UO Comparative Literature program celebrates its 50th anniversary

EUGENE, Ore. — (Oct. 29, 2012) — The University of Oregon's Comparative Literature program celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall, kicking off with a keynote lecture by Saba Mahmood, a professor of sociocultural anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

She will discuss "Secular Humanism and Religious Conflict: Muslim-Christian Debates in Egypt," at 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, in 182 Lillis Hall, 955 E. 13th Ave. A reception will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, 1430 Johnson Lane.

Mahmood's lecture will explore the stakes of educating oneself in a time of global and intercultural conflict. She is author of "The Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject" (2005). Her work focuses on the interplay between religious and secular politics in postcolonial societies with special attention to issues of embodiment, law, cultural hermeneutics and gender/sexuality.

The UO's Comparative Literature Program is the oldest on the West Coast and has ranked as high as 11th out of about 50 similar programs in the United States in recent years. It houses the premier journal in the field, "Comparative Literature," founded in 1949 by UO Romance Languages Professor Chandler Beall.

Beall described the journal's mission in the post-World War II era as "strengthening ... good international relations" through "the study of literature from an international point of view." In the ensuing years, Beall went on to collaborate with other UO faculty to open the doctoral program in 1962. The UO has been training leaders in the field since then.

For more information about the 50th anniversary events, see the Comparative Literature Department's website (http://complit.uoregon.edu/events/complit50anniv.html) or by phone at 541-346-0934.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Aria Seligmann, UO media relations, 541-543-1482, arias@uoregon.edu

SOURCE: Lisa Freinkel, associate professor, English and Comparative Literature, 541-346-0825, freinkel@uoregon.edu