Undergraduate Alumni List

Students who have concentrated in Comparative Literature (formely Literature) have gone on to careers in a variety of fields:  academics, journalism, film, law, medicine, and business, among others.  Past alumni include:

Elif Batuman, 1999, Writer; The Possessed:  Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, Senior Thesis: “The Bottled Djinn:  Narratives of the Orientalized, the Confined, and the Nonlinguistic”

Elizabeth Brook, 2010, Consultant; Senior Thesis:  “The Political to the Playful:  Nuyorican Poetry and Representations of Hybridity from the 1970s to the Present” (website submission)

Aline Brosch, 1989, Screenwriter, Director, Producer; Senior Thesis: “The Pronouns of Mechanical Narration: The Mainstream American Screenplay as Genre”

Becky Cooper, 2011, Author: "We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence" (Grand Central Publishing, 2020), "Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers" (Abrams April 2013). Former assistant to the Editor of The New Yorker and contributor. Senior Thesis: "Quo Vadis? The Life and Literary Philosophy of David Foster Wallace"

Amrita Dani, 2013, Gates Cambridge Scholar, University of Cambridge, England; Senior Thesis: “Subjectivity and the Rhetoric of the Veil”

Monica Eav, 1999, Immigration Lawyer; Senior Thesis: “Listen all you like, but disbelieve all you hear”:  “The Contest for Authority, the Politics of Gossip, and the Power of the People in Three Contemporary Novels about the Philippines”

Cara Eisenpress, 2007, Cookbook Author: In the Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes from Our Year of Cooking in the Real World; Senior Thesis: “The Text on the Horizon: Cycles of Literature and Life in Proust, Woolf, Deleuze, and Sebald”

Noah Fabricant, 2004, Rabbi; Senior Thesis:  “Poetry as Prayer:  The Case of Liberal Judaism”

Dara Horn, 1999, Writer; The World to Come, All Other Nights; Senior Thesis: "Rewriting Redemption: The Messianic Impulse in Modern Jewish Literature"

Carmen James, 2008, Doctoral Student at Teachers College, Columbia University; Senior Thesis: “The City and the Poem”

Minyang Jiang, 2007, Global Advanced Product Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company; Senior Thesis: “Difficult Women, Exiled Heroes, Old Men: Reconstructing the Chinese Ideological Novel”

Pelin Kivrak, 2011, PhD in Comparative Literature at Yale University. Assistant to Orhan Pamuk at The Museum of Innocence for a year after her graduation; Senior Thesis: “Displacement, Travails, Redemption, Success”: Searching for the Traditional Immigration Paradigm in The Works of Aleksandar Hemon

Melissa Lee, 2003, Independent Film Producer; Senior Thesis: “Cities “Made of the Measure of Love”: Spatial Itineraries in Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and In the Mood for Love (2000)”

Heather K. Love, 1991, Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Senior Thesis: “What We Call Home:  Utopian Vision in the Poetry of Renée Vivien”

D.T. Max, 1984, Staff writer for the New Yorker and author of The Family That Couldn’t Sleep:  A Medical Mystery (2006) and Every Story is a Ghost Story:  A Life of David Foster Wallace (2013).

Alexandra McCormack, 2000, Corporate Lawyer; Senior Thesis: “Beating Sense Out of the Text:  Kreisleriana, Sarrasine, Barthes"

Mark McGurl, 1989, Professor of English, Stanford; Senior Thesis: “Arguing Otherwise:  Authority and Authorship in Frederic Jameson’s The Political Unconsciousand J.M. Coetzee’s Foe

B.J. Novak, 2001, Actor, Writer, Director, (The Office, Inglorious Basterds); Senior Thesis:  “’To Be or Not To Be:’”  Hollywood’s Answers to Hamlet’s Question”

Tony Qian, 2008, Graduate Student at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Department of Comparative Literature; Senior Thesis: “Fiction and Testimony: 20th-Century Shanghai in History and the Imagination”

Scott Rubin, 1985, Director of Communications, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Google; Senior Thesis: "Theatre as actor: the staging of cultural myths in Genet and Riaza"

Rashid Sabar, 2005, Portfolio Manager, Ellington Management Group; Senior Thesis:  “Phenomenology and the Enigma of Meaning”

Kelefa Sanneh, 1998, Staff Writer, The New Yorker; Senior Thesis:  “The Black Galactic:  Towards a Greater African America”

Eliot Schrefer, 2001, Writer, Glamorous Disasters, The New Kid, The School for Dangerous Girls, The Deadly Sister; Senior Thesis: "Donning the Armor of False Selves": Introspection and Gender Disjunction in Disney's Mulan

A.O. Scott, 1988, Film Critic, The New York Times;  Senior Thesis:  “Staging Alequin’s Dilemma:  The Politics of Genre from Corneille to the Théâtres de la Foire”

Teymour Shahabi, 2005, Modeling and Trading, Two Sigma; Author, The Secret Billionaire; Senior Thesis:  “Remembrance of Words Past:  Translating the Drafts of the Madeleine Episode in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu”

Alice Speri, 2009, Graduate Student in Comparative Literature

Annie Stone, 2010,  Aquisitions Editor, Alloy Entertainment; Senior Thesis: “Twentieth-Century Eve: Damned Daughters from C. S. Lewis to Philip Pullman”

Kevin Stone, 2013, Fulbright Scholar, Germany; Senior Thesis: “Exploring Alternative Spaces: Spatial Orders, Heterotopias, and Secret Spaces in Schnitzler's Traumnovelle, Musil's Törless, and Kafka's Das Schloss”

Ben Tarnoff, 2007, Writer, Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters; Senior Thesis:  “Typographical Modernism and New Media in the Weimar Republic; or, How el Lissitzky and László Moholy-Nagy Made the Printed Page a Vision of Social Hope”

Diane Wachtell, 1985, Executive Director, The New Press; Senior Thesis:  "Paradox Lost:  An Eschatology for the Modern Novel”

Rachel Weinerman, 2003, Physician;  Senior Thesis:  “A Modern Aggadah:  M.Y. Berdichevsky and the Reshaping of the Hebrew Narrative Tradition”

Oussama Zahr, 2004, Editor, Opera News; Senior Thesis:  “Spectatorship as Masochism in Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca”