Participating Faculty

Graduate Teaching Fellows


Michael Allan

Office: 316 Villard
Office Hours: See Directory

Phone: 541-346-0981




Selected Publications

Recent Courses

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Michael Allan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature


Professor Michael AllanMichael Allan received his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, under the direction of Judith Butler and Karl Britto. Before joining COLT, he was a member of the Society of Fellows and affiliated with the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University (2008-9). He has also been a EUME Fellow with the Forum for Transregional Studies at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (2011-12), a Townsend Fellow at the Townsend Center for the Humanities in Berkeley (2006-7), and a Presidential Intern at the American University in Cairo, where he worked with its Institute for Gender and Women's Studies (2000-1). The past two summers he has served as the site director for the CLS Arabic program in Tangier, Morocco (2011-12).

His research focuses on colonialism, secularization and the formation of modern reading practices in Africa and the Middle East. In both his research and teaching, he bridges textual analysis with social theory and draws from methods in anthropology, film and visual culture, religion, and postcolonial studies. His current book project, Inventing World Literature, focuses on a history of reading in colonial Egypt—at the intersection of the French, Ottoman and British empires. The various chapters address the relation of modern literature to realism, moral education, empirical science, and discourses of secularization.

In addition to his primary research, he is interested in literary theory, gender and sexuality, visual culture, and critical theory. He has published articles on a range of topics: the Lumière Brothers' films in Egypt, the problem of address in world literature (awarded the A. Owen Aldridge Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association), language in the writings of Frantz Fanon, and contemporary Lebanese video art.

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Selected Publications


Book Review

Recent Courses

COLT 103 Introduction to Comparative Literature III: "Thinking Through Images: Photography, Film, and Video" (Spring 2010)

COLT 461/561 Studies in Comtemporary Theory "Colonialism and Post-Colonial Theory" (Winter 2011)

COLT 462/562 Cultural Intersections "Orientalism: Politics, Sexuality and Religion" (Fall 2009)

COLT 470/570 Studies in Identity: "Multiculturalism: Representation and Recognition" (Winter 2010)

COLT 614 Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature: "Comparative Literature and its Histories" (Winter 2011)

COLT 615 Comparative Literature Theory: "What's in a Wor(l)d? Transnationalism and Literary Theory" (Winter 2010)

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