DR. ILEANA ALEXANDRA ORLICH is Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of Romanian Studies, as well as Head of German, Romanian and Slavic Faculty in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. She is also the Director of the ASU summer study program to Romania and Central Europe and a well known speaker on cultural, political and gender issues at international conferences and symposia in China, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, the UK and Romania.
She received her Diploma de Licenta from the University of Bucharest, Romania, and her MA and Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Arizona State University. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Dartmouth School of Literary Criticism and Theory.
Professor Orlich has received many awards and honors, including the ASU Centennial Professor Award (2001) and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Literary Translation (2006). She was a Fulbright Professor in Romania and the recipient of grant awards from Romania's Cultural Institute, Romania's Writers' Union, and academic centers for Humanities Research. She was awarded Romania's highest cultural recognition, Meritul Cultural al Romaniei, and serves as Honorary Consul General of Romania in Arizona since May 2010. In the summer of 2011 she was a Fulbright Specialist in the Foreign Language Division of the Academy of Economics, Finances, Business, and Public Administration (ASE) in Bucharest, Romania and organized a Comparative Literature seminar at the World Literature Congress co-sponsored by Harvard University at the Peking University in Beijing, China. In the summer of 2012 she taught a four-week seminar on Theatre and Politics at Harvard's Institute for World Literature held in Istanbul, Turkey. She was selected as the ASU Parents' Association Professor of the Year in 2011 and promoted to ASU President's Professor in 2012.
Her books include Silent Bodies: (Re)Discovering the Women of Romanian Short Fiction (2002); Articulating Gender, Narrating the Nation: Allegorical Femininity in Romanian Fiction (2005); and Myth and Modernity in the Twentieth-Century Romanian Novel (2009), all from Columbia Press, and Avantgardism, Politics, and the Limits of Interpretation: Reading Gellu Naum’s Zenobia (2010) from Paideia Press. Her scholarly articles have appeared in numerous international journals and edited volumes, and she is a well-known translator of Romanian and English literature. She is also a frequent theatre commentator for Romanian journals and wrote stage adaptations in English and French of the Romanian Avant-garde writers for performances in Romania, France and the United States.
Her teaching, which focuses on World Literature and Cultural Studies, relies on interdisciplinary approaches to examine the changed societies and cultures of the former communist countries as well as political systems, religion, nationalism and ethnic conflict in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.