Department Chair
Lynn R. Johnson
Associate Professor of Africana Studies (2004).
Althouse Hall Room G10
johnsoly@dickinson.edu
(717) 245-1394
Department Faculty
Lynn R. Johnson
Associate Professor of Africana Studies (2004).
Althouse Hall Room G10
(717) 245-1394 | johnsoly@dickinson.edu
B.A., Salisbury University, 1996; M.A., Temple University, 1998; Ph.D., 2007.

Lynn R. Johnson specializes in African American literature, African Aesthetics, and Africana literary cultures. Her primary research interests are in African American literary production and theory and Middle Passage studies. Currently, she is completing a manuscript that examines the relationship between food and psychological disease and wellness as portrayed in African American fiction.
Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy
(on sabbatical Fall 2014)
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Distinguished Chair in Africana Studies (2009).
Althouse Hall Room G20
(717) 245-1894 | moonsamp@dickinson.edu
B.A., San Francisco State University, 1986; M.A., University of Michigan, 2002; Ph.D., 2009.

Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. Her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of expressive culture, social activism, and the politics of representation and subjectivity in the post-colonial Caribbean. With funding from the National Science Foundation, she conducted fieldwork in Trinidad and Tobago, exploring the dynamic relationships that exist between people of African and South Asian Indian ancestry and documenting how these are expressed though performance. At Dickinson College, Dr. van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy teaches courses on the African Diaspora and the Caribbean, and continues to engage in research on performance, activism and identity politics in the Caribbean.
Contributing Faculty
Jeremy R. Ball
Associate Professor of History (2005).
Denny Hall Room 19
(717) 254-8191 | ballj@dickinson.edu
B.A., Boston College, 1994; M.A., Yale University, 1998; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2003.

He teaches courses in African political and ecological history, apartheid, the Atlantic slave trade, and human rights. His research focuses on the labor and business history of Angola, Portuguese colonialism, and oral history.
Linda Brindeau
Assistant Professor of French (2013).
Bosler Hall Room 112
(717) 254-8039 | brindeal@dickinson.edu
B.A., Université du Maine-France, 2000; M.A., University of Arkansas, 2003; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013.

Carolina Castellanos
(on sabbatical 2014-15)
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese (2010).

castellc@dickinson.edu
Literata, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, 2000; M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2004; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 2007; Ph.D., 2010.

Mara E. Donaldson
(on sabbatical Spring 2015)
Professor of Religion (1990).
East College Room 207
(717) 245-1228 | donaldsm@dickinson.edu
B.A., Wilson College, 1971; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1974; Ph.D., Emory University, 1984.
Dickinson Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1998-1999. Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching, 2000-2001.

Her teaching focuses on contemporary religious thought, especially feminist and liberation theologies, and religion and art, including contemporary fantasy literature, film, and popular culture.
James G. Ellison
Associate Professor of Anthropology (2005).
Denny Hall Room 307
(717) 245-1902 | ellisonj@dickinson.edu
B.A., Michigan State University, 1987; M.A., University of Florida, 1990; Ph.D., 1999.

A broadly trained cultural anthropologist, Ellison researches political and economic transformations and culture in eastern Africa, focusing on colonialism, socialism, and "neoliberalism." His main fieldwork sites are in Tanzania and Ethiopia. He also co-directs a summer field school in Tanzania to teach anthropological research methods.
Crystal M. Moten
Assistant Professor of History (2013).
Denny Hall Room 12
(717) 245-1350 | motenc@dickinson.edu
B.A., Washington University (MO), 2004; M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006; Ph.D., 2013.

Dr. Moten focuses on 20th Century United States with specializations in Women's/Gender History and African American History. Her research examines black women's struggles for economic justice in the 20th century urban north. Dr. Moten teaches classes related to United States History, Urban History, African American History, and Women's and Gender History.
Benjamin Ngong
Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies (2007).
Bosler Hall Room 110
(717) 245-1738 | ngongb@dickinson.edu
Licence ès-Lettres Modernes, Université de Yaoundé, 1988; Maitrise ès Lettres Modernes; D.E.A., Littératures française et comparée, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens (France), 1991; Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2007.


His research and teaching interests include 20th-century French novel, Francophone African and Caribbean literatures, cultures, and film, colonial and postcolonial studies. His published and forthcoming articles focus on the relationship of power to social and political violence as portrayed in African and Caribbean literature and film.
Mariana Past
Associate Professor of Spanish (2006).
Bosler Hall Room 10M
(717) 245-1833 | pastm@dickinson.edu
B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1994; M.A., Duke University, 2002; Ph.D., 2006.

Twentieth-century Spanish and Francophone Caribbean literature is her area of concentration, and her current projects focus on Haitian-Dominican relations and representations of the Haitian Revolution in both literary and historical texts written in Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole. Her interests also include questions of migration/exile in Caribbean literature and influence vs. imitation in Latin American literature.
Jerry Philogene
Associate Professor of American Studies (2005).
Denny Hall Room 16
(717) 254-8953 | philogej@dickinson.edu
B.A., New School University, 1989; M.A., New York University, 1993; Ph.D., 2009.

Jerry Philogene specializes in 20th century African American and Afro Caribbean visual arts and cultural history. Her teaching interests include interdisciplinary American cultural history and black cultural and identity politics. Her research interests explore the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, and gender as articulated in contemporary visual and popular culture.
J. Mark Ruhl
Glenn E. and Mary L. Todd Professor of Political Science (1975).
Denny Hall Room 207
(717) 245-1501 | ruhl@dickinson.edu
B.A., Dickinson College, 1970; M.A., Syracuse University, 1972; Ph.D., 1975.
Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1988-1989; Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching, 2012-13

He specializes in comparative politics. His research centers on the politics of democratization in contemporary Latin America with a special emphasis on civil-military relations.
Vanessa C. Tyson
(Leave of Absence 2014-15.)
Assistant Professor of Political Science (2007).

tysonv@dickinson.edu
B.A., Princeton University, 1998; M.A., University of Chicago, 2002; Ph.D., 2011.

Professor Tyson focuses her research on interracial alliances in the House of Representatives, and what political dynamics these alliances create outside of more traditional issues regarding race. More broadly, she focuses on Congress and American Political Institutions, as well as race and gender as they operate as social constructs in the United States.