Division of Languages and Literature

Andrea Beaudoin-Valenzuela

Faculty in Spanish Language and Culture
Literacy Studies, Universidad Nacional de Colombia; PhD, University of Cincinnati. Andrea Beaudoin Valenzuela is a language, culture, and literature teacher originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She holds an MFA in creative writing in Spanish and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures. Her scholarly interests include contemporary Latin American literature, creative writing, gender studies, and disability studies. She loves animals, cooking, and reading.

Virginia Butler

Faculty in American Literature    
Dr. Butler received her Ph.D. in English Literature with a specialization in 19th-century British studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining Bard DC, she taught courses at both The University of Maryland, where she was awarded the James A. Robinson Award for Teaching Excellence, and Loyola University. Her research interests include narrative closure, postcolonial studies, and gender studies. She is the 2019 winner of the Bruce Harkness Award for scholarship on Joseph Conrad and was a 2021 finalist for the J.H. Stape Prize for the best article published for the year in the peer-reviewed journal “Conradiana.”

Alexander Dawson

Faculty in American Literature    
Dr. Dawson received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Connecticut (UConn). Before joining Bard DC, he taught literature and writing courses at UConn. His teaching and research interests include African literature, migration narratives, disability studies, and human rights. He grew up in New Zealand and moved to the U.S. for college in 2011.

Yumin Deng

Faculty in Chinese Language and Culture     
I have been active in international education in China and the US for over six years, working in both teaching and counseling roles. What motivates me is seeing my students become self-confident learners, seeing them achieve their goals, and watching them develop new language and cross-cultural skills. I hold a master’s degree in Education with a focus on student mental health and a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. My teaching style draws on this background by bringing technology to the classroom and emphasizing interpersonal student engagement. I’m very excited to be part of Bard DC’s community.

Yuan Gao

Faculty in Chinese Language and Culture
After earning an M.D. in Education, Ms. Gao spent three years at DC International School teaching the Chinese language and creating a full curriculum for the introductory Chinese classes. Before DCI, she enjoyed teaching Chinese worldwide. She has taught in China, Thailand, and Australia. She has been involved in language learning, teaching, and IB curriculum development in the classroom.

Mohammed Shimal

Faculty in English Literature
Dr. Shimal earned his Ph.D. in English Literature with a focus on corpus stylistic analysis of “Body Language” in the works of Charles Dickens and Naguib Mahfouz. Before joining Bard Early College DC, Dr. Shimal taught domestically and internationally in different colleges and school districts for more than 12 years. His teaching and research interests include body language in literature; 19th Century British Literature; Arabic Literature; Digital Humanities; and Corpus Stylistics. Dr. Shimal was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq.

Pedro Rodrigo

Faculty in Spanish Language and Culture   
PhD in Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures (Spanish), with a Graduate Certificate in Film Studies from the University of Cincinnati. M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the National University of Colombia, and B.A in Literary Studies from this same university. Previously worked in the fields of academic publishing, translation, and second language acquisition. His research interests include contemporary Latin American literature, contemporary Colombian narrative, creative writing, digital humanities, and film studies. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia.

Lijuan Shi

Faculty in Chinese Language and Literature   
Dr. Lijuan Shi has been a teacher of Chinese language, culture, and philosophy since 2005. Besides Chinese language and culture, Dr. Shi specializes in bilingual education with a particular focus on translanguaging pedagogy. Her PhD thesis, in Applied Linguistics and Language Education, examined the implementation of translanguaging pedagogy in a dual language program in China. Outside the classroom, Dr. Shi enjoys gardening, cooking, and walking her beagle Laika.

Sebastian Stratan

Faculty in English and Spanish Literature   
2nd year at Bard DC. Graduate studies in Spain (Theory of Literature and Comp. Lit. at Complutense) and the US (Iberian Literature at UCSB). Research interests include Neuro-Aesthetics, Pain Studies, Myth-Criticism, Narratology, Translation, Affect Studies, and History of Emotions. Teaching interests include Film Studies and Hispanic Literature.

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