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University Park Faculty

*Please note: during the Burrowes Building renovation (January 2014-December 2015), the mailing address for all faculty members is still 231 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802.

Jonathan Abel

(Director of Undergraduate Studies)

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Japanese

B.A., University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Columbia University; Ph.D., Princeton University


Jonathan Abel

Fields of specialization: Interested in the complete lifecycle of cultural products, from the process of conception through multiple receptions. My work foregrounds the historical contexts to literary production and consumption, while maintaining a space for those discursive meanings that transcend a particular time or place. My recent articles have appeared in Japan Forum, Comparative Literature Studies, Asian Cinema, and Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation. My translation of Azuma Hiroki's Animalizing Postmodernity: Japanese Society seen through Otaku will be published by University of Minnesota Press in 2009. I will be completing my book entitled “Archiving Censors: The Preservation and Production of Banned Japanese Literature, 1923-1970” while a Fellow at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies 2008-2009.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room G (814.865.2263) |

Sydney Aboul-Hosn

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature.

B.A. University of Minnesota; M.A. Université de Poitiers; Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, 1998.


Sydney Aboul-Hosn

Fields of specialization: nineteenth- and twentieth- century short story in French, English and Spanish-American traditions, particularly as related to gender issues in character roles and narrative structures. Publications include an analysis of character gender roles in Cortázar’s Rayuela. Current projects include: editing a textbook and creating an on-line version for CMLIT 108 (World Mythology).

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room B (814.863.7383) | Email:

Gabeba Baderoon

Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies and African American Studies, and affiliate faculty member of Comparative Literature.

B.A.  University of Cape Town , M.A.   University of Cape Town, Ph.D. University of Cape Town.

Prof. Baderoon

Gabeba Baderoon publishes on representations of Islam, slavery and the construction of 'race' and sex in South Africa, and on South African literature in general. She has held fellowships at the African Gender Institute, the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, the Nordic Africa Institute, and the University of Sheffield.  Visit her personal web site.

Office: 102 Willard (814.865.2372) ] Email:


Thomas O. Beebee

Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Comparative Literature and German

B.A. Dartmouth College; M.A., P.h.D University of Michigan, 1984.

Thomas O. Beebee

Thomas O. Beebee was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1955. Seeing that the future was wildfires and blackouts, he fled as far east as possible, and received his B.A. from Dartmouth College and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He taught German at Bowdoin College from 1984 to 1986, when he joined the faculty at Penn State. He became Associate Professor of Comparative Literature & German in 1991, Professor in 2000, and Distinguished Professor in 2008. His fields of specialization in research and graduate teaching are: European literatures of the early modern period; criticism and theory; epistolarity; translation studies; millennial studies; and law and literature. His publications include the books Clarissa on the Continent (1990), The Ideology of Genre (1994), Epistolary Fiction in Europe (1999), Geographies of Nation in Modern European and American Fiction (2008), and Millennial Literatures of the New World, 1492-2002 (2008).Visit his personal web page.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room G (814.863.4935) | Email

Riadh Bounatirou

Lecturer in Arabic, Coordinator of Arabic Language program

Maîtrise, English, Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis.
M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Manouba in Tunisia.

Riadh Bounatirou

Recipient of a Fulbright award, Riadh Bounatirou is completing a Ph.D. in Comparative literature at the Pennsylvania State University. His work focuses on postcolonial aspects of North African Arabic and French texts, with an emphasis on gender roles and sexuality. 

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 301, Room H (814.865.8481 ) ] Email:


Patrick Cheney

Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature

B.A. University of Montana; M.A., Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1979.

Patrick Cheney

Fields of specialization: the Renaissance, especially Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare; Virgil, Ovid, and theories of imitation and intertextuality; scholarly editing and textual scholarship. Books include: Spenser's Famous Flight: A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career; and Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spenser, Counter-Nationhood. Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright (forthcoming); and Marlowe's Republican Authorship: The Early Modern Art of Political Representation (forthcoming). Co-edited collections include: Worldmaking Spenser: Explorations in the Early Modern Age; Approaches to Teaching Shorter Elizabethan Poetry; European Literary Careers: The Author from Antiquity to the Renaissance; Imagining Death in Spenser and Milton; volume 18 of Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual; The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe (forthcoming); and The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's Poetry (forthcoming). A co-edited edition, The Collected Works of Edmund Spenser, is under contract with Oxford University Press, as is a co-edited edition of The Collected Poems of Christopher Marlowe.

Office: 6 Burrowes (814.865.9283) | Email:

Juana Celia Djelal

Senior Lecturer in the Humanities, Departments of Comparative Literature, English, & Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Ph.D. Purdue University.

no photo

Fields of specialization: U.S. Literature, Colonial, 19th and 20th centuries; Inter-American literature; Modernism; Classical Mythology; Herman Melville studies. Publications include The Shape of the Whale: Flukes and Other Tales in Leviathan, A Journal of Melville Studies;  Lessons on Landing: Odysseus and Aeneas. In Interruptions: Essays on the Poetics / Politics of Space, Eastern Mediterranean University Press. All in All: Melvilles Poetics of Unity. : Entries and Introductions to Pindar, Processional Song: On Delos,  Homeric Hymn to Apollon,  Lucian, A True History. In Beyond the Floating Islands, A COTEPRA Reader, Theory and Praxis of Literary Translation, University of Bologna; Phantom's Last Words: Twentieth Century Avatars of Helen of Tory and Cassandra. Classical and Modern Literature.

Office: 160 Burrowes (814.865.3142)| Email:

Jonathan P. Eburne

(Director of Graduate Studies)

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English

B.A. Dartmouth College; Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Eburne

Jonathan Eburne's fields of specialization include the study of international
modernism; surrealism, the avant-garde, and other intellectual movements and
groups; literary and cultural theory; and U.S. literature since 1865. He is
author of Surrealism and the Art of Crime (Cornell University Press, 2008);
his essays have appeared in The Journal of Modern Literature, Modern Fiction
Studies, PMLA, Symploke, Yale French Studies, Contemporary French Civilization,
Sites, Studies in the Novel,
and Pleine Marge, among others. He is co-editor
of special issues of the journals New Literary History ("What is An
Avant-Garde?", with Rita Felski, 2011) and Modern Fiction Studies ("Paris,
Modern Fiction, and the Black Atlantic," with Jeremy Braddock, 2005), as well
as co-editor of a special section of African American Review on Chester Himes
(with Kevin Bell, 2010). He is currently working on a book entitled Outsider

Visit his personal web site.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room A (814.863.0968) | Email:

Caroline D. Eckhardt

Professor of Comparative Literature and English

B.A. Drew University; M.A. Indiana University; Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1971

Caroline D. Eckhardt

Fields of Specialization: medieval literature, especially Chaucer and late medieval chronicles. Author of journal articles and chapters on the Arthurian legend, Chaucer, Provençal poetry, and medieval romance and chronicle, and ed. of books The Prophetia Merlini of Geoffrey of Monmouth: A Fifteenth-Century English Commentary; Essays in the Numerical Criticism of Medieval Literature; and Chaucer's General Prologue: An Annotated Bibliography. Main ongoing project is a critical edition and study of a previously unpublished fourteenth-century legendary history: Castleford's Chronicle, or, The Boke of Brut (Early English Text Society, Oxford University Press), volumes I and II published, volume III in progress.

Office: 201 Ritenour Building (814.863.4931) | Email:

Ruth Edelstein

Lecturer in Hebrew

Graduated in 1987 from the David Yellin, Jerusalem Seminar for Teachers with a Bachelor in Education

Ruth Edelstein

Ruth Edelstein has taught the Hebrew Language at all levels in Israel and the United States. In Israel, she taught Hebrew for Ethiopian immigrants and in the United States, she introduced Hebrew and Judaica in the teaching curriculum of the Congregation Emanu-El in Houston, Texas and at the Jewish Community Center in Richmond, Virginia. She is a member of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew and participated in several advanced workshops at Brandeis University, University of Minnesota, and Stanford University. Currently, Mrs. Edelstein teaches all levels of Hebrew at Penn State University.

Office: 405 Burrowes (814.863.6523)| Email:

Robert Edwards

Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Comparative Literature; Fellow, Institute for Arts and Humanities; Life Member, Clare Hall

B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, 1972

Robert Edwards

Fields of specialization: medieval literature, especially Middle English, Romance, and Latin literatures; drama and lyric poetry; and literary criticism and theory.  Author of journal articles in those fields and of books Chaucer and Boccaccio: Antiquity and Modernity; The Dream of Chaucer: Representation and Reflection in Chaucer's Early Narrative ; Ratio and Invention: A Study in Medieval Lyric and Narrative; The Poetry of Guido Guinizelli; The Montecassino Passion and the Poetics of Medieval Drama; editor of John Lydgate’s Troy Book: Selections and of Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes; editor of Art and Context in late Medieval English Narrative: Essays in Honor of Robert Worth Frank, Jr.; co-editor of Matrons and Marginal Women in Medieval Society; and of The Olde Daunce: Essays on Love, Friendship, Sex, and Marriage in the Medieval World.

Office: 4 Burrowes (814.863.9642) | Email:

Hoda El Shakry

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature

B.A., Rutgers University; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Hoda El Shakry

Hoda El Shakry is an Assistant Professor of Comparative, Arabic and African Literatures. Her teaching and research interests lie in modern literature, criticism and visual culture of the Middle East and North Africa.  Her scholarship traverses the fields of modern Arabic and Francophone North African literature, Mediterranean studies, Islam and secular criticism, postcolonial studies and narrative theory.  Her current book project explores literary engagements with the Qur’an and Islamic Thought in twentieth century Arabophone and Francophone fiction of the Maghreb.  In addition to working on the question of 'Adab' in North African literature and criticism, her forthcoming research projects include a study of science fiction and futurity in Arab literature.  Before coming to Penn State, Hoda El Shakry was an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU.  Her publications include: “Apocalyptic Pasts, Orwellian Future’s: Elle Flanders’ Zero Degrees of Separation ” in GLQ (2010) and “Revolutionary Eschatology: Islam and the End of Time in al-Tahir Wattar’s al-Zilzal ” in the Journal of Arabic Literature (2011).  She has a forthcoming piece on Arabic literary pedagogy and the Maghreb, entitled: "Lessons from the Maghreb."

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room F (814.865.7671) | Email: |

Nergis Ertürk

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

B.A., Harvard University, 1999; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D, Columbia University, 2006.

Nergis Ertürk

Nergis Ertürk's research interests include modern Turkish literature and culture, modern Azerbaijani literature and culture, theories of modernity, comparative (post)colonialisms, comparative modernisms, and deconstruction. She is the author of Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2011), the recipient of the 2012 MLA Prize for a First Book. Her work has also appeared in PMLA, Modernism/Modernity, boundary 2, New Literary History, and Jadaliyya. Before coming to Penn State, Ertürk was Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University, SUNY, from 2006-2008. She was a fellow at Columbia University's Institute for Comparative Literature and Society during spring semester 2007, and Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University, during fall semester 2008. During 2012-2013, she was a Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Postdoctoral Fellow for Transregional Research on Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections, and during 2014-2015, she will hold an American Council Learned Societies (ACLS) Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship. She is currently writing a book entitled Communism, Translation, and the Literatures of Revolution, on the translation of communist thought and practice in the Muslim Caucasus.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room C (814.865-0067) | Email:

Charlotte Eubanks

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Japanese, and Asian Studies.

B.A. University of Georgia; M.A. Indiana University; Ph.D. University of Colorado

Charlotte Eubanks

I am an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Japanese, and Asian Studies. My research centers on the intersections of material culture, performance studies, and ethics in literature. My first book, entitled Buddhist Textual Culture: Miracles of Book and Body in Medieval Japan (University of California Press, 2011), is a study of the relationship between human body and sacred text in the Buddhist literary tradition, focusing on reading as a performance-based act which bridges the text-flesh barrier. The book explores questions concerning the nature of text, the place of writing, and the sensual aspects of religious experience. My second book project (tentatively titled Archival Memory: Art, Politics, and Visual Culture in Trans-War Japan) moves to the modern period to examine links between visual art, human rights, and testimonial narrative, with a particular emphasis on the development of an "atomic ethics." I have articles (published and forthcoming) in ADFL Bulletin, Asian Folklore Studies, Book History, Critical Asian Studies, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, and PMLA.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room D (814.863.4933) | Email:

Kathryn Grossman

Professor of French

B.A. Bryn Mawr College; M.Phil. Ph.D. Yale University, 1973

Kathryn Grossman

Fields of specialization: Nineteenth-century French literature; Hugo studies; utopian studies.  Publications include The Early Novels of Victor Hugo: Towards a Poetics of Harmony  (1986), Figuring Transcendence in Les Misérables: Hugo's Romantic Sublime (1994), and Les Misérables: Conversion, Revolution, Redemption (1996), as well as articles on "'Angleterre et France mêlées': Fraternal Visions in Quatrevingttreize and A Tale of Two Cities" and "Through a Glass Darkly: Utopian Imagery in Nineteen Eighty-Four," "The Ideal Community of Geoge Sand's La Petite Fadette," and Le Shakespeare de la France? sur la trace du Barde dans Les Travailleurs de la mer."  Work in progress a book on the last three novels of Hugo's maturity--Les Travailleurs de la mer, L'Homme qui rit, and Quatrevingt-Treize

Office: Allenway Building, 315 South Allen St., Room 117-F (814.865.3532) | Email:

Thomas A. Hale

Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of African, French, and Comparative Literature

B.A., M.A. Tufts University; Ph.D. University of Rochester, 1974

Thomas Hale

A co-founder of the African Literature Association in 1974, Thomas Hale co-edited, with Richard Priebe (Virginia Commonwealth), two volumes of selected papers, The Teaching of African Literature (1977, 1989), and Artist and Audience: African Literature as a Shared Experience (1979).  While a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Niamey, Niger, in 1980-81, he recorded The Epic of Askia Mohammed (1996) which first appeared in a bilingual Songhay-English format in  Scribe, Griot, and Novelist: Narrative Interpreters of the Songhay Empire (1990).  Oral Epics from Africa: Vibrant Voices from a Vast Continent, an anthology of excerpts from 25 African epics, came out in 1997, co-edited with John Johnson (Indiana) and Stephen Belcher (Penn State). An NEH Fellowship in l991-92 enabled Hale to interview 100 bards in Gambia, Senegal, and Mali for Griots and Griottes: Masters of Words and Music (1998, 2007).
With funding from the Collaborative Research Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001, he and one of his former students, Aissata Sidikou (U.S. Naval Academy) were able to assemble a team of 20 scholars working on women’s songs from West Africa.  After organizing a conference for the team members in 2003, she and he edited two books, Women’s Voices from West Africa, a collection of 80 songs (Indiana UP, 2011), and Women’s Songs from West Africa, a set of 17 papers presented at the conference (Indiana UP, 2013).
The life and works of Martinican political leader Aimé Césaire, one of the originators of the négritude movement in Paris during the 1930s, have been a life-long interest of Prof. Hale ever since he completed a doctoral dissertation on the writer in 1974.  Building on an early and more limited study that he published in 1978, he and Kora Véron, an independent researcher in Paris, wrote a biobibliography titled Les Ecrits d’Aimé Césaire: biobibliographie commentée, 1913-2008 (Champion, 2013).  The two volumes, 891 pages, contain excerpts and  extensive commentary on 1025 ‘texts’ by Césaire, ranging from plays to poems, essays, speeches, interviews, prefaces, declarations, letters, press conferences, films, and recordings.
Prof. Hale is now writing two books: the first is on the relationship of France to francophone Africa, tentatively titled France, Francophonie, Françafrique, and Africa: from the Politics of Culture to the Culture of Politics. The second, with Wendy Belcher of Princeton is an anthology of African literature composed in African languages, 3,000 BCE to the present.

Office: 302 Weaver (814.865.1054) | Email:

Eric Hayot

(Department Head) Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies

B.A., M.A. Georgetown University; Ph.D. U Wisconsin – Milwaukee, 1999

Eric Hayot

Hayot's work focuses on the transnational history of literary and cultural forms, the historical relations between East and West, particularly the Asian diaspora, and a temporally and geographically expansive version of modernism. He is the author of Chinese Dreams: Pound, Brecht, Tel quel (Michigan, 2004) and The Hypothetical Mandarin (Oxford, 2009; co-winner of the 2010 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize) and the co-editor of Sinographies: Writing China (Minnesota, 2007). His new book, On Literary Worlds, will appear from Oxford in 2012. He currently serves as Second Vice President of the American Comparative Literature Association. Visit his personal web site.


Linda J. Ivanits

Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature

Ph. D. in Russian Literature, University of Wisconsin, 1973

no photo

Her dissertation treated the grotesque in the Symbolist writer F. K. Sologub’s novel The Petty Demon. In August 1973 Dr. Ivanits joined the Department of Slavic Languages at Penn State where she taught a variety of courses on Russian language, literature and folklore. Her research interests include nineteenth and twentieth-century Russian literature and Russian folklore. She has written a number of articles on F. K. Sologub and F. M. Dostoevsky. Her major work to date is the book Russian Folk Belief (M.E. Sharpe, 1987). She is presently completing book on the role of the Russian people in the work of Dostoevsky. Dr. Ivanits has also served Associate Editor for Literature and Folklore of The Slavic and East European Journal and as Series Editor for Folklores and Folk Cultures of Eastern Europe published by M.E.Sharpe.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 301, Room A (814.865.1681) | Email:

Rosemary Jolly

Weiss Chair in the Humanities, and Professor of Comparative Literature, English, African Studies, Bioethics, and Women's Studies

B.A. University of Saskatchewan; M.A. and Ph.D. University of Toronto

Djelal Kadir

Rosemary Jolly is an expert on literature and human rights, specifically the relations between the aesthetic characteristics of narratives -- personal, fictional, political and testimonial – and advocacy for, and achievement of, the lived experience of human rights in the lives of vulnerable populations. Her research focuses on narratives, written and oral, from the land of her birth, South Africa.  She has held numerous grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.  Her work explores the relations between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS among racially stigmatized populations; and the lives of victims of state-sponsored torture. She is skilled in creating relations of trust with abuse survivors, whose narratives she analyses to improve social, clinical, and legal services to meet their needs. She is an award-winning instructor and mentor, and the co-founder of rape crisis clinics in rural South Africa.  In addition to her expertise on research ethics involving highly vulnerable populations, she has a keen interest in the applied ethics of university and NGO governance, having served on several Boards, including the Board of Trustees of her former university.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room G (814.865.1188) | Email:

Djelal Kadir

Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Comparative Literature

B.A. Yale, 1969; Ph.D. University of New Mexico, 1972

Djelal Kadir

Founding president of the International American Studies Association. Fields of specialization: American culture, Inter-American literatures, globalization, literary history, literary theory, public discourse, and institutional formations. Author of books including The Other Writing: Postcolonial Essays in Latin American's Writing Culture (Purdue UP, 1993); Columbus and the Ends of the Earth: Europe's Prophetic Rhetoric as Conquering Ideology (Univ. of California P, 1992); Questing Fictions: Latin America's Family Romance (Univ. of Minnesota P, 1986); and Juan Carlos Onetti (Twayne, 1977). Past member of the Editorial Board of PMLA and editor of a special issue of PMLA "America: The Idea, the Literature" (January, 2003). Editor of special issue Comparative Literature Studies on "Globalization and World Literature" (2004). Co-editor of Other Modernism in An Age of Globalization (Carl Winter Verlag, 2002). Co-editor of The Longman Anthology of World Literature (Longman, 3 vols. 2003). Co-editor of Literary Cultures of Latin America (Oxford UP, 6 vols. 2004).

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room C (814.863.9629) | Email:

Luz Angélica Kirschner

Visiting Scholar

Ph.D. Penn State, 2008

Luz Angélica Kirschner,, is a permanent Full-Time Lecturer in the Department of American and Inter-American Studies at the Universität Bielefeld in Germany.  She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, with a minor in Literary Theory, Criticism, and Aesthetics, at Penn State in 2008; her dissertation on minority women’s writing in Argentina, Germany, and the U.S.A. was directed by Sophia A. McClennen. Since completing her degree, she has been teaching U.S., Latin@, and Latin American literatures, film, and cultural studies from Inter-American and Transatlantic perspectives at Bielefeld. Her research focuses on the ways in which comparative literary studies of ethnicity, race, gender, and identity formation have been impacted by contemporary socio-economic manifestations such as neoliberalism and globalization. Her edited volume Expanding Latinidad: An Inter-American Perspective has just been published by Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier / Bilingual Press (Arizona State University). Her current research projects include a book manuscript with the working title “Transnational Subjects: Spectres of Essentialism” and a volume “Diversifying Jewish Experience in the Americas.” 


Martina Kolb

Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature

Ph. D. Yale University
M. Phil. Yale University
Staatsexamen University of Tübingen
M. A. University of Oregon, Eugene


Martina Kolb

Fields of Specialization: International Modernism; Comparative (Geo-)Poetics; European Studies; Mediterranean Studies; Travel Literature, Theater East-West; Detective Literature; Psychoanalysis. Publications include articles on the Uncanny in Uwe Johnson, on Ezra Pound’s Prison Writing, on Bertolt Brecht’s Appropriations of Oriental Theater, on Friedrich Nietzsche’s Presence in Sigmund Freud, and on Gottfried Benn's dealings with Italian Futurism; Book Project on Mediterranean Geo-Poetics.

Before joining Penn State, Martina Kolb taught as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Humanities Core Curriculum at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. She is the recipient of a number of awards, among them a Giles Whiting Dissertation Fellowship, two Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Institutes of Advanced Studies at the Universities of Konstanz (ZWN) and Bologna (ISA), as well as an Individual Faculty Grant and a Residency at Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 301, Room C ( 814.865.0068)

Brian Lennon

Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Ph.D., Columbia University; M.F.A., University of Iowa; B.A., Wesleyan University

Brian Lennon

Brian Lennon has published articles on topics in contemporary literature, literary theory, and media studies, as well as two books: In Babel's Shadow: Multilingual Literatures, Monolingual States (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and City: An Essay (University of Georgia Press, 2002).

Visit his personal web page

Office: 216 Burrowes ( 814.865.6261)

Shaoling Ma

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies

B.A. and M.A. National University of Singapore; Ph.D. University of Southern California

Sophia McClennen

Shaoling Ma's teaching and research interests include literary and critical theory, continental philosophy, nineteenth-century to contemporary U.S. and Sinophone literature and culture, problems of East-West comparisons, and critiques of race, ethnicity, gender, and global capital. Her book manuscript examines the problem of China-West comparison through Chinese and U.S. self-conceptions of nationhood, empire, and world unity from around 1865 to 1911. Her next project will focus on the transnational imagination of Chinese secret societies or triads. She has published in Angelaki, Theory and Event, and Science Fiction Studies.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room E (814.865.7651) | Email:

Sophia A. McClennen

Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature

B.A. Harvard; M.A. and Ph.D. Duke University

Sophia McClennen

Fields of specialization: post-colonial Latin American literature, inter-American studies, comparative cultural studies, gender studies, film and media studies and critical theory. Publications include, The Dialectics of Exile: Nation, Time, Language and Space in Hispanic Literatures (Purdue UP 2004), a book in progress, Ariel Dorfman:  An Aesthetics of Hope, as well as a collection, co-edited with Earl E. Fitz, Comparative Cultural Studies and Latin America (Purdue UP 2004), in addition to book chapters and articles.

Office: 244 Lewis Katz Building (814.865.2333) | Email:

Henry Morello

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Spanish

Ph. D. University of Illinois

Henry Morello

Fields of specialization: Theatre, Latin American Literature, Film Studies, cultural studies, and posttraumatic culture. He has published on the use of the Internet by the Mexican EZLN and is currently working on the effects of traumatic events on theatre, music and literature in Latin America. His most recent work is a co-edited volume of CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture entitled “Representing Humanity in an Age of Terror". His next book project entitled Posttraumatic Theatre will be an examination of theatre written and performed as a response to traumatic events in Argentina, Chile, and Spain.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room B (814.863.4927) | Email:

John Ochoa

Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature

Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Yale University, 1999

Before coming to Penn State, John Ochoa was an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Riverside. He held a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in in 2001-02. Fields of specialization: Mexican literature, literatures of the Americas. His book, The Uses of Failure in Mexican Literature and Identity, which was published by the University of Texas Press in 2005, explores the thematic relationship between the awareness of failure and its impact on cultural identity in Mexico. His next book-length study will pair readings of works from North and South America to consider questions of self-definition and how the "canon" helps forge national culture. He is also interested in Latina/o cultural production in the U.S.

Office: 3A Keller Building (814.865.8786) | Email:

Dennis J. Schmidt

Liberal Arts Professor of Philosophy, Comparative Literature, and German

B.A. Bucknell University, Ph.D. Boston College, 1980

Dennis Schmidt

Fields of specialization: Post-Kantian Philosophy, Hermeneutic theory, Ancient Greek Philosophy and Literature, Aesthetic theory, Contemporary literary theory and criticism, translation theory and practice.  Books include: The Ubiquity of the Finite: Hegel, Heidegger and the Entitlements of Philosophy (1988); On Germans and Other Greeks: Tragedy and Ethical Life (2000); Lyrical and Ethical Subjects: Essays on the Periphery of the Word, Freedom and History (2005); translator of Ernst Bloch's Naturrecht und menschliche Wuerde (1986); editor of Hermenetics and the Poetic Motion (1990); co-editor of Hermeneutisch Wege: Hans-Georg Gadamer zum Hundertsten (2000); general editor of the SUNY Press "Series in Continental Philosophy"(over 100 titles in print).  Current book project:  On Memory and Responsibility: Becoming who one is.

Office: 209 Sparks (814.865.1919) | Email:

Shuang Shen

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Chinese

B.A. Beijing University, People’s Republic of China; M.A. Beijing University, People’s Republic of China; Ph.D. The City University of New York, Graduate Center

Fields of specialization: Modern and contemporary Chinese literature, Sinophone literature of the twentieth century, Chinese diaspora literatures, Asian American literature, postcolonial literature and theory. Publications include Cosmopolitan Publics: Anglophone Print Culture in Semi-Colonial Shanghai (Rutgers University Press, 2009) and English and Chinese articles in leading academic journals and edited volumes.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room A (814.865.4408) | Email:

Scott Thompson Smith

Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Ph.D. English, University of Notre Dame, 2007; M.A. Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, 2001; M.A. English, Truman State University, 1996; B.A. English, Truman State University, 1992, with a minor in Medieval Studies


Scott T. Smith has research interests in the intersection of legal and literary discourses in early medieval England and in the function of rhetorical ornament in vernacular and Latin writing. His book, Land and Book: Literature and Land Tenure in Anglo-Saxon England, is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press. He has also published articles in JEGP and inAnglo-Saxon England and his work has appeared in essay collections dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and to critical theory in Anglo-Saxon Studies. Smith is also part of the editorial collective for Graphic Medicine, a new interdisciplinary series on comics studies and medicine to be published by the Pennsylvania State University Press.

Smith's teaching interests include medieval literature, comics and graphic novels, supernatural literature, and horror.

Areas of Specialization: Medieval Literature with particular interests in Anglo-Saxon literature and History of the English Language; Book History and Textual Studies; Visual Culture: Medieval manuscripts, comics studies.

Office: 133 Burrowes (814.865.6855) | Email:

Alan Stoekl

Professor of French and Comparative Literature

B.A., M.A. University of Wisconsin, 1973; Ph.D. State University of New York at Buffalo

Alan Stoekl

Fields of specialization:  literary theory, translation, and twentieth century European literature.  Publications include Agonies of the Intellectual; and Politics, Writing, Mutilation: The Cases of Bataille, Blanchot, Roussel, Leiris and Ponge.  Professor Stoekl has also translated major works by Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, and Paul Fournel.

Office: Allenway Building, 315 South Allen St., Room 117-E (814.863.7499) | Email:


Reiko Tachibana

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Japanese, and Asian Studies

B.A. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, M.A. New York University, Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, 1991

Reiko Tachibana

Fields of specialization: twentieth  Century Japanese   literature, transnational writers of Japan, East-West literary relation,  Japanese  and  German   postwar   fiction. Publications include a book Narrative as Counter-Memory:  A Half-Century of Postwar Writing in Germany and Japan (1998) and articles, such as "On Two Interviews Between Gunter Grass and Oe Kenzaburo;” "The Obsession to Destroy Monuments:  Mishima and Boll;” "Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum and Oe Kenzaburo's My Tears: A Study in Convergence,"  "The Documentary Novel:  Ibuse Masuji's Black Rain and Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries;"  "Hiroshima in Oba Minako's Urashimaso: Desire and Self-Destructiveness; ” "Seeing Between the Lines:  Imamura Shohei's Kuroi Ame (Black Rain);" Oe Kenzaburo’s "Shiiku" (Prize Stock); and “Nomadic Writers of Japan: Tawada Yoko and Mizumura Minae.” She is working on a book on translational women writers.

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 202, Room D (814.863.4932) | Email:

Adrian Wanner

Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature.

Lic. Phil. (M.A.), Zurich University, Switzerland; Ph.D. Columbia University, 1992

Dr. Wanner

A native of Switzerland, Adrian Wanner studied French and Russian Philology in Zurich, Paris, Leningrad, and at Columbia University.   He has taught at Penn State since 1996.  His research interests include symbolism, literary relations between Russia and Western Europe, the translation of poetry, utopian and genre studies.  More recently, he has focused on contemporary diaspora fiction, especially the literature written by Russian-Jewish émigré authors in French, German, English, and Hebrew.  He has published numerous articles in Slavic and comparative literature journals and is the author of three monographs: Baudelaire in Russia (University Press of Florida, 1996), Russian Minimalism: From the Prose Poem to the Anti-Story (Northwestern University Press, 2003), and Out of Russia: Fictions of a New Translingual Diaspora (Northwestern University Press, 2011).  In addition he has published six editions of Russian, Romanian, and Ukrainian poetry in his German verse translation.  His most recent book, published in 2013, is a bilingual Russian-German edition of the poetry of Vladislav Khodasevich.

Visit his personal website at:

Office: 112 W. Foster Ave. Suite 301, Room B (814.865.1097) | Email:

Department of Comparative Literature
The Pennsylvania State University
215 Ritenour Building | University Park, PA 16802
phone: 814.863.0589 | fax: 814.863.8882 | email:

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