Current Students

Hussam Amujalli


Amujalli completed a BA in Arabic Language at Imam Ibn Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia (2006). Beginning in 2006, he began teaching Arabic and Arabic literature at the high school level. Subsequently in 2008, he taught Arabic literature at King Saud University to undergraduate level. In 2014, Amujalli completed a MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Currently, he is in his second year of study to complete a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. His interests include aesthetics of classic and medieval Arab prose. Hussam works in Arabic, Hebrew, and French languages and literatures.

Negar Basiri

Negar Basiri received her BA in English literature from Isfahan University, Iran. She also holds an MA in the same major from Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, Iran. She is a PhD candidate and a graduate teaching assistant at Louisiana State University. She works on English, Persian and French languages and literatures. She is interested in theories of phenomenological ethics and philosophy particularly the theories of Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot and Jean Luke Nancy. Her current research concentrates on the representation of il y a, a phenomenological term for the void, and anonymity in the aesthetic realm and its relation to disaster, trauma and the event in general. Major areas through which she examines this phenomenological concept of Il y a are memory, exile and temporalization.

Agnès Dengreville 


Agnès Dengreville holds a BA in Modern Literature from Université de Bretagne Occidentale (2005), a MA in Comparative Literature from Université Paris VII-Denis Diderot (first year of study spent in the Universidad de Cádiz in Philologia Hispanica, Spain), (2008) and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a minor in Theater from Louisiana State University/ Paris IV-Sorbonne (2016). Dengreville works English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German languages and literatures. Her research focuses on literal and figurative trials and the return of the formlessness from 1920 to 1960 in the texts of Nietzsche, Pirandello, Artaud, Kafka, Nabokov and Dürrenmatt. Other topics of interest include the historic construction of the grotesque and its expression in twentieth-century theater; caricature and satire; poetry of the Spanish Civil War, political expression and literary revolt.

Aparajita Dutta

Aparajita Dutta

Aparajita Dutta earned her B.A. (2011), M.A. (2013) and M.Phil. (2015) in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, India. . She works on English, Bangla, and Spanish languages and literatures. She is interested in queer theory, postcolonial literature, South Asian, Afro-American, and Latin American literatures. She also writes poetry and fiction. She is also involved with social activism ( with special focus on queer rights) and applies her experience as a social avtivist in both her research works and creative endeavors.

Emma Gist

Emma Gist

Originally from Little Rock, AR, Emma Gist holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California. Before entering the LSU Comparative Literature PhD program she taught high school English at Da Vinci Charter Academy, a Project-Based Learning school in Davis, CA, and she currently works as a coordinator for Humanities Amped, a non-profit organization benefiting students in Baton Rouge public schools. Emma's research interests include the history of English education, 21st century and multimodal literacies, and how to better promote student engagement in narratives of all forms.

Benjamin Howland


Benjamin Howland is a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. He is currently writing his dissertation with the title "The Exemplary Spartacus: Reception, Adaptation, and Reconstruction”. He has holds a BA in Classical Studies and History (2007) as well a MA in Comparative Literature (2010) from Purdue University and a Masters Degree in Classical Studies (2014) from Indiana University. His research interests are Classical Reception, specifically with an emphasis on the reception of Rome in the changing Atlantic World, Star Wars and Classical Reception, Ancient Slavery, and Women in Antiquity. Howland works in English, Latin, and Ancient Greek languages and literatures.

Ikea Johnson


Ikea is in her second year of the Comparative Literature Ph.D. program at Louisiana State University. She received her B.A. in English (psychology minor) and M.A. in English from Auburn University-Montgomery (with honors). Previously, she taught Adult Education at a Technical College and English composition at a local high school. Her research interests include: African-American literature, Asian literature, post-colonialism, psychoanalytic criticism, and the intersectionality of Zen philosophy. She works in the languages of English, Mandarin, and French.

Jaime Elizabeth (Liz) Johnston

Liz Liz Johnston is a poet and performer from New Orleans, LA. She completed her B.A. in Writing and a minor in Social Media at Loyola University New Orleans in Spring 2017 before entering the Comparative Literature Ph.D. Program in Fall 2017. Liz is the former Chairperson of the Loyola University Community Action Program (LUCAP), the largest and oldest service and social justice organization at Loyola, a position which won her the "Organization Officer of the Year" Magis Leadership Award. She previously worked as the Editor in Chief of the Loyola Branch of the Odyssey Online, a staff writer in film and digital media for, and a Copy Editor for The Maroon. In 2018 she began establishing Comparative Woman (a Comparative Literature/Women and Gender Studies/ Arts journal at LSU) and became Editor in Chief and started the Open Mic/Pop-Up Gallery series “Comparative Collective” in early 2019. Liz’s academic interests include Afro-Spirituality, Creole Culture, Dream Interpretation, and Horror.

Bethany Leinenbach

Bethany holds a BA in English with minors in French and Leadership from Christopher Newport University (2013) and a Master of Humanities (graduated with honors) in English from Tiffin University (2015). She works in English, French, and Italian languages and literatures. Leinenbach studies the influence of Shakespeare, nineteenth-century French and Russian literature, music and literature, and the development of postmodern thought.

Anwita Ray


Anwita Ray has earned a BA (2013) and a MA (2015) in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, India, and at present she is a PhD student at LSU. Her research interests are: South Asian nationalism, theatre of protest, feminist theories, South Asian diaspora and area studies (concentrating on parts of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar). In her work, she focuses on literature of the postcolonial and the contemporary eras. She works in English, Bengali, Hindi and French languages and literatures.

José F. Rojas (Nano)


José F. Rojas holds a BA in Modern Languages from University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2012) and a MA in Hispanic Studies with a concentration in Linguistics from Louisiana State University (2015). He works in English, Spanish, and Portuguese languages and literatures. Rojas examines different representations of criminal women in the mid 19th century; Mexican, South American and Spanish novels from naturalism to Foucaultian perspectives. His interest is to compare, in a transatlantic context, the focus of these representations and their social function.

Stacy Stingle


Stacy Stingle holds a BA in English, History, Philosophy, and Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing - University Wisconsin-Oshkosh, an MA in English with a concentration in Literature and Cultural Theory from the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a MA in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science from Louisiana State University. She works in English, Spanish, and French languages and literatures. Stacy's current research is focused on continental philosophy and literary modernism, looking at representations of time, trauma, memory, and fractured consciousness. She examines modern society under surveillance and the way that artists and writers have used their works to examine, resist, and defy oppressive regimes and their power structures.

Jing Tan


Jing Tan holds a BA in Economics from Peking University and has had a wonderful journey studying in the Department of Hispanic Literatures at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Enthusiastic about Migrant Literature and East-West Comparative Poetics, Jing is a great lover of Spanish Golden Age Literature and Classical Chinese Poetry. The languages she grew up with or learned along the way—Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Spanish, Latin—have formed an essential part of her being and identity.  Jing is very excited about exploring the literary world of these beautiful tongues. She is doing a dual degree in Complit and MA in Spanish Literature.

Mulin Wang


Mulin Wang holds a BA in English from Hebei Normal University and a MA in Linguistics and English Teaching from Beijing Normal University. She works in Chinese, English, and French languages and literatures. Mulin researches translation practice and theory. 

Albert Garcia Jr

albert garciaAlbert Garcia Jr is a Ph.D. student at LSU in Comparative Literature, after completing an M.A. in clinical psychology at Columbia University in New York and a B.A. in politics at Saint Mary’s College of CA. He has contributed to graduate-level research on psychology, spirituality, and well-being, and his current research interests aim at investigating religious and spiritual practices, mythology, and folklore with a psychoanalytic framework, and its impact on art, politics, and literature. He enjoys reading and writing non-fiction essays and memoir (with his work previously published in Venefica Magazine, based in Brooklyn, New York) and creating audio/video content for his podcast and YouTube channels.

Stephanie Colin

stephanieShe is interested in queer and gender studies specifically in Latin American literature and performance art. She wants to study queer performance art in India. She is a part of the Hispanic Studies department as a Spanish instructor. Stephanie is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and is passionate about embracing and sharing her culture with both her  students and her peers. As a queer latinx woman, she wants to create conversations and networks to educate and continue learning here at LSU. Geaux tigers!

Nkosilathi Moyo

nkosieNkosilathi Moyo graduated with a BA ‘honours’ in English and Communication from Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) in 2015. He went on to pursue a master’s degree in Britain at Coventry University where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Communication, Culture and Media in 2018. In the past (just after high school and briefly after his master’s degree) he taught Literature in English as a Temporary Teacher. Presently, he is studying for a PhD in Comparative Literature at LSU with research interests in decolonial theories, Global Hip Hop and African Diaspora Cultures.

Kayla Stansbury

kaylaKayla earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Secondary Education from Louisiana State University. After graduation, she went to work at McKinley
High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she taught 9th and 11th grade English for two and a half years. She is currently in her first year as a PhD student in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. Though she was born in the United States, Kayla grew up in Porto Velho and São Paulo, Brazil, places that are near and dear to her heart. Her academic interests include multilingual curriculum and literacy, as well as diverse representation in children’s and young adult literature, with particular focus on North and Latin American languages.

Stormi Verret

StormiBaton Rouge native, Stormi Verret, earned her BA in English literature and modern languages with a concentration in  Spanish from Louisiana Tech University. She is a PhD student in Comparative Literature with research interests in linguistic theory, liminal theory, folklore studies, and 19th Century British and Spanish literature. 

Leslie Quezada

leslieLeslie Quezada is a native of Louisiana and the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She received her B.S. in Kinesiology in 2014, B.A. in Spanish in 2016, and M.A. in Hispanic Studies in 2019 all at Louisiana State University. She is currently in her first year as a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature and a graduate teaching assistant in Spanish at LSU. She is also a dance instructor and choreographer. She works English and Spanish languages and literatures. Her research interest examines women in 19th century including: Mexican American, Mexican, and Spanish literature, social constructs of women, identity of self, and representation of women by others. Other topics of interest include travel literature, heritage speakers/bilingualism in America, second-language learning, and the effects of immigration across all areas.

Recent Graduates

Emily O'Dell


Emily O’Dell received her PhD from LSU in 2019 and is currently working as a Dual Enrollment College Early Start Professor at Benjamin Holt Academy. Her articles have been featured in Postcolonial Interventions, The Louisiana Folklife Journal (Northwestern State University), The Louisiana Folklore Miscellany, Atlantic Studies (Taylor and Francis), La Louisiane et les Antilles, une nouvelle région du monde (Presses universitaires des Antilles), and Utopia and Dystopia in the Age of Trump: Images from Literature and Visual Arts (Rowman & Littlefield). She is also co-editor of the collection Teaching, Reading, and Theorizing Caribbean Texts (Lexington Books).

Thana Al-Shakhs

thanaThana AlShakhs is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature with a minor in English at Louisiana State University. She has her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Arabic Language and Literature from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. She has received three scholarships from: Saudi government in 2013 to study abroad, The Institute of World Literature at Harvard University in 2016, and Digital Humanities Summer Institute at University of Victoria for summer 2017. Currently, she works as a GA in Film and Media Arts Program. 

Vida Owusu-Boateng

Vida Owusu-Boateng holds a M.Phil. in Visual Cultural Studies from the University of Tromso, Norway; a M.Phil. in English from the University of Ghana, Legon; and a B.A. in English & Information Studies from the University of Ghana, Legon. Her research interests include Folklore and Anthropology, African, Caribbean and African diaspora literature, 20th and 21st century Anglophone and British literature, Postcolonial literature, the Novel, Narrative Theory and Narratology, Film  and media studies, Classical Reception Studies, and Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Lázara Bolton


Lázara Bolton holds a BA (2004), a MA (2006) and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University (2016). Dr. Bolton studies choteo and satire in the work of Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas and Nigerian-Yoruba author Femi Euba. She works in Spanish, English, and Portuguese languages and literatures.

Anna Ciamparella

Image of Anna Ciamparella

Anna Ciamparella holds a BA in English, a MA in Italian Studies and a MA in English. Ciamparella's research integrates Atlantic Studies, Modern Writers, Cosmopolitanism, and Queer Studies to create a cultural and literary dialogue among the poets Giuseppe Ungaretti, Langston Hughes, and Antonio D'Alfonso. Her target languages are Italian, French, and English. She works in Italian, English, French languages and literatures. Her publications include "Atlantic Reflection on Giuseppe Ungaretti: The Man, the Journeys, the Poet." Forum Italicum (forthcoming), “Beyond Patriotic Categorizations: Italian Culture and Giuseppe Verdi’s Multifaceted Risorgimento Experiences.” Verdi Forum (under review), “Inclusion/Exclusion: the Abject Other and Its Absolute Passage to Social Order in Chronicle of a Death Foretold.” Revista Atenea (forthcoming), “From Good to Bad Stories: Examining the Narrative of Pregnancy in The L Word as It Teaches and Destabilizes Queerness,” in Queer TV in the 21st Century (forthcoming). 

Amy Lynne Catania


Amy Lynne Catania holds an AS in Biology from Solano Community College (1998), a BA in History from University of California, Berkeley (2000), a MA in Comparative Literature from San Francisco State University (2005), an MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Sciences) from San Jose State University (2009); and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University (expected graduation date May 2017). She works in French, Spanish, Latin, and German languages and literatures. Catania also holds a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing (issued June 2009) and a Clear Librarian Services Credential from the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing (issued January 2010). Catania draws upon Feminist Theory, Psychoanalysis, Psycho-social analysis in her research. Her research interests include repeated outcomes due to physical imprisonment for men and women in literature; trickster characters in myth and folklore; West African oral history (griot tradition); Creole oral history in Louisiana; death iconography, afterlife, the undead, and immortals; the epic tradition; and etymology

 Kristina Gibby


Kristina Gibby earned a BA in Humanities (2006) and a MA in Comparative Studies from Brigham Young University (2009). She recently finished her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University (2017). She works in Spanish and French languages and literatures. Gibby's research focuses on a comparative approach to the literature of the Americas, specifically contemporary female writers who explore traumatic histories and the process of recuperating obfuscated experiences. Also concerned with the intersection between modern art literature in Europe and the Americas. Gibby was the recipient of the "LSU Graduate Dean’s Summer 2016 Research Stipend." Also presented a paper at the International Comparative Literature Association congress this summer in Vienna, Austria.

Pengyi Huang


Pengyi Huang holds a BA in English from Beijing Language and Culture University, and a MA in English Language Literature from Beijing Language and Culture University. Huang works in Chinese, English, and French languages and literatures. His research focuses on the relationship between photography and literature, Chinese migrant literature and related literary theories.

Jingyuan Liu

jingJingyuan Liu holds a BA in Chinese Language and Literature, with a minor in English from the Beijing Normal University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University. Liu works in Chinese (classical and modern), English, French languages and literatures. Her research focuses on the Greek tragedy and its modern adaptations, modern Chinese theatre and traditional Chinese theatre. Other interests include traditional Chinese narratives, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, traditional Japanese literature, and western drama in 19th and 20th century.

Guillermo Severiche

guillermoGuillermo Severiche holds a BA in Education with a concentration in Literature and Linguistics and a BA Degree in Modern Literature with a concentration in Comparative Literature from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. He also holds a MA in Hispanic Studies and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University. Severiche works in Spanish, Ancient Greek, English, French, and Italian languages and literatures. Guillermo's research focuses on the representation of the body in contemporary fiction (cinema and literature) from three different countries: Argentina, Cuba, and Ireland.  The idea is to explore the nature of the body as a form of discourse present in fiction and find possible connections between these representations with their political and economic contexts and also between these different nations. The project's aim is to analyze the possibilities and limitations of the body as discourse both in films and in novels.

Jacqueline Zimmer


Jacqueline Zimmer holds a BA in Political Science from Michigan State University, a MA in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University. She works in French and Spanish languages and literatures. Jacqueline's dissertation research focuses on an analysis of Jean-Luc Nancy's conception of community and Jacques Derrida's idea of responsibility and hospitality in relation to representatinos of masculinity, responsibility, and national identity in the novels of Carlos Fuentes, Ernest Gaines, and René Depestre.