2014 Incoming Students
1. M.A. in Translation Studies
Marcus Khoury received his B.A in French & Francophone Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. His academic interests include the intersection of politics and 20th century French literature, translation studies, and the reception of texts across different literary cultures. He is also interested in the national and indigenous literatures of Latin America, and hopes to work with the Spanish and Arabic languages as well as French.
Muira Mccammon grew up in South Carolina but has Midwestern roots. After earning her B.A. in French & International Relations from Carleton College, Muira headed to eastern Turkey, where she taught English as a Fulbright grantee, began learning Pashto and Turkish, and gained a better understanding of local freedom of expression issues. She is the recipient of the prestigious Beinecke Fellowship. Her current research interests include translators' rights in conflict zones, ethical quagmires associated with legal/court interpretation, and literary translation theory. Currently, she is working on translating Leila Sebbar's Métro.
Bill Ollayos is a Connecticut native and completed his B.S. at the University of Connecticut in Biological Sciences and English. His research interests include bridging the space between the humanities and hard sciences. Furthermore, he focuses on inter-semiotic translation in regards to the exotification of marginalized populations. Bill works as a Learning Communities Graduate Assistant on campus.
2. M.A. in Comparative Literature
Chamila Somirathna received her B.A. in Sinhala Language and Literature from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and is a Fulbright grantee. She is interested in fiction, travel literature, poetry and literary theory, particularly, feminist literary theory and post-colonialism.
3. Ph.D. in Comparative Literature
Siobhan Anderson was born and raised in mid coast Maine. She received her Bachelor's degree in English and French literature from Mount Holyoke College in 2011. She went on to continue her studies in Paris where she received her Master's degree in Comparative Literature from La Sorbonne Nouvelle in 2013. Siobhan's research focuses primarily around Belgian national poet Emile Verhaeren (1855-1916) and ties between the symbolist movement in France and Belgium and the emergence of modern American verse.
Shastri Akella moved to Amherst three years ago to do his MFA in fiction at UMass which he completed earlier this summer. Prior to that, he worked for Google in their India, San Francisco, and Dublin offices and also with a street theater in India. His primary research interest is migration literature and its expression in fiction, cinema and photography. Specifically, he would like to compare the migratory narratives that emerged across the India-Pakistan, Germany-Poland, and the US-Mexico borders.
Adile Aslan has a B.A. in English from Bogazici University, an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Istanbul Bilgi University and a second M.A. in Cultural Studies from Sabanci University. In addition, she has worked as an instructor and teaching assistant at different universities in Istanbul. Adile is interested in modernism, psychoanalysis, Middle Eastern Studies and is looking forward to learning Arabic and Farsi.
Hyongrae Kim has an M.A. in Interpretation and Translation from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. Before joining UMASS he worked as an interpreter/translator at the Ministry of Unification. His research interests include Translation Studies and North Korean translation.
Updates from Recent Graduates
Nahir Otaño Gracia
Nahir recently received her Ph.D. from the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She currently holds a 3 year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She is working on her book manuscript which addresses the necessarily multicultural nature of the Mediterranean of the north, where Irish, British, Iberian, and Scandinavian cultures interacted through and across the various waterways of Europe, most notably the Irish Sea and the Atlantic littoral. She specifically analyzes rewritings of Arthurian texts by focusing on the relationship between kings and their subjects, both male and female, as a medium to interrogate the function Arthurian stories play in different constructions of sovereignty. She also studies the use of medieval imagery by Caribbean writers and Medievalism in Popular Culture. One of her long term goals is to provide translations of Nordic and Irish myths into Latin American Spanish. For more information check out her website http://www.nahirotano.com
Anna is at the end of a busy spring semester that started with receiving her doctorate in February and ended with a job offer and Commencement. Having completed and defended her dissertation, which examined meta-narratives of authorship in early modern Italian and English short stories, she stayed with the department this semester as a lecturer, teaching interpreting studies and a new course on book history. She has already started her next book project, on book history and translation studies, which is under contract with Routledge, but plans to return to her dissertation for her second book. In September she will be joining the faculty of the Translation and Interpreting Studies program at the University of Manchester.
Immediately after completing her MA in Translation Studies in the summer of 2013, Liz began teaching English composition and literature at several colleges within the Colorado Community College System, including Pikes Peak Community College, Arapahoe Community College, and Colorado Springs Early Colleges. In the summer of 2014, she also secured a position at the Community College of Aurora teaching translation in their career and technical school.
After successfully passing her Comprehensive Examination in January 2014, Madalina Meirosu was awarded the Graduate School Dissertation Grant to support her research that seeks to connect the world of the Humanities with the world of Sciences. Her dissertation looks at the ways in which 19th century advancements in technology, and in particular medical technology, influenced the understanding of what it is to be human. In particular, she seeks to highlight how these various technological discoveries that also brought about new philosophical ideas are portrayed in 19th century fantastic literature on the theme of creating artificial humanoids.
In August 2014, Frans began his role as Assistant Professor of
Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies at the University of
Georgia. His research explores Hemispheric American literary and
cultural studies as well as historical fiction. In addition to
articles in journals such as Rethinking History, Hispania and
Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies, he has had chapters
published on contemporary Luso-Hispanic historical fiction and film.
His current book project explores alternatives to the politics of
historiographic metafiction by analyzing contemporary Hemispheric
American literature that imitates the conventions of historical
documents and historiography.
This Year's Graduate Degree Recipients in Comparative Literature!
Congratulations to this year's graduate degree recipients in Comparative Literature! It's a great year in the department, with 5 doctoral degrees and 5 masters degrees.
Matthew Goodwin (September 2013)
Daniel Pope (September 2013)
Kanchuka Dharmasiri (February 2014)
Anna Strowe (February 2014)
Nahir Otaño-Gracia (May 2014)
Liz Medendorp (September 2013)
Lex Joy (February 2014)
Barry Spence (February 2014)
Christine Gutman (May 2014)
Madalina Meirosu (May 2014)
Good job to all--degree recipients, advisors, professors, and colleagues--on a great year!
International Shakespeare Conference
Looking at the translation, production, and reception of Shakespeare worldwide, as well as on the impact of these phenomena on the interpretation of Shakespeare’s texts.
March 7th Reception at the Renaissance Center
March 8-9th in Herter Hall at UMass Amherst
Saturday March 8th: 8am - 6:20pm
Sunday March 9th: 8:30am - 7:30pm
Jean-Michel Déprats (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Peter S. Donaldson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Edwin Gentzler (UMass Amherst)
Anston Bosman (Amherst College)
Submit to mOthertongue!
mOthertongue, the Multilingual Journal of the Arts, is seeking submissions for their 20th issue!
We’re looking for:
- Original Artwork or photography
- Poetry in a non-English language (w/ translation)
- Short prose pieces in a non-English language (w/ translation)
Get creative! Write in Greek, Spanish, Hebrew, Urdu, Chinese, Klingon, C++ -- show off your artistic and language skills!
Deadline: February 14th, 2014
Send all submissions and questions to the editors at: email@example.com
Season of Renewal
Fall 2012 is marked by renewal. Professor Annette Lienau, an Arabist from Yale, is arriving after a postdoctoral appointment at UCLA. Professor Moira Inghilleri, a theorist of translation and teacher of interpreting, will join Annette on the 5th floor of Herter. Professor Maria Barbón comes to us from the Spanish and Portuguese Department. And we welcome back Professor Regina Galasso and Professor Kathryn Lachman.
We’re also delighted that Chandrani Chatterjee will be joining us on a teaching Fulbright.
The future has arrived, but the past hasn’t left yet. This is a moment of abundance.
Year of the Maryams: We welcome Maryam Zehtabi, Maryam Fatima, Maryam Ghodrati, and Chris Schafenacker to the doctoral program, and Esin Ghafoor to the MA program in translation. Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe will join the doctoral program in a year, when she completes her MA on a Fulbright.
Seeking Applications for Assistant Professors of Comparative Literature and Interpreting
Literature is currently accepting applications for two Assistant Professor positions. See position postings.
Graduate Students to Present at 2007 ACLA Conference
Literature graduate students, (from left in photo: Frans
Weiser, Juan G. Ramos, María
Antonia Carcelén Estrada, Cris Mazzei, BK Tuon, Nicole
Calandra, and Rhona Trauvitch; not pictured Nikolina Dobreva
and estheR Cuesta) will present their work at the annual American
Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) conference.
conference—Trans, Pan, Inter: Cultures
in Contact will be held April 19-22 in Puebla, Mexico. For more information
about these students and their interests, see the Current
Graduate Students and Incoming Graduate
September 03, 2006
Comparative Literature Welcoming Party!
We invite graduate students and faculty
to a reception for all new incoming Comparative Literature
graduate students. Refreshments will be served.
September 12, 2006
3:00 – 5:00
4th floor Herter lobby
(Opposite elevator area)
April 21, 2006
Achievements of Comparative Literature Graduate Students and Recent Graduates
estheR Cuesta has been awarded a Summer
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for 2006 to
State University's Center for Latin American Studies
Ecuador Field School sessions on the Quichua language
The fellowship will enable her to undertake research
ad document testimonies of indigenous women from the
Alessandra DiMaio has been awarded a two-year
fellowship by the UCLA Mellon Postdoctoral Program in the
for her project, "The Narration of Immigration
in Contemporary Italy: Migrants, Refugees and Asylum
Seekers in Legal and
Literary Texts." She will defend her dissertation
Lan Dong (PhD '06) has accepted a tenure-system
position as assistant professor in the English Program
the University of Illinois at Springfield, beginning
2006. In May,
she will defend her dissertation, "Cross-Cultural
Palimpsests of Mulan: the Woman Warrior from Pre-Modern
Chinese to Contemporary
Asian American Representations."
(PhD '04) will be joining the faculty in English
to teach Film Studies at Amherst College
defending his dissertation, "Border Crossings
and Multicultural Whiteness," he was appointed
assistant professor in the Department of Cinema and
Photography at Ithaca College.
Ada McKenzie is one
of 40 women graduate students in the United States
to receive an American Association
Women Fellowship for 2006-07 to support fulltime
on her dissertation, "Creolization, Possession,
and Performance in Caribbean Cultural Discourses." The
fellowship will enable her to return to Cuba to continue
on visual culture she began last year.
(PhD '06) has accepted a tenure-system position as
assistant professor of English at Keene
Her dissertation, "The Image of the Assassins
in Medieval European Texts," will be defended
Shawn Smolen-Morton (PhD '04) has been appointed
assistant professor of English at Francis Marion
South Carolina. "Acting the Child: Separating
the Infantile from the Masculine in Film and Literature,
the title of his dissertation.