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New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2022 Programs of Study and Courses for Liberal Arts and Sciences Students Programs, Faculty, and Courses Comparative Literature 195  

Comparative Literature 195

Program in Comparative Literature, School of Arts and Sciences


Chair: Andrew C. Parker

Undergraduate Director: Janet A. Walker

Graduate Director: Jorge Marcone

Program Coordinator: Fatimah Fischer

Core Faculty:

Ousseina Alidou, B.A., Niamey (Africa); M.A., Ph.D., Indiana
African literature and folklore; African and comparative women's studies

Nicola Behrmann, M.A., Free University Berlin; Ph.D., New York
European avant-gardes; literary theory; women and gender studies; visual culture

Karen Bishop, B.A., Ph.D., California (Santa Barbara)
Twentieth-century literatures in Spanish, English, and French; human rights; torture and disappearance; exile studies; translation; genre studies; cartography

Elin Diamond, B.A., Brandeis; M.A., Ph.D., California (Davis)
Drama and performance; dramatic theory and critical theory; feminism and gender studies

E. Efe, B.A., Istanbul University and EUP Rome; Ph.D., Columbia
Philosophy of literature; religion and literature; world literature; Oriental Jewry and Ladino; cultural legacy of the Ottoman Empire; modern European letters; Ottoman and modern Turkish

Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Feminist theory; cinema and cultural studies; World War II and Holocaust; television and contemporary culture; theories of national identity; French cinema and culture

Martha Helfer, B.A., Washington (St. Louis); M.A., Wisconsin (Madison); Ph.D., Stanford
Literature of the age of Goethe; romantic aesthetic and philosophical theories; German intellectual history (18th-19th century); questions of gender and the construction of subjectivity; philosophical approaches to literature; representations of Jews in German critical discourse

Michael Levine, B.A., Cornell; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins
Nineteenth- and 20th-century German literature, literary theory, and intellectual history; intersections among literary, philosophical, and psychoanalytic discourses; Holocaust studies

Nelson Maldonado-Torres, B.A., Puerto Rico; Ph.D., Brown
Comparative race and ethnic studies; comparative critical theory; Caribbean philosophy; decolonial thinking

Preetha Mani, B.A., Tufts; Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Modern Hindi and Tamil literature; Indian literature; feminism and gender studies; world literature; translation studies; genre studies; postcolonial theory

Jorge Marcone, B.A., Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; M.A., Ph.D., Texas
Spanish American literature; writing and the environment; literacy and orality; ecocriticism, political ecology, and environmental history

Susan Martin-Márquez, B.A., M.A., Chicago; Ph.D., Pennsylvania
Modern Spanish peninsular cultural studies and Spanish-language film; cinema studies

Anjali Nerlekar, B.A., M.A., M.Phil., Pune (India); Ph.D., Kansas
Multilingual Indian modernisms; Marathi literature; Indo-Caribbean literature; poetry studies; translation studies; Caribbean and postcolonial studies; print cultures and the Indian book

Andrew Parker, B.A., Princeton; M.A., Ph.D., Chicago
Nineteenth- and 20th-century Anglophone, Francophone, and Latin American literatures; literary and cultural theory; philosophy and literature; gender and sexuality studies; media studies

Nicholas Rennie, B.A., Princeton; Ph.D., Yale
Literature of the Enlightenment and the age of Goethe; modern aesthetics and intellectual history; the Frankfurt School; 20th-century German novel

Paul Schalow, B.A., Hampshire College; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard
Japanese literature (Edo period); gender and sexuality in Japanese literature; Japanese women's writing

Richard Serrano, B.A., Stanford; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Maghrebi and Sub-Saharan African literatures in French; modern French poetry; the Qur'an and Arabic poetry; Chinese poetry (especially Tang and Qing); Korean poetry

Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui, B.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale
Latino/a literature and culture; 20th-century Latin American literature and cultural thought; gender theory and sexuality studies; melodrama; psychoanalysis

James Swenson, B.A., Brown; M.A., Ph.D., Yale
Eighteenth-century literature and intellectual history; 20th-century criticism and theory

Emily Van Buskirk, B.A., Princeton; Ph.D., Harvard
Russian and Czech literature, film, and literary theory; autobiography; in-between genres; everyday life; representations of war and the Leningrad blockade; the culture of the thaw; gender and sexuality; memory and history; theories of the self

Alessandro Vettori, Dottore in Lettere, Firenze (Italy); Ph.D., Yale
Medieval poetry and Dante; rewriting of biblical texts in literary texts of the Italian tradition; the devil in European culture; autobiography

Janet Walker, B.A., Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard
The novel from its European beginnings to its transformations by East, South, and Southeast Asian writers; hybrid modernity in Western material culture, literature, and the arts; space and place in modern Japanese fiction

Steven Walker, B.A., Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard
Interface of ancient Greek and modern texts; Jungian interpretation of myth; modernist cryptic intertexts

Affiliate Faculty:

Stephen Bronner, B.A., CUNY (City College); M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Critical theory; political theory

Abena Busia, B.A., M.A., St. Anne's College (Oxford); Ph.D., St. Anthony's College (Oxford)
African women in British and American fiction

Ed Cohen, A.B., Georgetown; Ph.D., Stanford
Sexuality; health and healing; political philosophy; social theory; cultural history; transformational technologies; popular culture

Drucilla Cornell, B.A., Antioch; J.D., UCLA Law School
Contemporary continental thought; critical theory; grassroots political and legal mobilization; jurisprudence; women's literature; feminism; aesthetics; psychoanalysis; political philosophy

Harriet Davidson, B.A., Texas (Austin); M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt
Poetry and poetics; modernism and postmodernism; feminist criticism and theory

Mark Doty, B.A., Drake; M.F.A., Goddard
Nineteenth-century poetry and American literature; 20th-century and contemporary poetry

Jerry Aline Flieger, B.A., Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Twentieth-century and contemporary literature and theory; gender studies; psychoanalytic literary theory

William Galperin, A.B., Chicago; A.M., Ph.D., Brown
Late 18th-century and early 19th-century British poetry and fiction; literary and cultural theory; film studies

Paola Gambarota, Ph.D., Pavia (Italy);  Ph.D., Yale
Modern Italian literature; theories of language and nation; European prewar avant-garde; film

Mary Gossy, B.A., Bryn Mawr College; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard
Spanish and Latin American literature; feminist and critical theory; lesbian and gay literature

Ann Jurecic, B.A., Bryn Mawr College; M.A.T., Brown; Ph.D., Princeton
Literature and medicine; writing studies; contemporary literature

Ryan Kernan, A.B., Princeton; Ph.D., California (Los Angeles)
African-American and African diaspora literature; postcolonial literature

Pavel Khazanov, B.A., California (Los Angeles); M.A., Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy (London); Ph.D., Pennsylvania

Mukti Mangharam, B.A., York (UK); M.Phil., Cambridge; Ph.D., Cornell

Michael McKeon, B.A., Chicago; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia
Seventeenth- and 18th-century English literature; critical theory; historical criticism

Stephen Reinert, B.A., Western Washington; M.A., Ph.D., California (Los Angeles)
Byzantine, Balkan, and Turkic history and culture in the 14th and 15th centuries

Louis Sass, B.A., Harvard; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Schizophrenia; assessment; philosophy of psychology; intersection of clinical psychology with philosophy, the arts, and literary studies

Louisa Schein, B.A., Brown; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)
Cultural politics, ethnicity, nationalism and transnationalism; diaspora, gender, and sexuality representation; media; postcoloniality; postsocialism; China; Asian American

Meheli Sen, B.A., M.A., Jadavpur (India); Ph.D., Emory
Film studies; post-independence commercial Hindi cinema; gender; genre; postcoloniality; globalization

Jeffrey Shandler, B.A., Swarthmore; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia
Yiddish language, literature, and culture; Jews and media; Holocaust representation; Jews and visual culture; American Jewish vernacular culture

Weijie Song, B.A., Xi'an Jiaotong (China); M.A., Ph.D., Peking (China); Ph.D., Columbia
Modern Chinese literature and film; cultural studies; sinophone and diasporic writings

Michelle Stephens, B.A., SUNY (Stony Brook); Ph.D., Yale
African American; Caribbean and American literature and culture; race, sexuality, psychoanalysis

Camilla Stevens, B.A., Tulane; M.A., New Mexico; Ph.D., Kansas
Twentieth-century Spanish American drama, theater, and performance theory; Caribbean cultural studies; contemporary Dominican theater and performance

Wendy Swartz, B.A., California (San Diego); M.A., Ph.D., California (Los Angeles)
Early medieval Chinese poetry; literary theory and criticism; comparative poetics

Rebecca L. Walkowitz, A.B., Radcliffe College (Harvard); M.Phil., Sussex (UK); Ph.D., Harvard
Twentieth-century and contemporary British, Irish, and Anglophone literatures; the history and theory of the novel; comparative modernisms; new world literature; translation studies and the history of the book; cosmopolitanism; postcolonial theory; critical theory

Xiaojue Wang, B.A., M.A., Peking; Ph.D., Columbia
Chinese literature and culture from late imperial to contemporary periods; the cultural Cold War; the literary transition from late imperial to modern times; cultural memories; film and visual studies; comparative literature: in particular, the impact of German intellectual dynamics on modern China

Alan Williams, B.A., M.A., Washington; Ph.D., SUNY (Buffalo)
Film history; theories of spectatorship; the economic history of film; study of film genres; influence of social events and configurations of film making

Comparative literature is an interdisciplinary program that studies global cultural expressions as they shape and are shaped by science, economics, religion, politics, sexuality, and other historical forces. It attracts students with wide-ranging interests in literature, theory, cultural and media studies, and who wish to read literature in the original language as well as in translation. Students are urged to begin or continue the study of a language other than English, and to study abroad.

The program offers the student the opportunity to design an individualized and interdisciplinary major and minor. Students generally begin with Literature across Borders (01:195:201), a course taught by several members of the core facility that focuses on a particular theme. Students then choose 200- and 300-level courses in comparative literature and other programs that reflect their individual focus. Since students have different preparations and interests, no two pathways through the program are identical. Students might choose as their focus, for example, topics such as a national language and literature, the novel or film studied across cultures, cultural theories and philosophy, literature in relation to art and/or film, or two national literatures. Because of the individualized nature of the major, students are required to confer with the undergraduate director at least once each semester during the registration period.

Comparative literature core faculty members are accomplished scholars and devoted teachers. Many have won awards from Rutgers and around the world. The major and minor programs offer students the opportunity to work closely with these professors, who are from a wide range of departments, including African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL); Asian Languages and Cultures; English; French; German; Russian and East European languages and Literatures (REELL); Italian; Latino and Caribbean Studies; and Spanish and Portugese. Core faculty members are available to mentor students and serve as advisers of honors theses.

Because of the intensive training in analytical thinking and writing, undergraduates who major or minor in comparative literature may go on to study literature or related fields in graduate school, attend law school, or find employment in a wide variety of professional fields such as publishing, business, and government service.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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