Martin Institute Announces Faculty Fellows for 2010-2012 Theme on Indigenous Peoples
January 14, 2010
Director of the Martin Institute Peter Ubertaccio has announced three members of the Stonehill faculty will serve as Faculty Fellows for the Institute's new two-year theme on Indigenous Peoples. English Instructor Andrea Opitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science Robert Rodgers, and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology Christopher Wetzel will work with Ubertaccio and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Martin Fellow in Public Policy William Ewell to develop and organize the new theme.
"Having an interdisciplinary group of faculty who have research and teaching interests in this field is essential to the success of our two year study. The whole community will benefit from their expertise," said Ubertaccio.
The two-year focus, which will run from 2010-2012, will provide unique opportunities to understand the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere as the Fellows will work with students to develop Interdisciplinary majors and minors, new courses, seminars, Learning Communities, and community-based learning opportunities centered around the theme.
With the guidance of the Fellows and other involved faculty, students will engage in research on the social, economic, and political factors that influence contemporary indigenous societies. Students will also gain valuable work experience in the areas of ethnic, social, and political diversity.
Opitz (pictured left) has been an Instructor in the English Department at Stonehill since the fall of 2008. Prior to that, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Rhode Island during the 2007-08 academic year. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington in 2007.
Opitz has taught and researched Native American literature, including the work of American Indian author James Welch, extensively. Her most recent published work includes chapters in the book All Our Stories Are Here: Critical Perspectives on Montana Literature, in which she focused on cultural narratives and the persistence of the Indigenous Subject in Welch's The Heartsong of Charging Elk.
With a longstanding interest in intercultural and interdisciplinary contexts, Opitz taught Comparative Literature, American Ethnic Studies and American Indian Studies while at the University of Washington.