Faculty & instructors

SFU's World Languages and Literatures' faculty members are experts in their fields. We look forward to seeing you in class.

Continuing faculty

Elena Caselli
MA in Teaching Foreign Languages and Cultures (University of Naples); PhD in Modern and Contemporary History of Europe (University of Naples L’Orientale)
Email: ecaselli@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5114

Elena Caselli teaches Italian Language courses from Introductory to Advanced level. Her priorities as an instructor are to inspire curiosity, foster enthusiasm for the Italian language, and facilitate a dynamic class experience. She incorporates active, inductive, and collaborative learning techniques into her teaching practice, creating a hybrid, effective, and engaging learning environment.

Mark Deggan
BA in Classical Studies (University of British Columbia); PhD in English (University of British Columbia)
Email: mdeggan@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-9595
Office: AQ 5119

Mark Deggan’s critical work and teaching is strongly inflected by earlier careers in the visual arts and theatrical design and scenography. He has published widely on modernist fiction, and the poetics of the cinema: recent chapters include “Conrad’s Ecological Performativity” in Conrad & Nature (Routledge 2018) and two entries in A Companion to World Literature, “Human Rights – ‘Inalienable’,” and “Knut Hamsun: Modernity’s Primal Birthing?” (Wiley Blackwell 2019). Aside from an abiding interest in Joseph Conrad’s Eastern narratives, his current project sets out a performative ecology of cosmopolitan and space in 20th Century world fiction, and explores French, Dutch, and English language writers including Beb Vuyk, Ahmadou Kourouma, and Damon Galgut.

Jia Fei
Senior Lecturer
BA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (East China Normal University); MEd in Second Language Education (University of Toronto); PhD in Languages, Cultures and Literacies (Simon Fraser University)
Email: jia_fei@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-7618
Office: AQ 5119.2
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 11:30-12:30 pm via Zoom

Jia Fei teaches Chinese language courses at the beginner level, intermediate level and with a special focus on conversational Mandarin and Business Mandarin. Informed by a background in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign language, language and power, and second language acquisition, she seeks to incorporate current language learning theories, pedagogies and technology into the classroom to facilitate a nurturing, inclusive, and empowering experience for her learners. After developing a Mandarin curriculum for SFU’s Global Communication MA Double Degree program, she is currently working on a SCOLA project with language leaders from other BC post-secondary institutions to identify and develop core competency frameworks and placement test banks in the Chinese language.

Chie Furukawa
BA in Sociology (University of Tokyo); MA in Education (University of Tokyo); PhD in Education (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Email: chie_furukawa@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5124
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:00 - 1:30 pm via Zoom; Fridays, 1:00 - 1:30 in person; or by appointment 

Chie Furukawa’s research interests include identities, cultures, and languages in transnational spaces. Before coming to Canada, she taught Japanese language and cultures in various institutions in the USA.

Claudia Hein
Senior Lecturer
1. Staatsexamen in Education, English and Theology (Kiel, Germany); MA in Foreign Languages (WVU, USA)
Email: cmhein@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-8526
Office: AQ 5126
Office hours: Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:00 pm in person; Fridays, 1:00 - 2:00 via Zoom; or by appointment 
Website: http://www.sfu.ca/~cmhein/

Prior to coming to SFU in 1999 Claudia Hein taught at universities in the US and Italy. As the coordinator for the German language courses at SFU she supervises and teaches courses on the A1 (Beginner), A2 (Elementary), and B1 (Intermediate) levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Her ultimate goal is to get students excited about the German language and encourage them to spend a semester (or longer) abroad. She is also a Certified Examiner with the Goethe Institut and sits on the Board of the British Columbia Council of Teachers of German.

Isabel Mayo-Harp
Lecturer & Undergraduate Chair 
BA in Political Science (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México); MA in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (Universidad Antonio de Nebrija); MA in Political Science (SFU);PhD in Educational Technology and Learning Design (SFU)
Email: mayoharp@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5128
Office hours: Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:00 pm in person or via Zoom; Wednesdays, 1:00 - 1:45 pm via Zoom 

Isabel Mayo-Harp’s research interest involves computer assisted language learning (CALL) and the use of Learning Management Systems for language teaching. Currently, she is focusing on design and development of foreign language blended courses, and on the use of technology to facilitate student learning.

Billie Ng
University Lecturer
BA in Education (International Christian University, Japan); MA in Comparative Education (University of London, England)
Email: billie@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-4863
Office: AQ 5122
Office hours: Wednesdays, 9:45 - 10:15 am & 12:00 - 1:00 pm 
Website: https://vault.sfu.ca/index.php/s/ZTxsEItpZgaVobz

Billie Ng has been in the field of Language Education since 1980. Her work has included curriculum development, challenge exams, and cross-cultural workshops with government and business. She is the president of a national organization of faculty teaching Chinese language & literature in Canadian colleges and universities (the Canadian TCSL Association). Her publications include four textbooks, with workbooks and online resources and (as co-author of) the Provincial Mandarin IRP (Integrated Resource Package). She is now working on blending traditional classroom strategies with resources, tools and opportunities available to learners in an increasingly technological environment.

Melek Ortabasi
Associate Professor
BA in Comparative Literature (University of California, Berkeley); MA, PhD in Comparative Literature (University of Washington)
Email: melek_ortabasi@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-8660
Office: AQ 5125
On leave 2021-2022
Website: https://www.sfu.ca/wll/about/people/faculty/melek-su-ortabasi.html

Melek Ortabasi teaches World Literature courses that are often informed by her research interests: translation theory and practice, popular culture and transnationalism, and internationalism in children’s literature. She specializes in modern Japanese and German literatures. Her latest book, The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Asia Center. She is currently working on two projects: a book manuscript on transnationalism and modern Japanese children's literature, as well as a comparative Digital Humanities project on the childhood memoir, which incorporates materials primarily in Japanese, German, and English.

Ken Seigneurie
BSc in Biology/Zoology, BA in English Literature (Michigan State University); MA in Comparative Literature (University of Michigan); PhD in Comparative Literature (University of Michigan)
Email: kseigneu@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-8846
Office: AQ 5120
Website: https://www.sfu.ca/wll/about/people/faculty/ken-seigneurie.html

Ken Seigneurie’s teaching explores how worlds -- humanistic, liberal, religious and postcolonial -- accrete around literary texts. His research spans English, Arabic and French literatures in a comparative context, world literature and Eastern Mediterranean cultures. He has served as General Editor of the Wiley Blackwell Companion to World Literature (2020), translator from Arabic in What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin (2015), and author of Standing by the Ruins: Elegiac Humanism in Wartime and Postwar Lebanon (2011). His current project is a study of the palimpsests of religious thought in cultures of liberalism east and west.

Naoko Takei
Senior Lecturer
BA in Buddhism Studies (Bukkyo University); MA in Curriculum Studies (University of British Columbia); PhD in Languages, Cultures and Literacies (Simon Fraser University)
Email: ntakei@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-5141
Office: AQ 5119.1
On leave Spring & Summer 2021

Naoko Takei teaches all levels of Japanese language courses, focusing on nurturing the intercultural competence that will guide a language learner to act appropriately in a target language. She is interested in how the cultural aspects of a language can be integrated in a language course. Recently she developed JAPN 351, Japanese Language and Culture through Film, in which she uses Japanese movies as a language textbook. Her goal is for learners to experience joy in using a new foreign language to explore a new culture. She takes an active role in the local Japanese language education community to promote the Japanese language.

Vlad Vintila
BA in English and German (Transilvania University of Brasov); MA in Italian (University of Virginia); PhD in Italian (Columbia University)
Email: vvintila@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5111
Office hours: by appointment via Zoom 

Vlad Vintila’s scholarly interests include foreign language acquisition and pedagogy; the Italian literature of the Middle Ages and the early modern period (Dante, Boccaccio, Ariosto); and the enduring relevance of classical sources for Italian literature and culture and identity construction.

Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani
Associate Professor & Chair
BA in Comparative Literature (University of California, Berkley); MA and PhD in German Literature and Culture (University of California, Berkley)
Email: azadeh_yamini-hamedani@sfu.ca
Phone: 778-782-8761
Office: AQ 5121

What intrigues Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani about world literature is that it tells the story of stories: the life literature acquires when it is translated into different languages and as it begins to speak to the spirit of different times and cultures. Her research focuses on the movement of literature between Iran and Germany, which exposes world literature as a form of cultural resistance. She has published on Goethe’s conception of world literature with respect to his engagement with Hafez; Nietzsche’s appropriation of Zarathustra in the context of moral philosophy and power; and the influence of Heidegger and Marx on the Islamic Revolution. Her latest research looks at the role world literature played before and after the Islamic Revolution, and the ways in which religion and technology become weaponized in post-colonial discourse. In her teaching she enjoys exploring themes around technology and culture, revolution, exile and migration, money and power, creativity and the work of art, and love.

Term faculty

María Ignacia Barraza
Term Assistant Professor
BA in English Literature (Simon Fraser University); DEA (Diploma de Estudios Avanzados) in Spanish and Latin American Literatures (University of Salamanca); PhD in Spanish and Latin American Literatures (University of Salamanca)
Email: mbarraza@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5113

María Ignacia Barraza’s areas of research include the Spanish literary generations of 1898 and 1927, 19th and 20th century Latin American poetry and prose, as well as film and the visual arts. She has published articles on Manuel Ciges Aparicio and the visual arts, as well as on the theories of Gaston Bachelard. Her current research project and teaching explore our fascinatingly complex relationship with food through the study of female Argentine recipe developers/food writers of the 20th century as well as the diverse culinary landscapes in modern world literature.

Rima Ibata
Term Lecturer
BA in Linguistics (California State University, Long Beach); Master's in Education (Simon Fraser University); PhD in Linguistics (Simon Fraser University)
Email: ria3@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5119.1
Office hours: Wednesdays, 12:30 - 1:00 pm; Thursdays, 11:40 - 12:10 pm; or by apppointment 

Rima Ibata's research interest includes second/additional language education, critical discourse analysis (CDA), and World Englishes.


Anosh Irani
Term Assistant Professor
BCom (University of Bombay); MFA in Creative Writing (UBC)
Email: airani@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5112
Website: www.anoshirani.com

ANOSH IRANI has published four critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His Talismans (2004), a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha (2006), which was an international bestseller and shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; Dahanu Road (2010), which was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize; and The Parcel (2016), which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His play Bombay Black (2006) won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black (2007) and his play Men in White (2018) were both shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Buffoon (2020), his latest work of drama, won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role.  He lives in Vancouver.

Associate members

Eirini Kotsovili
BA in History, Hispanic studies (McGill University); MSt in Literature (Oxford University); DPhil in Literature (Oxford University)
Email: dkotsovi@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 6199

Eirini teaches Greek at SFU and is a lecturer in the Department of Humanities. Her research and teaching interests revolve around the notions of gender and identity, Modern Greece (comparative/transnational approach) and contemporary cultural production reflecting on the relation between past and present within various socio-political contexts.

Cynthia Xie
Senior Lecturer
BA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (East China Normal University); MA in Applied Linguistics (University of Jyväskylä, Finland); PhD in Curriculum Theory and Implementation (Simon Fraser University)
Email: cxie@sfu.ca
Office: TASC I 9211

Cynthia teaches both intensive Mandarin Chinese courses and Heritage Mandarin Chinese courses at SFU. Her research interests include Chinese linguistics and Chinese language pedagogy. Cynthia is responsible for the Chinese language education for the SFU-ZJU Dual Degree Program in Computing Science. Her work includes curriculum design, course development, assessment, and coordination with the Chinese university.

Sessional instructors

Rastin Mehri
Sessional Instructor, Arabic
Email:  rmehri@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5114
Office hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:20 pm 

Alexander Harasymiw
Sessional Instructor, World Literature
Email: alex_harasymiw@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5117
Office hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-3:00 pm

Kate Scheel
Sessional Instructor, World Literature
Email: scheel@sfu.ca
AQ 5117
Office hours: Thursdays, 12:30 - 2:30 pm 


Sessional teaching assistants and tutor markers

Liang Cao
Teaching Assistant, Chinese 
Email: lca129@sfu.ca
Office: 5127
Office hours: Thursdays, 12:15 - 1:15 pm

Carolina Lemay
Teaching Assistant, Spanish
Email: cazmitia@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5128
Office hours: Wednesdays, 11:00 am - 12:10 pm or by appointment via Zoom

Yumiko Morita
Teaching Assistant, Japanese 
Email: yumiko_morita@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5127
Office hours: Wednesdays & Fridays, 12:30 - 1:00 pm, and by appointment 


Momoka Yamagata
Teaching Assistant, Japanese
Email: momoka_yamagata@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5114
Office hours: Fridays, 12:00 - 12:30 pm and 4:00 - 4:20 pm in the classroom, and by appointment 

Anna Lechintan 
Tutor Marker, World Literature
Email: anna_lechintan@sfu.ca
Office hours: Mondays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, and by appointment (all remote)


Motoki Nozawa
Teaching Assistant, Japanese
Email: motoki_nozawa@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5110
Office hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, half hour after class and by appointment 

Eri Hato
Teaching Assistant, Japanese
Email: eri_hato@sfu.ca
Office: AQ 5110
Office hours: Wednesdays & Fridays, 12:25 - 12:40 pm and 4:25 - 4:40 pm