College of Liberal Arts

Endowed Chairs

joel_bacon[1]Stewart and Sheron Golden College Chair for Liturgical Organ Studies – Joel Bacon

A native of New Jersey, Dr. Joel Bacon holds degrees in mathematics and organ performance from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he was a student of Joyce Jones, and an artist diploma in organ from the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien (Vienna, Austria), where he studied with Michael Gailit. With a dissertation on the use of organ in selected orchestral works, he earned his Ph.D. in historical musicology through a joint degree program of Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts and the University of Vienna.

Joel Bacon has a growing reputation as a performer, teacher, and scholar in North America and Europe. He has been heard in recital in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, and live performances have been broadcast on Austrian Radio and Public Radio International. He has taught at the prestigious Oundle International Festival (Cambridge, U.K.), at several “Pipe Organ Encounters” of the American Guild of Organists, and at other courses in the U.S. and Canada. With the principal violist of the Munich Philharmonic, Albrecht Rohde, he has recorded a CD of music for viola and organ.

scott_diffrient[1]William E. Morgan College Chair – Scott Diffrient

Scott Diffrient, associate professor of film and media studies in the Department of Communication Studies, was named the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair of Liberal Arts for his continued research on human rights films and film festivals. Diffrient specializes in American film history, genre studies (with an emphasis on comedy, fantasy, horror, and science fiction), television studies, cult fandom and taste cultures, East Asian popular culture, and postmodernity.

Besides serving on the editorial board of Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media, he has published articles in Cinema Journal, Film & History, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Post Script, and other journals. His first book, a manuscript on the television series M*A*S*H, was published by Wayne State University Press in 2008. He is the co-editor of a volume on the TV series Gilmore Girls (Syracuse University Press, 2010), and is currently collaborating on a book about transnational Korean cinema. He is also modifying his dissertation — the first scholarly study of internationally produced anthology and omnibus films — for publication.

Chair Currently Open:

  • Holmes Rolston III College Chair in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy