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Letitia Guran

Letitia Guran

Teaching Assistant Professor
Dey Hall 214


B.A., Romanian and English, University of Bucharest, Romania, 1991.
M.A., Comparative Literature, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2001.
M.A., African American Literature, University of Richmond, VA, 2008.
Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2005.

About Professor Guran

Letitia Guran is a Comparatist interested in global, transatlantic studies with a focus on Romanian/Eastern European literatures, African American identity, Cold War and post-communist studies.

A Fulbright grant recipient, she has published articles and a monograph about the aesthetic dimension of Romanian American critical thought (Crossing the Iron Curtain) and has made contributions on transnational multiethnic narratives, diasporic identity, and film studies. Letitia’s interest in the relationship between post-communism and post-colonialism materialized in her studies exploring aesthetics as a modus vivendi in East Central Europe, strategies of becoming relevant on the transatlantic cultural market, and the Romanian New Wave of filmmakers. As the President of the Romanian Studies Association (2009-2012) and Chair of the Romanian Studies Group (2019-2024), affiliated with the MLA, she lectured on Romanian Literature under Stalinism, Mircea Cărtărescu, Romanian literature as world literature, Cosmopolitanism, and the Romanian New Wave. Since 2019 she has been teaching Romanian @UNC and loving every minute of it.

Before joining the Department, Letitia has taught world literature, Humanities, Writing, and developed special courses on African American topics. Expanding on these teaching interests, over the years, Letitia has published essays on the works of Langston Hughes, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Coleson Whitehead. Her research on Langston Hughes and her exploration of digital humanities nurtured by DIL @ UNC were recognized by a yearlong NEH grant (2022-2023). This grant supported the completion of a digitally annotated edition of Hughes’s A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia to be released on Afro-PWW website by December 2023.

Publications, Articles, & Presentations

A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia by Langston Hughes. Digital Edition. Afro-PWW University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Forthcoming 2023.

Refereed Journal Articles:

“The Travelogue as Cross-Cultural Translation: Langston Hughes in Soviet Russia”. South Atlantic Review 83.1. Spring 2018, p. 42-70.

“Insurgent Hughes: Negotiating Multiple Narratives Digitally." MELUS, volume 42, issue 4.1, December, 2017, p. 136-163.

“Post-Colonial Shadows on Post-Socialist Skies.” The RSAA Journal 1:1 (2017): 1-29. Print.

“Suzan-Lori Parks: Rearticulating the Laws of Race and Gender in African American History.” South Atlantic Review.76.2 (Spring 2011):65-93. Print. (Issue published in 2014.)

“Mapping East-Central European Literatures in the 21st century.” CLCWeb. Ed. Steven Totosy de Zepetnek. 8.1 (March 2006). Web.

“The Aesthetic Dimension of American-Romanian Comparative Literary Studies.” The Comparatist. 27 (May 2003): 94-115. Print.

Book Chapters:

"Aesthetics: a Modus Vivendi in East Central Europe?" State of Ideas. Eds. Costica Bradatan and Serguei Oushakine. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2010. 60-86. Print.

“East-Central Europe: Becoming Relevant in the Transatlantic Cultural Market.” Transatlantic Dialogues: Eastern Europe, the U.S., and Post-Cold War Cultural Spaces. Eds. Rodica Mihaila and Roxana Oltean. Bucharest: University of Bucharest Press, 2009. 60-84. Print.

“American Comparative Literature and the Study of East-Central European Culture and Literature." The New Central and East European Culture. Eds. Steven Totosy de Zepetnek, Carmen Andras, and Magdalena Marsovszky. Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2006. 148-165. Print.

“Romanian Literature under Stalinism.” History of the Literary Cultures of East Central Europe, Eds. Marcel Cornis-Pope and John Neubauer. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2004.115-124. Print.

“The Multiple Homes for Romanian Studies in the United States: Foreign Language Departments or World/ Comparative Literature Programs?” Limba, literatura și civilizația română în lume. Marina Cap-Bun and Florentina Nicolae (eds.). Editura Universitară, București: 2023. 23-37. Print.

Contributions to the Dictionary of Literary Terms: “agon,” “apophatic,” „the Agrariens,” „Bioetics,” „Biosemiotics,” „Biotehnology”, „Black Mountain School.” Mircea Martin, ed. Bucharest: Tracus Arte Publishing House. Forthcoming 2023.


Reconsidering African American Identity: Aesthetic Experiments by Post-Soul Artists. VDM Verlag Publishing House, 2010. Print.

Crossing the Iron Curtain: The Aesthetic Dimension of Romanian American Critical Thought. Lambert Academic Publishing House, 2010. Print.

Online Refereed Publications:

“Suzan-Lori Parks.” Literary Encyclopedia. Web. Sept. 2012.

“Mircea Cărtărescu.” Literary Encyclopedia. Web. May 2010.

Book Reviews:
FEM. Magda Cârneci. Deep Vellum Publishing, 2021. Translated from Romanian by Sean Cotter. Journal of Romanian Studies. 5.1 (Spring 2023): 115-120.

Romanian Literature as World Literature ed. by Mircea Martin, Christian Moraru, and Andrei Terian. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée, vol. 45 no. 4, 2018, p. 686-689.

Comparative Literature in the Age of Globalization. Haun Saussy, ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature. 54 (Summer 2008): 205-210. Print.

The History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe. Cornis-Pope, Marcel and John Neubauer (eds.). 2004-2006. The Comparatist: 30 (May 2006): 129-137. Print.

Identitate de frontiera in Europa largita. [Borderline Identity within Wider Europe]. Romanita Constantinescu, ed. București: Polirom Press, 2008. Recherché Litteraire/Literary Research. 26: (Summer 2010). 88-91. Print.


NEH Fellowship: 12-month Research and Writing Fellowship for completing a digital book titled Walking on a Tightrope of Words: Langston Hughes’s Re-writings on Race in the Soviet Union and the U.S.(2022-2023).

Dissertation Completion Grant: University of Georgia (2004 – 2005).

Dean’s Award for Research in the Arts and the Humanities: University of Georgia (2003).

Rutledge Prize: The Southern Comparative Literature Association for the essay “The Aesthetic Dimension of American-Romanian studies” published in The Comparatist (2003).

Fulbright Grant: 10-month Research Fellowship; Catholic University of America to conduct research about American comparatists of Romanian descent. (1997 – 1998)

Awards & Honors

Excellence in Teaching Award: University of Georgia (the grant is offered each year to five teaching assistants at UGA; 2004).

Outstanding Teaching Award: University of Georgia and the Department of Comparative Literature (awarded to top 1% teaching assistants; 2002).

Typical Courses

Romanian for Beginners

  • taught basic skills of speaking, reading, and functioning in various real-life contexts
  • used communicative approach.
  • Course met level A1-2 of language requirements
  • *Accelerated Romanian

  • Taught intermediate level of speaking and writing Romanian by exploring aspects of Romanian culture and history
  • Used communicative approach; watched movies; invited speakers
  • Course met levels B1-2 of language requirements
  • *Advanced Romanian

  • Taught interpretation of Romanian texts of literature and history
  • Taught advanced Romanian grammar and used an immersive approach
  • Advised graduate students on research projects about Romanian topics