The Culture and Politics program received approval to hire an additional tenure-line faculty member to focus solely on the CULP program early this semester.
Field Chair Shiloh Krupar is currently the only faculty member solely dedicated to CULP.
While many other professors teach CULP courses, the professors are all hired by other departments.
“Because it is an interdisciplinary major, CULP faculty members are from multiple departments and programs enabling the intellectual synergy among faculty and students,” School of Foreign Service Associate Dean and Director of the Undergraduate Program Mitch Kaneda wrote in an email. “However, it has been long recognized that there is a need for an additional CULP-dedicated faculty member to enhance the strength of the major.”
As the sole faculty member dedicated exclusively to CULP, Krupar did not find much company when she first began teaching in the basement of the ICC.
“I didn’t have a community of faculty right around me. Part of that was because there wasn’t any other Culture and Politics faculty member, and everyone involved had an office somewhere with their crossaffiliated program. Because I was in the basement, it just felt really isolating,” Krupar said.
For Krupar, an additional faculty member would not only solidify the major but aid in the advising process as well. CULP is the second-largest SFS major.
“This second line would generate more stability in terms of faculty being directly affiliated with the program,” Krupar said. “Everyone else is cross-affiliated so they have responsibilities in other places as well as Culture and Politics. A second person fully attached to the program would really help with advising.”
A search committee formed for the hiring process released an advertisement early this semester that emphasized the desire to hire a professor who specializes in visual culture and new media.
“A lot of students are interested in visual culture and new media, and so that is what we tried to respond to,” Krupar said. “I’m hoping this will help bring somebody and address those needs that students have articulated.”
The SFS hopes to bring three to five candidates to campus in early December to give guest lectures and interact with students.
Kaneda said that an additional professor would bring diversity to the program.
“[The] addition of a CULP-dedicated faculty member will strengthen the major by bringing stability to course offerings, enhancing the intellectual synergy among students and faculty, providing additional advising capacity for the students and supporting the mission of the SFS,” Kaneda wrote.
While the new faculty will benefit the major, Krupar stressed that the new hire would serve the entire SFS community.
“While I’ve emphasized mostly that this new hire would provide more stability for CULP, that’s not to the exclusion of this person not collaborating with other programs in the SFS and other departments in the SFS,” Krupar said.
The additional faculty member, however, does not represent a long-term expansion of the major.
“I am not aware of any long-term plans to build a more CULP-specific faculty at this time,” Krupar wrote in an email. “The new faculty line should not necessarily be seen as an expansion of the program; rather, its main purpose is to stabilize and secure the program as it currently exists, in terms of course offerings, advising needs, etc.”