Annenberg welcomes Sharrona Pearl to faculty

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Lecturer and transdisciplinary scholar, Sharrona Pearl, Ph.D., from Harvard University will join the faculty at Annenberg as an assistant professor of communication, effective July 1, 2008.

Currently a lecturer in History and Literature and the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, Dr. Pearl offers instruction in a multitude of academic areas. At Annenberg, she will add to the school’s expertise in its Culture and Communications focus.

Combining the methodology of the history of science and visual studies with a cultural studies sensibility, Dr. Pearl’s doctoral research explored physiognomy – the study of facial features and their relationship to character traits – as a means to examine the relationship between entertainment and culture, and the formation and communication of ideas. She is presently revising her dissertation, As Plain as the Nose on Your Face: Physiognomy in Nineteenth-Century England, into a book to be published by Harvard University Press. More broadly, Dr. Pearl is interested in the relationship between science and media, and is currently working on theatre and self-fashioning in the British Empire.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Sharrona Pearl has agreed to teach at Annenberg,” said Michael X. Delli Carpini, Ph.D., the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication. “She comes to us from an exciting, interdisciplinary background and brings the same respect and responsibility to educating students in the area of communications that we emphatically foster here at Annenberg.”

Dr. Pearl received her undergraduate degree from York University in 1999, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2005. She has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

While at Harvard she designed and conducted a number of weekly seminar courses, including “From Bedlam to the Bedroom: Madness and Literature.” Prior to joint appointments as lecturer in the Department of the History of Science and the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, Dr. Pearl assumed the position of head teaching fellow in Fall 2003, overseeing course administration and teaching staff and leading weekly discussion sections.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, and more recently, the Carolyn and Erwin Swann Foundation for Cartoon and Caricature Post-Doctoral Fellowship (received in 2006-2007). Dr. Pearl has served as a guest lecturer for venues such as at MIT in September 2007; the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada in March 2007; and Harvard University in March 2004.

Her professional affiliations include membership in the North American Conference of British Studies since 2003; Science and Literary Studies since 2000; and American Society for Theatre Research since 2006. She is also an active participant in the following committees: Harvard Board of Freshman Advisors since 2007; Harvard University Studies on Women, Gender and Sexuality Tutorial Board since 2006; and History of Science Writing Club, in which she acted as Coordinator, from 2003 until 2005.