Graduate Students

Arpi Movsesian

Arpi Movsesian graduated with honors from California State Northridge where she completed BA and MA in English literature. Arpi is currently a Doctoral Candidate, working on Medieval and Renaissance English literature, with a focus on Shakespeare, 19th-century Russian literature, with a particular emphasis on Dostoevsky, and Soviet literature. Arpi is a trilingual speaker of Russian, Armenian, and English, and her research centers on the character of the fool in her three fields of study. Arpi recently co-authored a book, Love and its Critics: From the Song of Songs to Shakespeare and Milton’s Eden (Cambridge: OpenBook, 2017), and has presented at numerous conferences. In the summer of 2018, Arpi participated in Harvard University’s Institute for World Literature held at the University of Tokyo. Trained in paleography and codicology, she has been working on medieval manuscripts and has taken part in the Polonsky Foundation Digitization project through Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Ali Rahman

Ali M. Rahman holds a B.A. in English Literature from Drexel University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. His interests and current work span Qur’anic studies, oral traditions from the Muslim world, Islamic scholarly traditions and pedagogy, modern Muslim American culture, multimodal writing, the Digital Humanities, and the manifestation of Islamic thought in technology and media. He has taught previously at an independent K-12 school, the New York prison system, and a university in the West Bank, Palestine.

John Schranck

John Schranck graduated with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in Spanish from Rhodes College. At UCSB, John is pursuing his MA/PhD in Comparative Literature, focusing on the technical and thematic interrelationships between 20th-century US Southern and Latin American literature, with a special interest in pan-Caribbean investigations of memory, time, trauma and race. An avid interdisciplinarian, John previously directed a school music program in his native St. Louis and also served as development officer for the multi-genre St. Lou Fringe performing arts festival.

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart completed her BA in English and French at the University of Richmond, and then went on to teach for a year in South Korea with the Fulbright ETA Program. As an MA/PhD student, she will focus on 19th and 20th century American and European literature and film, working in English, French and German. She is interested in the interrelatedness of ethics and aesthetics, and in particular the way that modernist and post-modernist texts grapple with the work of mourning in the wake of collective and personal trauma.

Xiaoxue Sun

Xiaoxue (Wendy) Sun's primary field of study is German Literature. She is interested in Holocaust Studies especially in the reception and translation studies between  Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan. Her other field of studies includes gender and sexuality issues in Chinese Literature, Gothic Studies in English Literature, and Translation Studies among the languages of German, English, and Chinese.  She holds a BA from Chinese Language and Literature from Jilin University and an MA in Comparative Literature and World Literature from Peking University; her second MA is in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University. Her translation of a Children's book from German to Chinese is forthcoming.