Comparative Literature

Spine of Book

Program Faculty

María Acosta Cruz, Ph.D.
Professor, Language, Literature and Culture Department
Born and raised in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, María Acosta Cruz received a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She teaches all levels of Spanish language and literature. Her main research and teaching interests are Caribbean and Latino cultures. She explores issues such as the making and marketability of identities, Puerto Rican cultural history, and national and gender-based stereotypes. Her book Dream Nation: Puerto Rican Culture & the Fictions of Independence (Rutgers University Press 2014 is also part of the American Literatures Initiative from NYU, Fordham, Temple and Virginia University Presses. The series has funding from the Mellon Foundation).
Tel: 1-508-793-7677

Belén Atienza, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Language, Literature and Culture Department
Dr. Atienza specializes in the cultures and literatures of Spain from 1492 to the present, with a special focus on history of psychology, marginalized groups, hybrid identities, and drama. Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Atienza received a B. A. from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and an M. A. and Ph.D. in Romance Languages from Princeton University. She was also the recipient of an Erasmus European Award which gave her the privilege to study Italian literature at the Universita Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italy. Dr. Atienza teaches courses on minorities in the Hispanic world, representations of violence in Spanish literature and cinema, and the myth of the hero in Spanish narrative, as well as more traditional topics such as Spanish literary analysis, golden Age drama and Cervantes. Her book El loco en el espejo:Locura y melancolia en la Espana de Lope de Vega was published by Rodopi in 2009. In addition to being a scholar of literature, Dr. Atienza is also a poet and a writer of satires. Her book of short stories entitled Saltaparedes was published in Pontevedra, Spain, in 2011. Dr. Atienza is passionate about sharing her love for poetry inside and outside of the classroom. As a founding member of the Tertulia Julia de Burgos in Worcester, she often does poetry readings for the Hispanic community. Her interest about pedagogy and poetry has brought her to unexpected places such as Chiapas, Mexico, where she established a teaching collaboration with the CELALI (Centro de Estudios de Lenguas y Literaturas Indigenas) and designed and taught workshops about poetry, ritual and symbolism.
Tel: 1-508-793-7256

James Elliott, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of English
Nineteenth-century American literature; textual editing; contemporary literary theory
Tel: 1-508-793-7152

Odile Ferly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Language, Literature and Culture Department
Dr. Ferly's research interests are Caribbean literatures and cultures from a comparative perspective, including the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanic regions. She studies especially contemporary women's writing from the Caribbean and its diaspora. Her work focuses on the issues of race and gender in connection with history, language, and the Caribbean literary tradition. She teaches interdisciplinary courses on literatures and cultures from Francophone countries, on French popular culture, immigration in France and on Caribbean writing from a comparative perspective.
Tel: 1-508-793-7723

Everett Fox, Ph.D.
Professor, Language, Literature and Culture Department; Allen M. Glick Chair in Judaic and Biblical Studies; Director, Jewish Studies Program
Dr. Fox's main scholarly focus is the rhetoric and internal coherence of the Hebrew Bible, and how they may be brought out in translation. He is also interested in how the Bible has been transformed at each stage by generations of Israelites, Jews, and Christians. He teaches courses in which texts serve as windows to the attitudes and concerns of Jews through the ages. Dr. Fox's activities in translation have led him to some unexpected places. He was a religious consultant on the animated film Prince of Egypt, and has been collaborating with an American-Israeli artist, Schwebel, who sets the David stories against the backdrop of 1980s Jerusalem.
Tel: 1-508-793-7355

Beth Gale, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair, Language, Literature and Culture Department
Dr. Gale's main scholarly focus is depictions of female adolescence since the late nineteenth century. Her research explores such topics as education, the body, family dynamics, friendship and sexuality from a sociohistorical perspective. Her publications focus on adolescent identity, postcolonial autobiography, coming-of-age narratives, and the problematics of space in the novel of adolescence. Dr. Gale’s recent courses include coming of age in the novel, contemporary francophone youth culture as portrayed in literature, film, music, and magazines, fairy tales of the world, and advanced oral expression.
Tel: 1-508-421-3781

Benjamin Korstvedt, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Chair, Department of Visual and Performing Arts
Music history and criticism, music and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the music of Anton Bruckner
Tel: 508-793-7369

Stephen M. Levin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of English
Director of Graduate Studies in English
Dr. Levin specializes in contemporary British and postcolonial literature, transnational cultural studies, and critical and literary theory. His research focuses on the ways in which twentieth-century global conditions have shaped contemporary culture and produced new discourses of self and identity. Dr. Levin teaches introductory and advanced courses on Anglophone world fiction, contemporary British literature, English poetry, and cultural studies and social theory. His recent courses have included "Fictions of Empire," "Contemporary British Fiction and Culture," and "Webs and Labyrinths: Imagining Globalization in Literature."
Tel: 508-793-7147

Constance Montross, Ph.D.
Constance M. Montross, former Director of the Language Arts Resource Center, began teaching Spanish at Clark in 1984. She did her undergraduate work at Connecticut College and received a master's and doctorate from Yale University. With her colleague, Esther Levine of the College of the Holy Cross, she is the author of 3 editions of an anthology of readings- the most recent edition being Vistas y voces Latinas, Prentice Hall, 2002. In 2001 she received an Outstanding Service Award from Clark University.

Juan Pablo Rivera, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Language, Literature and Culture Department
A graduate of Yale and Harvard universities, Professor Rivera is the author of two poetry collections, and has published over a dozen articles on Latin American literature and the study of gender and sexuality. His current book project analyzes the ways in which different types of bodies (the “fat” body, the black body, the absent one…) have been represented in contemporary Puerto Rican poetry. A finalist for multiple awards in teaching excellence at Harvard and at Clark, Professor Rivera teaches courses on Latin American literature, language and culture from Modernism on.
Tel: 1-508-793-7236

Robert D. Tobin, Ph.D.
Professor, Language, Literature and Culture Department; Henry J. Leir Chair in Foreign Languages and Cultures; Adjunct Professor, English Department
Comparative Literature and German Program Coordinator
Dr. Tobin specializes in the culture and literature of the German-speaking world from the Age of Goethe to the present, with a special focus on gender, sexuality, psychoanalysis, and human rights. He teaches courses on gay and lesbian studies and queer theory, human rights and literature, and Freud, as well as more traditional topics such as German film and Faust. He is also usually one of the co-professors of the National Imagination course.In the spring of 2013, he was the Fulbright Freud Visiting Scholar of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum and the Universitat Wien in Vienna. He directs the major in Comparative Literature and advises students who want to self-design a major in German Studies.
Tel: 1-508-793-7353

Alice Valentine, M.A.
Senior Lecturer, Language, Literature and Culture Department
Chinese and Japanese Program Coordinator
Instructor in Japanese

Tel: 1-508-793-7726

Emeriti Faculty

Paul Burke, Ph.D.
Professor of Classics, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; Adjunct Professor, Department of History

Marvin D'Lugo, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish, Language, Literature and Culture Department; Adjunct Professor, Screen Studies and Literatures
Professor D'Lugo teaches courses on aspects of Spanish and Latin-American literatures. His primary areas of research involve Spanish-language cinemas with particular emphasis on Spain, Mexico and Argentina. He regularly teaches courses on these national cinemas as well as on the aesthetic practices that enable Spanish-language regional cinema to engage Hispanic audiences beyond national borders. Along with his scholarly writings on Hispanic transnational film, he has published books and articles on Spanish film auteurs Luis Bunuel, Carlos Saura and Pedro Almodovar. Since 2008 he has been the principal editor of the international film journal, Studies in Spanish and Latin-American Cinemas while also serving on the editorial boards of the British journal, Transnational Cinemas and the Spanish journal of film history, Secuencias.

Gary Overvold, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy
Contemporary continental philosophy, interdisciplinary studies, epistemology, philosophy of the human sciences, cultural history, philosophy of culture, modernism
Tel: 1-508-793-7414

Michael Spingler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French, Language, Literature and Culture Department; Adjunct Associate Professor of Screen Studies
French cinema