Melikian Faculty Affiliates

Kimberly Allar
HISTORICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Clinical Assistant Professor
PhD, Clark University
Research Interests:
The role of violence, war, and community and how these topics intersect with gender and race, with a current focus on the recruitment and training policies for Nazi concentration camp and killing center guards from 1933-1945.
Photo of Oana Almasan
Oana Almasan
INTERNATIONAL LETTERS AND CULTURES
Instructor
PhD, Valahia University, Romania
Research Interests:
Participatory community politics, culture and society transformation, and Romanian language.
Hannah Barker
HISTORICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Assistant Professor
PhD, Columbia University
Research Interests:
Ideologies and practices of slavery in the medieval Mediterranean, especially the slave trade from the Black Sea to the markets of Cairo, Genoa, and Venice during the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries

Current research: Hannah Barker is an assistant professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. Her research interests center on ideologies and practices of slavery in the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries. She has a new book out, That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves, 1260-1500 (University of Pennsylvania Press),  which examines the process of exporting slaves from the Golden Horde to Mediterranean markets on the basis of archival sources from Genoa, Venice, and Cairo. Her next project will consider the use of the term “Tatar” as an ethnic or racial category in the context of the late medieval slave trade.

That Most Precious Merchandise

stephen.batalden
Stephen Batalden
HISTORICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Emeritus Professor
PhD, University of Minnesota
Research Interests:
Russia and Eastern Europe, particularly Modern Russian Religious and Cultural History
Volker Benkert
HISTORICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Assistant Professor
D.Phil., Universiät Potsdam
Research Interests:
20th Century German History, particularly the process of transformation in East Germany after 1989

Current research:  Volker Benkert is an Assistant Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. His research focuses on the impact of sudden regime change on biographies after both totalitarian regimes in 20th century Germany. He is the author of Glückskinder der Einheit. Lebenswege der um 1970 in der DDR Geborenen (Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag 2017) [Communism’s last Children. Biography, Socialization and Generation in East Germany before and after 1989]. The book traces the biographies of East Germans born between 1967 and 1973 as the last age cohort to receive its childhood and adolescent socialization in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) whereas the process of transformation shaped their adult lives after unification. East Germans responded very differently to what only superficially appeared to be a monolithic upbringing in state socialism and, thus, also met the challenges of transition after 1989 in diverse ways. Based on narrative interviews, this work identifies seven types of socialization employed by this age cohort; submission, resistance, creative adaptation, obstinate negotiation with the state, conformity, cynicism and adoption of authoritarian ideals. Given the diversity of socialization types, no common generational identity emerged in this age group.

Benkert’s new research project explores memory of the Nazi past in Germany through recent public television miniseries. Despite great strides to acknowledge the horrors of the Holocaust miniseries such as “Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter” (Generation War) still include highly apologetic and redemptive narrative traits.

Visar Berisha
SPEECH AND HEARING SCIENCE
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Arizona State University
Research Interests:
New machine learning and statistical signal processing tools to better understand and model signal perception; projects with Kosovo
Shahin_Berisha
Shahin Berisha
MELIKIAN CENTER
Adjunct Faculty
PhD, University of Prishtina
Research Interests:
Training programs in cooperation with Kosovo and Albania; science, math, and technology with particular interest in renewable energy
Steven Beschloss
JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION
Professor of Practice
MS, Northwestern University

Current Research: Steven Beschloss is Senior Director for Narrative Development and founding director of the Narrative Storytelling Initiative at ASU that’s focused on expanding the quality and capacity of writing and nonfiction storytelling by faculty, students and other intellectuals. In addition to this initiative across the university, Beschloss is leading narratives work for the Global Futures Laboratory, which includes examining societal issues that affect responses to the climate crisis, such as nationalism, income inequality, and technological over-reliance. He’s also studying the impact of sea-level rise on cities; how survivors of extreme weather events have remade their lives and are rethinking their climate future; the growing reality of displacement and climate refugees; envisioned futures; and the kind of stories that can influence behavior change. In that regard, he’s co-directing a multi-year faculty seminar on “Apocalyptic Thinking, Climate Change and the American Imagination.” He’s also currently co-producing a television series on American assassins based on his book, “The Gunman and His Mother: Lee Harvey Oswald, Marguerite Oswald, and The Making of an Assassin.” His most recent essay for Times Higher Ed: “Scholars Need to Act with Greater Urgency.” 

Vladimir T. Borovansky
ASU LIBRARY
Emeritus Professor
M.L.S., Ph.D., Charles University, Prague
Research Interests:
Collection Development
Katherine Boyce-Jacino
BARRETT HONORS COLLEGE
Honors Faculty Fellow
PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Research Interests:
Germany and Central Europe in the early 20th century, with a focus on the history of technology and culture.

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