Project Directors

Abhishek Amar, Ph.D.

Abhishek Amar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Hamilton College

Abhishek S. Amar specializes in the history of early India and his research interests include archaeological history of Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions in early India. He recently completed his post-doctoral research at IKGF at Ruhr University, Bochum, where he studied inter-religious dynamics between Buddhist and Hindu traditions in the early medieval South Bihar region, the region of South Asia that was the cradle of Buddhism. He completed his Ph.D. from the SOAS, University of London, and his doctoral research focused on the history of Buddhism at Bodhgaya, the site of enlightenment of the Buddha. Amar completed his M. Phil (2002) and M.A (1999) in South Asian history from JNU, New Delhi, India.

Erol Balkan, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, DHi External Advisory Council Chair, Hamilton College

Erol Balkan earned a Ph.D. in economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton and joined the Hamilton faculty in 1987. His current research focuses on the formation of middle classes through education and financial liberalization in developing countries. Balkan has received several awards and grants for his work, including the International Development Research Center Grant in 1996 to study the effects of short term capital flows on the Turkish economy. He teaches economic development, international finance and political economy of the Middle East at Hamilton and has lectured as a visiting professor at Bilkent University in Ankara and Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey. Balkan’s recent book on the formation of the Turkish middle class and education Reproducing Class: Education, Neoliberalism, and the Rise of the New Middle Class in Istanbul was published in January 2009 by Berghahn Books. He is currently working on a manuscript titled The Neoliberal Landscape and the Rise of Islamic Capital.

John Bartle, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Russian, Hamilton College

John Bartle, who joined the Hamilton faculty in 1989, earned his master's and Ph.D. from Indiana University. Bartle has written extensively on F.M. Dostoevsky, including articles in Russian Language Journal, Canadian Slavic Studies and Romantic Russia. He has also published translations of Dostoevsky's journalistic works, including Models of Candor (1998), and "Petersburg Visions in Prose and Verse" (1999) in Russian Language Journal. Bartle is currently the associate editor for reviews for the Slavic and East European Journal. His other research interests include Russian and Soviet film, language pedagogy and contemporary Russian culture.

David Chanatry

Director of the New York Reporting Project, Utica College

Assistant Director, The Refugee Project

David Chanatry is the Director of the New York Reporting Project at Utica College. Chanatry is a veteran journalist whose career has spanned television, radio and print. He spent 20 years at NBC News, writing and producing news stories for several programs including NBC Nightly News and The Today Show. His work has also appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Day to Day and Living on Earth; Public Radio International’s The World; BBC Radio News; and The World Vision Report, and he has been a contributor to The Washington Post and other publications. He has reported overseas from Kosovo, Albania and the Sudan. Chanatry spent 2001-2002 as a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has served as a judge for the American Association for the Advancement of Science broadcast awards.
Chanatry is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Utica College, where he teaches courses in broadcast news writing and television news reporting and producing.

Crystal Leigh Endsley, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Crystal Leigh Endsley, is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in Africana Studies. Previously she was an Instructor in the Women's Studies Department at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania where she also served as Interim Assistant Director for the Paul Robeson Cultural Center. Endsley completed her graduate studies at Penn State's main campus where she earned a dual Ph.D. in Women's Studies and Curriculum & Instruction. Her awards and honors include a Virginia Commission for the Arts Playwriting Grant in 2005, an honorable mention for the Lamar Kopp, J. Award for International Service in 2007, a James T. Sears Honorable Mention award for Outstanding Paper by the Curriculum and Pedagogy Council in 2008, and an Outstanding Graduate student Teaching Award from the Women's Studies Department at Penn State in 2008. Endsley originally hails from Louisiana and Virginia Beach, Virginia and, in addition to her academic career, she is internationally recognized as a spoken word artist, activist, and actor, performing and presenting workshops and lectures both in the United States and abroad. Her performances and current research focus on issues of performance and identity and the ways they intersect with feminist pedagogy, race, and popular culture; Hip Hop and cultural production as activism; and the connections between academic/home communities, motherhood and knowledge production.

Lisa Forrest, MLS

Lisa Forrest, MLS

Director of Research and Instruction Services at Burke Library, Hamilton College

Lisa A. Forrest, Director of Research and Instruction Services at Hamilton College, received her M.L.S. from the University at Buffalo. She is the recipient of the Excellence in Library Service Award from the Western New York Library Resources Council (2008) and a fellow of the Western New York Library Resources Council’s Leadership Institute (2009) and the Educause Leading Change Institute (2014). Lisa's scholarly writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including American Libraries, A Leadership Primer for New Librarians (Neal-Schuman Publishers), Journal of Library Innovation, Thinking Outside the Book (McFarland), Urban Library Journal, Writing and Publishing: The Librarians Handbook (ALA Editions), and Job Stress and the Librarian (McFarland).

Her academic interests include the use of innovative technologies in library instruction, library leadership, and creative marketing and outreach. Lisa's creative writing has been featured in ArtVoice, Buffalo NewsDamn the Caesarseco-poetics, elimaefoursquareThe Great Lakes ReviewHot Metal BridgeKadar KoliWordWrights, and Yellow Edenwald Field. Other honors received include Pushcart nominations, the “Best of Buffalo: Best Poet” award (ArtVoice, 2011), and the National Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRINDI) Award for her radio commentary And So This is Christmas. Lisa's first collection of poems, To the Eaves (2008) is available from BlazeVox Books.

Nathan Goodale, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Chair, DHi Internal Advisory Committee, Hamilton College

Nathan Goodale, Associate Professor of Anthropology, earned his B.A. in geology and anthropology from Western State College, his M.A. in anthropology from the University of Montana, and his Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington State University. Goodale’s current research is focused on evolutionary approaches to understanding lithic technological organization, the transition to agriculture / resource intensification, and the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Goodale conducts research in the interior Northwest of North America, western coastal Ireland, and the Near East. Research emphases include modeling human behavior with quantitative methods, lithic technological organization, and evolutionary approaches to understanding variation in material culture as a byproduct of human behavior and knowledge transmission.

Chaise LaDousa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hamilton College

Chaise LaDousa, associate professor of anthropology, attended the college of the University of Chicago and received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University. He has conducted field research in North India studying languages and the role they play in education and India's rapidly changing political economy. Another project has focused on the importance of fun in expressive culture in institutions of higher education in the United States. He has published numerous professional articles, and has a book in press titled Signs of Play: Faith, Race, and Sex in a College Town.

Doran Larson, Ph.D. - Photo by Marianita Peaslee

Doran Larson, Ph.D.

Wolcott-Bartlett Professor of Literature & Creative Writing, Hamilton College

Doran Larson is Professor of English & Creative Writing at Hamilton College. He has led The Attica Writer’s Workshop, inside Attica Correctional Facility, since 2006. (AWW writers’ work has appeared in Descant, the minnesota review, and The Kenyon Review.) He is the founder of the Attica-Genesee Teaching Project, which began delivering college-credit courses inside Attica in January 2011. Larson’s essays on prison writing, prison teaching, and related issues have appeared in Salmagundi, College Literature, English Language Notes, Radical Teacher, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is the editor of a forthcoming special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (UK), titled “The Beautiful Prison”; and a forthcoming collection of non-fiction essays by incarcerated Americans, Fourth City: The Prison in America (Michigan State UP, 2014). Larson has also published two novels, a novella, and over a dozen short stories, in addition to critical essays on American literature and film.

Photo by Marianita Peaslee

Angel David Nieves, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & Former Co-Director, Digital Humanities Initiative, Hamilton College

Angel David Nieves, Ph.D. is  co-founder and former Co-Director of Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) which is recognized as a leader among small-liberal arts colleges in the Northeast (see,  As Co-Director, he has raised over $2.7 million dollars in foundation and institutional support for digital humanities scholarship at Hamilton.  He is also Research Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.  He taught in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 2003-2008.  Nieves’s scholarly work and community-based activism critically engage with issues of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South.  His co-edited book “We Shall Independent Be:” African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. was published in 2008.  He is completing a manuscript entitled, An Architecture of Education: African American Women Design the New South, with the University of Rochester Press for their series “Gender and Race in American History” (forthcoming, 2018).  Nieves is also currently working on a new volume in the Debates in the Digital Humanities Series and on a special collaborative issue of American Quarterly (2018) on DH in the field of American Studies.  He is co-editor (w/Kim Gallon, Purdue) of a new book series at the University of Georgia Press, The Black Spatial Humanities: Theories, Methods, and Praxis in Digital Humanities.  He serves on the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Committee on Information Technology (2016-2019).  He was most recently appointed to the Board of New York State’s Humanities Council (2017-2020).  His digital research and scholarship have been featured on and in Newsweek International.His digital scholarship can be found at

Patricia O'Neill, Ph.D.

Professor of English, Hamilton College

Patricia O'Neill, a member of the department since 1986, teaches 19th century British literature and a college course, Art of Cinema. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and is the author of Robert Browning and 20th Century Criticism (1995) and editor of Olive Schreiner's 1883 novel Story of an African Farm (2002). Her current work includes a biography of Amelia Edwards, Victorian traveler and Egyptologist, and essays on cinema and globalization.

Kyoko Omori, Ph.D. - Photo by Marianita Peaslee

Kyoko Omori, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures (Japanese), Hamilton College

Kyoko Omori earned her doctorate from Ohio State University in 2003. Her research focuses on 20th-century literary and popular culture, with an emphasis on mass media. She is currently completing a book titled Detecting Modanizumu: New Youth Magazine, Tantei Shô setsu, and The Culture of Japanese Vernacular Modernism. In addition, her recently published articles and book chapters include "The Art of the Bluff: Youth Migrancy in the Pacific Rim, Interlingualism, and Japanese Vernacular Modernism" (2009), "Narrating the Detective: Nansensu, Benshi's Oral Performance, and the Absurdist Detective Fiction of Tokugawa Musei" (2009), "Rajio hôsô no sengo: 'Hanashi no izumi' to 'Nichiyô goraku-ban'" (The Allied Powers' Education and Censorship Strategies in Post-WWII Japan: Radio Broadcasting in the late 1940s: 2008), "'Finding Our Own English': Migrancy, Identity, and Language(s) in Itô Hiromi's Recent Prose" (2007). She has been awarded research grants from The Miller Center for Historical Studies and the McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland, as well as postdoctoral fellowships from SSRC/JSPS, the Japan Foundation, and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. Omori was also trained in language pedagogy and is a recipient of the Hamako Ito Chaplin Award, a national award recognizing excellence in teaching Japanese.

Photo by Marianita Peaslee

Janet Thomas Oppedisano (Simons)

Director, Digital Humanities Initiative, Hamilton College

Janet Thomas Oppedisano is Hamilton College's Digital Humanities Initiative Director. Her responsibilities include oversight and direction of the daily activities of the DHi to develop a collaborative community in which creativity, technology, and innovation lead to new methods of research, learning, and publication. This includes strategic planning in the use of technology, collaboration on grant proposals and budgets, management and communication of DHi projects, coordination and teaching of DHi's undergraduate research fellowship program CLASS and creation of direct connections between DHi projects and the curriculum. She is engaged in faculty outreach and development; project management; identification and research of technologies appropriate to research projects and learning goals; and coordination of academic support services to meet teaching, learning, and research needs.  Janet is involved in the development of sustainable digital scholarship infrastructure and models for support of digital humanities projects at liberal arts institutions. She recently collaborated with over 23 liberal arts colleges to develop the Institute for Liberal Arts Scholarship ( She co-teaches “Models for liberal arts and four year colleges at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute ( Janet has presented regionally and internationally on learning design, collaboration, media scholarship, and models for digital scholarship. Janet has co-authored articles in the Journal of Political Science Education, Educause Quarterly, and Collaborations in Liberal Arts Colleges in Support of Digital HumanitiesJanet holds an M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. @janettsimons


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Alex Rihm

Research & First Year Experience Librarian, Hamilton College

Alex Rihm serves Hamilton's first year students and the faculty who teach them in her work as Research and First Year Experience Librarian; she also provides support to the Hispanic Studies and Latin American Studies departments. Her professional interests include information literacy instruction and assessment.  Alex holds her MLIS from the University of Washington in Seattle and BA degrees in International Affairs and Hispanic Studies from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.

Nhora Serrano, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative LIterature, Hamilton College

Nhora Lucía Serrano, who is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College, earned her masters from New York University and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she was a Visiting Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. As a Visual Studies scholar, her research and teaching interests include: Comparative Latin American & Transatlantic Studies, Comparative Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Museum & Gender Studies, and Editorial Cartoons & Comics.

“Arresting Andean Images: Guaman Poma & Visual Editorialization” is Serrano’s current DHi project that centers on complex interdisciplinary humanities questions in the domain of Visual Studies and Colonial Latin America. “Arresting Andean Images” focuses on Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala's illustrated chronicle “Nueva Corónica y Buen Gobierno” (1600-1615) that contains 398 full-page drawings and was addressed to King Philip III of Spain, and which was discovered in the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen in 1908.
Serrano is also a 2014 recipient of a “Smithsonian National Postal Museum and Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition Scholarship” for her work on the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair Commemorative Stamps and First Souvenir Postal Cards. She serves as an Executive Member of the MLA Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives as well as an Elected Board Member and Treasurer of the newly founded Comics Studies Society. She is the co-editor of Curious Collectors, Collected Curiosities: An Interdisciplinary Study (2011), in which her article “‘Very Rare, Fragile, and Priceless’: Transforming Leonardo da Vinci From Collector to Curiosity” also appears. Her forthcoming anthology on Immigrants and Comics (2018) will be from Routledge.  She is currently finishing her monograph on Latin American artist Remedios Varo, Arachne Entwined: The Transatlantic Visuality & Feminism of Remedios Varo. She has published extensively on visual studies, medieval and renaissance studies, and Latin America, and some of her publications include “Grande Exhibitions’ Traveling Museum: A Modern Cabinet of Curiosity” (2011) in Museological Review, “Critical Approaches to the Curator: “The Illuminated Guide and the Medieval Curator” (2011) in Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, and “LACMA’s Gambit: In Wonderland’s Surrealist Women” in X-Tra Contemporary Art Quarterly (Winter 2012), “Visual Frames and Breaking the Rules of the Reconquista” in Playthings in Early Modernity (Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University 2017), “Illuminating Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red and The Museum of Innocence” in MLA Approaches to Teaching Orhan Pamuk (2017), and “(Un)Tangling Arachne and the Latina Storyteller: Remedios Varo and Nancy Bird-Soto” in Gendering XXI: New Trends in Latina and Hispanic Caribbean Literatures in the 21st Century (Puerto Rico: Editorial Tiempo Nuevo, Forthcoming 2018).

Thomas Wilson, Ph.D.

Professor of History, Hamilton College

Thomas Wilson, who joined the Hamilton faculty in 1989, earned a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He also studied in Taiwan, at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (or Stanford Center), and in the graduate department of history at the National Taiwan University. He returned to Taiwan in 1984 on a Department of Education Fulbright-Hays scholarship to conduct research for his dissertation. Wilson has been a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, and he has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and Summer Stipend. He has written extensively on Confucian orthodoxy and is a board member of the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions. Wilson edited On Sacred Grounds: Culture, Society, Politics, and the Formation of the Cult of Confucius (Harvard, 2003), to which he also contributed two chapters and is currently co-authoring a cultural history of Confucius titled Confucius through the Ages, to be published by Random House.