Helen Makhdoumian is a PhD candidate in English. She is completing a graduate minor in American Indian Studies as well as 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 graduate student and faculty member reading group on campus.
In addition to teaching literature and composition courses as a graduate student instructor (see "Courses" below), Helen has previously been appointed as a Digital Literacies Coordinator, a Peer Mentor for New Instructors, and an Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program. She has also held positions at the Writers Workshop, both as an Assistant Director and as a consultant. She continues to volunteer as a consultant in the writing center.
From 2019-2020, Helen was an Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) graduate student fellow. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she will hold a Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship as well as a Gendell Family and Shiner Family Fund Fellowship through the Program in Jewish Culture and Society.
Her dissertation offers a contrapuntal study of Armenian American, Palestinian American, and American Indian/First Nations novels and memoirs and is tentatively titled "A Map of This Place: Memory and the Afterlives of Removal."
Memory, Trauma, and Genocide Studies; Diaspora, Transnational, and Migration Studies; Indigenous Studies and Settler Colonial Studies; Gender and Women's Studies; Armenian Literature (English, Armenian, French); Anglophone Arab Literature; American Indian/First Nations Literature
- M.A., English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- B.A., English major and Art minor, Westminster College
All courses below: Instructor on Record, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- 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")
- ENGL 101: Introduction to Poetry (Themed: "Memories, Witnesses, and Diasporas")
- RHET 105: Writing and Research (Themed: "Cultural and Technology Studies" and "Globalization")
- Graduate Teacher Certificate, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- Dr. Sandra J. Finley Teacher Scholar Certificate, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- "Connected Memoryscapes of Silence in Micheline Aharonian Marcom's Draining the Sea." Memory, Migration, and Modern Fiction, special issue of Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 66, no. 2, 2020, pp. 301-324.
- "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 vol. 26, 2017, pp. 62-81.
- "Rewriting Billie and Asserting Rhetorical Sovereignty in Linda Hogan’s Power." Studies in American Indian Literatures vol. 28, no. 4, 2016, pp. 80-110.
- "Armenian Coffee Houses, Cultural Knowledge, and Community: David Kherdian’s Homage to Adana." Westminster McNair Journal vol. 5, 2013, pp. 1-22.
“Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin: Palestinian Traumatic Memories and Postmemory Revisited.” American Fiction Since 1940, edited by Cyrus R.K. Patell and Deborah Lindsay Williams, The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Vol. 8. (forthcoming).
- "What Mnemonics Has Meant to Me on My Path to Finding My Intellectual Home in Academia." Days and Memory. 10 Feb. 2020. The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.
- "When Blank Walls Are Not Blank Walls After All: Professor Christina Maranci Discusses Medieval Armenian Wall Paintings." Center E-News. 19 Dec. 2019. Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center.
- "From Events 2017-18 to Setting up the April 24th Fund: A Reflection on Continuing to Create Space for Armenian Studies through HGMS." Days and Memory. 17 Oct. 2018. The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.
- "Witnessing Indigenous Studies as Ever Radical, Global, and Inter/national: On Professor Nick Estes's Talk for the Unit." Kritik. 5 Nov. 2018. Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory.
- "Roots, Routes, and Returns: Discovering an Effective Writing Process as a Graduate Writer." Grad Life. 30 May 2018. UIUC Graduate College.
- "Melissa Bilal Presents Research on Armenian Lullabies, Print Culture, and Remembrance Practices to the UIUC Campus Community." Days and Memory. 19 Jul. 2019. The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.
- "Reflections on 'Spaces of Remembering the Armenian Genocide Conference and Film Screening'." Days and Memory. 7 Aug. 2017. The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.
- "Helen Makhdoumian on Peter Balakian’s Visit." The Program in Jewish Culture and Society. 1 Aug. 2016.
- "'The Voice of Lemkin Could Be Heard Returning’: Implications of Tim Slade’s Destruction of Memory." Days and Memory. 5 Apr. 2018. The Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies.