Faculty Fellows


Wickman, Matthew 02 MATHEW WICKMAN

Director of the Humanities Center

Interests: Matthew Wickman began working at BYU in 2000 as a specialist in eighteenth-century British literature. His interests include Scottish literary studies of the eighteenth century and after, literary theory, intellectual history, Romanticism, Modernism, modernity, and interdisciplinary humanities.



Gregory L. Thompson (Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, University of Arizona) is an Associate Professor of Spanish Pedagogy at Brigham Young University. He has taught classes in language pedagogy, bilingualism, Spanish phonetics, applied linguistics, as well as classes on the development of language skills. He has published articles in Foreign Language Annals, Hispania, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education and other journals on his varied research interests including code-switching in the foreign language classroom; heritage language learners; service-learning and language acquisition; bilingualism and languages in contact; and placement exams and language testing. He also has published two books titled “Intersection of Service and Learning: Research and Practice in the Second Language Classroom” and “Spanish in Bilingual and Multilingual Settings around the World”. He currently has a new book due out in spring of 2018 with Georgetown University Press titled, “The Changing Landscape of Spanish Language Curricula: Designing Higher Education Programs for Diverse Students.” Recently, he completed a two volume textbook for first and second year Spanish language learners titled “Experiencias” due out in fall of 2018.

Heather Belnap Jensen-smHEATHER BELNAP

Interests: Heather Belnap Jensen is associate professor of art history. Her research focuses on women in the art world of post-Revolutionary France. Professor Jensen is on  the Executive Committee for the Women’s Studies program, where she oversees WSTAR, its faculty research group. She currently serves on the College Art Association’s Committee for Women in the Arts and is a regional coordinator for The Feminist Art Project, an international collaborative initiative.

jenniferbownJENNIFER BOWN

Jennifer Bown, associate professor of Russian, earned her PhD at Ohio State University. She has a wide range of research interests related to Second Language Acquisition and language pedagogy. Recent research has focused on language learning in study abroad, learner motivation, and reading in an L2. Recently, a paper she co-authored was awarded the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education. Jennifer is particularly interested in helping learners achieve advanced-level proficiency in foreign languages. She is also co-author of two textbooks.
Currently, Jennifer is serving as the graduate coordinator of the Second Language Teaching MA program and was recently named editor of Russian Language Journal. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, and traveling with her husband and daughter.


Julie K. Allen, professor of Comparative Arts and Letters, earned her PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University in 2005. She taught at BYU-Hawaii from 2005-2006, in the Scandinavian Studies department at the University of Wisconsin from 2006-2016, and came to BYU in August 2016. Much of her research focuses on cultural and national identity formation and dissemination, particularly in Northern Europe, through literature, film, religion, and nation-branding endeavors. Her first book, Icons of Danish Modernity (University of Washington Press, 2012), considers how the Danish literary critic Georg Brandes and the Danish silent film diva Asta Nielsen conveyed an impression of Danish modernity to the world, primarily through German media, while her second book, Danish but Not Lutheran: The Impact of Mormonism on Danish Cultural Identity 1850-1920, examines how the irruption of religious difference in Denmark in the mid-19th century, legalized by the establishment of religious freedom in 1849 and realized after the arrival of the first 4 LDS missionaries in 1850 and the subsequent conversion of nearly 30,000 Danes, reflected Danish society’s secularization and internationalization. Her current book project explores how the circulation of European silent film in Australasia before and after World War I intersects with issues of human migration, nationalism, and cultural imperialism.


His primary areas of research are corpus linguistics, language change and genre-based variation, the design and optimization of linguistic databases, and frequency and collocational analyses (all for English, Spanish, and Portuguese). He is also the creator of several large online corpora, which are used by more than 100,000 distinct researcher, teachers, and students each month.

mason, nicholasNICK MASON

Professor Nick Mason joins the Humanities Center as a 2017-18 fellow after five years as coordinator of BYU’s European Studies program and, before that, six years as associate chair of English. Since completing his PhD in British literature and joining BYU’s English faculty in 1999, he has taught courses ranging from introductions to college writing, literary history, and European society to advanced seminars on Romantic-era bestsellers, contemporary European fiction, and print culture. Outside of the classroom, he has advised over 30 graduate and honors theses, directed two Mentoring Environment Grant projects, and helped build BYU’s internship programs at the Scottish Parliament, the European Parliament, and the Wordsworth Trust. Professor Mason has published widely on 18th- and 19th-century Britain, focusing particularly on the literary, commercial, and cultural histories of Romantic-era England and Scotland. His publications include a collaborative digital edition of William Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes (Romantic Circles, 2015), a monograph on Literary Advertising and the Shaping of British Romanticism (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013), and the six-volume scholarly edition Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1817-1825 (Pickering and Chatto, 2006). He currently chairs the Book History Caucus for the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, and in recent years he has organized scholarly conferences and symposia in Scotland, England, and the United States. During his time as a Humanities Center fellow, Professor Mason plans to complete a new edition of the Lake District writings of Dorothy Wordsworth and a book manuscript on the rise of the literary magazine in early-19th-century Britain.


Rob McFarland is an associate professor and German section head in the Department of German and Russian. He has taught the Austrian/German/Swiss cultural history class for returned missionaries almost constantly since he came to BYU in 2001. He also loves teaching critical theory, German and Scandinavian film, and GE Advanced Writing. Rob is the associative director of Sophie: A Digital Library of Works by German-Speaking Women, a collection of thousands of online texts, musical compositions, and art works. His latest book, Red Vienna, White Socialism and the Blues: Ann Tizia Leitich’s Americawas published in 2015 by Camden House.

ROroger_macfarlaneGER MACFARLANE

Roger Macfarlane has taught in Classical Studies since 1989. He directs the Ancient Textual Imaging Group, housed in the College of Humanities, and works especially with the internationally recognized Herculaneum Papyrus Project. His frequent courses and scholarly work on the reception of classical mythology in the arts informs several current projects, including an initiative called The “Online” Guide to Classical Mythology in Arts. The Humanities Center Fellowship was sought to foster fine-tuned development of user interfaces for the OGCMA and also for completion of a monograph on cinematic adaptations of the Orpheus & Eurydice myth.

steve-riepSTEVE RIEP

Steve Riep, associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature, has taught at BYU since 2003. A product of the University of California system (BA Berkeley, MA/PhD UCLA and Postdoc, Davis), he specializes in teaching modern and contemporary fiction, poetry, film and culture, but also teaches Business Chinese for the Global Management Center and Asian Literary Traditions for both the Comparative Literature and Asian Studies programs. He has offered senior capstone seminars to Chinese majors on utopia and dystopia in traditional and modern Chinese literature; cultural production under the Nationalist authoritarian rule in Taiwan and the depiction of disabilities in modern and contemporary literature and visual arts.
His research interests include disability studies; cultural production under authoritarian regimes; war, memory and literature and ecocriticism. He is currently working on a book manuscript analyzing how disabilities are depicted and used in contemporary Chinese literature and visual culture from 1900 to the present. He has also translated Chinese fiction, poetry, drama and essays from China and Taiwan into English.