2020 New HSS Faculty


Welcome Our New Faculty

Representing the humanities and the social sciences, eight new faculty members joined Cal State Fullerton's College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the fall of 2020.

Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr.

Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr
Chicana and Chicano Studies

Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr. is an interdisciplinary scholar and Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton. A first-generation college student, he earned a B.A. and M.A. in Spanish from California State University, Northridge, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include Chicanx and Latinx aesthetics, performance and popular culture, queer of color theories, space, sound studies, and Jotería studies. His academic and creative work has been published in Aztlan, Revista Bilingüe/Bilingual Review, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Currently, he is working on a book manuscript titled Finding Sequins in the Rubble: Memory, Space and Aesthetics in Queer Latinx Los Angeles, an oral history and archival project which maps physical and ephemeral sites of memory and quotidian moments of pleasure and resistance for queer and trans Chicanx and Latinx communities in LA. He is also working on a book of essays and poems about growing up queer in a Cuban and Mexican family in the San Fernando Valley. Prior to joining CSU Fullerton, he held a joint appointment in the Departments of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and University Studies at Portland State University. Recently, Honor 41, an LGBTQ Latinx organization, named him one of The 41 List 2019-2020 Honorees, highlighting him as a Latinx LGBTQ role model. 

Maria L. Bo

Maria L. Bo
English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics

My research is fundamentally comparative, specializing in modern literature between East Asia and the Americas. The real love of my intellectual life is translation: what problems it causes, what unplanned effects it has, and how it reveals the stories we tell ourselves as we attempt to connect with each other. In that vein, my current work focuses on literary propaganda between the U.S. and China during the Cold War. In particular, I explore how such literary relations help us to re-imagine traditional boundaries of what counts as “Asian American” cultural production. I teach classes in literary criticism and theory, comparative literature, translation theory, and critical race theory.

Christopher Gibson

Christopher Gibson
Sociology

Christopher Gibson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Fullerton. He received his doctorate from the Department of Sociology at UC Irvine, and he also holds an M.A. in Global Studies from U.C. Santa Barbara. His research focuses on the intersection of economic markets and social policy, with special attention to environmental governance. In short, he is interested in asking, in what ways can we best prepare our governance institutions to equitably address the challenges of climate change? His current research project examines water management in California to understand the role of financial markets in shaping policy decisions. Chris has published in the International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society and The Oxford Handbook of Consumption, and he has forthcoming research in the Review of European Studies and the Routledge Handbook on the Green New Deal. At UC Irvine, Chris was a Pedagogical Fellow, and, in his teaching, he embraces collaborative learning environments in which students are empowered as co-creators of collective knowledge and understanding of important social issues.

Emily Kuffner

Emily Kuffner
Modern Languages and Literatures

Emily Kuffner is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at California State University, Fullerton. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis in Golden Age (16th- and 17th-century) Spanish Literature with a designated emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. Her work centers on the history of sexuality, especially women’s sexuality, in early modern literature and culture, and explores intersections between medical humanities and literature. Her book (Fictions of Containment in the Spanish Female Picaresque: Architectural Space and Prostitution in the Early Modern Mediterranean) examines cultural debates over the legality and licitness of prostitution in picaresque tales, and the rise of custodial institutions for women in the early modern Mediterranean. Other research interests include fertility, maternity, motherhood, queer theory, and posthuman studies. Before joining Cal State Fullerton, she taught at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University in Minnesota for five years.  

Natalie Novoa

Natalie Novoa
African American Studies

Natalie Novoa is a historian in the African American Studies Department, specializing in post-1865 African American history, and the intersection of race in cities, sport, and recreation & leisure. Her current project, A Home Away From Home: Recreation Centers and Black Community Development in the Bay Area, 1920-1960, argues that black-run recreation centers played a pivotal role in the black community as sites of racial uplift and political activism. Her work connects literature in urban history and African American history to demonstrate the unique circumstances that the city created, especially during and after World War II. Prior to joining CSUF, Natalie received her Ph.D. in American history from the University of California, Berkeley. She also has an M.A. in American history from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in History from the Dominican University of California.

Mario Obando

Mario Obando
Chicana and Chicano Studies

 Mario Alberto Obando Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Mario received his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. A first-generation immigrant from Costa Rica, Mario is also the advisor of the Central American Students for Empowerment (CAFÉ) at CSUF. His research examines the interdisciplinary pedagogical uses of oral history, storytelling, popular culture, and literature that are critical to queer and feminist of color interventions in comparative and global ethnic studies. His work has been published in the inaugural issue of Performance Matters, as well as in the Journal of American Ethnic History and Kalfou: Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies.

Hiromi Tobaru

Hiromi Tobaru
Modern Languages and Literatures

Hiromi Tobaru is an Assistant Professor of Japanese in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University with a focus on Japanese language pedagogy. Her research interests include pedagogical material development for study abroad students, social network development during study abroad, intercultural communication, and Japanese style shifting by foreign language learners. 

Elise Wang

Elise Wang
English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics

My research focuses on the language of justice in medieval literature, and I am particularly interested in how “old” ideas of guilt and morality can expand our understanding of our own, contemporary problems. My current book project concerns felony in medieval literature and argues that some aspects of felony were originally and essentially literary, which means that I treat poets as serious legal thinkers and read legal documents with an eye to their language and form. I am also working on a project on secrecy and conspiracy narratives, following up on a long-standing interest in conspiracy theories (both medieval and modern). Before coming to CSUF in 2020, I spent two years teaching at Duke University, and before that received my doctorate from Princeton University. During that time, I also spent five years teaching writing and literature in New Jersey correctional facilities.

back to top

This site is maintained by College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Last Published 9/9/20

To report problems or comments with this site, please contact mmigliore@fullerton.edu.
© California State University, Fullerton. All Rights Reserved.

Web Accessibility

CSUF is committed to ensuring equal accessibility to our users. Let us know about any accessibility problems you encounter using this website.
We'll do our best to improve things and get you the information you need.

Version_4.7