predict temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter mineralization in soils from two manipulative ecosystem experiments,” published in the journal Biogeochemistry. This study, conducted using soil from Allegheny’s Bousson Environmental Research Reserve and from a prairie research site in Oregon, shows that storage of carbon in soils is more complex than previously described — plant chemistry and air temperature alone are not sufficient to quantify rates of carbon storage. Global climate change models that aim to quantify soil carbon sequestration need to include interacting soil, microbial, and plant chemistry factors.