UC Berkeley Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal

A Premier Humanities Research Journal at the University of California, Berkeley

Author Biographies


Jewel Pereyra is a researcher and writer from Southern California. She graduated from the University of California–Los Angeles, concentrating in American Literatures and Cultures and Women’s Studies. Her work appears in The Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism, UC Berkeley’s Vagabond: Multilingual Literary Journal, UCLA’s Aleph Undergraduate Research Journal, and The California Journal of Women Writers. She is currently serving as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia.


Olga Zolotareva studies modern languages and linguistics at Lomonosov Moscow State University. Her academic interests include nineteenth- and early twentieth- century American, French and Russian literature, as well as philosophy,economics and cross-cultural communication. She has also tried her hand at fiction writing and literary translation.


Patrick Lyons is a freelance writer and translator with a BA in French from Reed College living in Brookyln, New York.


Sahar Shiralian is a 2013 graduate of UCLA where she majored in English and Comparative Literature with an emphasis on French Language and Literature. While at UCLA, Sahar’s academic interests included the French and English Nineteenth-Century novel, the Pre-Raphaelite movement, Oscar Wilde and his circle, and the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. Sahar will be attending law school in 2015 where she plans to specialize in entertainment and art law. She hopes to protect literary, academic, and artistic work as an advocate for the arts.


Samuel Diener is a senior English major at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include voyage narratives in English, Spanish, and Portuguese; Enlightenment studies; word and image studies; and the early novel. He is drawn to the attempts of fiction to explore constructive answers to real-world problems, past and present. Samuel is presently writing his senior thesis on narratives of piracy in the first few decades of the 18th century.


Gianna Albaum is currently a doctoral student in the Italian Studies department at NYU. She finished her B.A. with honors in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies at UC Berkeley, and this article was her thesis in the Italian Studies department. Her research is currently focused on ‘la letteratura migrante’ (immigrant literature) in Italy, particularly the fiction and memoirs penned by second-generation authors. Past research interests have included Italian colonial narratives in Africa and the uncomfortable nexus of utopian ideology and colonial rhetoric. Grounding all of her work is her unwavering interest in the Third Paradise, articulated in various guises by philosophers from Immanuel Kant to Michelangelo Pistoletto, a conceptual framework that aims at the marriage of science and metaphysics.