Comparative Literature

Joseph Frank

portrait: DLCL Admin


In Memoriam.


A memorial for Professor Frank will be held at The Stanford Humanities Center on Monday, May 20, at 4:00 PM.


Joseph Frank's obituaries:





Joseph Frank’s first book of essays, The Widening Gyre (1963) contained an article called "Spatial Form in Modern Literature" dealing with the aesthetics of the modern novel that attracted a good bit of attention and led to the beginning of his academic career. He then became interested in Russian literature and focused his attention on Dostoevskys' Notes from the Underground, which then led him into a lifelong study of the works of Dostoevsky.

Between 1976 and 2002 he wrote five volumes, each devoted to Dostoevsky's life and work and particularly focusing on the ideological and cultural-historical sources of his creations. Each of these volumes won a national literary award (Christian Gauss Award (twice), National Book Critics Circle Award, a Russian Etkind Prize of the University of St. Petersburg).  In 1990-1991, he also published two volumes of essays, Through the Russian Prism, and The Idea of Spatial Form.

Since then he has published a volume of essays and book reviews dealing with works in Russian literature (Between Religion and Rationality) and is waiting to receive galleys for a collection of the same type dealing with non-Slavic material. His 5-volume work on Dostoevsky has just (2010) been revised and published as one volume.


Efim Etkind Prize for the best book about Russian Literature and Culture by a Western Scholar, European University in Saint-Petersburg, 2006
Docteur Honoris Causa, Sorbonne University, 1999
Honorary Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1998
Honorary Ph.D., Adelphi University, 1995
Honorary Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1992
Research Grant, National Endowment for Humanities, 1990-9
James Russell Lowell Prize, M.L.A., 1977, 1986
National Book Critics Circle Award, 1984
Guggenheim Fellow, 1956-57, 1975-76
Elected Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1969
















Amir Eshel

portrait: Sylke Tempel
Pigott Hall 219
Phone: 650 723 0413
Fax: 650 725 8421
Curriculum Vitae: 

Amir Eshel is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies, Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature; an Affiliated Faculty at The Europe Center and CISAC at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. His research focuses on the contemporary novel in a global dimension, twentieth century German culture, German-Jewish history and culture, and modern Hebrew literature. He is interested in the literary and cultural imagination as it addresses modernity’s traumatic past for its contemporary philosophical, political and ethical implications.

Recently, Amir Eshel completed a new book, Futurity: Contemporary Literature and the Quest for the Past (The University of Chicago Press in 2013). The German version of the book, Zukünftigkeit: Die zeitgenössische Literatur und die Vergangenheit appeared in 2012 with Suhrkamp Verlag. Together with Yfaat Weiss he co-edited a book of essays on Barbara Honigmann, Kurz hinter der Wahrheit und dicht neben der Lüge: Zum Werk Barbara Honigmanns (Fink Verlag (2013)). He is also the author of Zeit der Zäsur: Jüdische Lyriker im Angesicht der Shoah (1999), and Das Ungesagte Schreiben: Israelische Prosa und das Problem der Palästinensischen Flucht und Vertreibung (2006). In recent years, he also published essays on writers such as Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Paul Celan, W.G. Sebald, Günter Grass, Alexander Kluge, Durs Grünbein, Barbara Honigmann, Dan Pagis, S. Yizhar, and Yoram Kaniyuk.

Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1998 as an Assistant Professor of German Studies, he taught at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Amir Eshel is a recipient of fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt and the Friedrich Ebert foundations and received the Award for Distinguished Teaching from the School of Humanities and Sciences. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in German literature, both from the University of Hamburg.


1998 Ph.D. University of Hamburg, Germany
1994 M.A. University of Hamburg, Germany


Margaret Cohen

portrait: Beverly Allen

Building 260, Room 211
Phone: 650 724 0106

Office Hours: 
Tues 3:00-4:00 (sign-up sheet at room 260-211) or by appointment

Please email to schedule a meeting with Professor Cohen or ask questions regarding the undergraduate major/minor.

Margaret Cohen’s most recent book is The Novel and the Sea (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), which was awarded the Louis R. Gottschalk Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the George and Barbara Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of the Narrative. She is also the author of Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) and The Sentimental Education of the Novel (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), which received the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione prize in French and Francophone literature. In addition, Margaret Cohen coedited two collections of scholarship on the European novel: The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel with Carolyn Dever (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), andSpectacles of Realism: Body, Gender, Genre with Christopher Prendergast (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995). She edited and translated Sophie Cottin's best-selling novel of 1799, Claire d'Albe (New York: Modern Language Association, 2003), and has edited a new critical edition of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary that appeared with W.W. Norton in 2004.


1988: Ph.D., Yale University
1982: M.A., New York University

1980-81: Universität Konstanz
1980: B.A., Yale University


Russell Berman

portrait: Beverly Allen

Building 260, Room 201
Phone: 650 723 1069

Office Hours: 
M 10:00-11:00 and by appointment
Focal Group(s): 
Humanities Education
Focal Group(s): 
Philosophy and Literature
Curriculum Vitae: 

Professor Berman joined the Stanford faculty in 1979. In 1982-83 he was a Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Harvard, and in 1988-89 he held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin. In 1997 he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany. Professor Berman is the editor of the journal Telos.


1979: Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis

1972: B.A., Harvard University


John Bender


Building 460, Room 341
Phone: 650 723 3052

John Bender's research and teaching focus on the eighteenth century in England and France. His special concerns include the relationship of literature to the visual arts, to philosophy and science, as well as to the sociology of literature and critical theory. He is also on the Comparative Literature faculty. Bender is the author of Spenser and Literary Pictorialism (1972), and Imagining the Penitentiary: Fiction and the Architecture of Mind in 18th-Century England (1987), which received the Gottschalk Prize of the American Society for 18th-Century Studies. He has published articles on Shakespeare, Piranesi, Hogarth, Hume, Goldsmith, Blake, Godwin, and on theoretical issues including fictionality and scientific inquiry. He is co-editor of The Ends of Rhetoric: History, Theory, Practice (1990), Chronotypes: The Construction of Time (1991), The Columbia History of the British Novel (1994), the Oxford World Classics edition of Tom Jones (1996), and Regimes of Description: In the Archive of the Eighteenth Century (2005).


1967: Ph.D., Cornell University
1962: B.A., Princeton University

Roland Greene

portrait: Roland Greene

Building 260, Room 215
Phone: 650 725 1214

Office Hours: 
On leave 2013-14
Focal Group(s): 
Focal Group(s): 
Workshop in Poetics
Roland Greene is a scholar of Renaissance culture, especially the literatures of England, Latin Europe, and the transatlantic world, and of poetry and poetics from the sixteenth century to the present. His most recent book is Five Words: Critical Semantics in the Age of Shakespeare and Cervantes (Chicago, 2013). He is the editor in chief of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012).
His other books include Unrequited Conquests: Love and Empire in the Colonial Americas (Chicago, 1999), which argues that the love poetry of the Renaissance had a formative role in European ideas about the Americas during the first phase of the colonial period; Post-Petrarchism: Origins and Innovations of the Western Lyric Sequence (Princeton, 1991), a transhistorical study of lyric poetics; and, edited with Elizabeth Fowler, The Project of Prose in Early Modern Europe and the New World (Cambridge, 1997).
Greene is the general editor of a series of critical volumes titled World Literatures Reimagined. The first three volumes in the series, Earl Fitz's Brazilian Narrative Traditions in a Comparative Context, Azade Seyhan's Tales of Crossed Destinies: The Modern Turkish Novel in a Comparative Context, and Kirsty Hooper and Manuel Puga Moruxa's Contemporary Galician Studies, are in print.
The directions of Greene's research are reflected in the three working groups he oversees with colleagues and graduate students, two of which are formal Focal Groups in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. In 2004 he established Renaissances: A Research Group in Early Modern Literatures, which presents younger scholars from around the U.S. and elsewhere working on topics of long-term significance (for 2012-14, the topic is "Nodes, Networks, Names"). In 2006 he created the Stanford Poetics Workshop, which includes a regular membership of faculty members, advanced graduate students, and fellows at the Humanities Center. A group on Transamerican Studies, co-chaired with Ramón Saldívar, began meeting in the autumn of 2009 and is currently on hiatus. These groups invite both Stanford scholars and visitors to present research in progress, and serve to assemble the community of Ph.D. students currently working in these areas.
Greene is the Director of Arcade, a digital salon for literature and the humanities.
At Stanford he is actively involved with the Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, which brings postdoctoral scholars to campus, with the Bing Overseas Studies Program, and with the Program in Structured Liberal Education (SLE), of which he is a former director.
Greene is currently Second Vice President of the Modern Language Association of America; he will serve as President in 2015.

1985: Ph.D., Princeton University

1979: A.B., Brown University


Future Lectures and Conference Papers:

"The Semantics of the Baroque: How Seventeenth-Century Poets and Artists Understood (and Translated) the Terms for a Baroque Aesthetic," Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto, November 19, 2013

"Cervantes in Shakespeare in Theobald: Three Stages of Literary History in One Artifact," Double Falshood (1727) and Cardenio (1613): Theobald, Fletcher, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies and William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles, January 2014

"Institutions and the Vernacular," Renaissance Society of America, New York, March 2014

Roundtable, Sidney and Spenser Studies in Tribute to T. P. Roche, Renaissance Society of America, New York, March 2014

Roundtable, Transgressing Boundaries: Comparative Epic and Drama, Renaissance Society of America, New York, March 2014

"Auerbach's Universals," Reading Mimesis Chapter 13, Shakespeare Association of America, St. Louis, April 2014


Ph.D. students:

Rhiannon Lewis, ""One Word My Whole Years Work": Time, Use, and Labor in Renaissance Poetry," Department of English, in progress

Ryan Haas, "The Draggled Muse: Early Modern Literature and the Poetics of Triviality," Department of English, in progress

Lucy Alford, "Unfolding Presence: Poetic Attention through the Lens of the Twentieth Century," Department of Comparative Literature, in progress

Talya Meyers, "'Streight Course' and 'Wandring Eye': Reconsidering the Epic," Department of English, in progress

Noam Pines, "The Poetics of Dehumanization in Jewish Literature," Department of Comparative Literature, in progress

Virginia Ramos, "The Modern Lyrical Novel," Department of Comparative Literature, in progress

Bronwen Tate, "Putting it All In, Leaving it All Out: Expansion and Compression in Post-War Poetry," Department of Comparative Literature, in progress

Colin Moore, "Communicative Situations in Early Modern European Fiction," Department of Comparative Literature, in progress

Christopher Donaldson, "The Local Poet in the Romantic Tradition," Department of Comparative Literature, 2012. Now Literary Research Associate, Spatial Humanities Project, Lancaster University.

Kathryn Hume, "The Performance of Analysis in Seventeenth-Century Literature and Science," Department of Comparative Literature, 2012. Now Marketing Content Specialist, IntApp.

Anton Vander Zee, "'The Final Lilt of Songs': Late Whitman and the Long American Century," Department of English, 2012. Now Assistant Professor of English, College of Charleston.

Frederick L. Blumberg, "Literature and Its Rivals, 1500-1660," Department of Comparative Literature, 2011. Now Assistant Professor of English, University of Hong Kong.

Fabian Goppelsröder, "Kalendergeschichte and fait divers: The Poetics of Circumscribed Space," Department of Comparative Literature, 2011. Now Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Potsdam.

Harris Feinsod, "Fluent Mundo: Inter-American Poetry, 1939-1973," Department of Comparative Literature, 2011. Now Assistant Professor of English, Northwestern University.

Stephanie Schmidt, "Foundational Narratives, Performance and the City," Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, 2011. Now Assistant Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, University of Tulsa.

David Marno, "Thanking as Thinking: The Poetics of Grace in John Donne's Holy Sonnets," Department of Comparative Literature, 2011. Now Assistant Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley.

Anne Marie Guglielmo, "Contested Genealogies in Early Modern Mediterranean Literature," Department of Comparative Literature, 2010

Ema Vyroubalová, "Linguistic Alterity and Foreignness in Early Modern England, 1534-1625," Department of English, 2010. Recipient of the department's Alden Prize for best dissertation, 2011. Now Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature, Trinity College, Dublin.

Claire Seiler, “Between Pole and Tropic: Poetry and Fiction, 1945-1955," Department of English, 2010. Now Assistant Professor of English, Dickinson College.

Enrique Lima, "Forms of Conquest: Indian Conflict and the Novel in the Americas," Department of Comparative Literature, 2006. Now Assistant Professor of English, University of Oregon.

David Colón, "Embodying the Ideogram: Orientalism and the Visual Aesthetic in Modernist Poetry," Department of English, 2004. Now Assistant Professor of English, Texas Christian University.

Jillanne Michell, "The Ethics of Toleration in English Renaissance Literature," Department of English, University of Oregon, 2004. Now Professor of English and Department Chair, Umpqua Community College.

Carolyn Bergquist, "Worlds of Persuasion," Department of English, University of Oregon, 2003. Now Director of Composition, University of Oregon.

Kate Jenckes, "Allegories of Writing / History: Borges, Benjamin, and Buenos Aires," Program in Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, 2001. Now Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Michigan.

Miles Taylor, "Nation, History, and Theater: Representing the Past in the Drama of Early Modern England," Department of English, University of Oregon, 2000. Now Associate Professor of English, Le Moyne College.

Nina Chordas, "Utopian Poetics: The Praxis and Discourse of Utopia in England and America, 1516-1637," Department of English, University of Oregon, 1998. Now Associate Professor of English and Department Chair, University of Alaska Southeast.

Jaspal Singh, "Maddening Inscriptions: 'Madness' as Resistance in Postcolonial African and South Asian Women's Fiction and Film," Program in Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, 1998. Now Professor of English, Northern Michigan University.

Karen Piper, "Territories of the Novel: Borders, Identities, and Displacements in Twentieth-Century Fiction," Program in Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, 1996. Now Professor of English, University of Missouri, Columbia.

Marilyn G. Miller, "Miscegenation and the Narrative Voice," Program in Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, 1995. Now Associate Professor of Spanish, Tulane University.

Professional Activities: 


Minor in Comparative Literature

The undergraduate minor in Comparative Literature represents an abbreviated version of the major. It is designed for students who are unable to pursue the major but who nonetheless seek an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of literature. Plans for the minor should be discussed with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. The minimum number of units required for a minor at Stanford is 20. Requirements for the minor in Comparative Literature include:

Philosophical and Literary Thought

Undergraduates may major in Comparative Literature with a special track in interdisciplinary studies at the intersection of literature and philosophy. Students in this option take courses alongside students from other departments that also have specialized options associated with the program for the study of Philosophical and Literary Thought.

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