Melek Ortabasi
Director, World Literature Program

Associate Professor
BA (University of California, Berkeley), MA, PhD (University of Washington)

Tel:  778 782-8660
Office:  AQ 5127

Melek Ortabasi's teaching and research interests include translation practice and theory, popular culture and transnationalism, and internationalism in children’s literature. 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 a comparative historiography of how children’s literature has traveled in translation. Incorporating materials primarily in Japanese, German, and English, the book is tentatively entitled “The World Republic of Childhood: Children’s Literature and Translation, 1870-1930.”


Ken Seigneurie
BSc, BA (Michigan State University), MA (University of Michigan), PhD (University of Michigan)

Tel:  778 782-8846
Office:  AQ 5128

Ken Seigneurie researches modern Arabic, French and British fiction, literary theory and the history of humanist thought. His translation (from Arabic) of ‘Awdat al-almānī ila rushdih by Rashid al-Daif appears in: What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin. His most recent book is Standing by the Ruins: Elegiac Humanism in Wartime and Postwar Lebanon. He is currently working on a book dealing with Arabic literature in a world literature paradigm and is also serving as General Editor of the five-volume Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature.

Dr Seigneurie’s teaching aims at showing how literary texts are responses written at particular times and places to problems we face as human beings. Along the way, he seeks to kindle awareness of contexts and enthusiasm for “close reading,” which he defines as teasing out meanings from texts according to logics of association. His pedagogical objective is to see students master the take-away skills of critical reading, cogent writing, and a keener appreciation for human values.

Eirini Kotsovili
DPhil (Oxford University)

Dr. Eirini Kotsovili is Onassis Scholar with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University. For further information, please see Dr. Kotsovili's page in Hellenic Studies.

She has studied history and Hispanic studies at McGill University and Literature at University of Oxford. Her research interests revolve around the use of the auto/biographical element and fall under the thematic spheres of  identity, politics, gender;  how writers reflect on and present their overlap in given cultural, socio-political, historical contexts while drawing material from lived experiences.

Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani
Associate Professor
BA, MA, PhD (University of California, Berkley)

Tel:  778 782-8761
Office:  AQ 5126

Azadeh Yamini-Hamedani's teaching interests involve interconnections of literature and philosophy, with particular emphasis on the semiotics of translation. Her current research includes Goethe's conception of World Literature in light of his reading of Hafez. She also explores Nietzsche's understanding of Zoroastrianism as it appears in his notations and inThus Spoke Zarathustra.



Mark Deggan
LimitedTerm Lecturer

Tel:  778 782-9595
Office:  AQ 5124

Mark Deggan holds a PhD from The University of British Columbia, where his dissertation explored the moral fallouts of modernism’s colonial landscapes. He has published on modernist fiction, and the poetics of the cinema in articles including “Performance Value: Theatrical Atmospheres & Ethical Space in The Lagoon & Lord Jim” (Époque Conradienne N° 38. Limoges, France) and “The Atmospherics of Marguerite Duras: Fictive Motion and Ambience in L’Amant” (Stanford and Chicago: CSLI).  His most recent essays are “‘Not such an empty space’: Cinematic Ecocriticism and the Performative Landscape in Damon Galgut’s Fiction” (Revue Trans- N° 16. Paris), and “That Unremarkable Axis – Everyday Space and the Discourse of Verticality: Liu Yichang & the City” (Interférences littéraires N° 13. Leuven, Belgium).

Mark’s critical work and teaching is strongly inflected by earlier careers in the visual arts and theatrical design and scenography. His current project sets out a performative ecology of cosmopolitan space in 20th Century world fiction, and explores French, Dutch, and English language writers including Joseph Conrad, Beb Vuyk, Ahmadou Kourouma, and Damon Galgut.  Over the past year Mark has been the Research Associate for The Coordinated Arts Program at UBC, and presented work in the United States, England, Italy, and Canada.


Anosh Irani
Visiting Professor, Writer-in-Residence

Office:  AQ 5128

Anosh Irani was born and brought up in Bombay, and moved to Vancouver in 1998.  He is the author of the novels The Cripple and His Talismans and The Song of Kahunsha, which was a finalist for CBC Radio's Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was published in thirteen countries, and was a bestseller in Canada, China, and Italy.  His play Bombay Black won 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including for Outstanding New Play.  Irani was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Drama for his anthology The Bombay PlaysThe Matka King & Bombay Black.  His novel, Dahanu Road, was long listed for the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize.  He has written a feature length screenplay for director Irena Salina (Flow) and producer Leslie Holleran (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules). Irani's latest novel, The Parcel, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It was selected as one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Quill & Quire. His fiction has been translated into ten languages.  His non-fiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail and the New York Times.