People

Alexandra Appino-Tabone  

appino-tabone@ucsb.edu

Allie Appino-Tabone holds a BA in English Literature from McGill University, an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and an MA in English Literature from New York University. Her research interests include the translation and circulation of philosophical and scientific texts between France and Italy in the Early Modern period, translation theory, and poetics, as well as relationships between literature and visual art. Her languages are French and Italian.

Annalisa Ciano

annalisaciano@ucsb.edu

Annalisa Ciano studied at University of Rome La Sapienza, where she graduated in Modern Literatures (BA) and Modern Philology (MA). She further specialized in Italian Studies at Paris-Sorbonne Université (MA) and in Comparative, Postcolonial Literatures and Translation Studies at University of Bologna (MA). Her interests range from Translation Studies, to Postcolonial Studies, Mythocriticism, and Theatre Studies. She has recently worked on D’Annunzio’s translation and reception in France and presented a paper on the translator André Doderet at the MLA Conference (2022). Her most recent work researches the relationship between foreign theatre and Fascism through the case study of the Italian translation of Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill. 

Christene d'Anca (PhD 2022)

christene_danca@umail.ucsb.edu

Christene d’Anca holds her BA from UCLA, and MA from California State University, Northridge. Her research focus is on twelfth- and thirteenth-century women in France, tracing their participation in the creation and dissemination of arts through scribal activities, patronage, and historiographic accounts of female networks. She will be adding the Medieval Graduate Emphasis to her degree. She also divides her time between medieval scholarship and more recent cultural studies focused on inquiries into the literary and artistic atmosphere of Eastern Europe from the nineteenth century into the modern period. 

Margarita Delcheva

delcheva@umail.ucsb.edu

Margarita Delcheva is a poet, performer, editor, and academic. She teaches at the College of Creative Studies, Comparative Literature, English, and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies. Her dissertation focuses on intermediality and networked performance in the mail art movement, which she studies in the context of neo avant-garde art and ephemera in Eastern Europe through the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Her research interests also include art and literature of the Russian avant-garde, conceptual art, concrete poetry, Minimalism, Dance Studies, and re-enactment theory, especially in the legacy of postmodern choreographers. Margarita is a founding editor at Paperbag, an online poetry and art journal, created in 2009. Her poetry book The Eight-Finger Concerto was published in Bulgaria in 2010. She currently serves as an Editorial Lead for the newly founded academic journal Exchanges and advises the literary journal Spectrum as a Board member. 

Emilie Denaud

emiliedenaud@ucsb.edu

A Franco-Haitian scholar, Emilie completed her MA degree in the prestigious doctoral program of France's Museum of Natural History (affiliated with the Sorbonne), where she studied philosophy, history, and the environment. At UC Santa Barbara she plans to study literature and the environment, animal studies, Vegan studies, Black Studies, and Film and Media Studies. She is also interested in Postcolonial Studies as well as Gender, Queer/Transgender, and Feminist Studies. Picture Credit: Marion Letessier.

Rachel Feldman

rachelfeldman@umail.ucsb.edu

A scholar of transnational Jewish Studies and Children's Literature, Rachel Feldman received her MA in Comparative Literature from UC Santa Barbara, with a specialization in Holocaust Studies. She completed her undergraduate studies abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her languages of inquiry include both modern and biblical Hebrew, French, and recently German and Yiddish. Rachel's dissertation explores the literary portrayals of language loss, acquisition, and development in works of intergenerational modern Hebrew “crossover literature”, a characteristic feature of children’s classics that reflects the phenomenon of cross-addressing the same texts to young and old alike. Her dissertation dynamically reconsiders the ways that a foundational generation of modern Hebrew writers and artists produced cross-audience writing across genres in order to bear witness to the shared experience of acquiring modern Hebrew as a new “mother tongue” during childhood. Her current research interests include children's literature, literary multilingualism, artistic portrayals of heritage language (HL) development and acquisition, minority discourse, and Hebrew and Yiddish modernism.

Elena Festa

elenafesta@umail.ucsb.edu

Dr. Elena Festa received her doctoral degree in Comparative Cultures and Literatures from Università degli Studi Roma Tre in Rome in 2011. She is interested in adding the Global Studies Emphasis to her doctoral training, and plans to develop her new doctoral work on media, multidirectionaly memory, and the European migration crisis. She published two book-chapters, one on the postcolonial city; the other on postcolonial translation in J.M. Coetzee.

Sebaah Hamad

shamad@umail.ucsb.edu

Sebaah Hamad completed her BA in English at Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY) as an Honors student in May 2017.  As an MA/PhD student she plans to pursue her work in Arabic Studies, Jewish Studies, Black Studies, and Translation Studies. Her research interests include trauma theory, the dynamics of race, and the interrelationship of shame and guilt. She is also interested in promoting dialogue, cross-cultural learning, collaboration, and interaction amongst diverse ethnic and faith groups. 

Han Hao

hanhao@umail.ucsb.edu

Han Hao holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Purdue University and a B.A. in Chinese from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou. His interests in Classics started growing during his junior year abroad. Since then, he has continued studying Greek and Latin in different institutions. Han is currently interested in approaching the impact of the ekphrastic tradition upon English Renaissance literature within the context of iconoclasm. He is especially intrigued by how the English authors with an aversion to idolatrous images accept the vividness of visual imagery in Classical literature. His M.A. thesis explores John Milton's iconoclasm and his debt to Homer in the visual representation of deities in Paradise Lost. At UCSB, Han will pursue his interests in Classical receptions, the relation of word and image, and translation theory. 

Jaeyeon Jeon

jaeyeon@ucsb.edu

A Fulbright fellow, Jaeyeon Jeon holds a BA from Yonsei University, with a Senior thesis on the Western reception of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian. His research interests include World Literature, translation theory, British modernism, contemporary East Asian literature, and East-West intertextual relations. His languages include Korean, English, French (reading) and Japanese (in training).

Nazanin Keynejad

nkeynejad@umail.ucsb.edu

Naz Keynejad earned her MA in English Literature with Distinction from California State University Northridge in 2016. She was a 2015-2016 recipient of the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, the Association of Retired Faculty Award (CSUN), the Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English (CSUN), the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in Comparative Literature (UCSB), and the Distinguished Service to the Comparative Literature Program (UCSB). She is currently a PhD candidate (ABD) in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include British literary studies of Early Modern through the Long Eighteenth Century, classical Persian (8th-12th century) prose, poetry, and philosophy, affect theory, and translation studies. Naz has taught courses in Persian Language and Literature, European Literature, and Children’s Literature as Instructor of Record at UCSB and is an Adjunct in the English Department at CSUN, teaching upper division specialized courses focusing on British literature during the Long Eighteenth Century. An active digital humanist, Naz has been involved in various literary digitization projects both at CSUN and UCSB. She is also currently serving a three-year term as a member of the Western Regional Delegate Assembly for the Modern Language Association (MLA), and is a 2021 Mellon Engaging Humanities Graduate Fellow at UCSB.

Shanna Killeen

shannakilleen@ucsb.edu

Shanna studied at Oregon State University, where they earned their BA/MA program in English. Their MA thesis, entitled “Bleeding Assemblages: Translating Borders in the Bilingual Poetry of Irma Pineda Santiago,” focuses on the study of the bilingual poetry of indigenous women writers such as Spanish and Isthmus Zapotec-poet and self-translator Irma Pineda Santiago. Shanna’s interests include poetry, linguistics, literary theory, linguistic anthropology, Indigenous poetry, and translation studies.

Ekaterina Lopatko  

Lopatko@ucsb.edu

Katya Lopatko is a PhD student researching French, English and Russian 20th-century literature and film, with a focus on urban and spatial studies and feminist and queer theories. Her MA thesis, "Bust the Roof off Everything: Private Space and Social Life in Modernist Literature," traces depictions of unruly, uncanny, unsettling and revolutionary space and materiality in European Modernist literature, including the work of Virginia Woolf, André Breton, Walter Benjamin and Djuna Barnes. She has written for a variety of art and culture publications, and she is teaching in the Writing Program at UCSB in the 2022-23 academic year. 

Dustin Lovett 

dustinlovett@umail.ucsb.edu

Dustin Lovett advanced to PhD candidacy in the spring of 2019. His dissertation research revolves around the early circulation of the Faust legend, and its relationship to superstitious attitudes and belief in the efficacy of magic from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. His published articles include "Polemical Magic: Early Faust Literature and Skepticism in the Reformation" (in eHumanista's issue, "European Baroque Skepticism") and "The Politics of Translation in the Press: Siegfried Kracauer and Cultural Mediation in the Periodicals of the Weimar Republic" (in Translation and Interpretation Studies). A translator or co-translator on many popular, literary, and academic texts, Dustin also works in translation studies as well as twentieth-century German literature and journalism. He has received a Fulbright Grant and ALTA Travel Fellowship (2010), a UCSB's Graduate Center for Literary Research and Block Grant Funding for attending Harvard's Institute for World Literature in Tokyo, Japan (2018), and a Borchard Foundation Fellowship for Doctoral Research in European Studies (2019). In 2018-19, he is teaching as a Lecturer at the University of Paris-8 while also pursuing his research on the Faut Legend.

Daniel Martini

daniel13@umail.ucsb.edu

I am a PhD candidate in comparative literature and cognitive science, specializing in cognitive literary studies. 
My dissertation advances a theory of aesthetic affordances; supervised by Sowon S. Park, with Dominique Jullien, Colin Gardner and Leda Cosmides. My interdisciplinary empirical research, with psychologists Madeleine Gross and Jonathan Schooler, on avant-garde cinema (Lettrism) and creativity is forthcoming in Creativity Research Journal. Another paper on Lettrism which builds on my theory of aesthetic affordances is forthcoming in Criticism. I am also a fellow of the Unconscious Memory project, supported by the National Science Foundation, with PIs Sowon S. Park, Kenneth Kosik, Matthew Turk and Mike Gazzaniga. Other research areas include medical humanities, world literature, translation studies and pedagogy. Recent public events include organizing a panel on experimental writing and cognition for the ACLA 2022 and another panel on interdisciplinary pedagogy for the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research 2021. Recent fellowships include the UCSB Engaging Humanities Foundational Course Redesign Initiative (2022), an Albert & Elaine Borchard European Studies Fellowship (2021) and an award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant by The Academic Senate, UCSB (2020)

Martina Mattei

martinamattei@umail.ucsb.edu

Martina Mattei completed her MA degree in literature at the University of Cagliari, Italy, with a specialization in modern European literature and philology. Her research interests include modern and contemporary European literature, film and media studies and adaptation studies. She is particularly interested in exploring intertextuality across media in contemporary Italian culture, especially the role cinema has exerted on the narrating style of contemporary writers. She was awarded a Regents Fellowship in 2021. 

Arpi Movsesian (PhD 2022)

movsesian@umail.ucsb.edu

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.

Richard Nedjat-Haiem  

richard_nedjat-haiem@ucsb.edu

Richard Nedjat-Haiem is a PhD student in the Comparative Literature Program at UCSB. Richard works on the intersectionalities of socio-lingustics, performance, gender, ethnomusicological, and anthropological studies of Middle Eastern popular culture. His three fields include Mizrahi Studies (the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa), Persian Performance Studies with a focus on the ‘ Tehrangeles' diaspora and Arabian Peninsula Studies with a focus on the socio-linguistics in Pop music and Gulf soap operas. His prospective dissertation is titled “The Dubai Effect: The Transnational Diva, The White Dialect and the Multi-Dialectical song.” He has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from the University of Chicago and a BA from UCLA. He is fluent in English, Persian, Arabic, specializing in various dialects and French.

James Nate Nichols

jnnichols@umail.ucsb.edu

James Nate completed his MA degree in literature at UC Santa Cruz, writing on the thematics of exile and return in the films of Raúl Ruiz. Previously, he completed his bachelor’s degree in literature with a minor in education from UC Santa Cruz, as well as two AA degrees, in Spanish and liberal arts, from Cabrillo College. At UCSB his research explores the vast ecologies of the exilic, including literature, art, theater, protest music, and film. His broad interests include critical theory, translation theory, la vanguardia chilena, Psychoanalysis, and film and media studies.

Anna Schewelew

schewelew@ucsb.edu

Anna Schewelew’s research draws on translation theory, media theory and the history of science in order to examine assumptions about language, meaning, multilingualism and the act of reading that are implicit in machine translation systems. Her other interests include mathematical and non-mathematical notions of probability in literature and art, fictions of translation, performance studies and the Soviet Cosmopolis. Anna is a 2021 Chancellor’s fellow and was awarded a Max Kade fellowship in 2022. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen (Germany).

John Schranck (PhD 2022)

jschranck@umail.ucsb.edu

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 project 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’s specialist Dr. Juliana Acosta-Uribe on the brain, memory and music in literature (a favorite with students who suddenly realize they can change their major or have more than one). 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.

When not doing these things, John readily disappears into the Santa Barbara backcountry for invigorating hikes, having crossed paths with a rattlesnake, tarantulas and, ostensibly, a bobcat. John plays the piano for anyone who will tolerate it, and he 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

mseijo@ucsb.edu

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. 

 

Vernon Shaw

vbs@umail.ucsb.edu

A scholar operating at the transnational intersection of Hemispheric and Mediterranean studies, anti/decolonial Marxist theory, and the history of science and speculative fiction, Vernon holds a BA in Intensive Literature from The University of California, Santa Cruz. His currently proposed research project turns a critical eye towards Italian authors such as Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, and Primo Levi with aims of tracing the literary development of the Italian speculative imaginary and placing it into context alongside the Western world’s continued history of fascism and colonialism. He works with texts in English, Italian, and Spanish; and his broader research interests span the environmental humanities, Indigenous thought and philosophy, Black studies, science and technology studies, translation theory as well as film, popular media, and comic book studies. 

Marcel Strobel

mstrobel@ucsb.edu

Marcel Strobel is a fourth year PhD student in the program of Comparative Literature. He holds his M.A. from University of Mannheim where he studied Anglophone and Francophone literature and linguistics with a specialization in second-language teaching. He participated in the ERASMUS exchange program at Paris-Sorbonne IV. Marcel specializes in 19th and 20th century German media and cultural history. His research evolves around queer German studies, modernism, and mass media during the Weimar Republic. He draws from urban studies, queer studies, queer geographies and spatial literary studies to analyze the relationship between queer identities, space and place. Furthermore, he is interested in how literature acts as a producer of spatial sexual imaginaries and physical realities in urban and rural environments. As a teaching associate, Marcel has taught classes on queer German pop culture, German diversity and culture, sexuality and the Holocaust as well as the Paris underground in film and literature. Marcel is currently working on his dissertation prospectus, which will interweave archival work and cultural studies to investigate queer German identities during the Weimar Republic.

Xiaoxue (Wendy) Sun (PhD 2022)

sunxiaox@grinnell.edu

Wendy (Xiaoxue) Sun’s areas of specialization are German Literature and Film, Chinese Literature and Film, Holocaust and Memory Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has received two Master’s degrees in Comparative Literature and English Literature, respectively, from Peking University and Loyola Marymount University. Her BA is in Chinese Language and Literature from Jilin University. She also holds a Certificate in Translation Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching specialties include Chinese Literature and Film, German Pop Culture, Holocaust Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Translation Studies, and multi-level language classes in Chinese and German.

Wendy’s research responds to two dilemmas in recent critical discourses: the writing of collective history from individual traumatic memories in Holocaust Studies and the construction of heroic fantasies from quotidian routines in Communist China’s quest for modernity. Her dissertation project, “Stateless in Shanghai: History, Memory, Literature, and Cultural Representations of the Hongkou Jewish Ghetto 1933-1945,” investigates how the Jewish exile in Shanghai from 1933 to 1945 has been represented, reimagined, and reconstructed in mass media productions such as literary fiction, cinema, theatrical performances, and museum exhibitions. 

Wendy graduated in July 2022 and is now an Assistant Professor in the German Department at Grinnell College.

Reem Taha

reemtaha@ucsb.edu

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 resonance of the Moriscos in Spanish and English literatures.
 

Jordan Tudisco

jtudisco@umail.ucsb.edu

Jordan J. Tudisco (they/them) entered our doctoral program in Comparative Literature in Fall 2017 and has also been part of UCSB’s emphases in Black Studies, Feminist Studies, and Translation Studies. Their dissertation titled “Claiming Our Stake: Self-Making, World-Making and Survival in Trans-Authored Literature” examines memoirs, poetry, and fiction written by trans people in English and in French. At its core, Jordan’s project investigates how normative understandings of transness became what they are today through white supremacist frameworks that systematically prioritized a specific story as the trans narrative while erasing and silencing the experiences of other kinds of trans people. In addition to their dissertation, Jordan also works in the fields of Queer Studies, 19th/20th century French and Francophone Literature, Early Modern Studies, Sociocultural linguistics, Translation Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Trauma Studies. Their research in non-binary French and linguistic innovation in French has been published by TWPL in 2021 and will be featured in an upcoming special issue of Gender & Language. In addition, their research on Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist hate speech was awarded the Charlotte Stough Memorial Prize Award by the Feminist Studies department in 2021, and became the foundation for Jordan's article about transphobia in academic feminist circles, which is currently forthcoming in TSQ.

David Vivian

dvivian@umail.ucsb.edu

David received a BA in Intensive Literature from UC Santa Cruz in 2015. He is now a PhD candidate (French track), and his dissertation focuses on environmental issues in Caribbean literature. His primary research interests encompass animal studies, ecocriticism, postcolonial studies, translation theory, and urban literary studies. He is pursuing the Translation Studies graduate emphasis and also works as a freelance translator, writer, and editor. 

Maria Anna Zazzarino

mzazzarino@ucsb.edu

Maria Anna completed a Master of Arts in Anglophone literary and cultural studies with distinction at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. In 2017-18 she researched Caribbean Francophone and Anglophone literatures at the University of Louisana, Baton Rouge as a Fulbright awardee. Her fields of interest include Black Studies, English, Global Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, with such foci as the Global South, Caribbean Studies, Global/ Transnational Studies, and Postcolonial Studies.