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The YC Core


 HighlineRachel Mesch, Director of the Core.
 Dr. Mesch is delighted to be serving as the first director of the YC Core, having participated in the intensive process that led to its creation. She teaches regularly in the INTC ("Parisian Views") and CUOT ("France and Its Others") categories, and hopes to teach an FYSM in coming semesters. A graduate of Yale College with a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Mesch has been a member of the YC faculty since 2007. She is a specialist in French cultural and literary history, with a focus on women writers and the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and also serves as Chair of YC's Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures. Her most recent book, Having it All in the Belle Epoque: How French Women's Magazines Invented the Modern Woman, was released from Stanford UP this past July. Dr. Mesch's blog, “Plus ça change…,” features fun finds from her research. If you have any questions about the Core, feel free to contact her at 

Faculty teaching in the Core come from across the college and a wide variety of backgrounds and research interests.  See below to find out more about your professors.

Jamie Aroosi
(CUOT Cultures of Revolt) recently completed a manuscript on Søren Kierkegaard and Karl Marx and is interested in the relationship between religion and politics.

Fabiola Barrios-Landeros
(NAWO Frontiers of Science) conducts research in the areas of organometallic chemistry and catalysis.

Ruth A. Bevan
(COWC Political Geography) recently lectured in Macau on "The Golden Triangle? Obama's 'Pivot to Asia,' the European Union and Asia,” afterward traveling to mainland China.

Barbara Blatner
is a poet, playwright and musician.  Her play Years of Sky debuted at the 59E59 Theatre last winter; her two books of poetry are The Still Position and Living with You.

Shalom Carmy
(CUOT “Character & Ethics”) teaches Bible, Jewish Intellectual History, Jewish Philosophy and Philosophy at YC. As editor of Tradition, he publishes regular essays on intellectual, personal and social issues facing contemporary Orthodoxy. He also publishes frequently in First Things and is active in the Institute for religion and Public Life.  He is identified with the "literary theological" approach to Bible, and was chosen by R. Soloveitchik as an editor of his posthumous works. His CUOT courses focus on the interface between historical factors--social, psychological and religious, and the formulation and analysis of philosophical problems. 

Gabriel Cwilich
(NAWO Frontiers of Science) is a theoretical physicist who works in problems of condensed matter and statistical physics. He is also involved in issues of popularization of ideas of science in the theater and film, and advises playwrights and theater companies in New York City and beyond. He has been the Director of the Jay and Jeannie Schottenstein Honors Program for the last few years.

Carl Feit
 (NAWO Frontiers of Science) holds the Ades Chair in Health Science. His research is in the field of identifying tumor antigens on sarcoma cells. He is also interested in the interface of science and religion and is a founding member of the International Society of Science and Religion.

Lauren Fitzgerald
(FYWR) directs the Wilf Campus Writing Center and is currently coauthoring The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors: Practice and Research with Dr. Melissa Ianetta, Univ. of Delaware. Her recent publications include a discussion of writing instruction in general education that draws upon her work helping to develop YC's Core.

Paula Geyh
(INTC "Books on Books / Films on Films") teaches and writes on 20th-century American and European literature (especially postmodern literature), film, and art.  She has a special interest in the culture of urban life, and she is the author of Cities, Citizens, and Technologies: Urban Life and Postmodernity.  She is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern American Fiction (forthcoming) and a co-editor of Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology

Paul Glassman
is a professionally trained architect who teaches and writes on architectural history and design.  He has a particular interest in synagogue architecture—what relates it to the religious buildings of other traditions and what differentiates it from them.  He is co-author of the Handbook of Art and Design Librarianship and has recently contributed chapters on library design and renovation to forthcoming publications by Rowman & Littlefield. 

Elias C. Grivoyannis
(HBSI Economics, Efficiency and Justice) current research focuses on forensic and litigation economics, the economics of global medicine and epidemics, and the economic dynamics of emerging economies. His courses Forensic Economics and The Economics of the Law have been of special interest to our prelaw students, and his course on Health Economics of great benefit to our premed students.

Daniel Kimmel
(HBSI Violence, Schools, and Education) studied sociology of education at the University of Chicago with a focus on violence and bullying problems in schools. He has held fellowships from the Institute for Education Sciences and the American Education Research Association.

Aaron Koller
(FYSM) is an associate professor of Near Eastern and Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he teaches and writes about the ancient world of the Bible and rabbinic literature, especially issues of material culture, language, and intellectual history.  His most recent book, Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought, was just published by Cambridge University Press.  He also serves as the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in Yeshiva College. 

David Lavinsky
(INTC: Literature, Morality, and Entertainment; CUOT: The Monstrous) works in late medieval and early modern contexts, and is particularly interested in heresy, material culture, and early translations of the Bible into English. He has published on late medieval mysticism, literary history before the Reformation, clandestine reading communities, heresy trials, early printing and the history of the book, and medieval sermons. He is at work on a book entitled  Inscription and Sacred Truth: Wycliffite Biblical Scholarship, ca. 1380-1450.

Will Lee
(FYSM “Literature and Cultural Values”; INTC “Shakespeare and the Arts”) has taught courses on interpretation, critical theory, poetry, Shakespeare, Victorian Studies, and world literatures.  He has written about William Morris, one of his role models as a community builder, historic preservationist, and poet, and about Bernard Revel, the first president of Yeshiva College, a founder of Modern Orthodox, and the creator of a "triple program" as the college’s original 1928-29 curriculum.  Three times he received the YC Senior Professor Award for distinguished teaching. 

Ariel Malka
(HBSI Psychology and Public Opinion) is a social/personality psychologist who studies political psychology and public opinion. His research involves the use of survey and experimental methods to examine the psychological and social factors that underlie people's political opinions.

Adam Zachary Newton 
 (INTC “Recognition Plots”) is one of six University Professors at Yeshiva University and holds an endowed chair in Literature and Humanities.  His signature field, the ethics of reading, bridges literary theory, modern Jewish thought, comparative literature, and American Studies across five books: the prize-winning Narrative Ethics (Harvard UP, 1995), Facing Black and Jew (Cambridge UP, 1998), The Fence and the Neighbor (SUNY Press, 2002), The Elsewhere: On Belonging at a Near Distance (2005), and most recently, "To Make the Hands Impure": Art and Ethical Adventure, the Difficult and the Holy (Fordham UP, 2014).    

Richard Nochimson
(CUOT Classical to Renaissance; INTC Fiction, the Artistic Imagination, and the Creative Process) is a generalist as a teacher; as a scholar, he is a Shakespearean, most notably as the general editor of the Pegasus Shakespeare Bibliographies series (11 volumes published between 1995 and 2008). In recent years, he has been writing short stories and novels.

Jess Olson
(CUOT The Idea of Self) is interested in the material and intellectual expressions of Jewish culture in central Europe, including Germany and Austria-Hungary. He is currently involved in research projects on the reception of Schiller in German-Jewish culture, the development of Orthodoxy and the history of the Jews of Vienna.

Yakov Peter
(NAWO Frontiers of Science) is interested in the development of stem cell therapies for patients with lung disease. His current research focuses on bioengineering the lung by performing adult pulmonary stem cell selection, proliferation, and differentiation. He is a member of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and the Cancer Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and serves on the editorial board of the AIMS Bioengineering Journal. 

Eliezer Schnall
(FYSM) is a psychologist and ordained rabbi, whose research interests include psychology and religion, and multicultural clinical psychology, especially as they relate to Jews and Judaism. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, on CBS television news, and in numerous other national and international media. 

Liesl Schwabe
is a nonfiction writer interested in all kinds of personal narrative, including her students'. She writes book reviews and essays and is also at work on her first book, a memoir, which reflects on Buddhist pilgrimage in northeast India.

Aaron Segal
(FYSM) is interested in what, at bottom, the world is like, what we can know about it, what we can hope for, and how we ought to live.  If he were forced to attach disciplinary labels to the philosophical areas he works in, he would say he specializes in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and Jewish philosophy. 

Josefa Steinhauer
(NAWO From Molecules to Organism) been studying fruit fly genetics for 15 years.  Her research has primarily focused on the chemical signals cells use to communicate with each other.  Her lab at Yeshiva College studies how fat signals influence male fertility.  In addition to training her research students and teaching upper level Biology classes at YC, she maintains close collaborations with scientists throughout the tri-state area, including at Vassar College, NYU, and Princeton University.   

William Stenhouse
(CUOT Roman Empire in Theory and Practice) works on how people have understood and been influenced by the classical world, including Augustus, in the Renaissance.

Elizabeth Stewart
(COWC, Diaspora Literature) teaches and writes about modern, postmodern and global literature, art and cultural theory. She has published work on Lacan, Walter Benjamin, Derrida and others.

Fred Sugarman
(INTC The Imperial Self) recently published an article titled “The Prophets in America,” which looks at the relationship between Jeremiah, Jonathan Edwards and the American Renaissance. He is delighted to join the INTC faculty for the fall by offering a course devoted to Edwards, Emerson and Whitman and the realization of the American “Imperial Self” in the emblematic triumph of the Brooklyn Bridge. Although Sugarman lives in Riverdale, he is a son of Brooklyn, and the course will represent a voyage back to his roots.

Manfred Weidhorn
(FYWR) has just concluded fifty years as a professor at Yeshiva and is now working on his second fifty. No bets taken. Has published thirteen books and over a hundred essays. Subjects of interest are Shakespeare, Milton, Churchill, Galileo. 

Joshua D. Zimmerman
(COWC “Nationalism”) is associate professor of history at Yeshiva University in New York.  He is the author of Poles, Jews and the Politics of Nationality: the Bund and the Polish Socialist Party in Late Tsarist Russia (2004) and the editor of both Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath (2003) and Jews in Italy under Fascist and Nazi Rule,1922-1945 (2005).  In the 2011-2012 academic year, he was Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance Research Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.