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Professor Waïl S. Hassan elected Second Vice President of the American Comparative Literature Association

4/30/2017  8:00 am

Waïl S. Hassan, Professor of Comparative & World Literature and English, has been elected as the Second Vice President of the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA).

He will serve in that capacity in 2017-18, the first of a three-year term on the Executive Committee. In the second year (2018-19) he will become Vice President, then President in the third year (2019-20). After that, he will be a member of the Honorary Committee as a past president.

The ACLA was founded in 1960 and is the largest professional association representing the discipline in North America, although its membership of over 2,000 includes many who travel to its annual conference from Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America. The ACLA also holds occasional conferences abroad, with the 2017 meeting taking place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in July. As such, the ACLA is effectively an international organization.

“This election is a great honor for me personally, and more importantly it brings visibility within the discipline to my two departments, Comparative & World Literature and English, as well as to LAS and UIUC,” says Hassan.

The last ACLA President from the U. of I. was the late A. Owen Aldridge (1915-2005), during the 1970s. Aldridge was also the founding editor of Comparative Literature Studies, which was published at Illinois and remains one of the leading journals in the field.

In 1992, Michael Palencia-Roth (Hassan’s graduate mentor at the U. of I. and now Professor Emeritus of Comparative and World Literature), founded the ACLA's sister organization, the Association of Departments and Programs of Comparative Literature and served as its first president.

“I take great pride in belonging to this distinguished company, especially as Comparative Literature celebrates its 50th anniversary at UIUC this year,” adds Hassan.