Recent CWL Faculty Publications

Dr. Crystal Yin Lie would like to share her recent article, published in the interdisciplinary quarterly Biography“Drawn To History: Healing, Dementia, and the Armenian Genocide in the Intertextual Collage of Aliceheimer’s” explores Dana Walrath’s memoir, Aliceheimer’s: Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass (2016), noting graphic medicine’s commitments to interrogating power relations in medical discourse, highlighting the valuable perspective of dementia experience, and revealing how by juxtaposing personal essay with the visual-verbal affordances of comics, intertextual collage, and the altered book, Walrath links her experiences of caregiving, Alice’s dementia, and Armenian history to the adventures of Carroll’s Wonderland, creating a sense of both dissonance and exploratory freedom to broach subjects that might typically be regarded as unapproachable. The entire issue can be accessed on Project Muse: Readers may also be interested to know that ‘Graphic Medicine’ is also a book forthcoming from the University of Hawai‘i Press in July 2022:

Also from Dr. Lie:

(Biography: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 44, nos. 2-3, 2021)
(U. Michigan Press, 2021/Open Access)
From Dr. Elizabeth Dahab:
2020a: “Poetics of Madness and Alienation in a Francophone Canadian Novel,” Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature.
2020b (June): “Systemic Racism and the Killing of Rayshard Brooks,”Counterpunch. Non-academic piece in the spirit of Black
Lives Matter.
2020c (March): “The Corona Virus, Trump, and Friday the 13th Press Conference,” Counterpunch.
Pertains to Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
2020d: “Burial at Sea: Reconciliation and Bereavement in Wajdi Mouawad’s Littoral (Tideline), in Selected Proceedings of the 2017 Societies of Activities and Research on the Indian World
(Sari) conference on the theme of “Reinventing the Sea: Precarity, Epistemology, Narratives,” pp. 57-65. Refereed. Refereed. Online.
2020e: “‘To Roam a Borderless World’: The Poetics of Movement and Marginality in Carnival,” in Beirut to Carnival City: Reading Rawi Hage. Ed. Krzysztof Majer. Leiden: Brill Rodopi, 2020,
pp. 120-134. Refereed/Invited. Print.
2018: “Like a Dancing Gypsy’: A Close Reading of Cockroach,” in Comparative Literature for the New Century. Ed. Giulia de Gasperi. Queen’s University Press, pp. 215-228. Refereed. Print.
2016: “Poetics of Amnesia and Reverse Migration in Khaled Osman’s Le Caire à corps perdu,” Journal of Disability Literature. Volume 4, #4 (December), Invited. Online.
2015: “On the Poetics of Arab-Canadian Literature in French and English,” in The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature. Ed. Cynthia Sugars (University of Ottawa). New York: Oxford University Press USA: 639-657. Invited/Refereed.

the all new Health Humanities Minor!

CWL is proud to announce the inauguration of our Health Humanities Minor. The Health Humanities focus on skills that the Humanities and Social Sciences provide that help Health Professionals do their jobs better. We are fortunate to have Dr. Crystal Yin Lie, who is a specialist in Health Humanities and Disability Studies, overseeing the Minor. Read more about Dr. Crystal Yin Lie!

For the list of courses, see the Health Humanities Minor flyer!

COVID relief for India and South Asia

This is a repost from the Yahunandan Center for India Studies:

There is a profound tragedy unfolding in India and in other parts of South Asia. The sheer scale of the pandemic and its secondary effects have disrupted critical infrastructure like healthcare networks, food distribution, and transportation systems. 


There are many organizations working to address this disaster. In case any of you are interested in donating to this effort, those of us involved with Yadunandan Center for India Studies at California State University Long Beach wanted to provide a list of organizations that are trying to help. 


For the sake of transparency, we wanted to let you know how we generated the names listed below. Our list draws on three sources: The lists provided by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the American Anthropological Association. 


Our list contains some well-known NGOs (the Red Cross, Oxfam). The others on the list that may be unfamiliar are worth exploring because most are based in India, and we feel they may have a faster response time.  


If you have any questions, please email us at  


Thank you.  




The Indian Red Cross Society has staff and volunteers running blood drives, delivering aid and medical supplies, along with providing other essential services across the country. (NYT, WP) 

Rapid Response is an India-based disaster relief agency is supplying staple foods such as rice, lentils, sugar and salt to vulnerable communities including migrant laborers, front-line workers and the elderly. Donate here. (WP) 


Oxfam India In addition to distributing protective equipment at health facilities, the nonprofit says it intends to make direct cash transfers to the most vulnerable households. Donate here. (WP) 

Care India says it has supplied hospitals and frontline workers in India with more than 39,000 P.P.E. kits, along with masks and other supplies. (NYT) 

Feeding from Far: Feeding From Far is an initiative that has been feeding the poor and unemployed who are struggling to feed themselves during the lockdown. We managed to distributed over 10 lakh meals to the needy since the first lockdown hit through cooked meals and ration kits. (AAA) 


Khaana Chahiye: distributes meals to the most vulnerable in the city of Mumbai. Has distributed 60,000 meals so far in this phase of the lockdown. (AAA) 

OxygenForIndia delivers medical oxygen for free to patients in seven Indian cities. The group was founded by Ramanan Laxminarayan, an economist and epidemiologist who directs the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, a research outfit based in Washington and New Delhi. (NYT) 

Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust are delivering ration kits to vulnerable residents of Mumbai. Each kit includes staples like rice and dal, and feeds a family of four for 15 days. Donate here in a variety of ways, including through Google Pay. (NYT) 

Enrich Lives Foundation: As daily wage laborers continue to lose jobs and a second wave of COVID-19 is on its way, we are fund-raising to provide 10,000+ grocery kits to families who need it the most.  (AAA) 


Mission Oxygen: helps hospitals across the country get immediate access to oxygen cylinders and concentrators.…/mission-oxygen-helping… (AAA) 


Project Mumbai: works with several public hospitals to provide them with life-saving healthcare equipment and supplies, to cope with the significant stress on the hospital system.  (AAA) 


Mazdoor Kitchen: provides meals, masks, and ration kits to hundreds of people across north Delhi, ever since the beginning of the lockdown. (AAA) 


Ambulance Network: HelpNow is an Initiative by young students providing a safe, 24×7 logistics network for transporting COVID patients/suspects, Drugs, Phlebotomists, Healthcare workers (docs, nurses) and Blood/Organs/Medical supplies in India. (AAA)

CWL faculty in the news! Dr. Crystal Lie

Our own Dr. Lie was featured for Black History Month! Woo hoo!

new courses for Fall 2021: Global Fantasy and Russian Lit

55th Annual Comp Lit Conference April 7-8, 2021

Our conference this year is ON! “Outcasts and Outliers in Literature, Music, and Visual Arts.” Check out the description and the program! Hope to see you there (on Zoom)!

Statement in support of AAPI

Innocent immigrants working minimum wage 

Just lost their lives because their skin color is beige 

[…] The old me is to let the hatred slide 

But now I am filled with Asian pride 

I am so sick of holding the pain inside 

[…] My community is under attack 

So stop ignoring these crimes and playing pretend 

And check in on your Asian family and friends 

Let’s have each other’s backs and put this hate to an end. 


Sherry Cola 


Comparative World Literature denounces racially-motivated violence in the world, especially the most recent tragedy in Atlanta against Asians and Asian-Americans. We lend our support and solidarity to Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, here in the United States and the world.  

Our faculty heartily believes that the world is a better place because of the rich diversity of cultures and literatures. We teach our students to engage with the literatures of the world in an effort to use the power of literature to eradicate racial bias and hatred! 

Today, we are All Asian-American! 

22 March 2021

Statement in support of BLM

The Comparative World Literature Program denounces the acts of violence committed against our fellow Black Americans by police brutality. We compassionately stand in unity with and support of people who have suffered due to the color of their skin. We acknowledge the historical and institutional racism that persists in America, and we call for positive change from our leaders, of this country, and of our institutions. The creation of an ethnic studies graduation requirement at CSULB would be a step toward making our students aware of the complex structures that enable racism and give them tools to foster social change. CWL embraces and celebrates the literatures and cultures of the world.

2 June 2020

In Memoriam Dr. Raymond Waters

Dr. Raymond M. Waters taught in the Department of Comparative Literature from the early nineties until his premature death on July 20th, 2019, at the age of 57.
Ray graduated with a BA from UCLA, taught English in Japan for two years, and wrote his M.A. thesis on film adaptation of novels as exemplified by the classic western Shane. Ray earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa. His dissertation was on Western pop culture depictions of Japan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of film history and pop culture, inspiring many thousands of students who took his legendary Comic Spirit class over the decades.
A memorial service celebrating Ray’s life was held in October 2019 in the Earl Burns Miller Japanese garden at CSULB. It was heavily attended by colleagues, family, students, and friends. Ray Waters will be sorely missed and remembered dearly.

Welcome, Dr. Crystal Lie !!

Comparative World Literature is excited to welcome Dr. Crystal Yin Lie to the faculty. Dr. Lie’s specialization in disability studies and health humanities will complement our program’s strengths in cultural studies and critical theory. She will be overseeing CWL’s exciting new Minor in Health Humanities that will be offered starting Fall 2021. In Fall 2021 Dr. Lie will be teaching CWL 315 Literature and Medicine, and CWL 115 Intro to Health Humanities.

Crystal Yin Lie recently received her Ph.D. in English Language & Literature with a graduate certificate in Science, Technology and Society from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. Her research and teaching are animated by interdisciplinary interests in literary and life writing studies, disability studies, health humanities, and visual culture. Crystal is a co-founder of the University of Michigan Disability Studies Group, a campus-wide interdisciplinary workshop, and has also organized numerous events for the University of Michigan Initiative on Disability Studies. She is a former Rackham Humanities Research Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Scholar for College and University Teachers, and Outward Bound non-profit outdoor educator. Her most recent scholarship can be found in The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Graphic, Disability Experiences, and Age, Culture, Humanities. Currently, she is co-editing a manuscript on the legacy of late disability studies scholar (and former mentor) Tobin Siebers, and working on two articles: one on temporality, chronic illness, and comics, and another on Alzheimer’s and the Armenian Genocide in a graphic memoir by Dana Walrath, which will appear in Biography’s special issue on “Graphic Medicine.” Crystal’s research presentation draws from her dissertation, titled Entangled Stories: Reimagining Dementia, History, and Narrative in Contemporary Literature and Life Writing, which was recently nominated for a ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.