Parvulescu installed as Liselotte Dieckmann Professor in Comparative Literature

Parvulescu speaking at podium.
Anca Parvulescu, the Liselotte Dieckmann Professor in Comparative Literature, delivers her installation address Nov. 2. (Photo: Washington University)

Anca Parvulescu, a professor of English in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, was installed Nov. 2 as the university’s Liselotte Dieckmann Professor in Comparative Literature.

“The history of comparative literature can hopefully help us counter the resurgence of nationalism with a certain kind of humanism — a humanism without a universalized human — that can perhaps still speak to our shared fate,” Parvulescu said in her installation address.

She also noted the importance of instructing future generations of scholars in the comparative humanities. “Will Matheson endowed this professorship in honor of Liselotte Dieckmann, whose scholarship and leadership he admired,” she said. “But Matheson also remembered Dieckmann as a most dedicated instructor. I am particularly honored to be tied to this aspect of her legacy.”

Parvulescu’s research fields include international modernism, affect theory, Eastern Europe and the history of comparatism. She is the author of four books, most recently the award-winning “Creolizing the Modern: Transylvania across Empires” (with Manuela Boatcă, 2022), which places Transylvania, a small region in Central East Europe, within a network of global relations to reveal its entanglements in world history and world literature.

Anca Parvulescu (center) pauses with Dean Feng Sheng Hu (right) and Abram Van Engen, chair of English. (Photo: Washington University)

The program included a welcome from Feng Sheng Hu, the Richard G. Engelsmann Dean of Arts & Sciences and Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor; and an introduction by Abram Van Engen, chair of English and the Stanley Elkin Professor in the Humanities.

Matheson, who taught comparative literature at WashU for 25 years, established the Dieckmann Professorship through a bequest in 1998. The gift honors Dieckmann, a colleague in comparative literature described as “an outstanding teacher, an inspired mentor, and (the person) responsible for bringing (Matheson) onto the faculty.”

Read more on the Arts & Sciences website.

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