NU-Q adds top talent in media, film, and technology to faculty ranks

October 12, 2015

Five top scholars in media, film, and technology have joined the faculty of Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). The new additions are the result of a global search and further strengthen the university’s communication and liberal arts programs.

They are film scholar Dr. Kaveh Askari, associate professor in residence, communication program; documentary filmmaker Danielle Beverly, assistant professor in residence, communication program; sociologist Dr. Hasan Mahmud, assistant professor in residence, liberal arts program; Dr. Anto Mohsin who will help inaugurate NU-Q’s first courses in science and technology studies (STS) as assistant professor in residence, liberal arts program; and Bronwyn Bethel as Writing Center administrator.

“Following an interview process that included NU-Q students, faculty and staff, these new members of our family emerged from our strongest ever field of applicants, which included scholars from the world’s premier universities. Such invaluable additions to our faculty, above all, serve the intellectual and personal growth of our students,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q.

The appointments announced come as NU-Q continues to enhance the Media Industries and Technology major within its acclaimed communication program while building a world-class liberal arts foundation for its students.

Dr. Kaveh Askari, a film scholar and expert on Middle Eastern film, will continue the trajectory of NU-Q’s media and film studies offering within the wider communication program. A frequent speaker at major film studies conferences with a PhD and MA from the University of Chicago, Askari has several prestigious awards and fellowships, including two Andrew W. Mellon appointments and a National Film Preservation Foundation lab partnership grant. At NU-Q he will teach "Documentary History" and "Theory, History of Film and Iranian Cinema."

Danielle Beverly, a documentary filmmaker, also joins NU-Q’s communication faculty. To NU-Q’s Media Industries and Technology major, she brings rich teaching experience and a deep knowledge of digital media. Most recently, she taught at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Documentaries she has worked on have been accorded such honors as the George Foster Peabody Award. Her documentary projects include Old South, a study of a neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, and “Hope for Athens Historical Timeline”, which documented 150 years of an African American community. Her work has aired on PBS, New York Times Television, KQED-San Francisco, WNET-New York and others. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in film/video from Columbia College, Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University.

Dr. Anto Mohsin is a key player as NU-Q inaugurates its first courses in STS this semester. A mechanical engineer with strong professional experience and academic exposure, Mohsin brings a special interest in environmental issues – a field of critical importance to Qatar. He received his PhD from Cornell University earlier this year, holds two master’s degrees and a U.S. Patent. He taught most recently at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York, where he served as a Henry Luce Asian Environmental Studies Postdoctoral Fellow.

In the appointment of Dr. Hasan Mahmud, NU-Q gains strength in sociology and interdisciplinary global studies, which play outsized roles in communication theory and media research. With research interests in globalization, immigration, international migration and development, Mahmud has published extensively on the economics of migration including conditions of slum dwellers. His work has appeared in Current SociologyMigration and DevelopmentContemporary Justice Review and the Journal of Socioeconomic Research and Development. He will teach "Introduction to Sociology" and an upper division course in globalization. The restoration of sociology courses at NU-Q has been a key academic priority in the wider expansion of the university’s liberal arts program. He has a PhD in sociology from the University of California Los Angeles, an MA in global studies from Sophia University in Tokyo, and an MSS and a BSS in sociology from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.

To NU-Q’s expanding liberal arts program, in which all students participate, Bronwyn Bethel brings an extensive background working directly with students to develop critical writing skills as well as diverse cultural and language backgrounds. She comes to NU-Q from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service-Qatar and will, as a member of NU-Q’s adjunct faculty, teach one writing course a semester. A native of Australia, Bethel has two BA degrees from the University of Southern Queensland in communication, history and literature and has worked in aboriginal education programs in Australia, where her work appeared in an edited book, Women in Education and Empowerment.

The appointment of these new faculty "greatly strengthens NU-Q's communication and liberal arts programs specifically, but also its elective and required course offerings for journalism students,” Dennis said. He added that NU-Q is currently searching for faculty members in strategic communication and digital media policy to join the school in Fall 2016.