Teacher pointing to projected screen
Faculty & Research

Michael Allan

Profile picture of Michael Allan
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Program Faculty in Cinema Studies; Program Faculty in Comic Studies
Arabic Studies, Comics and Cartoon Studies, Comparative Literature Department, English Department, Middle East and North African Studies
Office: 316 Villard Hall
Research Interests: World literature (Francophone, Arabic), Film and visual culture, Postcolonial studies, Literary theory

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, Co-Winner of the MLA Prize for a First Book) and of articles in venues such as PMLA, Modernism/Modernity, 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, an 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 is the editor of Comparative Literature and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of World Literature, Philological Encounters, Syndicate Lit, and Middle East Topics & Arguments. He was elected a member of the executive committee for LLC Arabic (2017-2021) and a delegate of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Comparative Literature (2019-2021) for the Modern Language Association. He has been a EUME Fellow at the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin (2011-12, 2017-2018), 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 was the site director for the CLS Arabic Program in Tangier, Morocco.

B.A., 2000, Brown University
Ph.D., 2008, University of California, Berkeley