Helen Makhdoumian

Graduate Student


Helen Makhdoumian is a PhD candidate in English and is working on graduate certificates through The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS) and The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. From 2015-18, she co-organized The Future of Trauma and Memory Studies, an interdisciplinary Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) reading group on campus.

In addition to teaching literature and composition courses as a graduate student instructor, Helen has previously been appointed as a Digital Literacies Coordinator for the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program, a Peer Mentor for New Instructors, and an Assistant Director of the Writers Workshop. In 2018-19, she will serve as an Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program.

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Memory, Trauma, and Genocide Studies; Diaspora, Transnational, and Migration Studies; Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies; Gender and Women's Studies; Diasporic Armenian Literature (English, Armenian, French); Arab American Literature; American Indian Literature


  • M.A., English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A., English major and Art minor, Westminster College


  • ENGL 250: Nineteenth-Century American Fiction (Themed: "Transnational and Hemispheric Connections"); ENGL 207: Romantic Literature and Culture (Themed: "(Inter)national Contact Zones"); ENGL 109: Introduction to Fiction, Advanced Composition (Themed: "Hauntings of Empires" and "Migration and Home"); RHET 105: Writing and Research (Themed: "Cultural and Technology Studies" and "Globalization")


Journal Articles

  • "Towards a Postmemory and Multidirectional Memory Nexus: Traumatic Memories, Exile, and Home in Patricia Sarrafian Ward’s The Bullet Collection." Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies 26 (2017): 62-81.
  • "Rewriting Billie and Asserting Rhetorical Sovereignty in Linda Hogan’s Power." Studies in American Indian Literatures 28.4 (2016): 80-110.
  • "Armenian Coffee Houses, Cultural Knowledge, and Community: David Kherdian’s Homage to Adana." Westminster McNair Journal 5 (2013): 1-22.

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