Faculty of arts and sciences

School Notes: Faculty of Arts & Sciences
January/February 2020

Tamar Gendler | http://fas.yale.edu

Fifty years of African American studies

Last year marked 50 years of African American studies at Yale. Across these five decades, Yale scholars have transformed the field and broadened the national conversation on history, culture, and society. Last fall, the department celebrated this milestone at three panel discussions on the theme “Looking Back at 50 Years of Change.”

At the first panel, Professor Daphne Brooks (African American studies and American studies) led a compelling dialogue on how scholarship on race has reshaped humanities fields such as literature and history. The second event, moderated by alumnus Brandon Terry ’12PhD, examined the pathbreaking work of African American studies scholars in the social science fields, including political science, anthropology, and others. The closing event gathered a star-studded cast of alumni artists at the Yale University Art Gallery for a conversation on how artists of color have revolutionized the art world.

African American studies was founded as a program in 1969 and became a department in 2000. Drawing from disciplines as diverse as literature, history, sociology, and anthropology,  African American studies faculty and students work across the FAS’s social science and humanities divisions.

New computer science faculty

During the 2019–20 academic year, the FAS welcomes four new computer science professors whose work exemplifies the diverse impacts of computer science research on daily life.  They are among 42 new faculty who have joined Yale’s FAS this year across the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and engineering.

Theodore Kim ’12 and Robert Soulé joined the FAS last fall. Kim comes to Yale from Pixar, where he developed Oscar-winning computer graphic techniques that revolutionized the visual effects that we see on movie screens. Soulé’s research on databases and programming languages significantly advances computer networking. 

Lin Zhong and Anurag Khandelwal arrived in New Haven at the start of this semester. Zhong’s work on mobile computing makes smartphones and other mobile devices communicate more efficiently. Khandelwal’s research on algorithm and data structure will transform the effectiveness of cloud computing and internet searching.

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