More than a dozen new faculty members joined the School of Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics this fall. Their expertise will add to the existing strengths in several of our units and bring valuable perspectives and experiences to the school. You can read more about them below.


Joshua Reno earned his PhD in classics in 2021 from the University of Minnesota, with a dissertation entitled, "Holy Obscenity: Sexual Invective in the Pauline Corpus." His research and teaching interests include the Second Sophistic period of Greek literature, the New Testament, gender studies, and queer studies. In 2021-2022, he was a lecturer in the Department of Classics and Near Eastern Religions and Cultures at Minnesota. As a lecturer in the classics department here at Illinois in 2022-2023, he will be teaching a variety of undergraduate courses in Ancient Greek language, literature, and culture.

East Asian Languages & Cultures

Yi-Xiu Lin is a visiting lecturer in the Chinese language program. She specializes in teaching Chinese as a second/foreign language. She is particularly interested in oral training and designing different real and situational dialogue exercises. In addition, she has a certification as a tea appraiser, devoting herself to tea culture and tasting different types of teas. The tea culture is incorporated into her Chinese teaching. She plans to hold a series of tea cultural activities at EALC, including tasting refreshments, introducing the history and stories of the tea, and tea tasting.

Shino Hayashi is a senior lecturer in the Japanese language program. Her passion has been in Japanese teaching and learning for nearly two decades. She has taught Japanese at various institutions both in Japan and the U.S. Her students have ranged from those with no knowledge of Japanese to those at advanced proficiency levels.  She has hands-on experience in a number of teaching approaches and methods and utilizes numerous textbooks and teaching aids. Her goal is to create communicators who can function in Japanese society in a culturally appropriate manner and autonomous learners who can continue improving their language skills without the help of instructors after completing the Japanese program. She is making a conscious effort to be more flexible and alert to changes, such as pedagogical trends and technological advancements. She is also striving to be innovative and to incorporate new ideas into her teaching.

French & Italian

Daniel Maroun is an assistant professor in the Department of French & Italian and is the undergraduate advisor for French. He earned his PhD in French from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research is informed by the intersection of gender and sexuality in Francophone communities primarily in North Africa and the Levant. He is interested in expression of sexual identity and citizenship and how individuals navigate these issues in relationship to society and familial structures. A second, and equally as important axe of research interests, is in HIV/AIDS studies in France. Both of these research avenues are tied together by a concept of queer kinship that he hopes to further develop soon.

Germanic Languages & Literatures

Walker Horsfall joined the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures this fall as a lecturer in medieval German and Scandinavian studies. Horsfall completed his dissertation at the University of Toronto's Centre for Medieval Studies, with a focus on the interrelation of science, natural philosophy, and literature in the Middle Ages. At Illinois, he is teaching the department’s popular Viking mythology course, as well as other classes in medieval studies.


Anna Mendoza is a Filipino-Canadian assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, specializing in teaching English to speakers of other languages and sociolinguistics. She was born in Manila in 1986 and grew up in Burnaby, Canada after relocating with her family. She earned her PhD from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. She worked as an assistant professor of education at the University of Hong Kong from 2020-2022 before joining the Department of Linguistics. She turned her PhD dissertation into a forthcoming book that examines bi/multilingual communication.

Hanna Muller is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, specializing in psycholinguistics. She completed her PhD in the summer of 2022 at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland. Her research focus is sentence processing, particularly grammatical illusions.

Michael Tabatowski is a visiting instructor in the Department of Linguistics, teaching semantics. He is visiting for fall 2022. His dissertation as a linguistics PhD student at the University of Chicago focused on bias in questions, as in Isn’t the sunset lovely? Broadly, his research interests are in formal semantics. He’s also interested in the semantics of comparatives and superlatives, indefinite and existential constructions, and covert modality.

Monica Ghosh is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics. She joined the English as a Second Language program this fall. She earned her MA in TESL/applied linguistics at Iowa State University, where she taught pronunciation, speaking, and teaching to international teaching assistants as well as listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar to students in the Intensive English and Orientation Program. She has also taught a variety of English courses at Xiamen Educational College in Xiamen, China, and has led teacher-training workshops in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Abdulsalmad Humaidan is an English as a second language lecturer in the Department of Linguistics. He is currently a PhD candidate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he was also a recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship while pursuing an MA from 2012 to 2014. He received his bachelor’s degree in English and Translation from the University of Science and Technology, Taiz, Yemen.


Mikaela Chase is the inaugural Bhagwan Munisuvrata Swami Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Jain Studies in the Department of Religion. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Johns Hopkins University this summer. Her research concerns the expression of moral agency in the Jain fast to death known as sallekhana or santhara.

Spanish & Portuguese

Anna Torres-Cacoullos is an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. She recently completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship through the Humanities Research Institute at Illinois and as part of the American Council of Learned Societies/DRIVE fellowship program, hosted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Her areas of specialization are in late 19th/early 20th century Spanish literature, particularly the intersections of literature and film. Through interdisciplinary approaches, her research is dedicated to identifying the interrelations between different media.

Kara Yarringon is the new acting director of introductory Spanish in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. She earned her PhD in Spanish linguistics at the department this spring. Her research interests include second language acquisition, assessment, and phonology. She has taught a variety of courses, ranging from elementary Spanish to advanced Spanish grammar in context.

Dania De La Hoya Rojas