My favorite part of the job is having the opportunity to work with amazing researchers, teachers, and artists at a first-class R1 institution. I am very fortunate to have stellar colleagues in German, Russian, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Chinese on the one hand, and in Film Studies, Digital Storytelling, Art, and Art History on the other. All of them know how valuable the humanities are to MU and to the students of the state of Missouri, and to a person, they have dedicated themselves in exemplary and inspirational ways both to working in their chosen fields and to educating their students. Every day, I am thankful for the chance to work with my fellow faculty members.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by great art and literature, by great writing about art and literature, and by the activity of cultural exchange that works of art and literature entails. Great art can be, as Kafka said, an axe for the frozen seas within us. When I see a great film, whether it is from Germany or Korea, whether it is by Alfred Hitchcock or Bong Joon-ho, I’m excited to study it together with my students, on the one hand, and in writing, via published research, on the other.
What does it mean to you to have been named the 2021 A&S Faculty or Staff person?
The award is very meaningful to me. I’m glad that MU supports research in the humanities, particularly in foreign languages and the arts. Missouri’s flagship institution has to be a place where we celebrate literature, culture, and film. I’m grateful for this recognition in that it affirms the importance of the work that each one of us, the faculty and the graduate students, are doing, in the classroom and in their fields.