Three Departments Hire New Faculty for Fall ’08

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Several departments have recently hired new professors who will offer exciting additions to their department’s curricula. Departments include English Literature, Chemistry, and Art History.

English Literature is hiring one new tenure-track professor, Rachel Buurma ’99, who will teach courses on the history of the English novel. She will also introduce specialized courses in Victorian fiction, theory, and archival research. Buurma graduated from Swarthmore with High Honors and holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Before returning to Swarthmore she had several post-doc fellowships and taught full-time at the University of Toronto.

Additionally, Buurma will teach a freshman year seminar called Close Reading and Its Discontents both semesters next year. In the fall, she will offer a mid-level course on The Rise of the Novel which will cover the novel’s history from the 18th-20th centuries. Since it will be offered as a core English class, the course is open to students who have taken a writing course in any discipline. In the spring she will be teaching a course on the Victorian novel.

The Chemistry department will have two new tenure track professors, both of whom are currently Swarthmore assistant professors: Alison Holliday and Liliya Yatsunyk. Holliday currently teaches Analytical Methods and Instrumentation and an advanced seminar on Environmental Chemistry. Yatsunyk teaches General Chemistry in addition to courses in Inorganic Chemistry.

Art History will also have two new professors, Nikki Greene and Kathryn O’Rourke. In the fall, Greene will offer a course on African-American Art and Identity and O’Rourke will teach a FYS on the Architecture of Philadelphia and a class on the history of Latin American Architecture. In the spring she will offer three architecture courses: one on Frank Lloyd Wright, one on Mexico City, and a survey of modern architecture.

Both new Art History hires will be giving lectures at Swat this month. Greene will give a lecture on Thursday, April 2 at 4:30 in Beardsley 316 on “Reading Black Identity in the Work of Romare Bearden, David Hammons and Renee Stout.” O’Rourke will be lecturing on Latin American Architecture on Wednesday, April 16 at 4:30 in Beardsley 316.


  1. The article as it refers to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department is misleading – Profs. Holliday and Yatsunyk will not be “new faculty” in the Fall of 2008. Both were hired during the 2006-2007 academic year and both started their respective academic positions in September 2007. Thus they are each already well into their first year as Assistant Professors on the tenure track!

  2. The French department just hired a new professor as well- Alexandra Gueydan, a specialist in literature of the Maghreb.

  3. The political science department has hired a new professor, too — Ayse Kaya, a Turkish post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University. She will be teaching classes on globalization and international political economy.

  4. Rachel Buurma is awesome. I had her back when she was at UPenn. It’s great that we’ve got her on tenure-track.

  5. Rachel Buurma is a fantastic professor! I just finished a year-long course with her at the University of Toronto which was an amazing experience…Southwestern is so lucky to have her on the faculty!

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