New Faculty 2020-2021

The heart of Arts & Science is our faculty, who closely link undergraduate and graduate education with training and research. Faculty members are responsible for designing curricula and teaching in both the College of Arts and Science (CAS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS). In this way, students at all levels have the opportunity to interact with leaders in their respective fields and to participate in their research.

Assistant Professors

Maria Abascal

Maria Abascal

Maria Abascal is Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University and her B.A. in Sociology from Columbia University.

Abascal’s research explores the impact of demographic diversification - real and perceived - on intergroup relations in the United States. In one line of work, Abascal investigates how Whites draw the boundary around Whiteness in the wake of demographic threat. In other work, she examines the relationship between racial/ethnic diversity, on the one hand, and trust and cooperation, on the other. Her work draws on a range of quantitative methods and data sources, including original experiments. It has been featured on National Public Radio, the New York Times, Scientific American, and Vox. Abascal’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among other sources.

Prior to joining NYU, Abascal was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University.

 

Linsey Edwards

Linsey Edwards

Linsey Edwards is Assistant Professor of Sociology. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University, an M.A. in Sociology and Education from NYU, and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Edwards’ work examines the processes that contribute to the persistence of racial inequality and poverty. Her most recent line of research investigates the effects of poverty status and neighborhood context for the use and experience of time. Her other current work examines the multilevel relationship between structural racism and racial health disparities in New York City.

Prior to joining NYU, Edwards was a graduate student at Princeton University, where she was awarded the Princeton University President’s Fellowship and Marion Levy Social Policy Award for her work on racial disparities in school punishment. From 2018-2020, she was Visiting Assistant Professor in NYU FAS' Department of Sociology.

Roni Henig

Roni Henig

Roni Henig is Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Hebrew and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and her B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Tel Aviv University.

Henig researches modern Hebrew literature and Jewish literatures in a comparative context. Her work focuses on critical literary theory, language politics, multilingualism, dysfluency studies, and the critique of nationalism across Jewish literatures and beyond. Her current book project, Life of the Non-Living: The Narrative of Language Revival in Modern Hebrew Literature, critically explores the question Hebrew revival in early 20th century Hebrew literary discourse and its role in the formation of Jewish nationalism, Zionism, and modern Hebrew culture.

Prior to joining NYU, Henig was a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination at Reid Hall, Paris. Before that, she served as a lecturer in the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies and the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University. Her work has been awarded the 2017 A. Owen Aldridge Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association.

Carly Knight

Carly Knight

Carly R. Knight is Assistant Professor of Sociology. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Duke University.

Knight works on topics at the intersection of economic and cultural sociology. She is particularly interested in bringing computational methods to bear on questions regarding long-term economic change. Her current research focuses on the history of corporate personhood and the use of metaphor in legitimating corporate capitalism. She has also several ongoing projects that investigate the cultural schemas that corporations and individuals use to make sense of market transitions.

Prior to joining NYU, Knight was a doctoral student at Harvard University and a fellow in the Inequality and Social Policy program. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

Tal Linzen

Tal Linzen

Tal Linzen is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Data Science. He received his B.Sc. and M.A. from Tel Aviv University and his Ph.D. from New York University.

Linzen develops computational simulations of human language comprehension and acquisition. His research program has two related goals. The first is to shed light on how humans learn language as effectively as we do, and on how we deploy this knowledge to rapidly reconstruct the meaning of a sentence we read or hear. The second is to advance artificial intelligence technology, by documenting the strengths and weaknesses of current machine comprehension systems, and helping to bring their language capabilities of those systems closer to those of humans. A number of Linzen's recent publications focused on syntax: how do we learn to place a verb in the appropriate location in the sentence and conjugate it according to the grammar of the language?

Prior to joining NYU, Linzen was an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University, and before that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

Matt Mandelkern

Matt Mandelkern

Matt Mandelkern is Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from MIT and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Mandelkern works on the philosophy of language and related questions in cognate fields, within philosophy and in linguistics and cognitive science. He is particularly interested in the logic of modals, conditionals, presupposition, and anaphora. Currently, he is developing a theory which incorporates the insights of classical dynamic approaches while avoiding their logical revisionism. He is also interested in broader questions about reasoning, how information is communicated, and the connection between the two: for instance, in the role of trade-offs between accuracy and informativity, which underlie conversational exchanges and their bearing on reasoning.

Prior to joining NYU, Mandelkern was a postdoctoral research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and an external member of the Language and Meaning Centre at University College London.

Marvin Parasram

Marvin Parasram

Marvin Parasram is Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Stony Brook University and completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 
 
His research interest includes the development of novel synthetic tools for the formation of important carbon–carbon and carbon–heteroatom bonds in an expeditious manner using commodity chemicals and catalysis. The Parasram lab will focus on (1) modular C–C activation of underutilized strained systems; (2) directed C–H functionalization of saturated and unsaturated molecules using photochromic techniques; and (3) atom-economical difunctionalization of unsaturated molecules. A fundamental goal of his program will be to develop synthetic methodologies that will have a broad impact in areas of material-, medicinal-, and agrochemical sciences.

Prior to joining NYU, Parasram was a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University.

Dries Sels

Dries Sels

Dries sels is Assistant Professor of Physics. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Antwerp, an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and an M.Sc. in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Sels’ research interests are in quantum dynamics of complex systems, quantum machine learning, optimal control theory, and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. At the University of Antwerp, he worked on path integral methods for quasi-probability distributions to study the dynamics of complex systems. During postdoctoral research at Boston University, he helped develop new numerical methods to simulate dynamics of many-body quantum systems, and started working on optimal control theory and counter-diabatic driving, establishing a variational method to compute adiabatic gauge potentials for many-body systems and exploring reinforcement learning techniques to control cold-atom experiments. His work has been published in Nature Machine Intelligence, Physical Review Letters, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prior to joining NYU, Sels held postdoctoral research positions at Boston University and Harvard University. He also has an appointment as an associate researcher at the Flatiron Institute.

Tara Slough

Tara Slough

Tara Slough is Assistant Professor of Politics. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance (violin) from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Slough studies comparative politics and political economy. Her dissertation on the distributive politics of bureaucracy examined bureaucrats' roles in the provision and delivery of public goods and services, emphasizing the strategic interactions between bureaucrats, politicians, and citizens. In addition, she leads a harmonized six-site field experiment on community monitoring of natural resources and has also written on research design, political parties, and justice-sector institutions. Her work has been supported by grants from the NSF, USAID, and DFID, among others.

Prior to joining NYU, Slough was a graduate student at Columbia. For her final two years of graduate studies, she served as a predoctoral fellow at Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ken Van Tilburg

Ken Van Tilburg

Ken Van Tilburg is Assistant Professor of Physics. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University and a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from MIT.

The primary aim of Van Tilburg's research is to develop novel experimental and observational methods and theoretical approaches in the search for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. He has pioneered several techniques to search for weakly-coupled phenomena - including dark matter - in the laboratory, at the precision frontier of atomic, molecular, optical, and electro-mechanical physics. He has charted out new observables and processes to search for dark matter and other weakly coupled particles in the extreme conditions of astrophysical systems and early-Universe cosmology. His research interests cover a broad range of subjects in particle physics phenomenology and theory, interfacing between precision experimental physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.

Prior to joining NYU, he held a joint postdoctoral research position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at NYU, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara. He is jointly appointed as Associate Research Scientist at the Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Astrophysics.

Associate Professors

Bart Bonikowski

Bart Bonikowski

Bart Bonikowski is Associate Professor of Sociology. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Princeton University, an M.A. from Duke University, and a B.A. from Queen’s University (Canada).

Relying on surveys, computational text analysis, and experimental methods, his research applies insights from cultural sociology to the study of politics in Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on nationalism, populism, and the rise of radical-right parties. His publications have appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, the Annual Review of Sociology, the European Journal of Political Research, the British Journal of Sociology, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Nations and Nationalism, the International Journal of Comparative Sociology, as well as a number of edited volumes. His new book project, under advance contract with Princeton University Press, places nationalist cleavages at the center of the explanation for the rise of radical politics, theorizes nationalism’s relationship to populism and authoritarianism, and develops a processual model of political mobilization that integrates the supply and demand sides of politics with structural factors that affect the resonance of radical-right political claims.

Prior to joining NYU, Bonikowski was Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, Resident Faculty at the Minda de Gunsburg Center for European Studies, and Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, where he also co-directed the Research Clusters on Global Populism (with Dani Rodrik) and Challenges to Democracy (with Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt).

Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee is Associate Professor of Chemistry. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from Princeton University, and her B.A. in Chemical Engineering from MIT.

Lee’s research focuses on developing new materials for lightweight and flexible optoelectronics, including active matrix displays and solar panels. Her interests center on understanding the fundamental phenomena governing solution-phase crystallization of semiconducting molecules, polymers, and hybrid compounds in order to guide their assembly into structures optimized for light absorption and emission, charge conduction, and other photophysical processes. Her group has recently demonstrated the use of nanoconfining scaffolds to select for high-performance polymorphs and crystal orientations of these emerging materials.

Prior to joining NYU, Lee was an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department at Stevens Institute of Technology. During her time at Stevens, she received three NSF grants, including a 2019 CAREER award for her proposed work on the scaffold-directed crystallization of vertical organic semiconductor crystal arrays for light energy harvesting. Before her appointment at Stevens, Lee was a NYU Provost Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chemistry Department.

Jenny Mann

Jenny Mann

Jenny C. Mann is Associate Professor of English with a joint appointment with NYU Gallatin. She received her B.A. in English from Yale University and her Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University.

Mann’s research focuses on the relationship between rhetoric, natural philosophy, the history of sexuality, and literary expression in the 16th and 17th centuries. Her teaching takes an interdisciplinary approach to early modern studies, focusing on the cultural forms through which artists, poets, and philosophers organize their world. The focus of her first book, Outlaw Rhetoric: Figuring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare’s England, is the creation of an English art of rhetoric, while the topic of her current project, The Trials of Orpheus: Poetry, Science, and the Early Modern Sublime, is the experimental force of the figures of Greek myth. Mann has published articles in numerous journals and edited collections, and recently co-edited a special issue of Philological Quarterly on Imagining Early Modern Scientific Forms.

Prior to joining NYU, Mann was an associate professor of English at Cornell University, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies. In addition to her scholarly work, Mann pursues public humanities engagement in collaboration with the Public Shakespeare Initiative at the Public Theater in New York. 

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

Ana Álvarez

Ana Álvarez

Ana G. Álvarez is Clinical Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese. She holds a degree in anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires
and a Ph.D. in Gender and Latin American Studies from Birkbeck College.  

As an activist and academic, Álvarez has conducted fieldwork with travesti and trans-women communities in Buenos Aires since the 1990s, and has participated in GLTTTB (gay, lésbico, travesti, transexual, transgénero y bisexual) and feminist political movements and gender rights advocacy in Argentina, where she was a participant of the Area Queer at the University of Buenos Aires' Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas. Her work has been published in academic journals and collections, most recently in the anthology Latin American Cultural Studies: A Reader and in Avá: Revista de Antropología, where she coordinated the dossier 'Cuerpo, tecnología y placer.'

Prior to joining NYU, Álvarez taught at the Universität Bielefeld in Germany, the University of London, and the University of Zurich.

Ganit Mayer

Ganit Mayer

Ganit Mayer is Language Lecturer of Modern Hebrew. She holds an LL.B degree in Law and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an M.A in Social Psychology from Tel Aviv University.

Mayer is currently the Head of the Fiction Evaluation Department at Am-Oved Publishing house, one of Israel's major publishers. Her areas of scholarly interest include modern Hebrew literature, second language acquisition, digital pedagogy and the research of legal language and culture. Mayer’s latest published research revolved around Poetry Slam and Spoken Word as pedagogical tools in the Hebrew Classroom, and her previous work relied on quantitative, computer-based linguistic analysis tools to study Psychological Distance (CLT) in court resolutions. Her future research plans focus on the concept of Frame in group therapy and counseling, and its relevance to language teaching.

Prior to joining NYU, Mayer was a Hebrew Lecturer at Middlebury and Stern Colleges. She also held appointments at Israeli Ulpanim and worked as a Hebrew book editor and consultant.

Sahar Parsa

Sahar Parsa

Sahar Parsa is Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and a B.A. in Economics from ULB in Brussels.

Her research lies in political economy and finance, where she explores informational pathways that run from cultural, social, and behavioral factors to processing of economic and cultural transformation. Her work investigates barriers to female leadership positions, in particular political leadership, factors driving cultural change in attitudes towards same-sex relation, or peer effect in voting experience and behavior. In an ongoing research agenda, which received a three-year NSF grant with a co-author, she explores the role of managerial capital as well as managerial connections in the process of structural transformation and development.

Prior to joining NYU, Parsa was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University.

Jenni Quilter

Jenni Quilter

Jenni Quilter is Clinical Professor and Executive Director of the Expository Writing Program and the Assistant Vice Dean of General Education. She received her M.Phil and D.Phil from the University of Oxford, and her B.A. from the University of Auckland.

Her academic research focuses on contemporary collaborations between visual artists and poets, and recent publications include New York School Painters and Poets: Neon in Daylight. As an essayist, she has written for the Guggenheim Museum, LA Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, and London Review of Books.

Prior to this appointment, Quilter taught at the University of Oxford. Since 2014, she has held joint teaching and administration appointments at NYU, first serving as the Director of Global Awards, and then as the co-Senior Director of the Leadership Initiative.