Highlighting Comparative Literature Graduate Students

On January 21, 2014 by Grad Forum

2013-2014 Comparative Literature Students
Back row: Jarrett Dury-Agri, David Peters, Georgina Emerson, Andrew Johnson, and Michael Swingen
Front row: Iryna Shuvalova, Merve Tabur, and Zhang Yang

The Comparative Literature Graduate Program at Dartmouth is a one-year master’s program that attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds. Since students in this program are only on campus for one year, other graduate students often do not get the opportunity to learn more about their research. Recently, the Graduate Forum asked the eight 2013-2014 comparative literature graduate students to share a little bit about themselves and their research interests. Students responded to questions posed by their fellow comparative literature colleague, Iryna Shuvalova.

1. Where do you come from?
2. What is your academic background?
3. What brought you to Dartmouth?
4. What is your current area of academic interest?
5. What do you want to do when you (finally) grow up?



Jarrett Dury-Agri

I am from Pennsylvania, and graduated from Middlebury College in 2012 with a degree in literary studies and minors in German and philosophy. I came to Dartmouth after teaching English in Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship last year, and will be exploring the motif and metaphor of the sun in German and Italian literary movements around World War I. Doing comp lit at the graduate level is a chance to make sure that I am completely committed to pursuing this kind of work for another five years. In other words, I hope it helps me toward becoming a professor of comparative literature myself.


georgina_emersonGeorgina Emerson

New York City is my hometown. Recently, I lived in Paris, Santiago Chile, and traveled haphazardly around Europe. I have a BA with Honors in religion from Dartmouth and an MA in history from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in France. I came to Dartmouth to shift gears from history to literature. Here at Dartmouth, I am exploring the role of ambivalence in the respective works of Claude Cahun and Djuna Barnes, both women artists active during the interwar period in France. Next year, I hope to continue studying French literature and culture.




Andrew Johnson (Drew)

I am from Denver, Colorado. I am fascinated with the relation between image and text. My long-time interest in photography has served as a trigger to explore this topic. However, currently at Dartmouth, I am researching the 20th-century Spanish novel. After I graduate, I plan to go somewhere in South America for a year in order to be fully immersed in the Spanish language and Latin American culture, after which I will probably aim for a PhD in this area. 


comp_lit_3David Peters (Torrey)

I just moved here from Chicago, but in the last decade or so, I have lived in Iowa, Massachusetts, Dominican Republic, Cameroon, Uganda, and Washington DC. I have a bachelor’s from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. I have proposed a project that looks at the way that elements of the fantastic slip into ostensibly “nonfictional” texts, which then blur the lines between genre and between fact/fiction. I plan to be a professor.




Iryna Shuvalova

I come from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, a beautiful 1500-year-old city and one of the ten largest cities in Europe. I did my bachelor’s and my first master’s in philosophy, and then another graduate degree in translation studies, all in Ukraine. I am an award-winning poet and a poetry translator, as well as a member of the National Writers’ Union of Ukraine. My first book of poems Ran came out in 2011, and two more are currently in the making. I came to Dartmouth on a Fulbright scholarship. My MA project has to do with looking at how literary texts comment on the possibility of a dialogue with nature through the prism of our comprehension of nature as the ultimate Other. My future plans are to continue to write and translate poetry.


comp_lit_2Michael Swingen

I am from Grand Forks, North Dakota. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I am studying tradition versus innovation, literary theory, Latin, and Chaucer. I am doing a project on the image of the flâneur, tracing it from Baudelaire into contemporaneity.




Merve Tabur

I am from Istanbul, Turkey. My undergraduate degree is in sociology and history, and I have an MA in history. I came to Dartmouth because of the reputation of the comparative literature program, the fact that it is only a one-year MA, and because of the program’s focus on literary theory. I am studying the relationship between history and literature; representations of violence and evil in literature; and dark humor, wit and satire. I am writing my MA thesis about the contemporary Egyptian novel. My plan is to teach and write, which I guess means that I want to become a university professor.


zhang_yang Zhang Yang (Audrey)

I am from Nanjing, China. I double-majored in history and politics with a concentration on East Asian studies. I published a novel in Chinese during high school and helped translate a Chinese cuisine book in 2012. My research interest mainly lies in the legal system and the issue of justice in Japan, China, and America. Specifically, I want to research the ways in which justice is depicted in various media, how law is differently institutionalized, and how modern formations of the legal system are brought into both crisis and coherence within visual, textual, and theoretical discourses. The vexed situation between Japan and China during the 1920s especially triggers my intellectual passion and curiosity. My goal is to become a lawyer.



by Iryna Shuvalova

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