Student Advisory Board
of Comparative Literature

SAB Members

Since the Student Advisory Board of Comparative Literature seeks to represent the interests of the students, this page provides a way for the students to talk about their concentrations and work.  In effect, all graduate students who major in the Dept. of Comparative Literature are considered to be full members of the SAB, and this page allows those students to summarize their professional interests, contact information and work in about 100 words or less.  If any Comparative Literature graduate student would like to have their information posted here, please send in your profile information to our e-mail account.

Student Profiles

Laila Amine, PhD Student. Laila Amine's doctoral research examines the intersection of race, family and nation in French, British, and American postcolonial literature. Her developing dissertation on the contemporary ethnic bildungsroman juxtaposes the national narratives about race and family with the racialized and familial narratives about the nation and its periphery. She has published an article on multicultural London in Culture, Theory and Critique's themed issue entitled "Creolization: Towards a Non-Eurocentric Europe" edited by Murray Pratt and Mireille Rosello. In 2006, she received the Instructor Award for excellence in classroom teaching.


Ed Chamberlain, PhD Student.  Ed graduated from The College of New Jersey with a BA in English and Spanish Literatures.  In May of 2006, he was awarded a master's degree in the Dept. of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.  Ed then began the doctoral program, and he concentrates on cultural representations of medicine and science in Latin America and the United States.  In particular, he examines how 19th and 20th century cultural production portrays counterpublics, human rights and illness in Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S.  Ed interprets these works by employing queer theory, cultural studies approaches, and theories of identity and transnationalism.


Andy Gipe, MA Candidate (2004-?).  My primary interests concern the usage of Mythological material (and Symbology) in literature, especially Contemporary World Literature.  My specific expertise and training has been in Ancient Near Eastern Culture and Languages, so I do quite a lot of Biblical Mythology and Literature.  I have trained in Middle Hieroglyphic Egyptian, Biblical and Modern Hebrew, Ugaritic, Pre-Islamic Arabic, Attic and Koine Greek, Latin and German.  On the literary/critical spectrum, I am interested in Psycho-social approaches such as Freud and Lacan, as well as Jung and Northup Frye and Narrative analytic approaches from character analysis to genre study.  I, especially, have a long-standing interest in the Satirical styles, mostly the form called ‘anatomy’, where one sees mythological motifs and narratives subverted to satirical effect.


Wendy Hardenberg, Dual M.A. student. Wendy is currently in her second year of pursuing a dual Masters in Comparative Literature and Library Science. Her main focus is translation, but she enjoys studying narrative in all of its forms. She received a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Smith College in 2005 and hopes to become a professional translator.


Kathryn Johnston, Double M.A. in Comparative Literature and Central Eurasian Studies; Expected completion spring of 2007; Supervisor: Paul Losensky. Undergraduate degree: B.A. English, Oberlin College. Languages: French and Persian, some Arabic and German. Areas of Interest: Modern Poetry, Baroque Poetry, both Western European and Middle Eastern; Cultural relations between Western Europe and the Middle East, predominantly Persia; cultural relations between Iran and its current and historical neighbors; politics of identity in “non-fiction” literature. Current Research: I) A comparison of stylistic needs of modern Iranian women poets to those of modern American women poets - An inquiry into the stylistic and thematic changes that poetry must undergo when it is of a political nature, versus that of a traditionally feminine nature. II)  Exploration of politics of cultural identity in the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, a Persian political and historical work written in the 11th century.


Erin Plunkett, Dual MA in Comp Lit and Religious Studies.  My primary interest is the relationship between philosophy and literature, especially as conceived by Kant and the Romantics.  I am a loving reader of classical and Romantic philosophy, aesthetics, literary theory, and ethics.  As I see a tendency in philosophy to consider only the ideas in philosophical and literary texts, I try to understand how the formal construction and rhetoric of works contribute to their meaning.  I am particularly interested in the ethical implications of literary form.  My companion and midwife in these explorations continue to be Kierkegaard, whose relentless irony is instructive, infuriating, nauseating, and endearing.


Kristen Reed, PhD Student.  Kristin Reed has a BA in English from James Madison University and an MA in Comparative Literature from Indiana University.  She is currently a doctoral student and Associate Instructor with IU's Department of Comparative Literature, where she is minoring in Russian literature and Art History.  Her academic interests are modern Russian, American, and French literature and art.  She is researching a variety of topics related to poetry and poetics, sexuality and the arts, non-fiction prose, (auto)biography, public art, photography, and memory. Email: krereed at indiana dot edu; website:

Matt Rowe, MA candidate (2004-?). Matt’s major focus is on using ideas from Cognitive Science as an approach to literature, particularly questions of creativity and identity. He has written and presented on the French Oulipo group, Fernando Pessoa, and other authors in Italian, French, and Portuguese. Particular areas of interest include pseudonyms/heteronyms, games and puzzles, abduction and deduction, evolution and emergence, and translation.

For further information, please contact us at:

Student Advisory Board
Dept. of Comparative Literature
Indiana University
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Ballantine Hall 914
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

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This page is maintained by the Student Advisory Board of Comparative Literature and Yi Sun.
Last updated: 12 February 2007.