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Ten Birkbeck academics are promoted to the title of Professor

Academics from Birkbeck’s five Schools have been conferred to the title of Professor in recognition of their contribution to their respective fields.

Carmen Fracchia, Professor of Hispanic Art History in the Department of Cultures and Languages
Carmen Fracchia, Professor of Hispanic Art History in the Department of Cultures and Languages

We are pleased to share that ten academics have been conferred the title of Professor this year. Applications for the conferment of title are welcomed annually and are decided by an Academic Review panel consisting of senior members of staff, including the Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellors.

Those applying for the title of Professor are assessed on a set criterion that includes; education and student experience, research or scholarship, leadership and management, and engagement. Successful applications for the title of Professor are recognised for their national/international standing in their subject area as well as their outstanding contribution to their research’s advancements through teaching and scholarship.

See this year’s newly appointed professors below:

Joseph Brooker

Joseph Brooker is Professor of Modern Literature in the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing. Professor Brooker’s books include Joyce’s Critics: Transitions in Reading & Culture (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), Flann O'Brien (Northcote House, 2005), Literature of the 1980s: After the Watershed (Edinburgh University Press, 2010), and Jonathan Lethem and the Galaxy of Writing (Bloomsbury, 2020). He has edited or co-edited special issues of New Formations, Journal of Law & Society, Textual Practice and Critical Quarterly. From 2012-2018 he served as the inaugural Director of Birkbeck's Centre for Contemporary Literature.

Carmen Fracchia

Carmen Fracchia is a Professor in Hispanic Art History in the Department of Cultures and Languages. Fracchia’s research centres around the emergence of the slave and freed slave subjects in the visual form of Imperial Spain. Her most recent publication, Black but Human: Slavery and Visual Art in Hapsburg Spain, 1480 -1700 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), explores the depiction of black enslaved and liberated people in early modern Spanish art, the historical amnesia about the African presence and how this feeds into contemporary racism in the Hispanic world. Fracchia recently published a blog, ‘How long do we need to wait to acknowledge black people are not our slaves.

Akane Kawakami

Akane Kawakami is a Professor of French in the Department of Cultures and Languages. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French (AUPHF). Professor Kawakami started at Birkbeck in 2006 and her research interests include contemporary French fiction (in particular the Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano), Franco-Japanese intercultural relations, translingual writing, and the sometimes strained but always productive relationship between literature and photography.

Professor Kawakami’s monographs include A Self-Conscious Art: Patrick Modiano's Postmodern Fictions (Liverpool University Press, 2000), Travellers' Visions: French Literary Encounters with Japan, 1881-2004 (Liverpool University Press, 2005), and Photobiography: Photographic Self-Writing in Proust, Guibert, Ernaux and Macé, which discusses the interactions between autobiography and photography (Oxford: Legenda, 2013). A second, substantially expanded edition of her 2000 book was published in 2015 as Patrick Modiano (Liverpool University Press, 2015). She is currently writing articles on the place of Japanese calligraphy in the French imagination, as well as the first-ever monograph on the work of a contemporary French, translingual novelist, Michaël Ferrier.

Jo Winning

Jo Winning is a Professor of Modern Literature & Critical Theory in the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing, and Assistant Dean for Equalities. Her research interests fall broadly in three main fields: modernist literary studies, critical and cultural theory, and medical humanities. She has written extensively on the modernisms of the early twentieth century, especially female and lesbian modernism, with past publications including The Pilgrimage of Dorothy Richardson, (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2000) and the edited Bryher: Two Novels (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2000).

She is Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded Dorothy Richardson Scholarly Editions Project, which is producing new annotated editions of Richardson's life-work Pilgrimage, alongside the first 3-volume Collected Letters (both with Oxford University Press). In the field of medical humanities, she has pioneered a practice-based approach which focuses on the interface between critical theory in the humanities and clinical practice in medicine.

 She has recently published articles on the Bawa-Garba case and physician burnout, and is currently working on the book Beyond the Confusion of Tongues: Affect, Illness, Writing. She is Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities and Vice-President of the Association for Medical Humanities.

Alexandra Beauregard

Alexandra Beauregard joined Birkbeck’s Department of Organisational Psychology in 2018. Her research centres on the work-life interface, flexible working arrangements and workforce diversity, with a particular focus on gender identity and gender equality. She was recently elected to the Executive Board of the Work and Family Researchers Network, serves as an Editor for the ABS-4 journal Work, Employment and Society and is currently guest-editing a special issue on “New ways of working” for International Journal of Human Resource Management. Some of her own recent publications include:

  • Beauregard, T. A., Basile, K. A., & Canónico, E. (2019). Telework: Outcomes and facilitators for employees. In R. N. Landers (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of technology and employee behavior (pp. 511-543). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U., Prouska, R., & Beauregard, T. A. (2019). The impact of global economic crisis and austerity on quality of working life and work-life balance: A capabilities perspective. European Management Review, 16(4), 847-862. 
  • Beauregard, T. A., Arevshatian, L., Booth, J. E., & Whittle, S. (2018). Listen carefully: Transgender voices in the workplace. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(5), 857-884.

She also holds administrative duties as Assistant Dean (International) for the School of Business, Economics and Informatics and Programme Director for MSc Medical Leadership.

Jessica Jacobson

Jessica Jacobson is Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research (ICPR). She previously held research roles in the Home Office. 

As ICPR’s Director, Jessica oversees the institute’s programme of academically-grounded, policy-oriented research on crime and justice. She has published widely on many aspects of justice including prisons, criminal investigations, sentencing, and lay participation in judicial proceedings. Her recent publications include Jacobson, Jessica and Hough, Mike (2018) ‘Missed opportunities and new risks: penal policy in England and Wales in the past 25 years’, Political Quarterly 89; and Jacobson, Jessica and Cooper, Penny (eds) (2020) Participation in Courts and Tribunals: Concepts, Realities and Aspirations, Bristol University Press. 

Iroise Dumontheil

Iroise Dumontheil is a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological Sciences. Professor Dumontheil’s research interests are primarily around social cognition and executive functions in adulthood and their development during adolescence.  Her current research topics include the development of prospective memory, working memory, inhibitory control, science and maths reasoning and the effect of mindfulness training in healthy adults and adolescents on self-regulation and other executive functions. She is a member of the Centre for Educational Neuroscience and recently co-edited the book Educational Neuroscience: Development Across the Life Span (Frontiers of Developmental Science) with colleagues Profs Thomas and Mareschal.

Recent publications from Professor Dumontheil include, ‘Should online maths learning environments be tailored to individuals’ cognitive profiles?’, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2020) and ‘Sustained and transient processes in event-based prospective memory in adolescence and adulthood’, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2020).

Adrian Shepherd

Adrian Shepherd is a Professor in Computational Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences. He is the leader of the Shepherd Group, and conducts research in the field of computational immunology, focusing on human adaptive immune responses as well as computational virology and biomedical text mining.

Professor Shepherd is also Course Director, Chair of Examiners and Course Tutor on the widely respected MSc Bioinformatics with Systems Biology course that is run jointly with University College London. He is also a member of the Consortium that runs SysMIC, an online course that provides Systems Training in Maths, Informatics and Computational Biology.

Some of Professor Shepherd’s most recent publications include; ‘Characterisation of the UK anthrax vaccine and human immunogenicity’, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics (2020) and ‘Flexibility and intrinsic disorder are conserved features of hepatitis C virus E2 glycoprotein’, PLoS Computational Biology.

Tim Smith

Professor Tim Smith is a Professor in Cognitive Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences. As head of the Cognition In Naturalistic Environments (CINE) Lab his research focusses on naturalistic audio-visual cognition, how we perceive digital media (e.g. TV, cinema, VR), and how media shapes the developing brain. He uses a range of experimental techniques to investigate real-time visual cognition including tracking where people look when attending to visual scenes and screen media. His work has often had an impact outside academia including in his work with Tate Britain, Dreamworks Animation, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Childbirth Trust.  

Some of Professor Smith’s recent publications include; ‘The Scene Perception & Event Comprehension Theory (SPECT) applied to visual narratives’ in Topics in Cognitive Science (2020) and  ‘Saliency-driven visual search performance in toddlers with low– vs high–touch screen use’ in JAMA Pediatrics (2020). 

Jessica Reinisch

Jessica Reinisch is a Professor in Modern European History and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Internationalism at Birkbeck. She is Director of Graduate Students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. Professor Reinisch’s main research interests centre around modern Europe, the world wars, post-war reconstruction, internationalism, international organisations and networks, humanitarianism, science and expertise, and refugees, migration and displacement.

She is currently a co-investigator on the HERA-funded project The Scientific Conference: A Social, Cultural and Political History. She is also writing a history of the United Relations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), whose activities in Europe dominated in the stretches of war-torn Europe that became the frontline of the emerging Cold War.

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