Michael Allan

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar

University of Oregon

Michael holds his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked under the direction of Judith Butler and Karl Britto. Before joining the faculty at the University of Oregon, he was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University (2008-9).

His research focuses on debates in world literature, postcolonial studies, literary theory, as well as film and visual culture, primarily 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, religion, queer theory and area studies. He is the author of In the Shadow of World Literature: Sites of Reading in Colonial Egypt (Princeton 2016) and of articles in venues such as Comparative Literature Studies, Early Popular Visual Culture, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, and the Journal of Arabic Literature. He is also a guest editor of a special issue of Comparative Literature (“Reading Secularism: Religion, Literature, Aesthetics”), and with Elisabetta Benigni, a forthcoming issue of Philological Encounters (“Lingua Franca: Toward a Philology of the Sea”). He is at work on a second book, Picturing the World: The Global Routes of Early Cinema, 1896-1903, which traces the transnational history of camera operators working for the Lumière Brothers film company.

Michael has been a EUME Fellow at the Forum for Transregional Studies 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 of Gender and Women’s Studies (2000-1). For two summers (2011-12), he served as the site director for the CLS Arabic Program in Tangier, Morocco. He is currently a member of the collegium for the research project Zukunftsphilologie in Berlin and of the Turning Points/Figures of Thought network at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Phillips University in Marburg.