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This week, the Lilian R. Furst Forum in Comparative Literature, with the support of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, returned from a two year hiatus to announce its speaker lineup for Fall 2021.

The Furst Forum in Comparative Literature is a lecture series first organized in 2005 as a graduate student initiative, named in honor of Marcel Bataillon Professor of Comparative Literature Lilian R. Furst (retired 2006), whose distinguished scholarship and reputation as a comparatist have brought prestige to the program and to the university.

The Forum features professional scholars from a variety of humanistic fields at UNC and advanced graduate students in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, both of whom have an interest in interdisciplinary and comparative literature. This year’s events are being held virtually over Zoom.

On Wednesday, October 13, the Furst Forum will welcome emilio Taiveaho Peláez for their talk “Poetry & The Mushrooms of Language” at 6:00pm EST.

emilio (they/them) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Their work engages the intersection of aesthetic experience and political discipline, blending critical, creative, and archival inquiry to explore subterranean philosophical and literary histories across the Américas.

Register for emilio’s presentation here.

On Wednesday, November 3, Dr. Marsha Collins will be presenting “Cervantes’s Novel Friendship in Don Quixote, Part 1” at 6:00pm EST.

Marsha S. Collins (she/her) is a hispanist and comparatist specializing in Early Modern Spanish Literature and Culture in a transnational, cross-cultural context. Her research often focuses on lyric poetry, idealizing forms of fiction, such as pastoral and romance, as well as literature and the visual arts. She is the author of three books, a variety of articles on authors such as Galdós, Unamuno, Lope, Cervantes, and Góngora, and topics ranging from irony to metaphor, from chiaroscuro to existential literature, and more. She is currently writing a book on Cervantes and friendship with the working title Novel Friendships: Amity and Community in Cervantes’s “Don Quixote,” the first book dedicated to an analysis of Don Quixote, the first modern novel in the West, viewed through the lens of friendship studies.

Register for Marsha’s presentation here.

On Tuesday, November 9, we will welcome Dr. Raj Telhan for his presentation, “Medicine and the Humanities: Vocabularies in Practice.”

Raj Telhan (he/him) is a physician and writer who works at the intersection of literature, medicine, and culture. He is the author of essays, longform journalism, and criticism bridging science and the humanities. His writing appears in the Virginia Quarterly Review and The American Scholar. His VQRessay, “Begin Cutting,” was anthologized in the Best American Science and Nature Writing. Other honors include the Smith-Shanubi Scholarship at the New York State Writers Institute and the Staige D. Blackford Prize for Nonfiction for his VQR cover story, “Foreign Bodies.”

Raj studied Literature and Medicine at the University of Virginia, where he was a Crispell Scholar. He completed his residency in rehabilitation medicine at NYPH/Columbia-Cornell University Medical Center, graduating as Chief Resident. After completing an interventional spine fellowship at the University of Virginia, he began clinical practice as an academic attending and teacher of medical humanities. He is a triple board-certified Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and serves as a Contributing Editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Register for Raj’s presentation here.

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