UCSC Humanities Division welcomes 11 new faculty members

Kriti Sharma
Jennifer Mogannam. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.
Carolina Flores. Photo by Carolyn Lagatutta.
Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu
Robert Nichols
Dimitris Papadopoulos
Maria Puig de la Bellacasa
Saori Hoshi
Rodrigo Lazo
Rachel Achs
Dev Bose. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.

The Humanities Division is proud to announce the recent hires of 11 outstanding new faculty members whose disciplines range from Critical Race & Ethnic Studies (CRES) to the History of Consciousness, Philosophy, Languages and Applied Linguistics.

“These excellent scholars and teachers are coming to the University of California, Santa Cruz at a time when our division has been using the Humanities as a lens to explore anti-colonial movements, the struggle for human rights and civil liberties, and the ethical implications of development in the scientific and high-tech realms, along with critical disability studies," said Humanities Dean Jasmine Alinder. “These new faculty hires reinforce and expand our mission to find humanistic answers to the world’s most pressing challenges."

Kriti Sharma, Assistant Professor of CRES, is a microbiologist and microbial ecologist working at the intersection of science, philosophy, poetics and justice. Sharma is the author of Interdependence: Biology and Beyond (Fordham University Press, 2015). In her new role as assistant professor of CRES, she will work closely with the Science & Justice Research Center to help develop the upcoming Science & Justice undergraduate minor, which will be housed in the Humanities Division, and spark transdisciplinary experiments across campus. 

The work of Jennifer Mogannam, Assistant Professor of CRES, intervenes in the critical study of refugees, borders, colonialism and imperialism, and the global scales of race and indigeneity and resistance. Mogannam’s teaching and research are grounded in translational, indigenous, and Palestinian methods and lenses of liberation. Her current book project frames the stakes and limits of revolution and coalition for the stateless, the refugee, and the citizen as defined by active participant narrations of alliance-building between Lebanese and Palestinian revolutionaries in 1970s Lebanon. 

Carolina Flores, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, is a philosopher studying the various ways in which beliefs can be hijacked by bad social structures and how people can fight back. Flores is especially interested in social identities and their cognitive roles, evidence-resistance, and how structural factors affect how we reason and how we should reason. In the classroom, Flores is committed to explicitly teaching philosophical skills, seeing this as part of an inclusive pedagogy.

Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Assistant Professor of CRES, is a Tongan, Oceanian/Pacific Islander, storyteller, scholar and community organizer. Niumeitolu's work centers on ending violence against Native and Indigenous women and girls. Niumeitolu draws connections to the cycles of violence committed against Indigenous lands and waters. This body of interconnected literary work, community service and academic research focuses on climate and environmental justice, prison abolition and restorative justice, and the protection of Indigenous sacred sites in the Bay Area.

Flores, Mogannam, and Niumeitolu were all UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellows.

Robert Nichols, Professor, History of Consciousness, is an expert in contemporary social and political philosophy, especially Critical Theory; the history of social and political thought pertaining to imperialism and colonialism in the 19th century; and the contemporary politics of settler colonialism and indigeneity in the Anglo-American world. His work in social and political theory has been published in several books, including Theft is Property! Dispossession and Critical Theory (2020) and The Dispossessed: Karl Marx's Debates on Wood Theft and the Right of the Poor,ed. and trans., (2021)

Dimitris Papadopoulos, Professor, History of Consciousness, is a science and technology studies scholar, and research photographer working at the intersections of technoscience studies, socio-cultural theory, constructivist photography, and political ecology. His most recent books include Ecological Reparation. Repair, Remediation and Resurgence in Social and Environmental Conflict  (Bristol UP, 2023) and  Reactivating Elements: Chemistry, Ecology, Practice (Duke University Press, 2021). 

The research and teaching interests of Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Professor, History of Consciousness, connect science and technology studies, feminist theory, and the environmental humanities. Grounded in contemporary continental philosophy and constructivist and process theory, her earlier work was on feminist epistemologies and the politics of knowledge. She is currently working on a new monograph, When the Name for World is Soil, examining ongoing formations of ecological cultures around changes in human-soils relations.

Saori Hoshi, Assistant Professor of Languages & Applied Linguistics, does research focusing on foreign language teaching and learning of Japanese as an additional language, L2 pragmatics, pedagogy, and critical content-based instruction. Hoshi focuses on discourse analysis, gender and identity, critical content-based instruction, usage-based approach to language teaching and learning, as well as Japanese language pedagogy.

Saori received a Ph.D in East Asian Languages and Literatures (Japanese) from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2017 and came to UCSC from the University of British Columbia, where she was Assistant Professor of Teaching for five years. Previously she was a lecturer at Brown University.

Rodrigo Lazo, Professor of Literature, is a literary historian who works on print culture and the Spanish language in the nineteenth-century United States. His research focuses on writers who crossed the Americas and/or conceptualized migratory processes as part of anti-colonial movements. In 2012, while working as a professor at UC Irvine, Lazo received an award from the UCI Associated Graduate Students for his contributions as a mentor. His book, Letters from Filadelfia: Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite, focuses on Spanish-language writing published in Philadelphia in the early nineteenth century.

Rachel Achs, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, is a philosopher specializing in ethics and moral psychology. Achs writes about emotional responses, their normative evaluation, and their role in interpersonal morality. Before coming to UCSC, Achs was an Extraordinary Junior Research Fellow at The Queen's College, Oxford and an ERC Research Fellow on the project Roots of Responsibility.  Before that,  Achs was a graduate student at Harvard, earning a Ph.D. in May 2021. Ach's dissertation offered an account and evaluation of blame. 

Dev Bose, Associate Teaching Professor of Education at UCSC’s Writing Program, has taught in and directed various university writing programs across the United States. Bose's research focuses on critical disability studies and its applications in rhetoric and writing studies, particularly among neurodiverse individuals in higher education. His secondary areas of research include cultural rhetorics and qualitative research methods.

Before coming to UCSC, Bose was an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona.He is working on a multi-authored collection on disability, access, and the teaching of writing, to be published by the National Council of Teachers of English in 2024.

For an overview of this year’s faculty hires across the divisions at UCSC, read the story by Sandra Messick in UCSC News & Events.