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Alison Howard is a doctoral candidate in the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. Her dissertation, entitled "'Une réalité plus réelle que le réel': The Persistence of Myth in Postwar French and Italian Fiction," seeks to rehabilitate myth as an ethically valid form of political engagement in postwar Europe. Contradicting the reception of myth as either escapist fantasy or propaganda, she argues that Georges Bataille and Claude Simon in France, and Cesare Pavese and Elsa Morante in Italy, mobilized myth as a means of productively restructuring the chaos of World War II in order to overcome its paralyzing illegibility. Her research and teaching interests include twentieth-century French and Italian literature; representations of war; French and Italian cinema; postwar intellectual history; adaptations of myth; and literary theory.