Dean’s Congratulations Message June 2021

June 21, 2021

Congratulations to all Arts & Humanities staff, students, alumni, and faculty for a successful 2020-2021 academic year! It was wonderful to glimpse so many student faces—albeit masked—at our drive-through commencements. I am looking forward to a largely in-person Fall 2021 and a sustained push to a fully repopulated campus!

I would again like to thank our Department Chairs and Program Directors for leading with grace and dedication. Thank you particularly to Christine Renaudin for stewarding two program reviews, in Art Studio and Art History; thank you to Suzanne Toczyski, Parissa Tadrissi, and Michaela Grobbel for stewarding program reviews in French, Spanish BA, and in German Cultural Studies. Thank you to Erica Tom for vibrant Native American Studies programming all year. Thank you to Ed Beebout and Talena Sanders for leading us to a dynamic future in Cinematic Arts & Technology.

While we have been celebrating scholarly and creative achievements all year in our Spotlight section, it is extraordinary to list this work in one place and see how much new knowledge has been created by our faculty: 

In American Multicultural Studies: Chair and Professor Kim Hester-Williams, who worked tirelessly to lead curricular changes necessary under AB-1460, published “Black Radical Impulse, Self-Reflexivity, and Gothic Landscapes of Nature and Difference in Jordan Peele’s Us,” in the journal Gothic Nature (2021).

Professor Mike Ezra celebrated 10 years of the Journal of Civil and Human Rights, and was a featured commenter in the four-part SHOWTIME documentary “The Kings,” which focuses on four champion boxers who captured the public imagination in the 1980s: Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Assistant Professor Patrick Johnson published “It’s a Man Thing Gina”: Watching Gender in Martin” in Culture, Communication & Critique (2021).

Faculty member Sharon Fuller published “Indigenous Ontologies: Gullah Geechee Traditions and Cultural Practices of Abundance,” in the journal Human Ecology (2021).

In the Department of Art & Art History, Assistant professor Letha Ch’ien published two essays on race in art in the San Franciso Chronicle: "What can Bay Area Museums do to Avoid Becoming Unwitting Vehicles of Racism" and "Sonoma Art Professor Tackles Race." Professor Ch'ien also published “Polytopos: Multi-ethnic Practice in Venetian Imagery,” in Cultures and Practices of Coexistence in the Multi-ethnic Cities of the Mediterranean World, 13th – 18th Centuries Volume I, Multi-Ethnic Cities of the Mediterranean World. Edited by Marco York: Routledge, 2020.

Assistant Professor Clea Felien is in the juried art exhibit Uplift/Heavy Lift at the Berkeley Art Center June 12 - July 18, 2021

Visiting Art Professor, Sahar Khoury showed her work at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art and was selected as a 2021 Headlands Artist in Residence.

In the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies, Assistant Professor Silvia Soto published the chapter "A World Where Many Worlds Fit: Zapatismo and The Reconstruction of a Maya World in Chiapas" in the collection Violence and Indigenous Communities: Confronting the Past and Engaging the Present (2021)

In Communication and Media Studies, Professor Elizabeth Burch published "A Sea Change for Climate Refugees in the South Pacific: How Social Media- Not Journalism - Tells Their Real Story" in Journal of Environmental Communication (Nov 2020).

Assistant Professor Gina Baleria published "It's Time for Journalism Educators to Rethink 'Objectivity' and Teach More About Context" with the Poynter Equity Collaborative. Baleria also hosts the podcast “News In Context,” featuring thinkers from media and academia.

In the Department of English, Chair and Associate Professor Stefan Kiesbye has a new novel coming Fall 2021 No Sound to Break, No Moment Clear (Brighthorse Books)  which already won the 2020 Brighthorse Prize. Kiesbye also published "What to Make of Words" in Film 14 (March 2021)


Professor Anne Goldman published a new essay collection, Stargazing in the Atomic Age (University of Georgia Press 2020)



Professor Gillian Conoley published three poems "In the Next Next World," "Growing the Being," and "What Was in the Blood" from a new manuscript-in- progress in Conjunctions. She read from her work in several online venues: Los Angeles Times Book Festival Poetry Stage Redux, The Marsh (SF), Green Apple Books (SF), and the Studio One series in Berkeley. Her A Little More Red Sun on the Human: New and Selected Poems received the Northern California Book Award for 2020.


Dean and Professor Hollis Robbins published Forms of Contention: Influence and the African American Sonnet Tradition (UGeorgia Press 2020). Robbins also published the chapter “Overhearing the African American Novel” with Mark Sussman in African American Literature in Transition, 1850-1865 (Cambridge 2021). Robbins participated in multiple presentations on her scholarship at Harvard, University of Chicago, and at the National Humanities Center.


Assistant Professor of English Education, Theresa Burruel Stone, received the 2021 Illinois Dissertation Award for her submission titled: “Emplacing White Possessive Logics: Socializing Latinx Youth into Relations with Land, Community, and Success".  An article from her dissertation is forthcoming in the International Review of Qualitative Research.

 Kathleen Winter published a poetry collection, Transformer (The Word Words, 2020)


  In The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, Professor Janet Berry Hess published Digital Mapping and Indigenous America (Routledge   2021),      Professor Hess also published a chapter on Ghana in The Architectural Guide to Sub-Saharan Africa (DOM Publishers: forthcoming 2021) and an    article “Mapping Indigenous American Cultures and Living Histories: A Gathering Place,” in the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information          special edition, “Mapping Indigenous Knowledge in the Digital Age” (April 2021).


Associate Professor Mercy Romero became the first Sonoma State faculty member to receive a prestigious Schomburg Center Scholars in Residence fellowship, where she will take up a semester’s residence in 2022.

Associate Professor Wendy Ostroff published the article "Teaching Young Children Remotely" in the Journal of Educational Leadership

Assistant Professor Kevin Nguyen published "Instructor strategies to aid implementation of active learning: a systematic literature review" in the International Journal of STEM Education.

In Jewish Studies, Visiting Professor Ziv Rubinovitz published a book with Grand Strategy: from Truman to Trump, with Benjamin Miller, professor of International Relations at the University of Haifa.

In Modern Languages and Literatures, Professor of French Suzanne Toczyski presented "The Salesian Pentecost and the Filles de St. François de Sales" (to appear in the forthcoming Nineteenth-Century Salesian Pentecost. Paulist Press 2022), at the North American Society for French Seventeenth-Century Literature. Professor Toczyski also published a review of Ronald W. Tobin. L’aventure racinienne. Un parcours franco-américain  in Seventeenth Century News (2021) and the essay “Qu'il me baise d'un baiser de sa bouche: La Sulamite dans le Traité de l'amour de Dieu de saint François de Sales,” in the journal Oeuvres and Critiques (2020)  

Professor of Spanish Robert Train published a paper entitled “Contesting Regimes of Variation: Critical Groundwork for Pedagogies of Mobile Experience and Restorative Justice” in Critical Multilingualism Studies.

Assistant Professor Emily Clark published “Creative Flights of Fancy and Imagination in Virginia Elena Ortea’s Risas y lágrimas (1901)” in the journal Revista Hispánica Moderna, 2020,  

In the Department of Music, Assistant professor and Coordinator of Music Education Kim Mieder published her article “Effective and Organized Learning Processes in Music Practice” on the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) website.

Professor Brian S. Wilson has published 2 new compositions on SheetMusicPlus; The Water Garden for solo horn will be performed by Daniel Nebel (former principal, USAF Band of the Golden West) at the 53rd International Horn Symposium.  Jumping in the Bay for solo violin will be performed by Randall Weiss on the Fall Jewish Music Series. Weiss will perform Wilson's new piano trio, Alchunun, on the same concert. During the pandemic, Wilson composed Liturgical Jazz Suite and played movements from it during his synagogue's Zoom services. Graduating SSU music major Matthew Bowker performed Wilson's Nocturne for Alto Saxophone with Marilyn Thompson, piano.

In Native American Studies, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Endowed Professor Greg Sarris inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as well as receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Heyday Books. Sarris’s play “Citizen” was performed by Word for Word on their Word for Wordcast podcast and on several radio stations. Sarris’s 1998 novel Watermelon Nights was reissued by Oxford University Press. Sarris also participated on a Harvard-Stanford Indigenous Studies Scholars panel in February 2021. Sarris was also elected to serve as vice chair of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Board of Trustees.

In the Department of Philosophy, Associate Professor Joshua Glasgow published the book The Solace: Finding Value in Death Through Gratitude For Life (OUP 2020)





Philosophy faculty member Anthony Wright published the chapter "Hidden In Plain Sight: Fractals in Transpersonal Psychology: As the Sky Holds a Cloud" in the Cambridge Scholars Anthology, A Fractal Epistemology for a Scientific Psychology.   

Philosophy Professor John Sullins III publishes the book Great Philosophical Objections to Artificial Intelligence, The History and Legacy of the AI Wars (Bloomsbury Academic January 2021)

Newly Tenured (!) Associate Professor Megan Burke published "On Bad Faith and Authenticity: Rethinking Genderless Subjectivity" in Simone de Beauvoir Studies (2020) and "Survivor Experience and the Norm of Self-Making: Comments on Rape and Resistance" in Philosophical Studies (2020). Burke's book When Time Warps (published 2019) was selected by the Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association as a 2020 Outstanding Academic Title in Philosophy. 

In the Theater Arts and Dance Department, Associate Professor Marie Ramirez Downing contributed to the article "La práctica Linklater: una metodología actoral para la libertad " in Paso de Gato, a Mexico based theater magazine. 

Congratulations to our faculty!

Dean Hollis Robbins

June 2021