MemberTahneer Oksman

Tahneer Oksman is Assistant Professor of Academic Writing at Marymount Manhattan College. Her research and teaching interests include autobiography studies, graphic novels and comics, Jewish American literature, and writing studies. In addition to her academic work, Tahneer has published reviews and interviews related to her interests in publications like The Forward, Public BooksThe Comics Journal, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, and she is the graphic narratives reviews editor for the online literary journal, Cleaver Magazine (

MemberGrisel Y. Acosta

…Ph.D. in English – University of Texas at San Antonio, 2010

M.Ed. in English Literature – University of Illinois at Chicago, 1999

B.A. in Journalism/Film – Columbia College Chicago, 1995


Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an associate professor at City University of New York – Bronx Community College. She is the editor of the recently published Routledge anthology, Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity. Select works are also in the American Studies Journal, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, The Lauryn Hill Reader, and the forthcoming sci-fi anthology, The Latinx Archive. Dr. Acosta is a Macondo Fellow, a Geraldine Dodge Foundation poet, and a regional representative for the Modern Language Association. ELECTION STATEMENT REGARDING NOMINATION TO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HEP COMMUNITY COLLEGES FORUM: It is an honor to have been nominated for this position. I have taught at the community college level for thirteen years, five as an adjunct and eight as a full-time professor. My focus at Bronx Community College has been to serve the student population that is over 60% Latinx and also includes large populations of Black, African American, and immigrant populations. In order to complete this goal, I teach BCC students a diverse range of texts that center people of color and women of color, just as a starting point. I support this goal with committee work that also addresses equity in other areas. My hope is to also provide opportunities for inclusion and equity for BCC’s faculty of color, who are in the minority, and its female faculty. I have served on committees that oversee faculty and staff professional development, student elections, and community events. I have also worked on updating class evaluation forms to reflect diversity issues students wanted on the surveys. Recently, I was the chair of a task force in charge of addressing diversity and inclusion on campus. Through this work, I was able to create a new diversity and inclusion committee, under the BCC Senate, at my campus. Most recently, I was asked by our college president to be part of the search committee in charge of hiring our new provost. Furthermore, I was able to connect adjunct faculty to folks in our institutional research department in order to create a satisfaction survey for adjunct faculty. In other words, I am thoroughly entrenched in a variety of aspects of the community college and I would love to use these skills in order to serve on the Executive Committee of the HEP Community Colleges Forum. Thank you so much for your consideration.

MemberErvin Malakaj

I am Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of British Columbia. Prior to my appointment at UBC, I served as Assistant Professor of German and Coordinator of the German Program at Sam Houston State University. I received my Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures and Film & Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis (2015) and hold a B.A. (2007) and M.A. (2009) in German Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

I specialize in late-18th to 21st-century German media and cultural history. In particular, my research focuses on 19th-century literary cultures, film history (Imperial Germany, Weimar Germany, cinema of the 60s and 70s), narrative theory, queer theory, and critical pedagogy.

Currently, I am writing a book examining the influence of fluctuating literary markets on authorial agency and narrative form provisionally titled Fragile Literary Cultures in Early Imperial Germany. Part and parcel of this research is my work on a volume titled The Becoming and Afterlife of Literature: Agents in the German Literary Field (co-edited with Vance Byrd).

My scholarship in film studies includes a book project examining the primacy of melodramatic form in the articulation of queer experiences in popular culture and the intellectual sphere of Weimar Germany. In addition, I am completing an article, which examines the queer potential of slapstick in Ernst Lubitsch’s early comedies. This article is part of my work on an edited volume titled An Interdisciplinary Companion to Slapstick Cultures (co-edited with Alena Lyons and under advanced contract with de Gruyter).

In 2016, I co-founded the international scholarly collective “Diversity, Decolonialization, and the German Curriculum” (DDGC). Following DDGC’s inaugural conference March 2017 at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, DDGC has been institutionalized into a biannual conference (the next conference will take place Spring 2019 at St. Olaf College). I also serve as the co-editor of DDGC’s official blog.

MemberMaria Dikcis, PhD

…Modern Language Association, 2021 (scheduled)

“Border Crossers at the End of the World: micha cárdenas’ Redshift & Portalmetal and the Slow Scale of Climate Exhaustion,” Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, 2021 (virtual)

“Anti-Portraits of Ink and Earth: Kara Walker’s Silhouettes and Ana Mendieta’s Siluetas” (Presenter); 
“Earthly Imaginings: Machines, Media, Nature” (Panel Chair)
Cultural Studies Association, Columbia College Chicago, 2020 (Virtual)

“Turing Tests and Robot Love Poems: Technological Vulnerability in Franny Choi’s Soft Science and Margaret Rhee’s Love, Robot”
American Comparative Literature Association, Chicago, 2020 (Canceled)

“Down and Dirty: Mimeography and DIY Activism of the Underground Press Revolution” (Presenter); “Doppelgängers, the Internet, and Pedagogy” (Panel Chair)
Midwest Modern Language Association, Loyo…

Maria is an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Emerging Voices Fellow at the University of Chicago, where she serves as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Mass Incarceration and Policing Fellow at the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. Maria received her PhD in English from Northwestern University. Her research spans the fields of 20th and 21st century Latinx, African American, and Asian American literatures; critical race and ethnic studies; poetry and poetics; digital media theory; and critical prison studies. Prior to Northwestern, Maria received an MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago and a BA in English and BS in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Her full CV can be found at

MemberSamuel Cohen

Samuel Cohen is Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri, where he teaches courses in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature. He is the author of After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s and co-editor of The Legacy of David Foster Wallace and The Clash Takes on the World: Transnational Perspectives on The Only Band that Matters. He is Series Editor of The New American Canon: The Iowa Series in Contemporary Literature and Culture. He is also author of 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology and Literature: The Human Experience and is writing a book on the history of the American university press. He is 2019-2020 chair of the MLA Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities and is the 20th- and 21st-Century American Language, Literature, and Culture Forum Representative to the MLA Delegate Assembly.