Frances S. Patai Committee Members

Juan Carlos Mercado is the Dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education. He is also the Director of Study Abroad and International Programs at the College. Prior to his appointment as a Dean, Mercado was Professor and Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature at CCNY from 2000 to 2007, and Acting Provost of the College in 2011. He also teaches at the PhD Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has worked on 19th Century Spanish American Literature, History of Ideas, and on the Spanish exploration of what is today the United States. He is the author of many books, reviews and articles. His most recent publications are two annotated editions of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés: Cartas sobre la Florida (Letters from Florida) 1555-1574 (2002), and Menéndez de Avilés y la Florida: Crónicas de sus expediciones (2006), a translation into English of this work: Menéndez de Avilés and Florida: Chronicles of his Expeditions (2010), and an annotated edition of Juan María Gutiérrez's Escritores Coloniales (Juan María Gutiérrez's Colonial Writers) (2012). He is the founder/Chair of The Americas Film Festival of New York (TAFFNY). Mercado is also one of the founders, with the Dean of Division of Humanities and the Arts and the Dean of the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership, of Human Rights: A Yearlong Forum at the City College of New York.

Kathy McDonald is an Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.  Her work considers the relationship between class, culture, and politics in twentieth-century United States literature.  McDonald's first book, Feminism, the Left, and Postwar Literary Culture, examines the cultural work of women writers on the Left in the United States in the years immediately following World War II.  She argues that these cultural works anticipate issues about women's cultural and ideological oppression and the intersections of gender, race, and class that would become central tenants of feminist literary criticism and black feminist criticism in the 1970s and '80s.  She has also published articles in various journals and edited volumes, including Black Scholar, Women's Studies Quarterly, Against the Current, Invisible Suburbs: Recovering Protest Fiction in the 1950s United States, Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice, and Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society. In the past few years, her work has shifted into the field of narrative medicine, a field that applies literary understanding to medical education, practice, and health care policy.  She is particularly interested in the intersections of health care, humanities, and human rights.  She has received numerous grants and awards to support her research, including several PSC-CUNY Research Awards, a CCNY Presidential Research Award, the Margaret Storrs Grierson Travel-to-Collections Fund award, and the Lillian S. Robinson Scholar award.

Justin Williams is Assistant Professor of History at the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the Center for Worker Education of The City College, CUNY. In addition to teaching, he researches modern African politics and the African diaspora.  His recent works include, “The 'Rawlings Revolution' and Rediscovery of the African Diaspora in Ghana (1983-2015),” in African Studies and “New Africa in the World Coming to Harlem: A retrospective comparison of Jerry Rawlings & Thomas Sankara,” in the Journal of Pan African Studies.  His first book, Pan-Africanism Ghana: African Socialism, Neoliberalism and Globalization, is forthcoming from the Carolina Academic Press. 

Danielle A. Zach is Frances S. Patai Postdoctoral Fellow in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies at the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the Center for Worker Education of The City College, CUNY. Her research interests include civil wars and violence, social movements, immigration, transnationalism, and global governance and international organization. She is currently working on a manuscript on diaspora-insurgent transnationalism. 

The City College of New York - Division of Interdisciplinary Studies
at the Center for Worker Education
25 Broadway, 7th Floor New York, NY 10004
Tel. 212-925-6625