Graduate Students

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.

Lacey Smith

Lacey N. Smith has an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her primary focus is on the concept of the suburbs and suburban space from WWII to the present, and her other interests include spatial studies, postmodernism, cultural studies, Cold War era history and literature, the Berlin Wall, pop culture, and movements of protest and resistance. She works primarily in English, German and Russian.

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.

Sofie Thomsen

Sofie Sommer Thomsen completed her BA and MA in comparative literature at the University of Copenhagen. During her MA, she spent one-year on exchange at UCSB as a Fulbright scholar in preparation for writing her thesis. As a PhD student at UCSB, she focuses primarily on the effect of the Digital Era on reception and production of traditional literature as well as emerging new forms of literature. Her research interests include digital humanities, media studies, European literature, German philosophy and the history of the book.