Welcome to our new Comp Lit Faculty

We are very pleased to announce that our two Faculty Searches this year for a new assistant professorship in Translation Studies and in Media History and Archeology has yielded to hiring the following two new Faculty in our department:

Dr. Spencer Lee-Lenfield joins the department as Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature with a specialization in Translation Studies. Spencer comes to us from the department of Comparative Literature at Yale University, where he has just finished a Ph.D. on Translation between Korean and English in the Literature of Korea and its Diaspora, 1920–Present. Prior to Yale, Spencer worked as a media fellow at Dumbarton Oaks from 2015-17, and before that was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, from which he earned a second B.A. in Literae Humaniores (Oxford’s nomenclature for Greek and Roman Classics) in 2015. Spencer began his career in higher education here at Harvard in 2008 as a first-generation college student from Michigan, graduating with an A.B. degree in History and Literature, summa cum laude, in 2012. This academic biography in reverse gives a sense of Spencer’s intellectual versatility and the impressive range of languages, cultures, and academic disciplines with and on which he works, including (but not limited to) English, Korean, Literary Sinitic, French, Latin, and Ancient Greek.

Spencer’s three most recent research articles span Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee (forthcoming in Criticism in Fall 2024), the relationship between English Victorian poetry and classical verse composition (PMLA 2023), and simile in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (Poetics Today 2022). His current research examines translation as practice and idea in Korean and Korean American literature, approaching translation as a mode of literary experimentation and cultural expression. In the process, Spencer also migrates core concepts in translation theory through the experience of Korean writers in diaspora. Spencer is also a literary translator, focusing on translation between Korean and English and an accomplished editor, most notably as Assistant Editor of The Yale Review (2019-2024).

Dr. Moira Weigel
is a scholar of media and communications technologies. She earned her PhD in the joint program in Comparative Literature and Film and Media Studies at Yale University, where she did coursework in German, French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Latin. She wrote a dissertation that analyzed representations of nonhuman consciousness and environments in early cinema, as well as the influence of early cinema on literary and philosophical accounts of the limits of “the” human. During her PhD, Moira also published her first book, Labor of Love (2016), a feminist history and theory of the practice of “dating,” and wrote reported essays and cultural criticism for many outlets, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and n+1.

In 2016, Moira founded Logic, a magazine that brings together scholars, artists, activists, technologists, and other workers to investigate how data-driven systems are rewiring our brains, bodies, and societies. Moira edited Logic for six years, during which she started a book series with FSG/MacMillan, where her second book, Voices from the Valley (2020), co-edited with Ben Tarnoff, appeared.

Meanwhile, Moira had taken up a junior fellowship at Harvard’s Society of Fellows (2017-2020), where she dedicated three years to gaining further training in digital and computational media and science and technology studies. She has continued this work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at Northeastern University and as a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, as well as on fellowships at the Data and Society Research Institute (2020-2021) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ (2023-2024).

Moira is currently writing a book about transnational marketplace platforms like Amazon and Shein that move data and other commodities across China, Europe, and the United States. In addition to reconstructing how these complex systems work, she is particularly keen to understand what kinds of subjectivities, relationships, and imaginaries they sponsor–how we come to communicate and co-create worlds with countless others we will never meet. She is also publishing articles connected to another book project, on the history of how critical theory has been taken up by technologists and technology industries.

Moira is excited to return to a comparative literature department. She is particularly eager to develop courses that bring humanistic traditions and perspectives to bear on the key question of how we should live and make meaning with machines.

And we are also delighted to officially welcome Professor Matylda Figleworicz, hired in 2023, who will also officially start her appointment in July this year. More details in this post from 2023: Welcome to our new Assistant Professor: Matylda Figlerowicz.

You can find their list of courses here.

We are delighted to welcome Matylda, Moira, and Spencer, as our new colleagues!