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LIT Faculty

Faculty Director

Daniel Altshuler is an assistant professor of linguistics at the School of Cognitive Science at Hampshire College, an adjunct professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is a member of the Five College Linguistics group. He teaches courses in linguistics and the philosophy of language, with a special emphasis on meaning and structure of discourse. His courses often seek connections between semantic theory, literary analysis, and artistic expression. Professor Altshuler holds a B.A. in philosophy with a minor in linguistics from UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in linguistics with a certificate in cognitive science from Rutgers University.

Professor Altshuler has published extensively on narrative discourse, with a concentration on temporal interpretation. His work provides a new way of thinking about the relationship between linguistics expressions such as tense and underlying principles of discourse coherence. He has most recently published a monograph, Events, States and Times (de Gruyter, 2016), and has written numerous journal articles that compare the temporal systems of English, Russian, and Hindi, e.g. “A typology of partitive aspectual operators” (Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 2014), "Discourse transparency and the meaning of temporal locating adverbs" (Natural Language Semantics, 2014) and "Aspectual meaning meets discourse coherence: A look at the Russian imperfective" (Journal of Semantics, 2012).

Professor Altshuler’s work on narrative discourse began when he was an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Hampshire College (2010-2011) and then as a visiting assistant professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College (2011-2012), where he first developed interdisciplinary courses at the interface between linguistics, literature, art, and cognition. Professor Altshuler has taught all over the world, including as an assistant professor of semantics at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf (2012-2015) and as a visiting professor at both the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas at the University of Oslo (2015) and Institut Jean Nicod, École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris (2014). He has also taught at prestigious summer institutes in České Budějovice (Czech Republic), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Tübingen (Germany). In the upcoming summer, he will teach a course in Toulouse (France). Professor Altshuler is also organizing a new summer institute in linguistics and philosophy at the American University of Yerevan in Armenia, where he will present material based from a textbook (under contract with MIT Press) aimed at teaching semantics to undergraduate students.

Visiting Faculty

Polina Barskova is an associate professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College. She is widely recognized as one of the best Russian poets under the age of 40. As a child she was recognized as a prodigy. She began publishing poems in journals at age nine and, sought out by a publishing house, released the first of her six books at the ripe old age of 15. She came to the United States at 20 in order to pursue graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, after having already completed a degree in classical literature at St. Petersburg State University. Polina's classes at Hampshire are packed and teaching reviews by students achieve similar soaring acclaim as critics' reviews of her writing. Under her influence students have formed the Hampshire Poetry Group, meeting monthly to read to each other.

Laura Sizer is an associate professor of philosophy at Hampshire College. She specializes in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology/cognitive science. Her research currently focuses on affect (emotions and moods), but she is also interested in questions about consciousness, representation, music, and personal identity. She has published in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Psychology, and Mind and Language. In addition to her primary research and teaching interests, Professor Sizer teaches topics in philosophy of art; applied ethics; the philosophy of language; philosophy of biology; and the relationship between science and religion. Professor Sizer is on the steering committee for the Culture, Brain, and Development Program at Hampshire College.

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