Graduate Students

Clair baytas headshot

Claire Baytas

French, Turkish, English

Migration and memory in the 20th and 21st centuries.



Carolina Cardoso

Carolina de Paula Cardoso

English, Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin

A Brazilian native, Carolina received her B.A. in Comparative Literature, French, and Psychology from Cornell University (2021), where she graduated magna cum laude with a thesis on the poetry and poetics of "Hypo-Romanticism," a concept she formulated to investigate the romantic period in connection with the contemporary lyric. Focused on the value of Romanticism still today, Carolina is mostly interested in the interplay and dialogue between the philosophy of German tragedy, poetic language, and present-day culture analysis. Moreover, while at UIUC, she plans on further thinking and writing about the contemporary subject, not only about our physio-psychological constitution, but also about human nature in face of the modern-contemporary malaise. She is also fascinated about the phenomenological and spiritual implications, as well as the transmogrifications of time and space, associated with such "Hypo-Romantic" malaise.


Mary Casey headshot

Mary Casey

English, Spanish, Portuguese and Modern Greek

Mediterranean Studies, Cinema & Media Studies



Ragini Chakraborty

Postcolonial Studies, Diaspora Studies, South Asian-Canadian Literature. 


Matt Fam

Matthew Fam

English, German, Chinese. 

From Singapore, Matthew just finished his thesis at Goethe University Frankfurt on theatrical remediations of WWII in British Malaya, with an MA in Anglophone Literatures, Cultures, and Media. His research interests include trauma and memory studies, in particular post-imperial memories and colonial afterlives, cross-pollinations between the Holocaust and genocides of the Malay Archipelago, historiography, theatre, film, and performance. He also holds a BA (Hons) in Theatre Studies at the National University of Singapore. Prior to my MA, he worked in Theatre, Arts Education, and Advertising. 


Meredith Francisco holding cat

Meredith Francisco

English, Latin, Ancient Greek, Italian


Classical reception in the Romantic period; nature and architecture; expressions of grief in poetry; gender and sexuality


Sambhabi Ghosh standing photo

Sambhabi Ghosh

English, Bengali, Hindi, German, Japanese


Postcolonialism, Shakespeare in Asia, Performance Studies, Translation and Adaptation studies, Cinema and Media Studies


Asiya Ikhsanova headshot

Asiya Ikhsanova

English, French, German, Russian

European modernism; biopolitical discourse and film; detective fiction


Elif Isik

Elif Isik

Turkish, English, Japanese, French

Born and raised in Turkey, Elif Isik received her first MA degree in Comparative Literature and Criticism from Goldsmiths, University of London. She recently received her second MA degree from Bilkent University in Turkish Literature. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Istanbul Bilgi University. Her research interests include kinship, hybridity and canon formation in comparative literary studies mainly focusing on the circulation and translation of genre writing, most specifically of romance novels in the 20th century.


Amartya Karmarkar

Bengali, English, Hindi


Amartya holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English Literature and Languages from India. His main research interests include Feminist Theory and Criticism, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Masculinity Studies, and Film Theory. He intends to explore the female writing of the domestic space as a problematized masculine sphere where the competing fantasies of male domination/androcentric desire compete with the female desire for autonomy. His research examines whether inhabited space is inherently phallocentric and how female protagonists generate alternative spaces of existence inside a dominant patriarchal setup.

Outside the domain of academia, he takes an avid interest in creative writing, filmmaking, user-experience research, and visual design. His recent collaboration on the script of Starfruits has been presented at the Film Bazaar (2021) [National Film Development Corporation of India] and the La Fabrique Cinéma [Cannes Film Festival 2022].

At UIUC, he aspires to further develop his ideas on the concept of domestic space and its intricate interrelations with the subject and aims to work on varied aspects of narrative structures in filmmaking as a visual art form that offers the possibility to dissect and reform the social, the political, and the contemporary world.    



Eva Kuras in Italy

Eva Kuras

English, French, Italian, Persian.

Medieval French, Italian and English literature. Classical Persian literature. Development of the narrative romance genre. "East-West" cultural transmission in the Middle Ages.


Picture of graduate student outdoors in the sunshine next to a river

Emily Landkamer

English, Japanese, German

Aesthetic Theory, Marxism and Critical Theory, Modern Intellectual-Cultural History, Literary Studies, German Idealism and Romanticism, Japanese Literature and New Media


Chang-Yen Lo

Chang-Yen Lo

English, French, Chinese

Born and raised in Taiwan, Chang-Yen Lo holds an M.A. with distinction in European Culture and Thought from University College London and a B.B.A. in International Business from National Taiwan University. His research interests include psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Jean Laplanche, Julia Kristeva, René Major), deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, 20th-century continental philosophy, modernism, 20th-century French, English, and Chinese literature. His current research project examines how Derrida’s concepts of tranche-fert and hyperanalytisme echo Lacan’s ethics of the analyst and radically deconstruct the analytic institution and the topology of psychoanalytic knowledge.

Sasha Mcdowell

Sasha McDowell

English, French, Russian, Spanish

20th and 21st century European and North/South American literature, translation & adaptation studies, structuralism/poststructuralism, theatre, surrealism & avant-garde


Zahra Meshkani

Zahra Meshkani

Persian, English, Arabic

Zahra Meshkani comes from Iran, where she recently finished her MA with a focus on the sociology of literature in post-revolution reflections of literature. Interested in philosophy and theory as well, she finds literary pieces most interesting in how they are intertwined with one's perspective — whether residing in the center or the periphery. Her research interests are translation theories, canon formation, nation-state, and the East-West dichotomy.

Elizabeth Mostowski headshot

Elizabeth Mostowski

English, Polish, French

Polish-Jewish identity narratives, Holocaust literature, memory studies, autobiography, oral history


Nobuto Sato and trees

Nobuto Sato

Twentieth-century American, Japanese, and Yiddish literatures; multilingualism; critical theory; memory studies; avant-garde; modernism/postmodernism


Stephanie Stoekl headshot

Stephanie Stoeckl

English, German, French


Modernism, Fin-de-Siècle, Religion and Literature, Continental Philosophy; particular interest in dialogue between critical theory and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

My current research explores representations of redemptive suffering in French and German novels of the late 19th- and early 20th-century Catholic Revival movement.


Modje Taavon

Modje Taavon

Persian, Arabic, English

Greco-Arabic Translation movement, the reception of Classical philosophy in the medieval Islamicate world and its role in the development of "western" intellectual traditions, especially in medieval and early modern Europe.


Megi Tedoradze

Georgian, English, Russian, Japanese


Coming from Georgia, Megi received her B.A. in Social Sciences at Free University of Tbilisi, with minor in Japanese Language. Her B.A. thesis concerned Butlerian forms of gender performativity and sexuality in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Her upcoming research will focus on the forms of nationality, orientalism, gender, sexuality and materiality in the post-Soviet literature and the role they played in the formation of a new political subjecthood. Her general research interests include Feminist and Queer Studies, Nationalism, Materiality studies, and Cognitive Sciences.


Samantha Ting

Samantha Ting

English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, German

Research interests include: cinema and media studies; Holocaust representations; memory studies; twentieth-century German and Japanese literatures; identity and nationhood; speculative fiction.

Gradu student outside wearing sunglasses and smiling

Jaya Venkatraman

English, French, Italian, Spanish

19th- and early 20th-century British and French literature; literature and the arts; history of the image, visual and material culture; psychoanalytic theory; neuroaesthetics