Comparative Literature

Vincent Barletta

portrait: Vincent Barletta

Pigott Hall 225
650 723 4921

Office Hours: 
On sabbatical, AY 2013-14

Vincent Barletta is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Iberian and Latin American Cultures, as well as a Research Associate at Stanford's Europe Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. During the 2013-14 academic year, he will be on sabbatical as a full-time faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. His research and teaching interests focus on Portuguese and Lusophone literature within a comparative framework; humanistic theories of rhythm and closeness; and pastoral literature from Ancient Greece to the present.

His current book project, Rhythm: Toward a Poetics of Patience, examines theories of rhythm from pre-Socratic Greece to the late twentieth century, focusing on the work of, for example, Aeschylus, Maurice Blanchot, Luís de Camões, Emmanuel Levinas, Henri Meschonnic, and Fernando Pessoa. His most recent book is Dreams of Waking: An Anthology of Iberian Lyric Poetry, 1400-1700 (U of Chicago P, 2013), co-edited and translated with Mark L. Bajus and Cici Malik. Before this, he authored Death in Babylon: Alexander the Great and Iberian Empire in the Muslim Orient (U of Chicago P, 2010). He is also the author of Covert Gestures: Crypto-Islamic Literature as Cultural Practice in Early Modern Spain (U of Minnesota P, 2005; Spanish ed., Zaragoza: Instituto de Estudios Islámicos y del Oriente Próximo, 2005) and editor/translator of Granadan Morisco Francisco Núñez Muley's A Memorandum for the President of the Royal Audiencia and Chancery Court of the City and Kingdom of Granada (U of Chicago P, 2007). He is currently guest-editing a special issue of ellipsis devoted to the Luso-Brazilian baroque and a special issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies devoted to the theme of "closeness" and medieval Iberian literature. In recent years, he has also published research on writers such as João de Barros,  Luís de Camões, Emmanuel Levinas, Ramon Llull, Fernão de Oliveira, Fernão Mendes Pinto, and António Vieira.

Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2007, Vincent Barletta taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at UCLA, after which he carried out two years of post-doctoral study within UCLA's Department of Anthropology/Center for Language, Interaction, and Culture.


1999-2001: Post-doctoral study, UCLA, Linguistic Anthropology

1998: Ph.D., UCLA, Hispanic Languages and Literatures

1989: BA with honors, Saint Mary's College of CA, English


Joshua Landy

portrait: Joshua Landy

104 Pigott Hall
650 723 4914

Office Hours: 
Variable. Information and signup form at <a></a>.
Focal Group(s): 
Humanities Education
Focal Group(s): 
Philosophy and Literature
Curriculum Vitae: 

Joshua Landy is the Andrew B. Hammond Professor in French Language, Literature and Civilization, Professor of Comparative Literature and by courtesy, English, and co-director of the Literature and Philosophy Initiative at Stanford.

Professor Landy is the author of Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust (Oxford, 2004) and of How To Do Things with Fictions (Oxford, 2012). He is also the co-editor of two volumes, Thematics: New Approaches (SUNY, 1995, with Claude Bremond and Thomas Pavel) and The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford, 2009, with Michael Saler). Philosophy as Fiction deals with issues of self-knowledge, self-deception, and self-fashioning in Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, while raising the question of what literary form contributes to an engagement with such questions; How to Do Things with Fictions explores a series of texts (by Plato, Beckett, Mallarmé, and Mark) that function as training-grounds for the mental capacities.

Professor Landy has appeared on the NPR shows "Forum" and "Philosophy Talk" (on narrative selfhood and on the function of fiction) and has on various occasions been a guest host of Robert Harrison's "Entitled Opinions" (with Lera Boroditsky on Language and Thought, with Michael Saler on Re-Enchantment, with John Perry and Ken Taylor on the Uses of Philosophy, and with Alexander Nehamas on Beauty).

Professor Landy has received the Walter J. Gores Award for Teaching Excellence (1999) and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching (2001).


Ramón Saldívar


Building 460, Room 322
Phone: 650 725 1213

Ramón Saldívar's teaching and research areas at Stanford have concentrated on the areas of cultural studies, literary theory, modernism, Chicano narrative, and Post-colonial literature. He is also interested in the history of the novel and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and American comparative studies. With a degree in Comparative Literature, his publications reflect the variety of his interests. His first book, Figural Language in the Novel: The Flowers of Speech from Cervantes to Joyce (1984), was a study of the authority of meaning in selected canonical European and American novels. His second book, Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference (1990), is a history of the development of Chicano narrative forms. His most recent book, titled The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary (2006), is a study of the modern American borderlands, transnationalism and globalism and their role in creating and delimiting agents of history.

Saldívar has served on the Board of Governors of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, on the Editorial Board of American Literature, and Modern Fiction Studies and on the national council of the American Studies Association. He is a past recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a National Council on Chicanos in Higher Education grant, a Danforth Doctoral Fellowship and various University of Texas Research Institute Faculty Awards. At Stanford, he has received Irvine and Bing curriculum development grants. He is the 1994 recipient of the Lillian and Thomas B. Rhodes Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Stanford, the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contribution to Undergraduate Education in 1998, and is the Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences and Milligan Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.


1977: Ph.D., Yale University
1975: M.Phil., Yale University
1972: B.A., University of Texas, Austin

José David Saldívar

portrait: José Saldívar

Building 260, 206; Phone: 650-723-2244

Office Hours: 
Tuesdays, 9-11 & by appointment; 260, 206

José David Saldívar is a scholar of late postcontemporary culture, especially the minoritized literatures of the United States, Latin America, and the transamerican hemisphere, and of border narrative and poetics from the sixteenth century to the present.

He is the author of The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Duke University Press, 1991), Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (University of California Press, 1997), and Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico (Duke University Press, 2012), coeditor (with Héctor Calderón) of Criticism in the Borderlands (Duke University Press, 1991), and editor of The Rolando Hinojosa Reader (Arte Público Press, 1985).

Additionally, he has published numerous articles in journals such as Cultural Studies, American Literary History, The Americas Review, Revista Casa de las Américas, Daedalus, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Global South. He has served on the editorial boards of Duke University Press, the University of California Press, and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals American Literary History, The Global South, Aztlan, and World Knowledges Otherwise. He has received personal research grants from The Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of California President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, the William Rice Kimball Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (invitation for a future visit).

His teaching is divided evenly between graduate seminars and undergraduate courses, and some of his undergraduate courses are cross-listed in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

In 2003, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Literary and Cultural Criticism from the Western Literature Association; in 2005, he received the Chicano Scholar of the Year Award from the Modern Language Association; and in 2007 he received the Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to Stanford in January 2010, Saldívar was the Class of 1942 Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.


1983: Ph.D., Stanford University
1979: M.A., Stanford University
1977: B.A., Yale University

Patricia Parker


Building 460, Room 324
Phone: 650 723 1818

Office Hours: 
Winter quarter: Tuesday/Thursday 5:05-6:00pm, or by appt.

Patricia Parker received her M.A. in English at the University of Toronto, before leaving in 1968 to teach for three years in Tanzania, during the period when President Julius Nyerere was translating Shakespeare into Kiswahili. After returning to complete her Ph.D. at Yale, in Comparative Literature, in 1975 she joined the faculty in English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, where she received tenure and was promoted to Full Professor. First invited to Stanford as a Visiting Professor in 1986, she joined the Departments of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford in 1988. She has also taught as a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley and as a part of the core faculty at the School of Criticism and Theory. She is the author of three books: Inescapable Romance, a study of romance from Ariosto to Wallace Stevens; Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property; and Shakespeare from the Margins; and co-editor of five collections of essays on criticism, theory, and cultural studies, including Shakespeare and the Question of Theory and Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period. She has lectured widely, in France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and other parts of the world, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other universities, as Gauss Seminar lecturer at Princeton, and as the Shakespeare's Birthday lecturer at the Folger Shakespeare Library; and has served on the Advisory Board of the English Institute. In 2003-4, she organized an international conference and public festival at Stanford devoted to “Shakespeare in Asia” (details and photos at and worked with students to create performance-based programs in the community. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare, the Bible, Epic and Empire, and early modern writing on the Muslim world. In addition to completing three book projects, on Shakespeare, race, religion and gender in the early modern period, she is currently editing Norton Critical editions of Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night and a new Arden edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream; and serving as General Editor of a major international Shakespeare Encyclopedia.


1967: B.A., University of Manitoba
1968: M.A., University of Toronto
1976: Ph.D., Yale University

David Palumbo-Liu

portrait: David Palumbo-Liu

Building 260, Room 229
Phone: 650 725 4915

Curriculum Vitae: 

David Palumbo-Liu’s fields of interest include social and cultural criticism, literary theory and criticism, East Asian and Asia Pacific American studies. His most recent book, The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age (Duke, 2012) addresses the role of contemporary humanistic literature with regard to the instruments and discourses of globalization, seeking to discover modes of affiliation and transnational ethical thinking; he is also co-editor with Bruce Robbins and Nirvana Tanoukhi of Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World: System, Scale, Culture (Duke, 2011).  Palumbo-Liu is most interested in issues regarding social theory, community, race and ethnicity, justice, globalization, ecology, and the specific role that literature and the humanities play in helping us address each of these areas.  He is the founding editor of Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (found on Arcade) and blogs for Truthout, The Boston Review, The Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera America. He is also a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and on the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Steering Committee and the Academic Steering and Advocacy Committee of the Open Library of the Humanities.

Please visit his web site for more information, essays, blogs, events:


1988: Ph.D. (Comparative Literature), University of California, Berkeley

Professional Activities: 

Contributing Editor, Los Angeles Review of Books

Steering Committee, HASTAC

Academic Steering and Advocacy Committe, Open Library of Humanities

Blogs in Truthout, Arcade, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books

Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi

portrait: Beverly Allen

Building 260, Room 107
Phone: 650 723 1947

Office Hours: 
By appointment only
Curriculum Vitae: 

Professor Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi is affiliated with both the French and Italian and Comparative Literature departments. Her teaching and research interests include cultural relations between Europe, Africa and the Caribbean; literature, intellectuals and society; and women writers. Before coming to Stanford in 1995, Professor Boyi taught at universities in the Congo and Burundi, as well as Haverford College and Duke University. She was a Visiting Professor in the French Department of the Graduate Center, CUNY in 1994. In 1999-2000 Professor Boyi was a Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. In 2002-2003 Professor Boyi was the president of the African Literature Association, a non-profit society of scholars dedicated to the advancement of African Literary Studies. She served as a member of the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association, where she represents the field of French (2003-2006), and as the Director of the interdisciplinary Program in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford (2005-2008).

Among Mudimbe-Boyi's publications are Jacques-Stephen Alexis: une écriture poétique, un engagement politique, "Post-Colonial Women Writing in French;" Beyond Dichotomies: Histories, Identities, Culture, and the Challenge of Globalization (2002); and Remembering Africa (2002); Her latest book, Essais sur les cultures en contact - Afrique, Amériques, Europe was published by Karthala (Paris) in September 2006.


Professor Boyi studied Romance Philology at the Catholic Universities of Louvain (Belgium) and Lovanium, Kinshasa. She holds a Licence en Philosophie et Lettres from the Catholic University of Lovanium (groupe Philologie Romane) and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures: French and Italian (Doctorat en Langues et Littératures Romanes) from the National University of Zaïre in Lubumbashi, with honors (Grande Distinction). Before earning her Ph.D., Professor Boyi studied ethnology at the University of Paris-Nanterre. She also studied Portuguese at the University of Lisbon, Italian language and literature at the Catholic University of Milan and the University of Siena, and at the University of Brescia, where she was a language teaching intern at CLADIL, the Centro di Linguistica applicata e didattica della lingua.


Franco Moretti

portrait: Franco Moretti

Building 460, Room 417
Phone: 650 723 4590

Author of Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), The Way of the World (1987), Modern Epic (1995), Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998), Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), The Bourgeois (2013), and Distant Reading (2013). Chief editor of The Novel (2006). Has founded the Center for the Study of the Novel and the Literary Lab. Writes often for New Left Review, and has been translated into over twenty languages.


1972: Universita' di Roma Laurea


Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht


Building 260, Room 112

Office Hours: 
Contact Margaret Tompkins,, 723-1356

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature and of French & Italian (and by courtesy, he is affiliated with the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures/ILAC, the Department of German Studies, and the Program in Modern Thought & Literature). As a scholar, Gumbrecht focuses on the histories of the national literatures in Romance language (especially French, Spanish, and Brazilian), but also on German literature, while, at the same time, he teaches and writes about the western philosophical tradition (almost exclusively on non-analytic philosophy) with an emphasis on French and German nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts. In addition, Gumbrecht tries to analyze and to understand forms of aesthetic experience 21st-century everyday culture. Over the past forty years, he has published more than sixteen hundred texts, including books, translated into more than twenty languages. In Europe and in South America, Gumbrecht has a presence as a public intellectual; whereas, in the academic world, he has been acknowledged by nine honorary doctorates in six different countries: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Russia . He has also held a number of visiting professorships, at the Collège de France, Zeppelin Universität (Friedrichshafen), University of Manchester, and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, among others.

Since the beginning of the academic year 2011-2012, Gumbrecht laid the foundation for a new book that will try to make present for twenty-first century readers the life and works of the French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot (1713-1784) in a new way. On one hand, this project takes on the challenge of how certain passions and the mood of certain environments in Diderot’s life can be made present in the most immediate way for contemporary readers -- referring, for example, to Diderot’s obsession with defining what a “perfectly happy day” would be, or to the physical and social challenge of his several-month stay at the Court of Catherine the Great at St. Petersburg, late in his life. On the other hand, and in contrast to Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Diderot’s life will be presented as part of a genealogy of the present-day intellectual, with the implication that, due to a specific “openness to the world,” the twenty-first century may become Diderot’s century as much as the twentieth century was Voltaire’s, and, probably, the nineteenth century, Rousseau’s


(including assistant professorships)

1974: Venia Legendi (Habilitation) Allgemeine und Romanische Literaturwissenschaft Universität Konstanz
1972: Universita degli studi di Pavia
1971-1974: Universität Konstanz

1971: Ph.D. Universität Konstanz

1970-1971: Universität München
1969-1970: Universidad de Salamanca
1969: Universität Regensburg 

1967-1969: Universität München
1967: Abitur, Siebold Gymnasium Würzburg

1966: Lyceé Henri IV, Paris
1958-1967: Siebold Gymnasium Würzburg


Monika Greenleaf


Building 240, Room 105
Phone: 650 725 5933

Office Hours: 
Thursday 2:30-4:30
Focal Group(s): 

Ph.D., Yale University

M.A., Yale University

B.A., M.A., Oxford University

B.A., Stanford University

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