Esther Whitfield

Esther is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Hispanic Studies at Brown University.  She has published on literary writing in post-Soviet Cuba; borders, visibility and surveillance at the Guantánamo naval base; and Welsh-language writing in Patagonia. Her current research and teaching interests include war metaphors in Latin American political speech, literature and the arts; and representations of Guantánamo in art, literature and law.

Karen McNiel

Karen McNeil has served as the director of the Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning programs for the last four years. After serving as an Arabic translator in the Navy for 8 years, she completed a master’s in Arabic at Georgetown University, with a speciality in Tunisian Arabic and Arabic linguistics. She was lead revising editor of the Oxford Arabic Dictionary (2014), and has translated Arabic poetry and short stories for World Literature Today, Banipal, and al-Jadid. She is the co-creator of the Tunisian Arabic Corpus, tunisiya.org.


Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell is an active duty Army officer with over eight years of service in light and mechanized infantry units. He has deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other locations in the middle east. Andrew is currently studying for an M.A. in History at Brown University where his thesis research focuses on religious stigmatization, moral panic, and government reaction in seventeenth-century Scotland and England. Upon completion of his graduate studies, Andrew will teach European history at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Columbus State University. Andrew hopes to see the Irregular Warfare Program ease veterans’ transition into higher education as well as foster dialogue between veterans and academia and the Rhode Island community-at-large.

Monica Darcy

Monica Darcy has served as the faculty liaison to the Veterans Resource Center at Rhode Island College since 2008. In this role, she works with students, faculty, and staff to support military service members make the transition to the college experience. As a counselor educator, she runs workshops, presents at conferences, conducts focus group meetings, and teaches graduate counseling courses to improve military and civilian understanding. A native Rhode Islander, Monica made 8 military moves with her husband before he retired from the US Army Infantry and they settled in RI. The Dialogue on Irregular Warfare offers an ideal opportunity for military connected students to engage in the humanities to understand themselves and to explore their impact on other members of the campus learning community.

Paul Darcy

Paul Darcy is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. During his 21+ year career, he served in various command and staff positions as an Infantry officer. He has a Masters of Military Arts and Sciences from the Command and General Staff College and a Masters of Arts in Speech, Communication and Theater from Austin Peay State University. Most recently he was a VA outreach coordinator to veterans participating in programs for PTSD and domestic violence.

As a lifelong learner in the profession of arms, Paul is aware of the cultural divide that exists between those who serve and the nation they serve. Unfortunately, the divide and differences between the two are complex and at times cantankerous.

Denise Davis

Denise Davis is Senior Lecturer in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brown University and Managing Editor of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.  Her academic interests include aesthetic, feminist, and political theory, and her PhD is in comparative literature.  Denise is particularly interested in studying the ways people make meaning in and through language, how we use language–with more or less success–to make sense of the world and ourselves.   The logic and practice of irregular warfare is not intuitive to civilians, so her interest in the Irregular Warfare program stems from her wish to learn about how military personnel, both combatants and noncombatants, understand their experience of war.

Jane Gerhard

I earned my PhD in American Studies from Brown University in 1996 with a focus in American women’s history and 20th century cultural history. I have written extensively about American feminism in the post 1945 period. After many years of university teaching I am now a full-time writer living in Providence, RI. http://janegerhard.com/

Peter Harrington

Peter Harrington is Curator of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection in the John Hay Library at Brown University where he has worked for over 30 years. A native of Manchester, England, he studied at London, Edinburgh and Brown, and his research over the past three decades has focused on artists and images of war and he taught a distance learning graduate course on the subject for many years. His other area of research is Conflict Archaeology. He has authored many articles and a number of books including British Artists and War: The face of battle in paintings and prints 1700-1914; Queen Victoria’s Army in Color: The Military Paintings of Orlando Norie; The Castles of Henry VIII, and English Civil War Archaeology. His latest book, William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879, was published in 2016.

Megan McBride

Megan K. McBride is a Postdoctoral Fellow in National Security Studies at the Naval War College, and a research analyst specializing in terrorism with a DC-area non-profit research and analysis organization. She received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Brown University where her work explored the relationship between religion and violence, and she served for five years as a Middle East intelligence analyst with the National Security Agency. She is interested in the Irregular Warfare program because – as a former civilian government employee who spent time in Iraq, and as an academic who spends most time in university settings – she is acutely aware of the civilian/military disconnect that the program hopes to bridge, and she is excited about the opportunity to leverage the humanities in service of this objective. She has an M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in Liberal Arts from the Great Books program at St. John’s College, and a B.A. in Psychology from Drew University.

Kara Noto

Kara Noto is always looking for opportunities to connect with art, history, and culture across disciplines. Her professional background includes considerable experience in public affairs and community outreach at the city, university and federal level.  She is a living history reenactor, lover of military museums, Coast Guard Spouse, and recent graduate of Brown’s MA in Public Humanities.

Jason Philips

Commander Jason Phillips is a graduate of Villanova University and was commissioned as an Officer in the Navy in 1995. Phillips reported to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1996, served aboard the USS Fort McHenry (LSD‐43) in Sasebo, Japan from 1997 ‐ 1999 and then reported to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, Rhode Island as a Writing Instructor. In Newport, Phillips attended URI and received his Master’s Degree in English. In 2003, Phillips served as an Officer recruiter for the greater Boston area. During this time, Phillips attended Johnson & Wales’ Doctoral program in Education and defended his dissertation on successful campus‐community partnerships in January 2007. Immediately following his dissertation defense, Phillips deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months where he served as the Senior Academic Advisor for the “Senior Command and Staff Course” in Kabul, Afghanistan, a nine month educational program for Afghan colonels and generals. In October 2008, Phillips returned to Rhode Island and his previous position as an Instructor at NAPS. In March 2014, Phillips was recalled to active duty to serve at the Naval War College where he worked on educational partnerships in order to achieve diverse dialogue and insight on ways to prevent violent extremism. Through his work at the Naval War College, Phillips was able to return to Afghanistan. Phillips continued to develop this program through his Navy Reserve capacity and then as a civilian following his retirement from the Navy in May, 2017.

Laura Vares

Dr. Vares’s interest in the Irregular Warfare program stems from both family experience and professional interest. Her step-son is a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, and is currently enrolled in college in Massachusetts. Dr. Vares would like to learn more about how veterans, themselves, perceive their integration back into civilian life. She is particularly interested in how expectations and perceptions regarding gender in the military continue to influence veterans’ daily lives after their service is complete. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from Brown University, and has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She is looking forward to participating in the program.