New Faculty Searches

Submitted by Rick Aguilar on

 The NELC department was privileged this year to conduct two searches for new faculty. The first was for a Full-Time Assistant Teaching Professor in the area of Biblical Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. NELC is pleased to welcome Dr. Kathryn McConaughy Medill, who will be joining us from the Department of History at Eastern University, where she is an Adjunct Professor of Biblical Hebrew and Ancient Humanities, and from Coventry Christian Schools in Pennsylvania, where she is an Instructor in Ancient Humanities. Dr. Medill received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 2020, with her doctoral thesis entitled You Will Know Me by My Writing: The Scribes’ Choice of Goal-Marking Strategies in Biblical Hebrew in the Light of Social, Historical, and Linguistic Correlates. She is skilled in reading and translating Biblical Hebrew, Akkadian, Aramaic, Greek, Hittite, Latin, Sumerian and Ugaritic, and considers herself to be both a linguist and historian, with work focusing on placing the writers of the Hebrew Bible in their Ancient Near Eastern socio-historical context. Dr. Medill has published articles on aspects of Biblical Hebrew in journals, including the Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages and the Bulletin of the American Schools Oriental Research, as well as a chapter in the monograph An Educator’s Handbook for Teaching about the Ancient World. Courses for which she  will be responsible include the first-year sequence of Biblical Hebrew,  Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Introduction to the Ancient Near East, and classes on a variety of other topics.

Canan Bolel

Our second position was for an Assistant Professor in Jewish Cultures, Literature and Languages of the Eastern Mediterranean, with a focus on the Sephardic experience. NELC is pleased to welcome Canan Bolel, who will be graduating from the University of Washington’s Near and Middle East Studies Interdisciplinary PhD Program this spring. Bolel's work focuses on the experiences of the Jewish population in mid to late 19th century Ottoman Izmir. Her dissertation is entitled Constructions of Jewish Modernity and Marginality in Izmir, 1860–1907.  This work brings into focus marginality as a core concept helpful for analysis of Sephardic Jewish experiences and selfhood in the late Ottoman Empire. Bolel's research portrays how poverty, disease, foreignness, and/or the status of the religious convert contribute to complexities of identity. Bolel is also a translator of children’s literature, and is currently developing research on late 19th century satirical texts that were composed in Ladino. Bolel works in multiple languages, including Ladino, Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, and Russian. She looks forward to teaching courses on Ladino and Sephardic literature and culture.

The NELC faculty are enthusiastically looking forward to greeting our new colleagues in the fall of 2022.