Faculty Members

Core Faculty 

Luka Arsenjuk (FILM)

Luka Arsenjuk received his BA in Cultural Studies from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2002) and his PhD from the Program in Literature at Duke University (2010). He works at the intersection of theory and film studies. Currently, he is working on a book about the Soviet filmmaker and theorist Sergei Eisenstein.

Sharada Balachandran Orihuela (ENGL)

Sharada Balachandran Orihuela comes to the Department of English at the University of Maryland from Kenyon College where she was a Marilyn Yarborough Dissertation and Teaching Fellow in the Department of English and Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Her specializations are in nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century literature of the Americas; Hemispheric American studies; transnational American literature and economic history; and critical race and gender theory.

Hester Baer (GERM)

Dr. Hester Baer joined the faculty of the University of Maryland in Fall 2013, and currently serves as the Department Head and Graduate Director in Germanic Studies. She is also a core faculty member in Film Studies and Comparative Literature, and an affiliate faculty member in Women's Studies. Professor Baer's research interests focus on gender and sexuality in film and media; historical and contemporary feminisms; and German literature and culture in the 21st Century.

Ralph Bauer (ENGL)

Ralph Bauer has been with the University of Maryland since 1998. He specializes in the literatures and cultures of the early Americas, comparative literature, critical science studies, as well as hemispheric American and early modern Atlantic studies.

Merle Collins (ENGL)

Merle Collins received her Ph.D. from London School of Economics and Political Science in 1990. She specializes in African American/African Diaspora, Caribbean and Postcolonial, and Comparative Literature.

Caroline Eades (FREN)

Caroline Eades specializes in Film Studies and Contemporary French Culture. She received her PhD in Film Studies from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III and has taught at the University of Grenoble, France, the University of Southern California, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her main fields of research are European Cinema, Post-Colonial Studies, Film Feminist Theory, Film and Myth. Her book “Le Cinéma post-colonial français” appeared in 2006 (Paris: Collections 7eArt, Editions du Cerf). She is currently working on a book on Classical Reception in Film, and a volume on the Essay Film co-edited with Elizabeth Papazian. 

Oliver Gaycken (ENGL)

Oliver Gaycken received his BA in English from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He previously has taught at York University (Toronto) and Temple University. His teaching interests include silent-era cinema history, the history of popular science, and the links between scientific and experimental cinema. He has published on the discovery of the ophthalmoscope, the flourishing of the popular science film in France at the turn of the 1910s, the figure of the supercriminal in Louis Feuillade's serial films, and the surrealist fascination with popular scientific images. 

Ryan Long (SPAN)

Ryan Long is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. His publications include work on the EZLN [Zapatista Army of National Liberation], Mexican cinema, prison literature, and writers such as Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, María Luisa Mendoza, José Gorostiza, Juan Villoro, Laura Esquivel, and Roberto Bolaño. His book, Fictions of Totality: The Mexican Novel, 1968, and the National-Popular State, was published in 2008 by Purdue University Press. In addition to shorter pieces about Cristina Rivera Garza and Bruno Montané, he is currently working on two book projects, one about Bolaño and another about the Swiss architect and one-time Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer, who lived and worked in Mexico from 1939 to 1949.

Zita Nunes (ENGL)

Zita Nunes is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature. She teaches and conducts research in the areas of African American/African Diaspora literature, the literature of the Americas, and literary theory

Randy Ontiveros (ENGL)

I write and teach in the areas of contemporary American literature and Chicano/Latino literary and cultural studies. My first book, In the Spirit of a New People: The Cultural Politics of the Chicano Movement, is published by New York University Press. The book studies the literature, theater, music, non-fiction prose, and other creative genres of the Chicano civil rights movement. My second book project is about the suburbs in Latino/a literature and politics. In the classroom I teach surveys and topics in US Latino/a Literature, contemporary American literature, cultural studies, the literature of Maryland, and more. 

Valérie Orlando (FREN)

Valérie Orlando is Professor of French & Francophone Literatures and Head of the Department of French & Italian at the University of Maryland, College Park. She writes on and teaches courses about Francophone writing from the African diaspora, African Cinema, and French literature and culture

Elizabeth Papazian (RUSS)

Elizabeth A. Papazian is Associate Professor of Russian and Film Studies and a core faculty member of the Comparative Literature Program. She has been teaching at the University of Maryland since 2000, and received her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University, also in 2000. Her research interests include literary and cinematic modernism, documentary modes in literature and film, and the intersection between art and politics, focusing in particular on early Soviet culture.

Gerard Passannante (ENGL)

Gerard Passannante specializes in Renaissance literature and intellectual history. His first book, The Lucretian Renaissance, was awarded the 2014 Harry Levin Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association. He is currently at work on a second book project, Earthquakes of the Mind, a history of the disastrous imagination in literature and philosophy, which is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.

Sangeeta Ray (ENGL)

Sangeeta Ray received her PhD from the University of Washington. She is professor of English and Comparative Literature. She teaches anglophone postcolonial and world literature, US minority literature and environmental literature. She is currently interested in postcolonial reading practices and the relationship between aesthetics, ethics and politics in literature from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Mauro Resmini (FILM)

Mauro Resmini received his Ph.D. from the Departments of Italian Studies and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University and Assistant Professor: Film Studies. His research interests are Italian cinema and media, European cinema, contemporary cinema, film genre, critical theory, and transmediality.

Brian Richardson (ENGL)

Brian Richardson’s primary fields of interest are international modernism, postmodern fiction, narrative theory, and the history of the novel. The authors he has worked most extensively on include Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett. He is especially interested in unusual, experimental, and antirealist texts, and is developing a theory of “unnatural narratives” to account for them. 

Kellie Robertson (ENGL)

Kellie Robertson is an Associate Professor and current Director of Graduate Studies in the English Department. She writes about medieval literature and culture; her research and teaching are premised on the idea that a return to this earlier intellectual history can help us to better understand our own modern desires and philosophical commitments

Eugene S. Robinson (ENGL)

Eugene Robinson is a Professional Track faculty member who teaches about jazz culture, sexuality, and cinema.

Vessela Valiavitcharska (ENGL)

Vessela Valiavitcharska’s research explores the intersections of argumentation and style in Byzantine rhetorical theory and practice. Her book Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion(Cambridge University Press, 2014) offers a new look at a phenomenon known as “prose rhythm” in  Byzantine and Old Church Slavic literature and argues for its rhetorical origins in both theory and practice. It demonstrates the importance of rhythm to argumentation and persuasion, suggesting also that rhythm can carry across linguistic boundaries. 

Orrin Wang (ENGL)

The Director of the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, Orrin Wang specializes in the study of both Romanticism and theory and is especially interested in how the two discourses converge. How that convergence speaks to the question of modernity is the focus of his first book, Fantastic Modernity: Dialectical Readings in Romanticism and Theory (Johns Hopkins UP, 1996).

Eric Zakim (JWST)

Eric Zakim received his B.A. (History) and B.Mus. (Music Composition) from Oberlin College (1982) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley (1996). Currently he is a faculty member in the Middle East Studies Department of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the Graduate Field Committee in Film Studies. He also serves as a core faculty member at the Meyerhof Center for Jewish Studies and the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies. Professor Zakim’s research and teaching focus primarily on modern Hebrew literature and Israeli culture. 


Affiliated Faculty 

Valerie Anishchenkova (ARAB)

Valerie Anishchenkova is the Director of the Arabic Program and the Arabic Language Flagship Program. She received Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her pedagogical experiences include Arabic language curricular development, as well as creating various culture and film courses such as "Narrating War Zones: Cinematic and Literary Gulf and Chechen War Representations," "Sexuality and Gender in Arabic Literature and Film," "Fascinating Monsters: Representing Arabs in American Pop Culture vs. Americans in Arab Pop Culture." 

Francisco Barrenechea (CLAS)

Francisco Barrenechea joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2012, where he is currently an assistant professor.  He received his Ph.D. degree in Classics from Columbia University. Prof. Barrenechea's research interests include Greek drama (in particular Old Comedy and Euripides), Latin epic, papyrology, fragmentary literature, and the performance and reception of ancient theater. 

Faedra Carpenter (THEA)

Faedra Chatard Carpenter, recipient of the University of Maryland’s Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award(2016), is a theatre scholar, professional dramaturg, and cultural critic.  Her research and creative interests focus on the study of race, gender, class, and sexuality within both staged performances and in the performance practices of everyday life. 

William Cohen (ENGL)

William A. Cohen is Professor of English, Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Previously he was Director of Undergraduate Studies (2006-09), Associate Chair (2010-12), and Chair (2012-15) of the English department. His scholarship and teaching focus on literature and culture of the Victorian period; the history of sexuality, the body, and the senses; and literary theory.

Lillian Doherty (CLAS)

Lillian Doherty received her BA from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. In 2011 she began a term as chair of the Classics Department at Maryland. Dr. Doherty does research in a number of related areas: Homeric and Hesiodic poetry; women in classical antiquity, especially representations of women in literature; the interpretation of classical mythology; and the teaching of Greek language and classical myth. 

Andrea Frisch (FREN)

Andrea Frisch’s research examines the place of literary works in the social, cultural, and political context of the Reformation in early modern France. Her interests in testimony, historiography, and the French Wars of Religion have yielded several peer-reviewed publications in leading international journals; she has given invited lectures at universities throughout North America and Europe, and has been a fellow at the Newberry Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.

Judith Hallett (CLAS)

Professor Judith P. Hallett specializes in Latin language and literature; women, sexuality and the family in ancient Greek and Roman society; and classical education and reception in the 19th and 20th century Anglophone world.

Regina Igel (SPAN)

Regina Ingel is a Professor in the Spanish department. 

Fatemeh Keshavarz (ARAB)

Fatemeh Keshavarz, born and raised in the city of Shiraz, completed her studies in Shiraz University, and University of London. In 2012, Keshavarz joined the University of Maryland as the Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Language and Literature, and Director of the Roshan Institute Center for Persian Studies. Keshavarz is author of award winning books including Reading Mystical Lyric: the Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi (USC Press,1998), Recite in the Name of the Red Rose (USC Press, 2006) and a book of literary analysis and social commentary titled Jasmine and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran (UNC Press, 2007). She has also published other books and numerous journal articles. Keshavarz is a published poet in Persian and English and an activist for peace and justice. 

Jerrold Levinson (PHIL)

Jerrold Levinson (PhD, Michigan) is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy. His main philosophical interest is aesthetics, with secondary interests in metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of mind. Among the arts he is particularly concerned with philosophical problems arising in connection with music, film, and literature. Levinson has written extensively on the definition of art, expression in music, emotional response to art, the nature of literary interpretation, and the ontology of artworks. Topics of recent interest include intrinsic value, the nature of humor, sexual morality, jazz improvisation, the expressive specificity of jazz, the ethics of jokes, the analysis of artistic achievement, and the varieties of visual beauty.

Michele Mason (ELAC)

Michele M. Mason is an associate professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Her training in modern Japanese literature has been informed by a cultural studies approach, with an abiding concern for historical understanding. Mason's research and teaching interests include modern Japanese literature and history, colonial and postcolonial studies, gender and feminist studies, and masculinity studies. She also continues her engaged study of the history of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear studies, and peace and nuclear abolition movements. 

Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia (SPAN)

Professor Quintero-Herencia taught at the University of Puerto Rico's Department of Hispanic Studies, Rio Piedras, from 1992 to 2001 and was appointed Andrew W. Mellon Research Associate at Brown University's Department of Hispanic Studies from 1998 to 2000. He is the author of Fulguración del espacio: Letras e imaginario institucional de la Revolución cubana 1960-1971 (2002), Latin American Studies Association Premio Iberoamericano, La máquina de la salsa: Tránsitos del sabor (2005), and La hoja de mar (:) Efecto archipiélago (2016). He is the editor of Caribe abierto ( ) Ensayos críticos (2012).

Andrew Schonebaum (CHIN)

Andrew Schonebaum is an Associate Professor in the Chinese department.