Modern LanguagesWestern Arts and Humanities

Comparative Literature Graduate Student Profiles

Naqaa Abbas
Comparative Literature PhD


abuawadKarim Abuawad
Comparative Literature PhD 4

I earned a BA in English literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. After completing my undergraduate degree, I recognized that comparative literature is my natural home because it would allow me to work on English and Arabic literatures. After earning an MA in comparative literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I went back to Palestine and taught English literature for one year at the English Department of Al-Quds University in the West Bank. After that instructive and pleasant experience, I decided to come to Western to work on a PhD in comparative literature. My broad research interests include twentieth-century British and Arabic novels, specifically those written by Egyptian and Lebanese novelists. 


AlaeddiniParastoo Alaeddini
Comparative Literature MA 1
“I wanna do something that would let me read books, watch films and sip my coffee.”

 This is how I responded to my friends when they asked me what I wanted to do with my life! And it has come true (though please fit all the assignments waiting to be done somewhere in this picture)! I earned my BA in English Literature and then focused on World Literature for a while. I am now in my first year of MA in Complit. My major interests include cinematic adaptation of novels, cinema of Polanski, post- revolutionary Persian narrative and the depiction of doubling, scapegoating, identity loss and exile in films and novels. Theory wise, I am interested in the psychological concepts developed by Otto Rank and anthropological theories of René Girard.  Apart from English and Persian, I am proficient in Spanish and have an upper- intermediate knowledge of French.


AriEser Ari
Comparative Literature PhD 1

"I'm a first year PhD student in CL. After teaching English and Literature at high school and college level, I decided to pursue a degree in Comparative Literature with a focus on colonialism and post-colonialism in English, Russian and Circassian. My research interests are British and Russian Imperial Literature, Diaspora and Migration Studies, Trauma Theory and Collective Memory. I also enjoy working on comparison of Modernism in connection with Turkish Modernism, political. social and historical fiction. "


AshouriReza Ashouri Talooki
Comparative Literature PhD 3

Reza Ashouri is currently completing his PhD in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on Postcolonial Literature. Reza's interests lie largely in Postcolonial Literature/Theories, while he specifically focuses on Diaspora Studies, Migration Literature, Oriental Studies, and Feminist Writings. He is also passionate about modern politics and philosophy framed by philosophers and scholars such as Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Stuart Hall, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. These scholars have had a profound impact on Reza's research path. The geographical areas Reza is extending his dissertation on include South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Reza is investigating the clash and/or conflation of tradition and modernity, religion and literature, and Islam and the West in literature of exile and migrant writings/narratives.


banerjeeSarbani Banerjee
Comparative Literature PhD 4

BychkovaDiana Bychkova
Comparative Literature PhD 1

I am originally from Ukraine (where I received BA and MA in book arts) and, among the other courses on book history and graphic arts, I completed both MA in graphic arts at Academy of Brera and MA in publishing at Catholic University in Milan (Italy). For more than 10 years worked in the book arts field (both publishing industry and crafts, book making and printing), produced limited editions, handmade printings and illustrations. Such an experience brought me to the study of the book history. My research interests include the medieval book arts, the Byzantine culture, literature, arts, and its influence on the Slavic book development, the relationship between text and image, letters and architecture. Web site: www.ds-art.net , email: dbychkov@uwo.ca


Kristoffer Conner
Comparative Literature PhD 1


Ishan Dasgupta
Comparative Literature PhD 1


DesbiensAlexandre Desbiens-Brassard
Comparative Literature PhD 1

Alexandre Desbiens-Brassard is originally from Saguenay, Quebec, Canada. He specializes in American and Canadian literature in both English and French. Recently published in the latest issue of Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, he is currently finalizing the writing of his Master Thesis, titled "'They're Coming!' Invasion and Paranoia in Post-World-War-Two Literature in Quebec and the United State", for the Comparative Canadian Literature program at the University of Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, Quebec). He is at the same time starting his PH.D. in Comparative Literature at UWO. He has obtained a research grant from the FRQSC (Quebec Research Fund of Society and Culture) for the completion of this PH.D. which aims to examine the personification of Capitalism as a monstrous figure in contemporary North American speculative fiction.


DominaNatalya Domina
Comparative Literature PhD 2
Originally from Ukraine, I studied Ukrainian philology and literary theory at the National University of 'Kyiv-Mohyla academy.' I hold an MA in Comparative Literature from Western University. My research interests include socialist utopia, Ukrainian literature, Russian experimental fiction, theory and practice of translation.


ebrahimiMehraneh Ebrahimi Eshratabadi
Comparative Literature PhD 4

I research the aesthetic intervention in the discourse around War on Terror. I have coined the word aestextasy (aestethics - ecstasy) to refer to the Borromian knot of: aesthetics, ethics and politics circulating around Text; with the break of each loop, the whole fabric tears apart. Works of literature and arts - including in my case Iranian exilic texts - that engage aestextically with their subject matter usher true Democracy and shatter the pop terror discourse of the media supported by the Policed consensus. They offer an image of the Other/enemy as a human being that is perfectable, relatable, a keen and in so doing intervene in the us-versus-them lethal dichotomy. I am also interested in the questions of Human Rights vis–à–vis military benevolence and the lip service they pay to empty signifiers of democracy and illusionary missions of Muslim women liberation. 
I am very excited to teach my own course on Graphic Novels and Trauma this year. I chose to study Comparative Literature due to its marginal, interdisciplinary position in humanities, giving me the fluidity to peek through cement walls which have been erected between faculties that interest me; faculties as diverse as Social Science, Information and Media Studies, Women Studies and of course Literature and Humanities. Also, since I have grown up in several countries across the world, I am privileged enough to speak several languages (including Italian, Persian, French and English) aiding me in my interdisciplinary endeavors. Feel free to contact me with questions regarding the program or my research interests. Email: mberhai8@uwo.ca

godboutKevin Godbout
Comparative Literature PhD 5

I was born and raised in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and I come to Comparative Literature by way of degrees in English at l'Université de Moncton (BA) and York University (MA). I came to the department to take advantage of my knowledge of French and English and slowly expand my German. I'm interested in nineteenth and twentieth century poetry, short prose and aphorisms alongside literary theory of various colours and stripes.  My dissertation project focuses on melancholy in the nineteenth century and within writings of William Blake, Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin.


GuerreroBarbara Guerrero
Comparative Literature MA 1

I am an international student from Mexico, and I am currently a first year Masters student in Comparative Literature. I recently earned a B.A. Honours in English Language and Literature at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  My research interests are 19th and 20th century English Literature and Latin American literature ranging from the 19th century to contemporary literature, as well as women writers. 


JarySheena Jary
Comparative Literature MA 1

Sheena Jary is in the first year of her Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature. Her interests range widely from Cold War era literature in the east and west, to literature influenced or involved with the Bible, as well as the acquisition of individual knowledge and its role in mysticism.

 I would invite you to read my profile for further details regarding various research interests and projects:

 http://www.sfu.ca/fass/news/stories/student-profile--sheena-jary--department-of-english.html


KaurRamanpreet Kaur
Comparative Literature PhD 2

I am a first year PhD candidate in Comparative Literature. My research interests include British Imperial Literature, South Asian Colonial and Post Colonial Literature, and the dialectics of cultural exchange in Theatre and Performative Arts. I have earned my MA, MPhil and PhD from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. My previous PhD (English) thesis, entitled “The Dynamics of Violence: A Study of Selected Novels of Nadine Gordimer,” was funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) New Delhi, India. I am proficient in English, Hindi, and Punjabi, and I have intermediate knowledge of Urdu, Sanskrit, and French.


nushajDriton Nushaj
Comparative Literature MA 3

PatekJulia Patek
Comparative Literature MA 2

I am a second-year MA student in comparative literature. I chose to study comparative literature because of my love of foreign languages; I am able to read in French, English, German, Middle High German, and Ancient Greek. I am currently working on a thesis that examines representations of female demons, particularly Lilith figures, in several works of 19th-20th century European fiction and poetry. 


persaudLeah Persaud
Comparative Literature MA 3

I am a second year Master's student in the Comparative Literature program, and for my thesis I am focusing on instances of beauty and the grotesque in German and Italian fairy tales from the 17th and 19th centuries. I also did my undergrad here at Western and decided to stay here for graduate school because of the amazing faculty and beautiful campus.


PleniceanuAnda Pleniceanu
Comparative Literature MA 2

Before joining the Master’s program in Comparative Literature at Western University, I studied theatre and I completed an undergraduate degree, majoring in Classics and French at University of Toronto. I am in my element in the Comparative Literature program, as I can do research in five languages (Romanian, English, Latin, Ancient Greek and French) and I am able to both strengthen and expand my knowledge of languages, literature and theory. My research interests include ancient tragedy, avant-garde theatre, the language and materiality of the body, border poetics, intertextuality, reception theory, the limits of language and Japanese aesthetics.


PreciadoPaola Preciado
Comparative Literature MA 1


PriviteraAndrea Privitera
Comparative Literature PhD 3

Andrea Privitera is a third year PhD student in Comparative Literature both at Western University and the University of Padua (Italy). He received both his BA in Humanities and his MA in Literary theory from the University of Padua, and completed part of his Master’s studies at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic). His research interests include Italian studies, media theory, and narrative theory. His dissertation will be a transmedia perspective on the Italian Renaissance epic tradition.


Bruna Reis
Comparative Literature PhD 1

In 2008, I finished my undergraduate degree in Languages and Literatures with honours at UNESP in Brazil. My undergraduate research paper, "An Analysis of Feminist Aspects in Lorna Sage's Bad Blood" was funded by FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation).  In 2012, I defended my M.A. thesis at Western; it was titled "The Gospel According to José Saramago: a Comparative Study of Critical Reception in Portugal, United States, and Canada" and funded by SSHRC. Over the course of my Ph.D. I will investigate the recurrence and unintentional re-writing of stereotypical characters in materials aimed at children - toys, books, TV shows, and movies - in a variety of countries.


Sasha Salyga-Reynolds
Comparative Literature MA 1


tannahillAmberle Tannahill
Comparative Literature MA 2 


WongRachel Wong
Comparative Literature MA 1

I am a first year MA student in Comparative Literature. I completed my BA in English and History at Simon Fraser University. Not sure what to do after graduation, I decided to pursue a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in English (also at SFU). This led me to Western where I am currently researching literary representations of Chinatown in Canadian literature. Some of my (many) research interests include: Asian North American diasporic literature and theory, twentieth century Canadian literature, critical theory, and issues of hybridity and liminality in diasporic and travel writing.


wuYanxiang Wu
Comparative Literature PhD 4

I am a final year PhD student in Comparative Literature. My thesis project is a comparative study of the ideas / concepts of the New World(s) in Montaigne's Essais and Milton's Paradise Lost, with special focuses on how and to what extent the two authors cosmologies weigh on their art. Before coming to Western, I did my MA in English in Peking University, China. I started with the MA program in Comparative Literature at Western and was then transferred to the PhD program.


YlaganChristian Ylagan
Comparative Literature PhD 2
My journey to Comparative Literature has been fairly circuitous, having come to the discipline through various intellectual pursuits. I received my undergraduate degree from Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines), where I majored in Political Science and minored in Philosophy. A lifelong interest in literature and reading led me to a career in teaching English to high school students, where I was also involved in student leadership and formation. Realizing that I am interested in multiple aspects of literature from production to reception to theory to pedagogy, I decided to do my MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, where I focused primarily on Postcolonialism and national literatures. Presently, my main interest is in the intersection of Postcolonialism with popular culture and media studies, but I’m also keen on depictions of national and queer identities, subjectivity and body modification, theories of control, and diasporic literature. I’m currently involved with Streetprint Manila, a research project chronicling current trends and texts in Filipino popular culture.


zehentbauerJanice Zehentbauer

Comparative Literature PhD 5

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature. My dissertation focuses upon the intersections of perception, neurological illness, and modes of technology in nineteenth-century European novels and medical treatises. I am from the Niagara region, and divide my time between Virgil and London, Ontario. I have a BA Honours in English and an MA in Studies in Comparative Literature and Arts, both from Brock University. I also have an MA in English from the University of Waterloo, where I took the “co-op” option, working at the Toronto Police Museum. In 2009 I chose to study at Western for its collegial atmosphere, its dynamic Modern Languages and Literatures department, and its extensive library holdings. In 2011, my studies were funded by an OGS; in 2012, I received a SSHRC scholarship as well as a Graduate Research Scholarship. Studying at Western has allowed me to pursue my own areas of interest, while continuing my studies of French and Spanish, and expanding my knowledge of the discipline of Comparative Literature. The faculty, staff, and fellow students in the MLL department and those in the departments of English and Film make it a joy to do my graduate work at Western.