Faith Monahan ’24
Last week, Trinity College announced the recognition of five professors who will either hold named chairs or research professorships starting this July. Professors Shafqat Hussain and Gail Woldu will hold named chairs, while Professors Dario Euraque, Kifah Hanna, and Laura Holt will hold Charles A. Dana Research Professorships for the next two years.
In an email announcing this recognition, Acting Dean of Faculty Sonia Cardenas wrote, “To hold a named chair is one of the highest achievements a faculty member can attain, constituting recognition of sustained scholarly or artistic excellence.” Professor of Anthropology Shafqat Hussain will hold the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian Studies. His teaching prioritizes curiosity and real-world experience, and this philosophy is reflected in his research on social and political ecology in South and Central Asia. His most recent publication, The Snow Leopard and the Goat: Politics of Conservation in the Western Himalayas, examines how meeting the needs of those most affected by conservation policies, such as local farmers and other marginal communities, are necessary for the success of these policies.
Professor Gail Woldu will hold a Charles A. Dana Professorship of Music, and her current book project is titled The Musical Artistry of Black American Women, 1920-2020. In her teaching, she encourages her students to “think outside the book” and to embrace their individual perspectives and experiences when exploring musical traditions. Her research and specialty encompass a range of time and geography from French music in the 18th and 19th centuries to present day American popular music and the music of black American artists. Having been at Trinity since 1987 and having held fellowships at Amherst, Berkeley, and Yale, her teaching has touched the minds of many students.
Three professors will be appointed Charles A. Dana Research Professorships that will begin this upcoming July. Cardenas explained that “the Dana research professorships were established to support one full professor and two associate professors with a period of reduced teaching responsibilities to complete an important piece of research.” Professor Dario Euraque is among the recipients and considered an expert on Central America. Euraque previously served as the Director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History. Currently, Euraque is completing the second volume of a biography of Rafael Lopez Padilla (1875-1963), a banana cultivator who criticized the monopoly of the United Fruit Company in Honduras.
Associate Professor Kifah Hanna of Language and Cultural Studies, another recipient, currently holds a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies at Columbia University. Her research focuses on contemporary Arabic literature, especially aspects of gender and sexuality, and her current book project is titled Floating Sexualities. Associate Professor Laura Holt of Psychology has been a part of the Trinity community as both a student and professor, and has conducted research alongside her students on vaping amongst young people. She continues her research on addiction, in particular on nicotine delivery system use as well as on prescription drug misuse.