Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 9:26 AM

Pratt Institute Names Three New Chairs in School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Beth Loffreda, Arlene R. Keizer, John Decker

Three new chairs have been appointed in Pratt Institute’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences: John Decker, Chair of the Department of the History of Art and Design; Arlene R. Keizer, Chair of Humanities and Media Studies; and Beth Loffreda, Inaugural Chair of the Writing Department. They will assume their roles on July 1, 2017.

“I am pleased to welcome these new chairs in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Pratt. Each of these individuals has made significant contributions in their respective fields, and has a record of distinguished teaching and administrative service that will greatly benefit Pratt,” said School of Liberal Arts Dean Andrew Barnes. “Along with Macarena Gómez-Barris, who joined us last year as chair of the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies, these new chairs represent the future of the liberal arts at Pratt, that emphasizes both theory and practice for the betterment of our local, regional, and global communities. I look forward to working with them and am confident they will make great contributions to the Institute.”

John Decker, incoming Chair of the Department of the History of Art and Design, has a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He joins Pratt from Georgia State University, where he is an Associate Professor of Art History and served as the graduate director. His book The Technology of Salvation and the Art of Geerten tot Sint Jans was published by Ashgate Press in 2009. He is the co-editor (with Mitzi Kirkland-Ives) of Death, Torture and the Broken Body in European Art, 1300-1650 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015). Decker also has his own studio practice in jewelry. 

Arlene R. Keizer, incoming Chair of Humanities and Media Studies, holds a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Creative Writing and English from Stanford University. She joins Pratt from the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), where she is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Comparative Literature and English, and core faculty in the Department of African American Studies. Also at UC Irvine, Keizer served as the director of the Ph.D. program in Culture and Theory, and the graduate admissions chair of the English Department. She is the author of Black Subjects: identity Formation in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery (2004), and her forthcoming book, The Body of This Life: Kara Walker’s Art and the Black Postmodern, will be published by Northwestern University Press.

Beth Loffreda, incoming Inaugural Chair of the Writing Department, has a Ph.D. in Literatures in English from Rutgers University. Loffreda comes to Pratt from the University of Wyoming, where she is currently an Associate Professor of American Studies and Creative Writing. For six years, Loffreda was the director of the Wyoming MFA writing program. A nonfiction writer, she was the co-editor with Claudia Rankine of The Racial Imaginary, and the author of the book Losing Matt Shepard: Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder, published by Columbia University Press in 2000.

Images: (L-R) Beth Loffreda, Arlene R. Keizer, John Decker