Current Student Research

Nahid Ahmadian - I am working on Persian drama history and am focused on dramatic productions of Iran in 1980s and 1990s.  I am interested in the intersectionality of dramatic language- a unique quality which makes dramatic literature stand somewhere between literature and performance. I work on how the dramatic texts of these eras function as texts for use, and how such functionality facilitates stage productions and contributes to the aesthetic qualities of the texts under study.

Keisha Allan -  My research seeks to investigate the creation and utility of “possible worlds” in literary realms that resist sociocultural and political normative constructions of the nation-state by contemporary women authors of the Anglophone, Francophone and Hispanophone Caribbean. Using the theories of Bertrand Westphal, Robert Tally and Thomas Pavel, I argue that the imaginary spaces created within the literary realm can produce alternative worlds outside of the semantic domain of narrative by illustrating that fictional worlds can provide women the means to imagine real-life possibilities for overturning the socio-political reality. 

Chen Edrei - My research is focused on the emergence of a unique Jewish genre - the Hasidic narrative, during 1860s in Eastern Europe. As a community that was represented in literature merely by its opponents, Hasidism started to claim its own voice by printing collections of stories. The goal of this work is to offer a new critical literary framework for reading the Hasidic text, while pointing to its cultural and political role. Using theories concerned with Narratology, Romanticism, Modernity and Nationalism and taking into account the historical background, I argue that the Hasidic text express an alternative path for the development of Modern Hebrew literature. Those text, which were excluded from the critical discourse for being merely "folktales" offer new ways of perceiving the relationships between individual and community and therefore call for reevaluation of values of modernity and rethinking of notions such as Nationalism.

Andrea Knowles - I am interested in exploring themes of displacement (including displacement within language) and home in and through literature. I'd like to examine the ways in which home and belonging and alternatively, displacement, alienation, and marginality are rhetorically constructed and deconstructed in modern and contemporary literature--in particular, in Latin American, Latino/a and Chicano/a literatures.

Shalom Rosenberg - My research interests lie at the intersections of LGBTQ and Jewish/Israeli representations on screen (Film/TV/Web and Media). I am interested in exploring notions of "manhood" and "womanhood" especially in terms of the Jewish Queer experience in film, literature, and beyond, and fascinated by configurations of sexuality, gender, religion, culture, and ethnic/racial identity in how they complicate said representations on screen. In tracing the evolution of the Jewish Queer image in film, television, and other emerging forms of media, I also seek to draw meaningful patterns with other marginalized and intersectional communities and groups and note how these have been marked and altered by history, time, and culture. 

Mehdy Sedaghat Payam - My research focuses on the quantitative analysis of modern Persian literature. I am using text mining, content analysis, sentiment analysis, and topic modeling to study this corpus. I will try to find the patterns in the data, test the significance of these patterns, and analyze their significance with the context of modern Persian literature. The software that I am using are Python and R.

Manon Soulet - My research focuses on the works of 19th British and French authors Jane Austen, Matilda Betham-Edwards, and George Sand. I am interested in the way those authors connect the local and the global in their works by using the transnational as a space of creative agency. I argue that, by widening the scope of women’s writing in this way, those authors significantly expand both the geographic and diachronic scale of interpretation required to perform a critical reading of their texts and that, read from a global(ized) perspective, they can be seen as avatars of a larger historical process of globalization in the 19th century.

Fatima Taha - I investigate 19th century Urdu, British, and French literature. My particular focus resides on the subaltern Indian, colonized female voice, which male Urdu writers represented in their literary works. I posit that these assertive feminine voices ruptured stagnant Indian gender roles and societal constructs to create a space for women's writing and agency in 20th century India.

Nancy Vera  - My research ties Afro-Mexican literary works such as—folktales, poems, and short stories—to the larger African diaspora in the Americas. I’m interested in examining how the cultural production of Afro-Mexicans helps them construct their place in Mexican history and contemporary society. 

Tung-An (Miranda) Wei - My dissertation theorizes the narrative strategies of "resistant texts" by authors like Samuel Beckett and Virginia Woolf and by lesser-known writers. In addition to 20th century British literature, I am interested in narrative theory, the history and theory of the novel, and the rewritings of ancient Greek literature.