Updates & Research

Being part of the CCS community helps you become part of a global community. Stay up-to-date with what’s happening within the department.

The CCS Newsletter

For departmental news and highlights, your first stop is the CCS Annual Newsletter, which keeps students, alumni, and donors in the know about major academic and research updates, internship news, alumni and donor information, and more.

Departmental Updates

What’s new with CCS? 

CCS is sponsoring a number of study abroad programs for Spring Break and Summer 2013. For more information, contact the following faculty members: 

  • Constance DeVereaux: Cultural Cities in Spain: Madrid and Barcelona, March 14-23: constance.devereaux@nau.edu 
  • Alexandra Carpino (ARH): NAU in Tuscany, May 28-June 21/22: alexandra.carpino@nau.edu
  • Paul Donnelly (REL): Himalayan India, June 24-July 15: paul.donnelly@nau.edu
  • Krista Rodin (HUM) and Kathleen McGeever (TH): Parisian Pastiche: A Journey Through Time and Space, May 19-June 7: krista.rodin@nau.edu

    Upcoming Lectures: 

  • Sabbatical Talk: Dr. Jason BeDuhn, “Religious Pluralism in Pre-Islamic Iran,” March 4, 2013, 5:30 PM, Cline Library Auditorium
  • MSI Lecture: Dr. Zilka Spahic-Siljak, “Women and the Concept of Compassion in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Feb. 6, 7 PM, Liberal Arts 136
  • ASN Lecture: Dr. Nancy S. Steinhardt, “Mosques in China: Architectural History of a Minority Religion,” Feb. 12, 4 PM, Cline Library Auditorium
  • ASN Lecture: Dr. William Bodiford, “Buddhist Myth versus Non-Buddhist Myth in Japanese Identity,” Feb. 18, 5:30 PM, Cline Library Auditorium

Student Updates

How are CCS students and alumni making a difference?

    • Alexa Kaumaya is an Arts and Cultural Management minor. Along with a group of fellow students in Fall 2012’s ACM 210, she organized a very successful event: a presentation by local artist Shane Knight to talk to students about being a working artist. The event included a silent auction with items donated by local businesses, and a reception. The event was well-attended and earned money for the new ACM club in which Alexa is very active.
    • Cinema Studies minor, Wuke Zhou, traveled to her native China over winter break 2012 and researched recent Chinese comedy films and the economic factors that influence their distribution and exhibition. Her independent studies project resulted in a paper entitled "Chinese Genre Film During Holiday Season" which she hopes to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at NAU in April 2013.
    •  Art History students, Margaret Sheble, Kiran Haynes and Erin Carter, will be curating an exhibition called “Reflections of Flagstaff:  A Student-Curated Photography Exhibition” during the Spring of 2013.  NAU Senior, Brooke Weber, is also working on a S’13 exhibition which will be on display in the Beasley Gallery; it is entitled “Faces of Flagstaff.
    • CCS major and MST minor, Emily Moxley, is working with Dr. Jennifer McLerran as part of NAU’s new Interns to Scholars Program.  Emily is assisting Dr. McLerran inresearching a 26 x 36-foot Navajo weaving that is scheduled to be the focal point of a permanent exhibit at the Winslow Arts Trusts’ new Route 66 Art Museum in Winslow, Arizona. 
    •  Amy Agee, an ARH alumna, is working as a researcher for The Green Collection, a large private collection of texts and documents which deals mostly with items related to the transition of the Bible through history.  They recently purchased a building in Washington D.C. to house a permanent Museum of the Bible (opening date:  2016), and Amy is in charge of locating examples of Biblical art to be displayed there.
    • Gibran Villalobos, an ARH alumnus, is finishing up dual Masters degrees in Modern Art History, Theory, & Criticism, and Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He is writing his thesis on the work of Jannis Kounellis and his exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary art Chicago, which involved installations in abandoned warehouses in the city.  Last year, Gibran worked with curator and artist, Pablo Helguera, the Director of Adult Education at MoMA on programming for an exhibition called “Game Night” in which he tried to expand what artists could do within the exhibition beyond an opening night reception, as well as with the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial Project.


     Numerous REL alumni have either completed or are pursuing advanced degrees.

    • Konden Smith completed a M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies at ASU in the study of religion in America, with an emphasis on Mormon history, and is now teaching Religious Studies courses for ASU and NAU online (while applying for permanent positions).
    • Jared Lindahl earned his MA and PhD in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and is now Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.  It’s an interesting college with a very strong emphasis on environmental issues.
    • Teala Mackey will complete a MA in Comparative Religions from Western Michigan U. in Spring 2013.
    • Amanda Atkinson is enrolled in the Museum Science MA Program at Texas Tech University, in the Heritage Management track.
    • Shannon Trosper Schorey is in the Religious Studies PhD program at U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a focus on new religious movements.  She completed her MA in Religious Studies at U. of Colorado.
    • Karlie Knudtsen completed her master's degree in the Study of Religion at Harvard and is now in the PhD program at Cornell U. in Asian religions.
    • Jennifer Hunter completed a master's degree in the Study of Religion at Harvard and is now back in Flagstaff, teaching part-time in our REL program.
    • Catherine Woodwell earned her MLS degree at NAU studying ecological issues, and is now an Account Executive for Environmental Services for the Honeywell Corporation in Scottsdale, AZ.
    • Nancy Just earned a M.S. in Counseling from Minnesota State U. and works as a therapist in Colorado: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Nancy_Just_LPC,CAC,II_Loveland_Colorado_93678
    • Jessikah Moreno completed her master’s degree in education at NAU and is now teaching courses on religion at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson.
    • Garrison Doreck earned his M.A. in Religion from the University of Chicago, and is enrolled in the anthropology of religion Ph.D. program in the study of Islam.  He sometimes teaches REL 331 Islam for NAU as a web course.
    • Danielle van Dobben completed her M.A. in Culture and Performance at U.C.L.A., then an M.A. Near Eastern Studies at U. of Arizona.  She is now Ph.D. Candidate writing her doctoral dissertation for the joint Ph.D. program in Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies at U. of Arizona with a focus on modern Turkey and Islamic culture.

Research Excellence

CCS professors value the importance of research because they know that the more information gathering they do, the more they can understand human complexities and diversities—a common objective that runs through the CCS major and all of its minors.

Highlighted research projects:


REL professor/Director of the Martin-Springer Institute, Björn Krondorfer, attended an International Conference at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in December 2012.  He presented a paper on “Unsettling Empathy” which addressed issues of trauma and reconciliation. As a Faculty Affiliate of the University of the Free State (UFS), Krondorfer hopes to create a joint summer program for UFS and NAU students on reconciliation and conflict-management in conjunction with the “Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice” at UFS.

CCS Department Chair and Professor of Art History, Alexandra Carpino, is currently co-editing a Companion to the Etruscans which will be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2014.  In January 2013, she moderated a panel on “New Approaches and Insights on Etruscan Art and Culture” that she organized for the 114th Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America while also presenting a paper on her latest research project, “The Iconography of Violence Against Women on Engraved Etruscan Bronze Mirrors.”  Dr. Carpino also has an essay on Etruscan portraiture forthcoming in Routledge’s The Etruscan World, due out in May, and in February, she delivers the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2012/2013 Ferdinando and Sarah Cinelli Lecture in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology at the Nashville Parthenon.

ARH/REL professor,Zsuzsanna Gulacsi, gave four lectures about “Contextualized Studies in the History of Manichaean Art across the Asian Continent” at the École pratique des hautes Études, University of Paris (“Sorbonne”) in November 2011. Her focus included Chinese Jesus iconography, the art of the first Syriac Gospel Harmony, West and Central Asian book art, and images used as illustrations of oral instructions in Asian religions. 

HUM professor,Gioia Woods, is currently researching and writing about the history and meaning of San Francisco’s iconic City Lights Bookstore.  In her forthcoming article “‘Reinvent America and the World': Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights Bookstore, and the Cultivation of Subversive Space,” she examines how the culture of spontaneity was embodied by the bookstore, its founders, and artists in the mid-twentieth century.

REL professor,Jason BeDuhn, completed his 3-year, $200,000 NEH Grant in support of his long-term project on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex, a 1,600 year old Coptic language manuscript from Egypt describing the origins of the Manichaean religion in ancient Iran, last year. This project involves multispectral imaging, radiocarbon dating, and good old fashioned philological work editing and translating a very fragmentary text.  He also completed his book, Augustine's Manichaean Dilemma, 2: Making a "Catholic" Self, 389-401 C.E., which will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2013, and has signed a contract with Polebridge Press for a forthcoming volume on The First New Testament.

ARH/MST professor, Jennifer McLerran, continues to work on Navajo weaving.  She is preparing a permanent exhibit at the Winslow Arts Trusts’ new Route 66 Art Museum and recently published two article entitled “D. Y. Begay: Traditional Environmental Knowledge in Form and Practice” and “The Other Spectacle: Navajo Weavers at Grand Canyon National Park".  She also curated a 2012-2013 exhibit, Good Neighbors Frances McAllister, MNA, and Navajo Weaving, for the Museum of Northern Arizona.

ACM /HUM Senior Lecturer, Constance Devereaux will have her co-authored book, Narrative, Identity, and Cultural Policy: Once Upon a Time in a Globalized World, published by Ashgate in August 2013.   In it, she considers cultural policy and issues of identity from a narrative perspective.  She is also continuing her research on early American attitudes about the arts, and her article entitled "The Leatherstocking Tales and the Politics of American Aesthetics" will appear in an anthology by University of Tennessee Press called American Political Fictions.  In addition, Dr. DeVereaux is collaborating with Kris Swanson (COM) and her students on research on cultural sustainability using Arcosanti as the case study. They are looking at how the community at Arcosanti can retain cultural values and integrity while adopting entrepreneurial solutions to increase revenues.

REL professor, Bruce Sullivan, chaired a session at the 2012 meetings of the American Academy of Religion on Religion & Science Fiction for the American Academy of Religion.  A number of his articles have also appeared in print recently, including  “Buddhists’ Religious and Health Practices,” co-authored with William H. Wiist, Diane Marie St. George, and Heidi A. Wayment.

ARH professor, Alyce Jordan, continues her work on Thomas Becket, the martyred archbishop of Canterbury, in the visual culture of France.  She has an essay in press, "The Saint Thomas Becket Windows of Angers and Coutances: Devotion, Subversion, and the Scottish Connection," which will appear in an anthology entitled Beyond Becket.  Dr. Jordan's recent research focuses on the resurgence of imagery devoted to Thomas Becket in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Normandy and the ways in which these works engage a visual discourse with medieval images of Becket frequently found in the same churches.  This modern flourishing of Becket imagery, Jordan argues, participates not only in the gothic revival that swept Europe but speaks to the significance of Thomas Becket, whose parents were both born in Normandy, as a lieu de memoire--a site of memory in Norman identity construction.  Dr. Jordan will present this research in April at the Medieval Academy of America annual meeting in Knoxville, TN, and will give an expanded version of her paper, "Remembering Thomas Becket in Normandy," at a conference devoted to The Middle Ages in the Modern Era to be held at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, in honor that institution's 800th anniversary.  

HUM professor/Coordinator of Cinema Studies, Astrid Klocke, chaired a panel on "Crossing Borders in Film: Landscapes and Languages" at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference in Boulder, CO, in October 2012. She presented a paper entitled "Language Borders Relieved" which looked at multilingual films and how the crossing of language borders contributes comedic relief.

ARH professor/Director of the NAU Art Museum, George Speer, had a productive 2012.  Published that year were his book, Things of the Spirit:  Art and Healing in the American Body Politic, 1929-1941, an article on the Detroit industry murals created by Diego Rivera in 1932, and a catalogue for his curated exhibition, “Sherrie Wolf:  Historyonics.”


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