Graduate Students

John Schranck

With doctoral emphases in Writing Studies as well as Translation Studies and specializations in memory, sound studies and neuro-humanities, John is a PhD candidate currently at work on his dissertation. Entitled “Sonic Alterities,” the doctoral thesis brings together sound and alterity in and beyond literature in order to rethink sound’s role in the intersubjective encounter, drawing primarily from texts in English, Spanish, and French, with a particular attunement to Modernist configurations of the sensorium and memory. John has held associateships in Writing Studies as well as Comparative Literature, including an interdisciplinary course co-taught with Alzheimer specialist Dr. Juliana Acosta-Uribe on the brain, memory and music in literature. After advancing to candidacy, John gave courses in English for a year at Paris-8 Université as part of the program’s teaching exchange. He had the pleasure of coordinating UCSB’s graduate Center for Literary Research in 2016–17, culminating in its annual graduate student conference, “Resonance,” and he has co-organized two seminars at the ACLA, one on sound studies in an InterAmerican context, the other on cognitive approaches to William Faulkner. John previously directed a music program in his native St. Louis and also served as development officer for the St. Lou Fringe performing arts festival.    

Maxximilian Seijo

With a rich Puerto Rican and British heritage, Maxximilian is looking forward to his doctoral studies at UC Santa Barbara. He completed his MA in Film and Media Studies at the University of South Florida. His interests include German Studies and Critical Theory, Film and Media Studies; Translation Studies; and Philosophy. He plans to continue his current work on Weimar intellectual and American exile, Siegfried Kracauer. Maxximilian was awarded a Max Kade Fellowship in Spring 2020. 


Marcel Strobel

A native of Germany with near-native fluency in French, Marcel completed his MA degree in English and French at the University of Mannheim. At UCSB he will work in Cognitive Science, Urban Studies as well as Gender, and Queer Studies, in Anglophone, Francophone, and Germanophone contexts. His other interests include the Medical Humanities, Film and Media Studies, Global/Transnational Studies, Literature and Science as well as Literary Theory, Performance Studies and Visual Culture. Marcel was awarded a Max Kade Fellowship for Fall 2020. 

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.

Reem Taha

Reem holds an MA in English literature with a collaborative degree in Book History and Print Culture from the University of Toronto. In her doctoral work, she specializes in Mediterranean Studies, Andalusi Studies, Travel writing and Memory Studies, and is completing doctoral emphases in Medieval Studies and Translation Studies. Her research focuses on the late medieval and early modern Ibero-African Mediterranean frontier, outlining a comparative and interdisciplinary study of the Moriscos (Muslims forcibly converted to Catholicism in early modern Iberia). She studies the role that Moriscos played in the translation and transmission of texts between Arabic and European languages, creating networks of literary connectivity between Europe and the Arabo-Islamic world. She also explores the global resonance of the Moriscos in literature, tracing their transformation from a marginalized historical group to a literary phenomenon in early modern Spanish and English literatures.