A faculty of accomplished scholars, deeply committed to fostering students’ intellectual and personal growth, offers expertise in the methods and approaches of a range of disciplines.
Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christianity & the Arts
PhD American Studies – Yale University
Office – Mueller Hall Rm 132
219.464.5152 – email@example.com
Gretchen Buggeln holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christianity and the Arts. She writes and teaches about the intersection of Christian belief and the material world. Her primary research interest is American sacred spaces, and she is currently completing The Suburban Church: Modernism and Community in Postwar America, a book about the ubiquitous, modern-style, suburban church of the postwar era (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). Her previous book, Temples of Grace: The Material Transformation of Connecticut’s Churches, 1790-1840 (2003) won national book awards from the Vernacular Architecture Forum and the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic.
Before coming to Valparaiso in 2004, Buggeln worked in the academic programs department of the H.F. du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware, and she continues to be active in the museum field by reviewing exhibitions and writing about how museums interpret religious artifacts and belief. She is currently co-editing a book, with Crispin Paine and S. Brent Plate, on the interpretation of religious objects in museums (Bloomsbury, 2016). Buggeln serves on the board of the local Porter County Museum and enjoys teaching classes in Christ College, such as “Museum History and Culture,” “The American Home,” and a freshman material culture writing workshop, that engage students with local museums, architecture, and artifact collections. She loves field trips!
Buggeln also coordinates the sophomore-level honors course “Word and Image” and teaches additional American studies upper-level seminars such as “American Consumer Culture.” She serves as director of the Valparaiso American Studies academic major and advisor to the Christ College student arts group.
Until June of 2017, Buggeln is president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, a professional organization dedicated to the appreciation and study of ordinary buildings and landscapes. This group of scholars and professionals models the concerns of Christ College: interdisciplinary thought and collaboration, and the application of humanities research and education to help individuals and communities flourish.
Prof. Buggeln holds a BA in history from Dartmouth College, an M.A. from the Winterthur Museum program at the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.
VAF link: vernaculararchitectureforum.org
The Suburban Church link: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-suburban-church
Temples of Grace link: http://www.amazon.com/Temples-Grace-Transformation-Connecticuts-1790-1840/dp/B006QS97YA
Mueller Hall 124
219-465-7962 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Graber’s teaching and research interests include nineteenth-century literature and culture, the American Civil War, transatlantic studies, memory studies, and religion. He has published articles and reviews in American Nineteenth Century History, the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Christianity and Literature, Civil War Book Review, Common-Place, and the Journal of Southern History, as well as in the forthcoming Literary Cultures of the American Civil War. He teaches “Interpretation: Self, Culture, Society,” “Word & Image,” “American Identity,” “American War Literature,” “African American Literature,” “Literatures of Freedom,” “Film and Literature,” and also in the Christ College Freshman Program.
Mueller Hall Room 130
Mel Piehl received his BA from Valparaiso University and his PhD from Stanford University. His scholarly interests center on American intellectual and religious history, with particular attention to American Catholic history and the relations between religion and social thought. Piehl’s book Breaking Bread: The Catholic Worker and the Origin of Catholic Radicalism in America was a finalist for the Robert Kennedy National Book Award; a new edition of the book was published in 2007. He is co-author of an American history text, The Brief American Pageant. His writings on American Catholicism have appeared in a number of books and journals. Piehl served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Dayton in 2001-2002. He has most recently published articles on religion and American intellectual life in the twentieth century. He served as the fourth dean of Christ College from 2003 to 2013. He was the Visiting Scholar in Catholic Studies at Seattle University in 2013-2014 before returning to teach at Christ College.
Mueller Hall Room 134
Jennifer Prough received her BA from Valparaiso University and her PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University. Her teaching and research interests include the anthropology of media, anthropology of tourism, Japanese studies, gender studies, and globalization. At the heart of Prough’s research and teaching interests are issues of representation and the ways that cultural meanings are produced and managed, experienced and interpreted through mass culture. Her book entitled, “Straight from the Heart: Gender, intimacy, and the Cultural Production of Shōjo Manga” (University of Hawai’i Press, 2011) examines the production of Girls’ comics in Japan through ethnographic analysis. Her current research project seeks to understand the ways that tradition, history, and culture are produced, packaged, promoted, and consumed in the Kyoto tourist industry. Through ethnographic analysis, in this manuscript Prough analyzes the ways that history and culture are deployed to create an atmosphere both ancient and modern, marketing Kyoto as a quintessential Japanese destination for both national and international tourists.
In addition to teaching in the Freshman Program and “Interpretations: Self, Culture, Society,” Prough teaches seminars on East Asian Media and Culture, Urban Japan, Japanese visual culture, tourism, and anthropology. Besides her work in Christ College, she teaches in the Chinese and Japanese Studies program.
PhD History and Humanities – Stanford University
Linwood House 102
Mark Schwehn received his BA from Valparaiso University, and his PhD in history and humanities from Stanford University. He has written widely about Henry Adams and William James, including, with other scholars, A William James Renaissance (1982). He has also written essays on the poetry of Robert Frost, film criticism, history, cognitive theory, and human sexuality. He has published widely on religion and higher learning, including Exiles from Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America (1993) and Everyone A Teacher (2000). With Dorothy Bass he is editor of Leading Lives That Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be (2006). In 2005-2006 and again in 2014-2015 he was a Fellow at the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Studies at St. John’s University (MN). Schwehn is Founding Project Director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts at Valparaiso, and serves on the boards of several major institutions addressing religion, education, and American public life. He served as provost from 2009-2014.
Mueller Hall 126
Julien Smith received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley in French and Slavic Languages and Literature, an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Religion from Baylor University. His scholarly interests center on Biblical texts and traditions. He has written and presented papers on a variety of New Testament and apocryphal subjects and texts, including Ephesians, Acts, Galatians, and IV Maccabees. Recent projects also include articles on church-related higher education, the interpretation of Scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas, and the portrayal of Jews in the writing of the Catholic novelist Walker Percy. His first book is entitled Christ the Ideal King: Cultural Context, Rhetorical Strategy, and the Power of Divine Monarchy in Ephesians, published by Mohr Siebeck in 2011. In addition to teaching in the CC Freshman Program, he teaches The Christian Tradition and seminars on Jesus and Paul. His next writing project focuses on the Apostle Paul’s royal Christology.
Mueller Hall 122
Edward Upton received a BA in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University and his PhD in Religion and Literature from the University of Chicago, where he also taught in the Humanities Common Core and in the university’s writing program. His research centers on T.S. Eliot’s poetic engagement with sources from ancient India, especially in The Waste Land. His interests include modern poetry, hermeneutics, literary criticism, the history of orientalism, the history of religions, and modern theology. He has lectured on Eliot’s poetry at Oriel College, Oxford University. He teaches courses on “Theology and Literature”, “The Devil and the Problem of Evil,” “Western Mysticism and the Interpretation of India,” and “Religion and Contemporary Global Literature,” in addition to teaching in the CC Freshman Program.
Mueller Hall 128
David Western received his BA in Political Science from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and his PhD in Political Science from Brown University. His work focuses on social and political theory, international relations, peace studies and conflict resolution especially addressing the role that empathy ought to play in making and maintaining peace in the world. Western previously taught at Grinnell College, where he was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies. At Brown University he was awarded the P. Terrence Hopmann Award for Teaching Excellence. Western is currently turning his dissertation – “Power, Justice, Empathy: How and Why Empathy Matters for Peace” – into a book manuscript. He teaches seminars on “King and Gandhi”, “Justice” and “Human Rights: Politics, Ethics, Law” as well as the CC Freshman Program and “Interpretation: Self, Culture and Society”.
Christ College Faculty Resource Page, click here.
Linwood House 113
Nicholas Kauffman earned his BA in English from Hillsdale College. After several years teaching literature at the secondary level, he went on to pursue graduate training in classics at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his PhD in May. His dissertation, “Rereading Death: Ethics and Aesthetics in the Ancient Reception of Homeric Battle Narrative” studies the way the Iliad’s representations of death were incorporated into dialogues about war and violence in later Greek literature. This subject reflects his primary interest as both a scholar and a teacher: the capacity of ancient texts to shape discourse about perennial human questions.
Linwood House 117
Joshua Kercsmar earned his BA in theology from Wheaton College, a MDiv (summa cum laude) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a ThM in American Religious History from Harvard Divinity School, and his PhD in US History at The University of Notre Dame. His dissertation explores how Britons used their experiences raising five prolific animals—cows, sheep, horses, pigs, and dogs—to understand, implement, and question the enslavement of humans in American between 1550 and 1815. Kercsmar’s teaching and research interests span early America, environmental history, the history of slavery, religious history, and human-animal interactions.
Linwood House 114
Anthony Minnema earned his BA in history from Calvin College, and an MA in medieval studies from Western Michigan University. He completed his doctorate in European history at the University of Tennessee. His areas of research and teaching interest include premodern Christian-Muslim relations, Arabic-to-Latin translation movements, and the history of information technology. His book manuscript, Algazel in Latin Christendom, 1150-1600, is under contract with Amsterdam University Press. The monograph examines the European audience of a Latin translation of an Arabic philosophical work, The Intentions of the Philosophers, by the Muslim theologian al-Ghazali. This project uses this work as a lens to see the rise, decline, and recovery of the Arabic philosophical tradition in premodern Europe. The book redefines Arabic philosophy’s role in the European intellectual tradition and reverses the standard narrative of European history in which humanism triumphs as an advance over a narrow scholasticism.
Linwood House 111
Kenneth Pearce received his BA in philosophy and classical studies and BAS in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania. His honors thesis in philosophy, “The Semantics of Sense Perception in Berkeley,” was later published in Religious Studies. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Southern California in May 2014. His dissertation, Language and the Structure of Berkeley’s World, explores the relationship between metaphysics and philosophy of language in relationship between metaphysics, theology, and philosophy of science in 17th and 18th century European thought. He has also published articles in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion, and has broad teaching interests in analytic philosophy and the history of Western philosophy and science.
Linwood House 112
Xueying Wang earned a BA in German from Beijing Foreign Studies University, an MA in literature from Beijing University and an MA and a PhD in theology from the University of Notre Dame. Her dissertation, “Gregory of Nyssa on the Corporate Nature of the Human Body,” explores Gregory’s conception of the human body as an important medium of interpersonal relationships, including human beings’ relationship with Christ, the Incarnate Word. Xueying’s research and teaching interests include early Christian theology, theological anthropology, and comparative religions (especially East Asian religions and Christianity).