Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

103 Guilford House
Phone: 216.368.8976; Fax: 216.368.2216
Damaris Punales-Alpizar, Department Chair

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is committed to helping students become informed and liberally educated citizens of the world. Through the acquisition of language skills and cultural knowledge, our students prepare for careers that have an international dimension. Course offerings focus on language, literature, cinema, and culture, as well as language-specific skills for health and business professionals. The department offers short-term study abroad programs oriented towards students of Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Arabic, and we encourage students to spend a semester or an academic year abroad in order to immerse themselves fully in a foreign language and culture. Service-learning opportunities exist in the greater Cleveland area for students of Russian and Spanish.

Department faculty work closely with other departments throughout the university as well as with the cultural institutions of University Circle to provide students with a broad understanding of the many opportunities that language, literature, and culture study offer. The department has strong ties with interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, including Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, French and Francophone Studies, International Studies, Judaic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and World Literature.

Department Faculty

Damaris Punales-Alpizar, PhD
(University of Iowa)
Associate Professor and Chair
Contemporary Cuban and Caribbean Literature; Soviet Cuba; Transatlantic Studies; Post-Soviet Cultures; Cold War studies; translation studies

Beth M. Carter, PhD
(University of Pennsylvania)
Assistant Professor
Pre-modern Japanese literature

Denise Caterinacci, MA
(Kent State University)
Senior Instructor
Italian language and culture; language pedagogy; the role of motivation in language learning

M. Gabriela Copertari, PhD
(Georgetown University)
Associate Professor
Latin American literature and film, especially Argentinian; women’s writing; the modernista novel

Margaretmary Daley, PhD
(Yale University)
18th- and 19th-century German literature; German women writers; women’s studies; literary criticism

Gilbert Doho, PhD
(Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3)
Associate Professor
French drama; African Francophone theater and film; people theater and social movements; playwriting; African performing arts

Cristián G. Gómez Olivares, PhD
(University of Iowa)
Associate Professor
20th-century Latin American narrative and poetry; detective/mystery novels; translation studies

Takao Hagiwara, PhD
(University of British Columbia)
Associate Professor
Japanese literature, especially modern prose and poetry; classical and modern Japanese literature; pre-modern Japanese sensibilities and (post) modernism

Barbara E. Mann, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Stephen H. Hoffman Professor of Modern Hebrew Language and Literature
Literary studies; critical theory; modern Jewish cultures; relation between space, memory, and cultural representation

Jacqueline C. Nanfito, PhD
(University of California, Los Angeles)
Associate Professor
Colonial and 19th-century Latin American literature; Golden Age Hispanic literature; literary theory; Chicano literature; contemporary Latin American women writers

Susanne Vees-Gulani, PhD
(University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Associate Professor
20th- and 21st-century literature and literary movements; German cultural studies; science and literature; medicine and literature; trauma studies; victim discourses; literary and cultural responses to World War II; German civil defense strategies in World War II

Ching-Hsuan Wu, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Associate Professor
Chinese and Japanese pedagogy; applied linguistics

Peter Jianhua Yang, PhD
(University of Utah)
Associate Professor
German literature, especially 20th-century; German theater; technology-enhanced language teaching; teaching pedagogy; business German; theatricality

Tatiana Zilotina, PhD
(University of Virginia)
Senior Instructor
19th- and 20th-century Russian literature; the poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva; women writers; Russian culture; Russian folklore


Elena Fernández, MA
(Cleveland State University)
Lecturer (Spanish)

Ramez Islambouli, MA
(Case Western Reserve University)
Lecturer (Arabic)

Lai Jiang, MA
(Indiana University)
Lecturer (Japanese)

Nadav Linial, PhD
(University of Michigan)
Lecturer (Hebrew)

Clara Lipszyc-Arroyo, MA
(University of Western Ontario)
Lecturer (Portuguese and Spanish)

Enno Lohmeyer, PhD
(University of Kansas)
Lecturer (German)

Yukie Miura, MA
(Purdue University)
Lecturer (Japanese)

Kosuke Ogaki, MEd
(Auburn University)
Lecturer (Japanese)

Yukiko (Nishida) Onitsuka, EdD
(University of Cincinnati)
Lecturer (Japanese)

Alessandra Parry, MA
(University of Akron)
Lecturer (Spanish)

Fabienne Pizot-Haymore, MA
(Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III)
Lecturer (French)

Charlotte Sanpere, PhD
(Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3)
Lecturer (French)

Xin Zhang, MA
(University of Beijing Language and Culture University)
Lecturer (Chinese)