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Applications to our graduate program are currently being accepted for Fall admission.
Priority Deadline is January 15 (International Students: December 1).

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View departmental MA/PhD application information here (

Have Questions? Contact Comparative Literature Graduate Services at 812-855-9602 or

Dear Friends,

On his 80th book and counting, Willis Barnstone joins Poets Cafe for a poetic interlude, or perhaps an etude of a rich history of encounters from Sappho to Kerouac.

I know we’re all busy.  I know all of the world’s distractions – some heartbreaking, others joyful.  Yet here are a few moments to travel the streets of 1930’s Mexico, sail to Greece, walk the streets with Borges, if only for a little while.

For those who can’t tune in next Tuesday, September 27 @ 12:30 p.m. there will be an archive.  A special look at a great poet, translator, painter and scholar of our time.


Please join the Event here if you’d like:


Poets Cafe Trio
90.7 fm Los Angeles
98.7 fm Santa Barbara
Streaming live on the web at
Produced by Marlena Bond


The Modern Languages Association has just announced the creation of the Matei Calinescu Prize for a distinguished work of scholarship in twentieth- or twenty-first-century literature and thought. The prize, which consists of a cash award and a certificate, will be presented to the winning author at the MLA's annual convention in Philadelphia in January 2017.

The endowed prize has been established in honor of Matei Calinescu (1934–2009), Professor of Comparative Literature and West European Studies at Indiana University.


Comparative Literature and the Polish Studies Center congratulates Bill Johnston, IU Professor of Comparative Literature, for receiving the prestigious 2016 Found in Translation Award from the Polish Cultural Institute in New York for his translation of Twelve Stations by Tomasz Różycki.  The English translation of Twelve Stations (published by Zephyr Press) was actually launched at the Polish Studies Center on April 13, 2015 with a bilingual reading performed by Tomasz Różycki and Bill Johnston followed by a series of events to celebrate the accomplished author and his translator. This is the second time Bill Johnston has claimed the award. He already received it in 2008 in the first edition of Found in Translation for his rendition of Tadeusz Różewicz’s New Poems (Archipelago Press, 2007).  



A conversation with Joon Park
Talk and Reception
January 28 at 6pm at the Fab and Lab Fitness Studio
116 S. Grant Street
Between the Venue Gallery and Soma Coffee House

Professor Bill Johnston has made the 2016 Pen Literary Award Longlist. Winners will be announced in February

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2015. Judge: Urayoán Noel 

Twelve Stations by Tomasz Różycki (Zephyr Press), translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston

Leading American poet Willis Barnstone to talk at SOAS, where he studied in 1950s

4 November 2015

Willis Barnstone, American poet, SOAS alumnus

Distinguished American poet and SOAS alumnus Willis Barnstone visits the UK to promote his first selected poetry collection for the UK. He will talk to Professor Derek Attridge of the University of York about Mexico in my Heart.

The event, part of the SOAS English ‘Conversations in Bloomsbury’ series, takes place at Russell Square (Venue TBC) on 16 November, 5:30-7:30 with a reception. The event is free to all. Please register with
Mexico in my Heart includes five decades of Barnstone’s work, most recently Moonbook and Sunbook. The poems express his deep affinity with South American culture and language – Barnstone studied in Mexico in 1947 and taught in Buenos Aires in 1975-6 and author Jorge Luis Borges was one of his close friends and mentors.

Professor Barnstone studied at SOAS in 1952-53. At that time T S Elliot was working in the Faber and Faber headquarters at 24 Russell Square, adjacent to the SOAS building. Though Barnstone never met Elliot he received a brief note from him. He also visited the Acropolis in Athens with the celebrated British poet Louis MacNeice. Professor Barnstone will celebrate his 88th birthday during his forthcoming visit to the UK.

Willis Barnstone is one of America’s most prolific and highly regarded translators and poets. His first published poem appeared in the Anglo-French periodical Points. His first book of poems published in the United States was From This White Island, reflecting on his time on an island in Greece. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University.

The Department of Comparative Literature is honored to Present
The Wertheim Lecture in Comparative Drama

Alexa Huang
Worlds Elsewhere: Global Shakespeare and its Discontent

Alexa Huang is Professor of English, Theatre and Dance, East Asian Languages and Literatures, and International Affairs at George Washington University, where she directs the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare program, and co-founded and co-directs the Digital Humanities Institute.
This past year, she was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Global Shakespeare studies at Queen Mary University of London and University of Warwick (2014-2015).
Alexa is currently ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2015-2016) her latest book is Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (co-edited with Elizabeth Rivlin; Palgrave, 2014)

Nov.5                         President’s Room
5:30 P.M.                             The University Club at
Free to the public            The Indiana Memorial Union


Professors Receive NEH Grant for Summer Institute

Professor Eileen Julien and a team of faculty collaborators from three universities have received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant of nearly $200,000 for a summer institute in 2016 entitled "Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities." Professor Oana Panaïté, also in our department, is a collaborator on this important enrichment opportunity for twenty-five college and university professors. The other team members are Professors James Ogude (Research Fellow, University of Pretoria, South Africa), Akin Adesokan (Department of Comparative Literature and the Media School, IUB), and Grace Musila (English, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa).

The project explores contemporary urban culture and arts in African and African diaspora cities--Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince. These cities share African "roots," but are distinctive because of the unique "routes" that subsequently shaped them: landscapes and histories; multiple languages; waves of immigrants who brought and continue to bring their labor, culture and creativity; and the sometimes tragic events, both “natural” (hurricanes and earthquakes) and man-made (political violence and legacies of colonialism and slavery), that these cities have undergone. Says Julien, “Our goal is to examine how art engages the political and social hierarchies embedded in these cities and often recasts marginal or precarious lives into lives that exceed their constraining structures.”

The Department congratulates Professor Julien and her team for this prestigious award! View a complete list of NEH grants awarded this summer.




Please follow the link below to the recent New York Times interview of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Willis Barnstone



San Francisco: Northern California Book Awards

34th Annual Northern California Book Awards celebrate writers, readers, and publishers of Northern California. Authors will be honored in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translation, and Children’s Literature, with brief celebratory readings and remarks by the winning authors, a lively reception with book signing follows, all free and open to the public; Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Willis Barnstone, poet, scholar, and translator of the moderns and ancients, author or editor of more than seventy books over six decades of publishing. The NCBAs are presented by Northern California Book Reviewers, an association of book reviewers and book review editors, Poetry Flash, Center for the Art of Translation, San Francisco Public Library and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, PEN West, Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, and Mechanics’ Institute Library. Visit (see Programs or NCBA feature on Front Page) for more info, or email Nominees will be posted in early April. Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony May 03, 2015 at San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin St, San Francisco CA

History of the Northern California Book Awards
Since 1981, the Northern California Book Reviewers (formerly BABRA), a volunteer group of book reviewers and book review editors, has honored the work of Northern California authors. One of the group's founders was Fred Cody, proprietor of the famed independent bookstores in Berkeley. Shortly after his death, the group created an award in his name to honor a lifetime of achievements and distinguished service to the literary community. This year's Fred Cody Award for lifetime achievement will be presented to a respected member of the literary community. Previous recipients include Diane di Prima, Orville Schell, Philip Levine, Ronald Takaki, Francisco X. Alarcon, Carolyn Kizer, Ishmael Reed, Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Hass, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Malcom Margolin, Adrienne Rich, Wallace Stegner, Kay Boyle, William Everson, Alice Walker, Gary Snyder, Jessica Mitford, Tillie Olson, M.F.K. Fisher, and Robert Duncan.


Graduate Conference Proposal
10-11 April 2015 Bloomington, Indiana University

grad event

Keynote Address by Professor Richard Dyer, King's College London

A missed connection is an attempt to reach out to a stranger whom one has encountered in the past, often with the hope of establishing an emotional or physical contact. At its core is a search for a new beginning or, at least, the potential of a closure.
Literature offers countless examples of missed connections: desperate lovers and failed revenge, comedies of errors and Kafkaesque scenarios, cultural gaps, open endings and unfinished novels. These unfulfilled encounters are never concretized, yet they can be sources of inspiration for writers for whom absence is a productive condition.
In media today, missed connections are manifestations of society’s struggles with language and failures of communication. Different forms of ads, online or in newspapers, offer the opportunity to amend the loss of an initial personal contact by mediating desires through a third party entity.
The phrase ‘missed connections’ thus embodies a paradox because it contains both an original unfulfilled communication and the potential remedy for this absence through textualization.
In a world where communication is facilitated through mediation, what kind of connection is missed and what kind is re-created? This conference seeks to provide allegorical understandings of the concept within culture. We want to start from the initial paradox of the missed connection as simultaneous presence and absence to investigate the interactions between the norms and the margins. In this global world, how do we negotiate our identities in the structures of language and society? Comparative Literature has always been the third party that connects texts and cultures together across time, space, and language, thus destabilizing notions of cultural hegemony, canons and authorship.
We want to encourage interdisciplinary and global approaches to the field of Comparative Literature. We welcome proposals from a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to: Literary Studies, Film and Media Studies, Gender Studies, Translation Studies, Jewish Studies, Linguistics, Critical Race Studies, Religious Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Cognitive Science.
Suggested themes for our discussion:

  • Memory, collective memory and history
  • Diasporas, citizenships, nations
  • Incomplete, fragmented, unfinished, experimental, posthumous texts, mixed media

  • Love, romance, sexuality and gender
  • (in)communicability ; the ineffable, spoken, read, or imagined languages
  • Mediated communication, social media platforms, blogging culture and biographical/autobiographical

Please send an abstract (300 words max), a title for the presentation (20 min max), and a short bio (50 words max) including your name, email address, degree level and institutional affiliation to: (both in the body  .of the email and as an attachment) by February 20 2015