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Ivana Ancic

Ivana Ancic

PhD Candidate

Department of Comparative Literature

Penn State

252 Burrowes Building
University Park , PA 16802


  1. M.A. Erasmus Mundus: Crossways in Cultural Narratives, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, Mexico; University of Guelph, Canada; Université de Perpignan, France, 2015
  2. B.A. English and Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, 2009

Professional Bio

I am a fifth-year PhD candidate at the Department of Comparative Literature at Penn State. My work stands at the intersection of human rights discourse and postcolonial, critical race and indigenous studies, investigating how cultural production intervenes into questions of visibility, inclusion and sovereignty. I analyze how narrative and visual materials produced in the postcolonial context challenge Western notions underpinning the supposedly universal language of human rights.

My dissertation, “At the Limits of the Liberal Rights Regime: The Perpetrator Perspectives in Contemporary Literature and Visual Cultures” contributes to an existing critical conversation about the relationship between the discourses of human rights and literature by focusing on a significant, and yet under-investigated, canon of works that represent atrocity from the perspective of the perpetrators. Analyzing the work of contemporary African novelists such as Yvonne Vera and Ahmadou Kourouma, and American comics artists and film-makers working in postcolonial contexts, such as Joe Sacco and Joshua Oppenheimer, I argue that these authors generate new ideas about how subjectivity is constituted and how collective memory is maintained from the perspective of indigenous, racialized and disposable populations around the world.

Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

I work on contemporary Postcolonial literatures, especially the Global Anglophone novel and visual cultures. I also take a comparatist approach to contemporary literary phenomena in French and Spanish, especially in the African and Caribbean context.