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Alex Van Doren Awarded Bailey Fellowship

May 02, 2018

The Fred S. Bailey Fellowship for Community Leadership, Service, and Activism supports University of Illinois Urbana campus graduate and professional students who have shown passion, creativity, innovation, and commitment through community organizing, activism, and/or service in one or more of the following areas: social justice, environment, global engagement and/or interfaith cooperation. 

Prof. Rini Mehta awarded NCSA Fellowship

Apr 24, 2018

Professor Rini Bhattacharya Mehta has been awarded a fellowship by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications for a project titled "Indian Cinema in Context: Interactive Film History Archive and Tools."

New Book by Prof. Eric Calderwood

Mar 15, 2018

Through state-backed Catholicism, monolingualism, militarism, and dictatorship, Spain’s fascists earned their reputation for intolerance. It may therefore come as a surprise that 80,000 Moroccans fought at General Franco’s side in the 1930s. What brought these strange bedfellows together, Eric Calderwood argues, was a highly effective propaganda weapon: the legacy of medieval Muslim Iberia, known as al-Andalus. This legacy served to justify Spain’s colonization of Morocco and also to define the Moroccan national culture that supplanted colonial rule. Drawing on a rich archive of Spanish, Arabic, French, and Catalan sources—including literature, historiography, journalism, political speeches, schoolbooks, tourist brochures, and visual arts—Calderwood reconstructs the varied political career of convivencia and al-Andalus, showing how shared pasts become raw material for divergent contemporary ideologies, including Spanish fascism and Moroccan nationalism. Colonial al-Andalus exposes the limits of simplistic oppositions between European and Arab, Christian and Muslim, that shape current debates about European colonialism.

Ethan Madarieta awarded the Gendell and Shiner Fellowship

Feb 27, 2018

Ethan Madarieta has been awarded the Gendell and Shiner Fellowship for the Fall Semester of 2019-20.


Alex Van Doren selected for International Women's Day Award

Feb 27, 2018

Alexandra Van Doren was selected for the International Women's Day Award.


Article about Prof. Hilger's New Book

Feb 14, 2018

An article, "Bridging the gap between medicine and literature" about Stephanie Hilger’s new book “New Directions in Literature and Medicine Studies” is featured on the college homepage. 

Prof. Rini Mehta awarded the 2018-2019 IPRH Faculty Fellowship

Feb 09, 2018

 Professor Rini Mehta has been awarded the 2018-2019 IPRH Faculty Fellowship for her project "Mens Hierarchicus: Race’s Intellectual Labor and the Global Right."

Eric Calderwood selected as a Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor Scholar for the College of LAS for 2017-2019.

Dec 15, 2017

Prof. Eric Calderwood has been selected as a Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor Scholar for the College of LAS for 2017-2019.

New Book by Prof. Rachel Harris: Warriors, Witches, Whores: Women in Israeli Cinema

Nov 20, 2017

CWL@50: Program in Comparative and World Literature celebrates its 50th anniversary with special symposium

Nov 20, 2017

The Program in Comparative and World Literature celebrated its 50thanniversary with a two-day symposium titled “CWL @ 50: Comparative and World Literature in Historical Perspective,” held at the Levis Faculty Center on 12-13 September 2017.

Originally founded in 1967, the UIUC Program in Comparative & World Literature in 1985 became one of the first to offer non-Western and cross-cultural studies, and world literature is an area where we continue to excel today. The two-day symposium brought together alumni, students, and faculty from CWL with specializations in Arabic, Bulgarian, Classics, Chinese, English, French, German, Israeli, Italian, Japanese, Russian, South Asian, and Spanish literatures and cultures, as well as expertise in Jewish Studies, Film studies, Cultural studies, Religion, and Post-colonial theory. The conference was generously sponsored by eighteen campus units.

The symposium coincided with the 150thAnniversary of the founding of the University. “We wanted to recognize these important historical milestones and the wide ranging contribution that CWL has made to the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and to the University of Illinois,” said Lilya Kaganovsky, Director and Professor of Comparative and World Literature.

The symposium featured keynote speaker Haun Saussey (University of Chicago), who also conducted a graduate workshop on critical theory and the idea of authorship. A second graduate workshop on professionalization outside the university was led by CWL alumna Beth Benedix (DePauw University). Professor Emeritus Michael Palencia Roth, one of the original founders of the Comparative Literature Program at Illinois, offered welcome remarks. On the second day, CWL faculty and alumni presented current research and debated future directions in the field, including moving beyond the East/West divide to mine intellectual affinities and cross-cultural relations across the globe.

Stephanie Hilger awarded the CAS Fellowship for 2018-2019 for her project, "Liminal Bodies: Hermaphrodites in the Eighteenth Century."

Oct 15, 2017

Professor Stephanie Hilger awarded the CAS Fellowship for 2018-2019 for her project, "Liminal Bodies: Hermaphrodites in the Eighteenth Century." 

Learn more about CAS Fellows

Prof. Lilya Kaganovsky receives the Provost's Campus Distinguished Promotion Award

May 10, 2017

Congratuations to our new full professors: Lilya Kaganovsky, Robert A. Rushing, and Robert Tierney

May 10, 2017

Everyone please join me in congratulating our new full professors Lilya Kaganovsky, Robert Rushing and Robert Tierney!

Robert A. Rushing’s book, Descended from Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body On Screen, won the Film and Media Studies book prize at AAIS

Apr 25, 2017

Professor Robert A. Rushing’s book Descended from Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body On Screen just won the Film and Media Studies book prize at the AAIS (American Association for Italian Studies).

Eric Calderwood awarded Criticism and Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellowship for 2017-18.

Apr 13, 2017

Eric Calderwood has been awarded a Criticism and Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellowship for 2017-18.

Robert Rushing's New Book, Descended from Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body on Screen

Apr 10, 2017

Muscles, six-pack abs, skin, and sweat fill the screen in the tawdry and tantalizing peplum films associated with epic Italian cinema of the 1950s and 1960s.Using techniques like slow motion and stopped time, these films instill the hero’s vitality with timeless admiration and immerse the hero’s body in a world that is lavishly eroticized but without sexual desire. These "sword and sandal" films represent a century-long cinematic biopolitical intervention that offers the spectator an imagined form of the male body―one free of illness, degeneracy, and the burdens of poverty―that defends goodness with brute strength and perseverance, and serves as a model of ideal citizenry.

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Prof. Waïl Hassan Elected Second Vice President of ACLA

Apr 09, 2017

Prof. Waïl Hassan has been elected Second Vice President of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA). He will serve in that capacity for the first of a three-year term on the Executive Committee (2017-18). In the second year (2018-19) he will become Vice President, then President in the third year (2019-20). After that, Prof. Hassan will become a member of the Honorary Committee as a past president.

The ACLA was founded in 1960 and is the largest professional association representing the discipline in North America, although its membership of over 2,000 includes many who travel to its annual conference from Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America. The ACLA also holds occasional conferences abroad, with the 2017 meeting taking place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in July. 

Alex van Doren awarded the Graduate Student Leadership Award

Apr 09, 2017


We're pleased to announce the winner of the Graduate Student Leadership Award: Alexandra Van Doren, a doctoral student in Comparative and World Literatures. 

During the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015, Alexandra realized there was no refugee welcome center in Champaign or Urbana, and decided to take action. In January 2016, she founded the non-profit Three Spinners Inc. with the help of fellow graduate student Meagan Smith and her husband Tim King.

Matthew Nelson was awarded the SLCL Dissertation completion fellowship for 2016-2017

Jul 26, 2016

Matthew Nelson was awarded the SLCL Dissertation completion fellowship for 2016-2017 for his dissertation, "Translingual Nostalgias in Modern Sanskrit and Indian Poetry in English" 

Ethan Madareita receives Honorable Mention for the 2016 IPRH Prizes for Research in the Humanities.

Jul 26, 2016

Ethan Madareita's essay, “Unbordering the Body: Raúl Zurita’s Utopian Performance Under Dictatorship,” received an Honorable Mention for best graduate student research for the 2016 IPRH Prizes for Research in the Humanities.

Hapsatou Wane has accepted a position at Armstrong University

Jul 26, 2016

Hapsatou Wane has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy at Armstrong University.

Waïl Hassan named University Scholar

Jun 18, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Waïl Hassan has been named University Scholar for 2016-2017.

Rini Mehta honored at Women's Resources Center International Women's Day Celebration

Mar 09, 2016

The Women’s Resources Center within the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations selected Prof. Rini Mehta as a 2016 honoree at the International Women’s Day Celebration. Prof. Mehta was recognized for her "..invaluable work on behalf of women internationally." This year's honorees represent a wide-range of achievements within the fields of education, healthcare, policy, history, and social work.

Learn more at the Women's Resource Center

Waïl Hassan Awarded ACLS Fellowship

Feb 29, 2016

Prof. Waïl Hassan has been awarded the ACLS Fellowship for 2016-2017 for his project, "Arab Brazil: Literature, Culture, and Orientalism in the Racial Democracy.” 

Eric Calderwood Receives NEH Fellowship

Jan 23, 2016

Eric Calderwood is one of five University of Illinois faculty to be awarded an National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. Eric's project is “The Memory of Al-Andalus and Spanish Colonialism in Morocco, 1859-1956.” This book will be the first study of Spanish colonialism in Morocco (1859-1956) to be based on both Spanish and Arabic sources. The book explores how Spanish and Moroccan writers used the history of al-Andalus – medieval Muslim Iberia – as a framework for understanding Spanish colonialism in Morocco, and how the historical memory of al-Andalus has been used to structure debates about Europe’s evolving relationship with the Muslim world.

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