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Western Kentucky University

Asian Religions and Cultures Faculty

Full Time Faculty

Chunmei Du (Ph. D.) is Assistant Professor in the Department of History. Her research and teaching interests include modern Chinese culture history and Chinese diaspora. She is a native speaker of Chinese and has conducted extensive research in Mainland China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Paul Fischer (Ph.D.) teaches Chinese intellectual history in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. He offers courses on Confucianism, Daoism, cultural history, and premodern literature. He has published two articles of text criticism on ancient texts, is finishing a book on early Syncretism, and is currently examining remnants of the "lost" Masters texts listed in the first imperial library catalog.

Jean-Luc Houle (Ph.D.) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology. He is an anthropological archaeologist whose research interests focus on the study of early complex societies with a particular emphasis on East Asia and the Eurasian steppe region. He directs a multiscalar and multidisciplinary field research project in Mongolia, where he is studying the development of societal complexity among early mobile pastoralists of the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Ted Hovet (Ph.D.) is a professor in the English department. He does research and teaching in film studies, with a special interest in global film movements.

Guy Jordan (Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art. Dr. Jordan is a former curatorial intern in the Department of Islamic and Later Indian Art at the Harvard University Art Museums, and has lectured on Islamic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. He has taught courses on Islamic Art at WKU and the University of Maryland.

Soleiman Kiasatpour (Ph.D.) is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. He teaches international, comparative and Middle East politics. His research interests include democratization, political culture and public diplomacy. He has done field work in Central Asia and the Middle East. He is a native speaker of Farsi (Persian).

Deborah Logan (Ph.D.) specializes in Victorian literature and culture, and empire studies. Her current research and travel interests are in Indian literature and culture. In Fall 2010, she'll be teaching World Literature (English 385) with an emphasis on Eastern traditions, and "Bollywood and Beyond" (Pop Culture), an investigation of Indian cinema and nationalism, colonialism and post-colonialism.

Ke Peng (Ph.D.) offers modern Chinese language instruction to foreigners at all levels as an assistant professor of Chinese in the Department of Modern Languages. Her research interests include second language acquisition and teaching of Chinese language and culture, Computer-assisted language learning and assessment of online instruction.

Timothy S. Rich (Ph.D.) is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. His primary research interest is electoral politics in East Asia (Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan), with additional teaching and research interests regarding China and North Korean politics and electoral reform more broadly. He is currently engaged in a content analysis project of North Korea's English language news from 1997 to the present.

Juan Romero (Ph.D.) teaches Middle East history in the Department of History. His research focuses on imperialism, Arab nationalism, and revolutionary movements in the Middle East. He teaches survey courses, and upper division courses in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, modern Iran, Iraq, and revolutions in the twentieth century.

Jeffrey Samuels (Ph.D.) is Associate Professor in the department of Philosophy and Religion. He has co-edited one book, published more than a dozen articles on monastic education, Buddhist rituals, and temple patronage, and has recently completed a book on Sri Lankan monastic culture. He is currently writing a social history of Theravada Buddhism in Malaysia.

Scott Stroot (M.F.A.) is Professor of Theatre with an avid interest in Asian theatre forms, who has also been practicing and teaching Taijiquan and Qigong for nearly 20 years.

Jun Yan (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Geology. His research and teaching interests mainly focus on the development and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial statistics. He also teaches an advanced regional geography course of Asia. He has collaborated with Chinese researchers on a number of China-related projects, particularly related to water issues in the karst regions of Southwest China. Dr. Yan is a native Chinese speaker. Currently he is developing a study abroad program in China and he look forward to working with students who are interested in East Asia.

Haiwang Yuan conducts research in Chinese culture, folklore, and ethnicity. He is Professor of the University Libraries. He is author of The Magic Lantern and Other Tales from the Han Chinese (2006) and Princess Peacock (2008): Tales from the Other Chinese Peoples. His is editor of This Is China (2010). He has led China Seminar to the exchange university in China.

Nahed Artoul Zehr (Ph.D.) spent the 2011-2012 academic year as Minerva Research Chair at the United States Naval War College. She is currently Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Western Kentucky University, where she teaches classes on comparative ethics and Islam. Her research centers on comparative religious ethics, the just war tradition, and Islam. She is currently completing a manuscript on al-Qaida and the War on Terror.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14