Faculty - Landing Pages

Faculty - Landing Pages

Joseph Frank

Joseph Frank, a professor emeritus of Slavic languages and literatures at Stanford University, passed away on February 27 at his home in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 94. His first major publication was the long essay “Spatial Form in Modern Literature,” which appeared in Sewanee Review in 1945, but he is chiefly known for his epoch-making five-volume critical biography of Dostoevsky, which was published between 1976 and 2002. A 2009 synopsis of this work, Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time, was condensed and edited by Mary Petrusewicz. Frank taught in the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton from 1966 to 1985; he joined the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University in1985.

Frank had a special relationship with Rutgers. A member of the inaugural class of Rutgers’ Department of Comparative Literature, Larry Andrews, Dean Emeritus of the Honors College and Professor Emeritus of English at Kent State University, writes that Frank was one of the six faculty members who founded the department in Fall 1962. The chair was John O. McCormick (retired 1987), and the others were Joseph Frank, Serge Sobolevitch, Glauco Cambon, Francis Fergusson, and Robert Raymo. Andrews recalls that Frank and McCormick taught the Methods in Comparative Literature course “in a low-ceilinged room with a few one-armed student chairs…—in a clapboard two-story house at the corner of Hamilton and Union Streets.” Seminars in the Baroque, Romanticism, the European novel, and Symbolism were taught over two semesters in those years, and Frank taught a two-semester seminar entitled Dostoevsky and the West that enabled him to work out in class ideas that “later appeared in the early volumes” of the Dostoevsky biography. Andrews writes: “Frank demystified Dostoevsky for us by focusing on the intellectual milieu and the conscious response in each novel to the most current ideas of the time, at home and in Europe….He had little patience with biographical and psychological criticism that was ignorant of the original texts and of the intellectual context for Dostoevsky’s work.” He notes that Frank was “generous and penetrating as a teacher. At the end of the year he gave each of us students a book from his library, in my case a two-volume Nietzsche in German.”

Janet A. Walker (based on The New York Times obituary, the Stanford University obituary, and the reminiscences of Larry Andrews)

April 20, 2013


 M. Josephine Diamond


Gerald Pirog


James Jerome Wilhelm

James Jerome Wilhelm passed away near Youngstown, Ohio, the city of his birth, on December 13, 2012 at the age of 80. He earned a B.A. in English from Yale in 1954, graduating summa cum laude and valedictorian of his class. After studying Latin and Italian at the University of Bologna for a year, he earned an M.A. in English from Columbia in 1958 and then a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale in 1961. He taught in the Department of and then the Program in Comparative Literature at Rutgers for over 40 years, retiring in 1997. Serving as Graduate Director of Comparative Literature in the early 1980s, from 1969 to 1997 he directed nine dissertations: eight on topics in Italian, French, Welsh, Carolingian, and Medieval Latin poetry, and the ninth and last one on the theme of war in Ezra Pound’s poetry. His undergraduate courses Medieval Lyric and Medieval Epic and Romance regularly enrolled 200-300 students, and he also taught a seminar in Dante and Pound; at the graduate level he taught seminars in Old Provençal language and literature, medieval lyric, and medieval romance. A former graduate student, Dr. Barbara Hamilton (Ph.D. 2009) of Mercer County Community College recalls: “Dr. Wilhelm seemed to know everything, and he made us want to know everything, too. He had an incredibly syncretic mind, as quick to bring in the Tarot and Hermes Trismegistus as Aquinas and Augustine, flashing like quicksilver from the Romans to the Welsh to contemporary reworkings of the Arthurian cycle, from the Orphic cults to the Danelaw without missing a beat.”

Dr. Wilhelm was one of the North American scholars who spearheaded a renewed interest in medieval Occitan poetry, publishing Seven Troubadours: The Creators of Modern Verse (1970), and translations of the poetry of Arnaut Daniel (1981) and Sordello (1987). His anthologies of translations Medieval Song: An Anthology of Hymns and Lyrics (1971) and Lyrics of the Middle Ages: An Anthology (1990) provided generations of scholars and students with a large selection of medieval poetry in several languages. In 1984 he co-edited and –translated The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology, with Laila Zamuelis Gross; after her death he alone edited two other volumes of Arthurian materials from various European countries, and in 1994 The Romance of Arthur, New Expanded Edition: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation appeared. The third edition of this last text was published, co-edited with Norris J. Lacy, six days after his death in 2012. As a comparatist, Dr. Wilhelm drew significant connections between medieval and modern literature in his Dante and Pound: The Epic of Judgment (1974) and Il Miglior Fabbro: The Cult of the Difficult in Daniel, Dante, and Pound (1982). He also published separate studies of Pound: The Later Cantos of Ezra Pound (1977), Ezra Pound in London and Paris, 1908-1925 (1990), and Ezra Pound: The Tragic Years, 1925-1972 (1994). His final publication was the edited volume Gay and Lesbian Poetry: An Anthology from Sappho to Michelangelo (1995).Dr. Wilhelm was for many years an editor at Garland Press, publishing numerous translations of medieval literature as well as dissertations ranging from Classical Antiquity to the present.

Andrea Baldi

Laurea, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Università di Firenze; Ph.D., UCLA

Contemporary Italian literature and cinema

Abena Busia

B.A., M.A., St. Anne’s College (Oxford); Ph.D., St. Anthony’s College (Oxford)

African women in British and American fiction

Jae Won Edward Chung

B.A., Swarthmore; M.F.A., M.Phil., PhD., Columbia

Modern and contemporary Korean literature, intellectual history, and media, with an emphasis on everyday life, visuality, (post) colonialism, race, affect, and the aesthetics of disaster

Ed Cohen

B.A., Georgetown; Ph.D., Stanford University

Sexuality; health and healing; political philosophy; social theory; cultural history; transformational technologies; popular culture

Daniel da Silva

B.A., Rutgers-Newark; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia

Luso-Afro-Brasilian popular music and culture; feminist and queer studies

Jerry Aline Flieger

B.A., Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

Twentieth-century and contemporary literature and theory, gender studies, psychoanalytic literary theory

William H. Galperin

B.A., Chicago; M.A., Ph.D., Brown

Late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century British poetry and fiction; literary and cultural theory; film studies

Paola Gambarota

Ph.D., Pavia; Ph.D., Yale

Modern Italian Literature; theories of language and Nation; European pre-war avant-garde; film

Allan Punzalan Isaac

B.A., Williams; Ph.D., NYU

U.S. empire and postcolonial studies; Asian American studies; Filipino diaspora

Ann Jurecic

B.A., Bryn Mawr; M.A.T., Brown; Ph.D., Princeton

Literature and medicine; contemporary literature; writing studies

Ryan Kernan 

B.A., Princeton; Ph.D., California (Los Angeles)

African American literature, Latin American literature, translation studies and literary theory

Pavel Khazanov

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy (London, UK); Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

 Soviet and post-Soviet Russian literary and cultural studies

Chloë Kitzinger

B.A., Yale; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

19th- to 21st-century Russian literature, the Russian and European novel, theory of the novel

Benjamin Koerber

B.A., Indiana; M.A., Ph.D., Texas

Modern Arabic literatures

V. G. Julie Rajan

B.A., Johns Hopkins; M.L.A., UPenn; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers-New Brunswick

Women’s human rights; women and violence in conflict; colonial, post-colonial, and modern-day imperialisms; and terrorism and resistance

Stephen Reinert 

B.A., Western Washington; M.A., Ph.D., California (Los Angeles)

Byzantine, Balkan, and Turkic history and culture in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

Louis Sass

B.A., Harvard; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

Schizophrenia; assessment; philosophy of psychology; intersection of clinical psychology with philosophy, the arts, and literary studies

Louisa Schein

B.A., Brown; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

Cultural politics, ethnicity, nationalism and transnationalism; diaspora, gender and sexuality; representation, media, postcoloniality, postsocialism; China, Asian America

Marcy Ellen Schwartz

B.A., Syracuse; M.A., Université de Paris-VIII; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins

20th-century Latin American literature and culture, with particular emphasis on urban studies, exile, and photography

Meheli Sen

B.A., M.A., Jadavpur; Ph.D., Emory

Film studies, post-independence commercial Hindi cinema; gender, genre, postcoloniality, and globalization

Weijie Song

B.S., Xi’an Jiaotong; M.A., Ph.D., Peking; Ph.D., Columbia

Modern Chinese literature and film, cultural studies, Sinophone and diasporic writings

Michelle Stephens

B.A., Stony Brook; Ph.D., Yale

African American, Caribbean and American literature and culture, race, sexuality, psychoanalysis

Camilla Stevens

B.A., Tulane; M.A., New Mexico; Ph.D., Kansas

Twentieth-century Spanish American drama, theater and performance theory; Caribbean cultural studies; contemporary Dominican theater and performance

Wendy Swartz

B.A. California (San Diego); M.A., Ph.D., California (Los Angeles)

Medieval Chinese literature, comparative poetics, literary theory and criticism

Rebecca L. Walkowitz

B.A., Radcliffe; M.Phil., Sussex; Ph.D., Harvard

Twentieth- and twenty-first-century British, Irish, and Anglophone literatures; history and theory of the novel; comparative modernisms; new world literature; translation studies and the history of the book; cosmopolitanism; postcolonial theory; critical theory

Xiaojue Wang

B.A., MA., Peking; M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia

Chinese literature and culture from late imperial to contemporary periods, the cultural Cold War, the literary transition from late imperial to modern times, cultural memories, film and visual studies, and comparative literature, in particular, the impact of German intellectual dynamics on modern China

Alan Williams

B.A., M.A., Washington; Ph.D. SUNY (Buffalo)

French and American film history, film narration, gender studies and cinema, French cultural studies

Ousseina Alidou

B.A., Université Abdou Moumouni (Niamey); M.A., Ph.D., Indiana

Women’s orality and literacy practices in African Muslim societies, African literature and folklore, African and comparative women's studies.

Nicola Behrmann

M.A., Free University Berlin; Ph.D., New York University

European avant-gardes, literary theory, women and gender studies, visual culture

Karen Elizabeth Bishop

B.A., College of Creative Studies, California (Santa Barbara); Ph.D., California (Santa Barbara)

Twentieth-century literatures in Spanish, English, and French; human rights; torture and disappearance; exile studies; translation; genre studies; cartography.

Elin Diamond

B.A., Brandeis; M.A., Ph.D., California (Davis)

Modern and postmodern drama, theater theory and performance studies, 20th-century studies, feminism and gender studies.

Sandy Flitterman-Lewis

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

Feminist theory; cinema and cultural studies; World War II and holocaust; television and contemporary culture; theories of national identity; French cinema & culture.

Lauren Goodlad

B.S. ILR, Cornell; M.A., NYU; Ph.D., Columbia

19th-century and Victorian studies; global studies, critical theory, media studies

Martha Helfer

B.A., Washington in St. Louis; M.A., Wisconsin (Madison); Ph.D., Stanford

Literature of the Age of Goethe, Romantic aesthetic and philosophical theories, German intellectual history (18th-20th-century), questions of gender and the construction of subjectivity, philosophical approaches to literature, representations of Jews in German critical discourse.

E. Khayyat

B.A., Istanbul and EUP Rome; Ph.D., Columbia

Philosophy of lilterature; religion and literature; modern European letters; cultural legacy of the late Ottoman Empire, Ottoman and modern Turkish; Oriental Jewry and Ladino; world literature.

Jeffrey Lawrence

B.A., Princeton; PhD., Princeton

20th- and 21st-century American literature and culture; Latin American/Hemispheric studies

Michael Levine

B.A., Cornell; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century German literature, literary theory and intellectual history. Intersections among literary, philosophical and psychoanalytic discourses; holocaust studies.

Nelson Maldonado-Torres

B.A., Puerto Rico; Ph.D., Brown

Comparative race and ethnic studies, comparative critical theory, Caribbean philosophy, decolonial thinking.

Preetha Mani

B.A., Tufts; Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

Modern Hindi and Tamil literature, Indian Literature, feminism and gender studies, world literature, translation studies, genre studies, postcolonial theory.

Jorge Marcone

B.A., Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; M.A., Ph.D., Texas

Spanish American literature: writing and environment, literacy and orality. Ecocriticism, political ecology and environmental history.

Susan Martin-Márquez

B.A., M.A., Chicago; Ph.D., Pennsylvania

Modern Spanish Peninsular cultural studies and Spanish-language film; cinema studies.

Anaïs Maurer

B.A., St. Sernin (Toulouse); M.A., Paris-Sorbonne and Tulane; PhD., Columbia

Francophone studies, Oceania, environmental humanities.

Anjali Nerlekar

B.A., M.A., M.Phil., University of Pune; Ph.D., Kansas

Multilingual Indian modernisms; Marathi literature; Indo-Caribbean literature; poetry studies; translation studies; Caribbean and postcolonial studies; and Indian book history.

Andrew Parker

B.A., Princeton; M.A., Ph.D., Chicago

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century literatures in English, French, and Spanish; literary and cultural theory; philosophy and literature; history of sexuality; media theory and history.

Nicholas Rennie

B.A., Princeton; Ph.D., Yale

Literature of the Enlightenment and the Age of Goethe; Modern aesthetics and intellectual history; Frankfurt School; 20th-century German novel.

Paul Schalow

B.A., Hampshire College; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard

Japanese literature (Edo period); gender and sexuality in Japanese literature; Japanese women's writing

Richard Serrano

B.A., Stanford; M.A., Ph.D., California (Berkeley)

Maghrebi and Sub-Saharan African Literatures in French, modern French poetry, the Qur'an and Arabic poetry, Chinese poetry (especially Tang and Qing), Korean poetry.

Jeffrey Shandler

B.A., Swarthmore; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia

Yiddish language, literature and culture; Jews and media; Holocaust representation; Jews and visual culture; American Jewish vernacular culture

Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui

B.A., M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale

Latino/a Literature and Culture, XXth-Century Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies, gender theory and sexuality studies, and psychoanalysis.

James Swenson

B.A., Brown; M.A., Ph.D., Yale

Eighteenth-century literature and intellectual history; twentieth-century criticism and theory.

Emily Van Buskirk

B.A., Princeton; Ph.D., Harvard

Russian and Czech literature, film and literary theory; autobiography, in-between genres; everyday life; representations of war and the Lenigrad Blockade; the culture of the thaw; gender and sexuality; memory and history; theories of the self.

Alessandro Vettori

Dottore in Lettere, Firenze; Ph.D., Yale

Medieval poetry and Dante, the re-writing of Biblical texts in literary texts of the Italian tradition, the Devil in European culture, autobiography.

Janet A. Walker

B.A., Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard

The novel from its European beginnings to its transformations by East, South, and Southeast Asian writers; hybrid modernity in material culture, literature, and the arts; modern Japanese fiction and the West.