2018 Comparative Literature First Year Writing Prize

Deryl Long received a prize for his essay, “From the Basement Up: Delegitimizing White Property Rights in The Invisible Man,” written for a FYWR course taught by Alex Aguayo.  

Mirim Kim received a prize for her essay, “Diversifying Conversation and Narratives: How Angels in America Sparked Political and Social Change,” written for a FYWR course taught by Harry Kashdan.


 2018 Senior Prize in Literary Translation

Jess Liu received a Senior Prize in Literary Translation for translating (from Chinese) an excerpt from Anni Baobei, Endless August.

Trevor Krayer received a Senior Prize in Literary Translation for translating (from Portuguese) an excerpt from João Leal, Terra Fresca.


Comparative Literature Majors

Caroline Cusinato (’18 BA) majored in Comparative Literature along with a minor in Creative Writing. She received High Honors for her thesis, titled “What is Morality?” Caroline was part of the U-M Synchronized Figure Skating Team that won a gold medal at the National Championships in Portland, Oregon.

Elena Hubbell (’18 BA) majored in Comparative Literature along with a major in Asian Studies with a focus in Chinese.

Emily Joseph (’18 BA) majored in Comparative Literature along with a major in Near Eastern Studies. She received High Honors for her honors thesis, titled “Innocence, Guilt, and the In-Between: 1980 in Turkish Literature,” and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to go to Ankara, Turkey.

Abigail Romain (’18 BA) completed three majors in Comparative Literature, French, and International Studies.

Yuanqing Wang (’18 BA) majored in Comparative Literature along with a major in Chemistry, and wrote a senior thesis, titled “The Contemporary Chinese Folk Song Revival: Nostalgia, Identity Crisis, and Postmodernism.”

Hidaya Zeaiter (’18 BA) majored in Comparative Literature along with a major in Psychology, and wrote a senior thesis, titled “The Impact of Translation on Language, Thought, and Literature.”


Translation Studies Minors

Anjali Alangaden (’18 BA in Linguistics) completed the Minor in Translation Studies. She dedicated her capstone project to an exploration of translation across campus at the University of Michigan. She worked as an undergraduate intern for Absinthe: World Literature in Translation, and also conducted a series of interviews with people engaging translation in many contexts.

Marine Barjol (’18 BA in Political Science) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, translating from French into English a book about the Syrian conflicit, by a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Jo Deng (’18 BS in Computer Science) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project translating two contemporary Chinese songs into three different English versions, reflecting the direct translation, lyrical translation and musical translation of each song.

Jordan Hite (’18 BA in Spanish) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project comprised of transcribing, translating, and subtitling the independent Brazilian film Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho (Today, I want to go back alone).

Quynh Kieu (’18 BS in Neuroscience) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Translating Vietnamese Women”, in which she translated posters from the Vietnam War for a special exhibit at the as well as a short story by Mai Thuy Tran.

Quinn Partridge (’18 BA in Asian Studies) completed the Minor in Translation Studies.

Sabrina Ross (’18 BA in Classical Languages and Literatures) completed the Minor in Translation Studies.

Yue Xu (’18 BBA in Business Administration) completed the Minor in Translation Studies.

Hidaya Zeaiter (’18 BA in Comparative Literature and Psychology) completed the Minor in Translation Studies.




Sahin Acikgoz attended the 2017 Institute for World Literature in Copenhagen, Denmark, and presented a paper at 2017 meeting of the ACLA in Utrecht, The Netherlands: Loving Queerly is Making Philosophy: The Summons of Queer Love.”

Maximillian Alvarez concluded his term as ACLA Graduate Student Representative by coordinating the Graduate Caucus Panel, “Graduate Studies and/as Political Engagement,” at the 2017 meeting in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Maximillian was just named one of the 2018-19 Graduate Research Fellows at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. He recently published an article, “Media An-Arche-ology” in the journal La Deleuziana and has had another paper, “(Digital) Media as Critical Pedagogy,” accepted to the journal Media Theory. He was also offered a book deal for John Hopkins University Press’s “Critical University Studies” series. Maintaining a dedication to public scholarship and activism, Maximillian organized numerous teach-ins and protests for the Campus Antifascist Network while continuing to write for venues like The Chronicle of Higher EducationTruthout, and his column at The Baffler. He also appeared on Vice News Tonight and participated in a panel, “Censoring Speech on Campus,” for the NPR broadcast of 1A with Joshua Johnson. *Special Note* Maximillian was incredibly proud to learn that A’ndre Gonawela '19 (a former student in Max’s COMPLIT 122 course, “Welcome to the Monkey House: How Politics Becomes a Reality Show”) was first author on a research article in Computer Supported Cooperative Work Journal on the role of tweeting during national election campaigns.  

Alex Aguayo attended the 2017 Institute for World Literature in Copenhagen, Denmark and presented a paper at the 2017 meeting of the ACLA in Utrecht, The Netherlands: “Bodies on the verge of disappearing: Salón de belleza’s Neoliberal Endgames.”   

Lauren Benjamin was awarded a 2018-2019 predoctoral fellowship at the U-M Institute for the Humanities fellowship, to work on her doctoral dissertation, “Feral Modernims.” She presented “Feral Reading and Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood” at the 2018 Northeast Modern Language Association.

Megan Berkobien was a national fellow for Mellon's Humanities Without Walls program in summer 2017, and received a Comparative Literature Internship Fellowship for her work with 826michigan on outreach to writing programs in Ypsilanti Schools.

Vedran Catovic presented a paper at the 2017 meeting of the ACLA in Utrecht, The Netherlands: “Ruminations of the Serbian Ox: Radoje Domanovic’s Satire of the Anthropocentric Folly.”

Duygu Ergun presented a paper at the 2017 meeting of the ACLA in Utrecht, The Netherlands: “Ethical Imperative of the Timeless: An Aesthetic Reading of Syncope in Malina.” She also presented papers at the 2018 meeting of ACLA in Los Angeles, “Uexküll, Technology, and the Impenetrable Life,” and at our 2018 CLIFF Conference: “Coexisting in Space: The Battle of Algiers.

Mélissa Gélinas defended her doctoral dissertation, Heterolanguage in Twenty-First-Century Cinema and Literature: Transnational Mediations in Fall 2017, and has begun a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Concordia University's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Karl Gaudyn participated in the 2017 Institute for World Literature in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Adrienne Jacaruso was named GSI Teaching Mentor for Comparative Literature in Fall 2017, and received a 2018 Sweetland Dissertation Institute Fellowship.

Shalmali Jadav presented a paper at our 2018 CLIFF Conference: “Touching the Untouchable: Deciphering the Untranslatable in Fandry.”

Harry Kashdan defended his doctoral dissertation, Eating Elsewhere: Food and Migration in the Contemporary Mediterranean in Fall 2017.  He presented a paper at the 2017 meeting of  the ACLA in Utrecht, ”From the Mountains to the Sea (and Back)” and has accepted a one-semester position as Lauro de Bossis postdoctoral fellow in Italian as Harvard University.  

Yael Kenan presented "Recovering Lost Tongues: Forms of Translation in Almog Behar’s Bilingual Poetry" at the AJS Annual Meeting in Washington DC in December, and "Temporality and Resistance: Reading Grossman and Kanafani Together" at the Modern Jewish Literature Symposium in Honor of Anita Norich at the University of Michigan in March. Her paper, "Mourning: Black Life, Black Death" was published in Black Lives Have Always Mattered (Ed. Obiodun Oyewole) in 2017, and "Dialogue in Monologue: Addressing Darwish in Hebrew" was published in The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, vol. 61 in 2017.

Leigh Korey received Rackham’s Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award and a 2018 Sweetland Dissertation Institute Fellowship.

Lisa Levin received a Hopwood Graduate Poetry Award for “Avian Economy.”

Graham Liddell presented a paper at our 2018 CLIFF Conference: “Arab Migration Narratiges in the Neoliberal Age: Rethinking Trans/Nationalism.”

Raya Naamneh presented a paper at our 2018 CLIFF Conference: “Language and the Postcolonial Self in Assia Djebar’s Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade.”

Genta Nishku presented a paper titled “Against Pity: A Re-Orientation Toward the Matter of Misery” at the 2018 NESEEES in New York. She also received a Rackham International Research Award from the International Institute to conduct research in Belgrade, Serbia this summer.

Shira Schwartz organized a panel at the Association for Jewish Studies’ annual conference (AJS) entitled “Jewish Queer Women Bodies: (New) Materialities of Reproduction, and presented a paper entitled, “Queer Yeshiva Bodies: The Material Transformations of Women Yeshiva Students”. Her project, “Instagram for the Extended Classroom”, was accepted to and given seed funding from the Campus of the Future Bicentennial Presidential Colloquium Showcase. She was quoted in an article in Teen Vogue on Jewish menstruation practices. Shira also won a STAR award, along with her team, for her work at the Shapiro Design Lab Residency, and their curation of the final design exhibition.

Mariane Stanev was invited by the Program in International and Comparative Studies at UM to give a guest lecture for their “Introduction to International Studies 101.”

William Stroebel defended his doctoral dissertation, Fluid Books, Fluid Borders: Modern Greek and Turkish Book Networks in a Shifting Sea in Fall 2017. Starting in September 2018, he will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University. Will has also been awarded a scholarship from the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia to attend the seminar "Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description", this summer. His article "Some Assembly Required: Suspending and Extending the Book with Cavafy's Collections" was published in the journal Book History. As acknowledged in the article, it has benefited from multiple readers in our Tisch community.

Peter Vorissis participated in the 2017 Institute for World Literature in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Grace Zanotti was named GSI Teaching Mentor for Comparative Literature in Winter 2018.

Xiaoxi Zhang presented a paper at the 2017 meeting of the ACLA in Utrecht, The Netherlands: “Lithographys, and Discourses on Fashion and Clothing in the Romantic Era.”



Maral Aktokmakyan, 2017-2018 Manoogian Postdoctoral Fellow, gave a talk for the U-M Armenian Studies Program called “Biopolitics and Life-Writing among Ottoman Armenians: The Sacred Life of Zabel Yesayan” in Fall 2017. She also organized an Armenian studies workshop, “Literature and Liminality:  Exploring the Armenian in-Between” at UM, and participated in “Lost & Found in Western Armenian Translation”, sponsored by the Armenian Center of Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Tatjana Aleksic presented a paper on “Female Vampires in Slavic Tradition and Cultures” at the 2017 PAMLA in Hawaii, and a guest lecture, “Architecture and Power: Art, Violence, Performance,” at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.

Catherine Brown joined the Executive Committee for the Program in Medieval and Modern Studies, and received a course enhancement grant to experiment with various writing materials  in her graduate seminar, “Media: Materiality, History, Theory.”

Frieda Ekotto will receive an honorary degree from Colorado College in May in recognition of her scholarship and leadership as chair of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at U-M.

Daniel Herwitz edited and wrote the introduction for Serious Larks: The Philosophy of Ted Cohen, University of Chicago Press, April 2018. He also wrote the catalogue essay, “Enchanted Mott”, for Jim Cogswell’s bicentennial catalogue Cosmogonic Tattoos, University of Michigan, 2017. His public writing appeared in South African newspapers, “Art and the Giving of Offense” (PoliticsWeb, August 2017), “On the Forced Removals of Art at UCT” (PoliticsWeb, July 2017), “The Conflicting Demands of Transformation,” (Opinion Piece in PoliticsWeb, April, 2017), and “The Consumerist Revolutionaries of Fallism,” (Opinion Piece in PoliticsWeb, April 2017). He signed a contract with Bloomsbury UK for a new book called Global Aesthetics about the way in which the culture and economy of globalization over the past thirty years demands rethinking of key concepts in aesthetics.

Vassilis Lambropoulos was named C. P. Cavafy professor emeritus of classical studies and comparative literature in 2018. He launched his book-length scholarly project, “The Tragedy of Revolution: Revolution as Hubris in Modern Drama” in the form of a website-in-progress:

Tomoko Masuzawa delivered the opening keynote address (for the first time for her, in Japanese) at the annual meeting of the Japanese Association for the Study of Religion in Tokyo. Other endowed lectures and keynotes were given at the University of Kansas, Macalester College, Yale University, and Columbia University.

Peggy McCracken published In the Skin of a Beast: Sovereignty and Animality in Medieval France (Chicago 2017).

Christi Merrill published “Dalit Consciousness and Translating Consciousness: Narrating Trauma as Cultural Translation” in Translation: A Transdisciplinary Journal 5 (2017) and “Intimate Interrogations” in Memory and Genocide (Routledge 2017).

Benjamin Paloff published “Can you Tell Me How to Get to the Warsaw Ghetto?” in Modenism/Modernity and various translations from Polish, Russian and (for the first time) Yiddish.

Yopie Prins convened a three-day seminar on “World Poetics” at the 2017 meeting of the ACLA in Utrecht, The Netherlands. She also presented “Ladies’ Greek” as inaugural lecture for the Irene Butter Collegiate Professorship at the University of Michigan in September 2017, and was invited as guest speaker for the Tenth Walter Ong Memorial Lecture at St. Louis University, at the Victorian Colloquium at Princeton University, and at the University of Arizona.

Anton Shammas’s article “Torture into Affidavit, Dispossession into Poetry: On Translating Palestinian Pain” (Critical Inquiry 44.1, Autumn 2017) was translated into French by Hélène Boisson for Palestine: territoure, mémoire, projection (ed. Rasha Salti). His novel Arabesques (Hebrew, 1986), translated into eight languages, has just come out in a Greek translation (by Chryssoula Papadopoulou; Athens: Kastaniotis Editions, 2018).

Xiaobing Tang was invited to give a series of lectures on sound studies and modern Chinese cultural history at the Institute of Chinese Literature at Xiamen University in the summer of 2017. He also contributed “Resonances of a Visual Image in the Early Twentieth Century” to A New Literary History of Modern China (Harvard) and wrote the introduction to Ying Yi’s Art and Artists in China Since 1949 (Cambridge).

Antoine Traisnel’s translation of Robert Montgomery Bird's Sheppard Lee, for which he also wrote a critical afterword, was published in September with Aux Forges de Vulcain Press. He was invited to give lectures at Northwestern and at University Paris 7. He also has a review essay on literature and biopolitics forthcoming in Cultural Critique.

Ruth Tsoffar presented a guest lecture, “Diversifying and Queering Israeli Culture,” at the University of Barcelona Spain. She also received a Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for the graduate program in Comparative Literature.

Silke Weineck published an article, "Laios," in the Handbuch Literatur und Psychoanalyse (deGruyter 2017). She also published a book, It's Football, Not Soccer (and Vice Versa): On the History, Emotion, and Ideology Behind One of the Internet's Most Ferocious Debates (Amazon 2018). She presented lectures and conference papers at the University of Zurich, the University of Chicago, the German Studies Association in Atlanta, and the PAMLA in Hawaii. Silke designed and taught a new first-year seminar ("True/False/Neither"). She also served as LSA Ombuds.