2019 Comparative Literature First Year Writing Prize

Katherine Glad received a prize for “Chuck Too Close,” her essay written for a FYWR course taught by Duygu Ergun.

2019 Senior Prize in Literary Translation

Nevin Mital (BBA in Business Administration and BS in Computer Science) received a Senior Prize in Literary Translation for translating Illustrated Children's Mahabharata by Ramanlal Soni from Hindi into English.

Collin Parks (BA in History) received a Senior Prize in Literary Translation for translating The History by Michael Attaleiates from Greek into English.

Comparative Literature Majors

Tabitha Baker graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature in Winter 2019.

Bailey Compton graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature and German in Winter 2019.

Abigail Vallie graduated with a BS in Comparative Literature with Honors and Cellular & Molecular Biology in Winter 2019.

Bridget Butler graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature, Minor in French & Francophone Studies in Fall 2018.

Casey Jong graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature with Honors in Fall 2018. She received support from Comparative Literature for her summer internships in San Francisco as an Educational Programming Intern with 826 Valencia in 2017, and as an intern with Climate One, a climate justice podcast in 2018.

Translation Studies Minors

Mikayla Easley (BA in Russian) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “American Protests through the Russian Lens”.

Stephanie Misevich (BA in International Studies and German) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “English Translations of German Letters from the Second World War.”

Griffin St. Onge (BA in Political Science and French) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Translation as a Political Tool: Languages and Political Goals of the Canadian Government.” Griffin has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in France for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Katherine Thomas (BMus in Performance and BA in French) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Ahmed Sefrioui’s ‘The Box of Wonders’.”

Michael Ward (‘19 BA in Romance Languages & Literatures) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “The Ugly Duckling: In Defense of Technical Translation.”


Sahin Acikgoz was awarded a 2019 Rackham Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, and a predoctoral fellowship at the Institute for the Humanities for 2019-20.

Alexander Aguayo served as summer 2018 Graduate Student Diversity Ally in Comparative Literature.

Maximillian Alvarez accepted the position of Associate Editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lauren Benjamin received a 2019-2020 Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.

Megan Berkobien was awarded a 2019 Mellon Public Engagement and the Humanities Grant. Meg also edited “Barings // Bearings: Contemporary Women's Writing in Catalan,” Volume 25 of Absinthe: World Literature in Translation.

Ali Bolcakan was awarded a 2019-20 Tsangadas Fellowship from Rackham to pursue research in Modern Greek. He also co-edited “World Hellenisms,” Volume 24 of Absinthe: World Literature in Translation.

Luiza Caetano presented her paper, “Contradiction as Strategy: Germaine de Stael’s Three Novellas” at the 2019 CLIFF conference. She also presented a paper titled, “‘Mirza ou Lettre d’un voyageur,’ de Germaine de Staël: racisme ou critique des Lumières?”at NeMLA this March.

Jamie Clegg translated a short story for Belgrade Noir, for publication by Akashic Books.

Srdjan Cvjeticanin was selected to participate in the 2019 Cornell Summer School for Criticism and Theory.

Duygu Ergun had a production of her play, Barbara'nın Doğumu (Birth of Barbara), staged in Bursa, Turkey.

Elisabeth Fertig was awarded a Comparative Literature Internship Fellowship in summer 2018 to work at the radio station KMRD in Madrid, New Mexico.

Yael Kenan presented conference papers at the annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association, the Association for Judaic Studies and the American Comparative Literature Association. She also gave an invited talk at SUNY Binghamton, and guest taught a class there. She won the Marshal Weinberg Prize for graduate students from the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.

Leigh Korey successfully defended her dissertation, Aging Bodies, Hairy Bodies, Barely Human Bodies: Three Articles on Contemporary Iranian Diasporic Literature in August 2018.

Amanda Kubic presented her paper, “‘Neither honey nor the bee for me’: Silence and Desire in Fragment 113" at the 2019 CLIFF conference. She was also awarded a Rackham Language Training Grant for modern Greek study in Athens as well as $1,000 from the UMich Modern Greek Program Tsangadas Fund for modern Greek study in Athens.

Lisa Levin presented her paper “Notes on ‘Notes on Speechlessness’”at the 2019 CLIFF conference. She was also awarded a prize in the 2019 Classical Translations Contest sponsored by Contexts for Classics, for her rendering of Sappho Fragment 16.

Graham Liddell wrote a feature news article about youth soccer in Detroit that was published in USA Today. The piece was produced in association with Round Earth Media.

David Martin was awarded a Comparative Literature Internship Fellowship in winter 2019, to participate in projects sponsored by the Language Resource Center on translating for social justice.

Raya Naamneh was a graduate student coordinator for the Global Theories of Critique project.

Genta Nishku completed a Graduate Certificate in Critical Translation Studies with a capstone project, a translation of the short story “Undermarket” by Mirjana Đurđević for Belgrade Noir, to be published by Akashic Books. She presented a paper at the 2019 ACLA meeting titled, "City Ladies, Village Rain: Gender Politics in Aleksandar Petrović and Piro Milkani”. Her paper, "The Wretched on the Walls: A Fanonian Reading of a Revolutionary Albanian Orphanage, is forthcoming in forthcoming in a Special Issue of Feminist Critique Journal and the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice. She received a CREES Research Grant and a Rackham International Research Award to fund a summer research project on social justice activism in Kosovo and Albania, and she was accepted to participate in the 2019 summer workshop of the Balkan Society for Theory and Practice, held in Prishtina, Kosovo, where she will present her paper, "Refusals to Speak, to Witness, to Forget: the Negative Space Poetics of Luljeta Lleshanaku." Genta will also present the same paper at the International MLA conference in Lisbon in July.

William Runyan successfully defended his dissertation, Global Form and Fantasy in Yiddish Literary Culture: Visions from Mexico City and Buenos Aires in December 2018. He completed a Graduate Certificate in Critical Translation Studies, and was awarded a translation fellowship from the Yiddish Book Center.

Shira Schwartz was awarded predoctoral fellowship at the Institute for the Humanities for 2019-20.

Duygu Ula successfully defended her dissertation, Towards a Local Queer Aesthetics: Queer Cultural Productions from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Turkey in February 2019. Duygu accepted a three-year position as Postdoctoral Fellow in the First Year Writing Program at Barnard College. Her article, "Towards a Local Queer Aesthetics: Nilbar Güreş's Photography and Female Homoerotic Intimacy" has been accepted for publication in the October 2019 issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Peter Vorissis co-edited “World Hellenisms,” Volume 24 of Absinthe: World Literature in Translation.

Grace Zanotti presented her paper, “Reading Through the Lacuna: Anne Carson’s Pinplay and Euripides’ Bacchae” at the 2019 CLIFF conference.


Catherine Brown was named Director of the Arts & Ideas Major at the Residential College.

Frieda Ekotto was honored for her work in cinema at the International Film Festival of Sub-Saharan Films in Zagora, Morocco. She was also interviewed about her work in El País. Her novel Don’t Whisper Too Much and Portrait of a Young Artiste from Bona Mbella was published in English by Rutgers Press,, translated by Corine Tachtiris (UM Comp Lit Phd 2012).

Daniel Herwitz edited and introduced Serious Larks: The Philosophy of Ted Cohen (Chicago UP, 2019), and his book Cosmopolitan Aesthetics for a Global World is forthcoming from Bloomsbury.

Artemis Leontis was named the new C. P. Cavafy Professor of Modern Greek Studies and Comparative Literature in January 2019. Her book, Eva Palmer Sikelianos: A Life in Ruins, was published in 2019 by Princeton University Press.

Peggy McCracken co-edited (with Valerie Traub and Patricia Badir) Ovidian Transversions: Iphis and Ianthe, 1300-1650 for publication by Edinburgh UP in March 2019.

Christi Merrill co-edited a special issue on Dalit Literature in October 2018 for She also presented papers on “Translation in the Vernacular: Toward a Dalit Feminist Scholarly Praxis” at the 2018 European Association of South Asian Studies conference in Paris, and “Bringing the Eccentricities of Translation Center-Stage” at the 2018 South Asian Studies conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

Benjamin Paloff received the 2018 Book Award for Best Book in Literary Studies from American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) for his book Lost in the Shadow of the Word: Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe. He was also was awarded a 2019 Mellon Public Engagement and the Humanities Grant.

Yopie Prins was awarded Best Book of the Year by the North American Victorian Studies Association for Ladies' Greek: Victorian Translations of Tragedy. Her book also received the 2018 Robert Lowry Patten Award for contribution to nineteenth-century British Literary Studies from SEL Studies in English Literature, and was shortlisted for the London Hellenic Prize. She presented her paper, “Meter Maids” for a session “Gender and Translation” at the 2019 MLA, and led a three-day seminar on “Victorian Cultures of Translation” at the 2019 American Comparative Literature Association conference.

Marlon James Sales will have two articles published in June/July 2019: "Tagalog Missionary Grammars as a Translation Resource: Translation, Book History, and the Production of Linguistic Knowledge in the Spanish Philippines" in a special issue of Comparative Critical Studies of the British Comparative Literature Association on translation and the history of the book, and "Translation (in/of/as) History: Toward a Model for Historicizing Translation in Hispanic Filipino Literature" in a special issue of Translation & Interpreting on translation history. He interviewed Harold Augenbraumm, acting editor of The Yale Review, associate director of the Yale Translation Initiative at the MacMillan Center, and former executive director of the National Book Foundation, on translating Filipino literature in Spanish. The interview will be published in Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World of UC Merced. Malon presented “On Filthy Nouns and Dirty Verbs: Translating Sex in Tagalog Missionary Linguistics” for the Friday Lecture Series in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at U-M in March 2019. He presented “Language, Translation and Missionary Catholicism in the Spanish Philippines” at The Premodern Colloquium of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program at U-M in April 2019.

Anton Shammas published “Bab al-Wa’rah (fiction in Arabic)” in Journal of Palestine Studies and gave a lecture at the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at U Mass-Amherst.

Xiaobing Tang presented his papers, “Art Education and Public Sensibility” at the San Francisco Art Institute, and “Between Sound Cinema and Community Singing” at a conference at Edinburgh University on “Realm of the Senses: Mapping China’s Modern Sensorium.” He also co-organized an international conference on “Cultural Production and Practices in Modern China” at Fudan University in Shanghai, and translated his book, Visual Culture in Contemporary China (Cambridge 2015) for publication by Fudan University Press.

Antoine Traisnel’s book, Capture: Early American Pursuits and the Making of a New Animal Condition, was accepted for publication at University of Minnesota Press. It is scheduled to come out in the fall 2020. Antoine co-write two essays with Ingrid Diran on the concept of "geopower"--the governance of the nonliving that, we argue, emerges as a tacit corrolary to biopower. Those essays are forthcoming in the coming months in Diacritics and a collected volume titled Climate Realism, respectively. In fall 2018, he taught a course titled "Philosophy as a Way of Life" with the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program. The class brought together students from UM and men incarcerated at Macomb Correctional Facility around a wide variety of philosophical works to reflect on problems like identity, freedom, race, gender, education, and justice. Antoine was invited to give a keynote lecture on Frantz Fanon for a conference organized by the Macomb Correctional Facility chapter of NAACP during Black History Month. Antoine will be a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities in summer 2019.

Ruth Tsoffar published “The Refugee’s Manifest: Arabesques by Anton Shammas” in Pitaron Kolshehu Lishtikah (A Sort of Solution to Silence Modern Arab Literature in Hebrew), ed. Grinberg, Hever and Ashenazi.

Silke-Maria Weineck delivered an invited talk on the politics of Stockholm Syndrome at a conference devoted to domestic violence at Princeton University, organized and led a three-day workshop seminar on "The Future of the Tragic" at the German Studies Association, gave a number of interviews (on the complicated cultural history of the global soccer/football divide to ABC, NPR, and the "Burn it All Down" podcast, and TIME magazine, on the mysterious custom of the allegedly German "Christmas pickle" to the TODAY show). She published a prominent piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education which she had titled "Et tu, NPR?" but which appeared under the much clunkier "All Things Ill-Considered: NPR's Sexist Blunder." She is currently finishing a joint book project on the history of sports in Detroit, City of Champions, under contract with The New Press, while wrapping up her two-year stint as LSA's faculty ombuds.