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Kathleen L. Komar

Co-Chair, Department of Film, Television and Digital Media; Distinguished Professor

Kathleen KomarKathleen L. Komar has been professor of comparative literature and German at UCLA for the past 40 years. She has served as chair of Comparative Literature, chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate and associate dean of the university’s Graduate Division. She has published more than 70 research articles on a variety of comparative topics from romanticism to the present featuring American and German literature.

Her books include: Reclaiming Klytemnestra: Revenge or Reconciliation (2003), a cross-cultural examination of late 20th century women authors who rewrite the ancient character of Klytemnestra; Transcending Angels: Rainer Maria Rilke's "Duino Elegies" (1987); Pattern and Chaos: Multilinear Novels by Dos Passos, Faulkner, Döblin, and Koeppen (1983), which investigates early 20th century narrative experimentation in American and German works; and the collection Lyrical Symbols and Narrative Transformations, co-edited with Ross Shideler (1998), which looks at a variety of poetic and narrative experiments.

Komar served as president of the American Comparative Literature Association from 2005-07. She was elected to the executive board of the International Comparative Literature Association (2010-2013). She was a senior fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, one of nine national centers of excellence established in Germany to promote scholarly exchange, in 2012. Her current research interests and publications include the ways in which technology changes our literary paradigms and issues of the relationship of the humanities to society as well as early 20th century literature.

Komar is a recipient of UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature from Princeton University.