School of the Arts Full-Time Faculty

Victor LaValle
Associate Professor - Victor LaValle is the author of Slapboxing with Jesus, a book of stories, and three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and The Devil in Silver. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowhsip, the Shirley Jackson Award and the key to Southeast Queens.
Associate Professor -  Jack Lechner’s credits as executive producer, producer, or supervising producer include the Oscar-winning documentary The Fog Of War; the Oscar-nominated Blue Valentine; The New Yorker Presents for Amazon; the Emmy-nominated Left Of The Dial for HBO; Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys for Sundance; and the pilot of the Emmy-winning AMC series Mad Men. He is currently Supervising Producer for National Geographic Explorer.
Sam Lipsyte
Associate Professor - Sam Lipsyte's most recent book is The Fun Parts. He is also the author of The Ask (New York Times Notable Book for 2010), Home Land (New York Times Notable Book for 2005 and winner of The Believer Book Award), as well as The Subject Steve and Venus Drive.
Richard Locke
Professor - Richard Locke is a critic and essayist, the author of more than 180 essays and reviews that have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, BookForum, Salmagundi, The Yale Review, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and other publications.
Phillip Lopate
Professor and Nonfiction Director - Phillip Lopate was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943, and received a BA from Columbia in 1964, and a doctorate from the Union Graduate School in 1979.
Nicola Lopez
Assistant Professor - Born in Santa Fe, NM, Nicola López currently lives and makes art in Brooklyn, NY. Through her work in installation, drawing and printmaking, López describes and reconfigures our contemporary—primarily urban—landscape. Her focus on describing ‘place’ stems from interests in anthropology, urban planning and architecture and it has been fueled by time spent working and traveling immersed in different cultures and landscapes.
Ben Marcus
Professor - Ben Marcus’ most recent book is Leaving the Sea, a collection of short stories. He is also the author of The Flame Alphabet, Notable American Women, and The Age of Wire and String. His writing has appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, The Believer, The New York Times, McSweeney's, Conjunctions, and Tin House.
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice - Miya Masaoka is a classically trained musician, composer and sound artist.  Many of her works are large scale and have a specific element of temporality.  She has created works for symphony, mixed choirs, multi-channel fixed media, telematic performances and designed interactive wearable textiles (LED KIMONO). She has composed pieces using spatialization and has mapped the behavior of plants, brain activity and insect movement to sound.
Charles Mee
Professor - Charles Mee has written Big Love and True Love and First Love, bobrauschenbergamerica and Hotel Cassiopeia, Orestes 2.0 and Trojan Women A Love Story, and Summertime and Wintertime among other plays--all of them available on the internet at
Assistant Professor - Leeza Meksin is an interdisciplinary artist, who makes paintings, installations, public art and multiples. She received an MFA from The Yale School of Art, a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a joint BA/MA in Comparative Literature from The University of Chicago. Meksin has exhibited her work at Regina Rex Gallery (2011, 2014), Airplane Gallery (2014), Primetime (2013), Adds Donna (2011) and Thomas Erben Gallery (2009).
Eric Mendelsohn
Professor of - Eric Mendelsohn's feature film debut, Judy Berlin, starring The Sopranos' Edie Falco, as well as Madeline Kahn, Barbara Barrie and Julie Kavner, was an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), won Best Director at Sundance, Best Independent Film at the Hamptons Film Festival and was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards.
Assistant Professor - Ben Metcalf is the author of the novel Against The Country, which was published by Random House in January 2015. He was born in Illinois and raised in that state and later in rural Virginia. He was, for many years, the literary editor of Harper’s Magazine. His writing has appeared in The Baffler, Harper’s, and elsewhere, and has twice been included in The Best American Essays.
Gregory Mosher
Professor - Gregory Mosher has directed or produced nearly 200 stage productions at the Lincoln Center and Goodman Theatres (both of which he led), on and off Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, and in London's West End.
Assistant Professor - Aliza Nisenbaum has presented her paintings in solo shows at Mary Mary, Glasgow; White Columns, New York; Lulu, Mexico City; Julius Caesar, Chicago; and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago. She has had a range of two-person exhibitions among them with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery Dublin, Ireland; Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Detroit, MI; and at Golden Gallery, NY.
Lynn Nottage
Associate Professor - Lynn Nottage is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and a screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world.
Orhan Pamuk
Professor - Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor of the Humanities   Orhan Pamuk is one of Turkey's most prominent novelists. His titles in English include The White Castle, The Black Book, The New Life, My Name Is Red, Snow, Istanbul: Memories of a City, Other Colors: Essays and a Story, and most recently The Museum of Innocence and A Strangeness in My Mind.
Deborah Paradez
Associate Professor in Writing - Deborah Paredez (PhD, Northwestern University) is the author of the poetry collection, This Side of Skin (Wings Press 2002), and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke 2009).  Her poetry and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry, Callaloo, Latino Studies Journal, and elsewhere.  She is the co-founder and director of CantoMundo, a national organizati
Christian Parker
Chair, Head of Dramaturgy Concentration - Christian Parker recently stepped down as Associate Artistic Director of the Atlantic Theater Company, after nearly thirteen years, in order to pursue more of his own  work as a director, dramaturg and consultant. At Atlantic he collaborated closely with Artistic Director Neil Pepe on programming and producing the season, and  oversaw commissioning and new play development.
Professor of Professional Practice - Richard Peña has been at Columbia since 1989, becoming full time in 1996 and being named Professor of Professional Practice in 2003; from 2006 - 2009 was a Visiting Professor in Spanish at Princeton University. Mr. Peña has also served as the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival from 1988 to 2012.
Nicholas Proferes
Professor of Professional Practice - Nicholas Proferes was the director/cameraman and editor of Free at Last, a 90-minute documentary on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which was awarded best documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1969; director of photography and editor of Wanda, a feature film directed by Barbara Loden, awarded best picture at the Venice Film Festival in 1971; and co-producer, director of photography, and editor of The Visitors, a feature film directed by Elia Kazan.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.