School of Arts & Sciences New Standing Faculty


Penn Arts & Sciences welcomed 13 new faculty members for the 2022-23 academic year. The new faculty are:

Caroline Batten, Assistant Professor of English: A scholar of Old English and Old Norse language and literature, their research interests include gender and sexuality, sickness and health, the history of medicine, and somatic emotions in medieval texts. Batten’s Ph.D. is from the University of Oxford.

Jane Esberg, Assistant Professor of Political Science: Esberg uses text and statistical analysis to understand authoritarian repression and censorship, with a concentration on historical dictatorships in Latin America and Spain. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Chloe Estep, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations: Estep’s research focuses on poetry and the politics of script aesthetics in modern China. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Jasmine Henry, Assistant Professor of Music: A live sound engineer and musicologist, Henry researches contemporary do-it-yourself music-making practices, critical race theory, and hip-hop/R&B music. She examines contemporary popular music subjects in the context of racial, cultural, and socioeconomic issues. Her Ph.D. is from Rutgers University.

Aman Husbands, Assistant Professor of Biology: Husbands is a plant biologist interested in biological processes and the mechanisms that govern complexity and reproducibility. He received his Ph.D. from University of California, Riverside and comes to Penn from The Ohio State University.

Corine Labridy, Assistant Professor of Francophone Studies, Department of French and Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies: Her research expertise is in the cultural production of the Caribbean, Afro-diasporic culture of French expression and postcolonial theories. She received her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.

Melissa Lee, Klein Family Presidential Assistant Professor of Political Science: Lee’s scholarship examines the effect of international actors on state development, the historical and domestic determinants of state development, and the consequences of international statebuilding. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University, and she comes to Penn from Princeton University.

Dylan Rankin, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy: Specializing in high energy physics with a focus on novel algorithms and machine learning, Rankin hopes to answer the questions of naturalness that are not addressed in the Standard Model of particle physics. He received his Ph.D. from Boston University.

Javier Samper Vendrell, Assistant Professor of German, Department of French and Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies: Samper Vendrell’s research focuses on LGBTQ history, literature, film, television, and print culture in Germany since 1890. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and comes to Penn from Grinnell College.

Tahseen Shams, Assistant Professor of Sociology: A sociologist with a focus on international migration, Shams examines how transnational and global forms of inequality affect immigrants, with a focus on those from Muslim-majority countries in the West. She received her Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles and comes to Penn from University of Toronto, St. George.

Sabina Vaccarino Bremner, Assistant Professor of Philosophy: Vaccarino Bremner works primarily on Kant, value theory, and 19th-20th century European philosophy, with additional interests in philosophy of race and gender, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and early analytic philosophy. Her Ph.D. is from Columbia University, and she comes to Penn from the University of Groningen.

Beans Velocci, Assistant Professor of History and Sociology of Science: Velocci explores the history of medical and scientific knowledge production about sex, gender and sexuality in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. They obtained their Ph.D. from Yale University.

Secil Yilmaz, Assistant Professor of History: Yilmaz is historian of sexuality, gender, and medicine of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Her research and teaching focus on the broad fields of social and intellectual history at the intersections of medical humanities, life sciences, feminist, and queer studies. She received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York and comes to Penn from Franklin and Marshall College.


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