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Welcome to New Faculty Members

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Dimitrios Skordos (Linguistics) and Dr. Rachel Friedman (Arabic Language and Muslim Cultures).

The School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures is pleased to welcome its newest members. We are very excited to introduce:

Dr. Dimitrios Skordos: Linguistics

Dimitrios was born in Ioannina, Greece, where he also got his first degree in Linguistics from the University of Ioannina. At that time, he was primarily focused on historical and comparative linguistics, but his interest was quickly piqued by generative theoretical linguistics and he went on to get his MA in Linguistics in University College London, UK. It was there that he realized he wanted to focus on Pragmatics and experimental work and he eventually moved to the University of Delaware to do his PhD on language acquisition and pragmatic development with Dr. Anna Papafragou.

Dimitrios graduated from UD with a PhD in Linguistics and a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science in May 2014 and soon after moved to the College of William & Mary where he was a Lecturer of Psychology until December 2015, teaching courses cross-listed between Psychology and Linguistics. In January 2016, he joined the Department of Psychology at UC San Diego where he worked as a postdoctoral scholar with Dr. David Barner in the Language & Development Lab.

Dimitrios' main research interests include language development, logical and pragmatic inference in children, the psychology of language more generally, as well as events, space and motion in language.

This fall and winter, Dimitrios will be teaching Introduction to Linguistics (LING 201), as well as First Language Acquisition (LING 331) this fall.

Welcome Dimitrios!


Dr. Rachel Friedman: Arabic Language and Muslim Cultures

Before joining the University of Calgary, Rachel Friedman was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Arabic Literature at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. During her two years at Williams, Rachel taught courses on the Qur’ān's relationship to literature as well as love and desire in Arabic literature.

Previously, Rachel earned her AB in Arabic and Theology from Georgetown University and her MA and PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her primary research is on the intersection of Arabic literature with Islamic thought in the classical period. She has written on religious expression and Qur’ānic intertextuality in Arabic poetry, and she has also worked on on i‘jāz al-Qur’ān, the discourse that elaborates the idea of the Qur’ān as a miraculous text that has special literary properties. Rachel wrote her dissertation on theories of language and eloquence in the writings of Abu Bakr al-Baqillani (d. 1013 CE), with a focus on his legal theory and his treatise on i‘jāz al-Qur’ān. She has studied and done research in Yemen, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Rachel enjoys teaching all levels of Arabic language and literature. She is keen to develop and implement teaching methods that help students succeed in learning Arabic. She aims to foster an affinity for Arabic language and the cultures of the Arab and Muslim worlds in her students.

This fall, Rachel will be teaching Continuing Arabic I (ALMC 301) and Intermediate Arabic I (ALMC 331).

Rachel is excited to join the University of Calgary and looks forward to working with her new colleagues and students. Beyond her teaching and research, Rachel is a lover of nature and wildlife, and she is enthusiastic about exploring the many parks in the Calgary area.

Welcome Rachel!