Directed by Robert Joe Cutter, the School of International Letters and Cultures is organized into five language areas/faculties, which are headed by world-class faculty members.


Robert Joe Cutter, Director came to ASU in 2005 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he had been a professor of Chinese for 22 years. At UW he also served terms as chair of East Asian Languages and Literature and director of the Center for East Asian Studies. Cutter earned his PhD in Asian languages and literatures (Chinese) from the University of Washington in 1983. His research specialization is medieval China, and today he is a leading scholar in premodern Chinese literature and cultural history.


Juliann Vitullo, Associate Director, Administration's current research explores the rise of monetary economy and masculinity, particularly fatherhood, in early modern culture. She recently co-edited "Money, Morality, and Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe" (2010). Vitullo is a member of the French & Italian faculty.




Young Oh, Associate Director, Graduate Studies graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Ph.D. in Chinese linguistics after his M.A. degree in philosophy at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea. His research interests are in two areas: Sino-Korean comparative historical phonology and the cultural connection between China and Korea.



tuellerMichael Tueller, Associate Director, Undergraduate Studies received his B.A. from Harvard in 1992 and, after a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, completed Harvard's Ph.D. program in Classical Philology in 2003. He taught for five years at Brigham Young University; in 2008 he came to ASU, where he teaches courses in ancient Greek language and literature.



Faculty Heads 

Classics & Middle Eastern Letters and Cultures

tuellerMichael Tueller, Associate Professor, Classics received his B.A. from Harvard in 1992 and, after a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, completed Harvard's Ph.D. program in Classical Philology in 2003. He taught for five years at Brigham Young University; in 2008 he came to ASU, where he teaches courses in ancient Greek language and literature.



East & Southeast Asian Letters and Cultures

Anthony H. Chambers, Professor, Japanese is an internationally known scholar and translator of Japanese literature. He attended Pomona College, International Christian University (Tokyo), Stanford University, the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Study (Tokyo), and the University of Michigan, where he received his PhD under the direction of the late Edward Seidensticker. Chambers is particularly well-known for his studies of the novelist Tanizaki Jun'ichiro (1886-1965), including 'The Secret Window: Ideal Worlds in Tanizaki's Fiction' (Harvard, 1994); for his translations of Tanizaki's fiction, including 'Naomi' and 'The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi' (Knopf, 1985 and 1982); and studies and translations of several classical masterpieces, including Ueda Akinari's 1776 collection of gothic stories, 'Tales of Moonlight and Rain' (Columbia, 2007), for which he received the 2007 Japan-United States Friendship Commission Prize for the outstanding translation of classical Japanese literature.

French & Italian Letters and Cultures

Helene Ossipov, Associate Professor, French earned a BA in Russian literature from Queens College of CUNY, an MA in Russian Area Studies, an MA and PhD in French linguistics from Indiana University.  Her main area of interest is computer-assisted language learning and North American French. 



German, Romanian & Slavic Letters and Cultures

Ileana Orlich, President's Professor, Romanian is the Honorary Counsul General of Romania in Arizona and Director of Romania's Academic Lectorate of Romanian Studies at ASU. Orlich was born in Bucharest, Romania, and came to Arizona in 1975. After earning her doctorate in English and comparative literature, she was a lecturer in ASU’s Department of English before becoming an assistant professor in 1998, and a full professor of Romanian studies and comparative literature in 2005. Founder and director of the largest Romanian studies program in the United States, Orlich has been introducing students at ASU to a broad global perspective, and encouraging them to expand their world experience geographically, historically, linguistically and culturally for more than 25 years.


Spanish & Portuguese Letters and Cultures

Cynthia Tompkins, Professor, Spanish was born and raised in Argentina where she graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, with degrees in English language, literature and translation as well as Licenciada en Letras Modernas. As a recipient of Fulbright Fellowship and an Edwin Sparks Research Fellowship (1982-83), she pursued degrees (MA and PhD) in Comparative Literature at Penn State University. In addition to her latest book, “Experimental Latin American Cinema: History and Aesthetics” (2013), she authored “Latin American Postmodernisms: Women Writers and Experimentation” (2006) and co-authored a number of books on Latin America, including translations. Her work on Latin American film, women writers, feminism and cultural production has appeared in the most respected refereed journals.


Learning Support Services

Andrew Ross is Head of Learning Support Services, which provides technology-focused support for the teaching and learning of languages, cultures and literatures within the School of International Letters and Cultures.  He graduated from Washington State University with a BA in French and later earned an MA from the same institution, specializing in Late Medieval literature.  He completed his PhD at the University of California - Berkeley in French, and got his start in language technology at the Berkeley Language Center and the Mellon Foundation's Project 2001 at Middlebury College.  Ross came to ASU in 2010 from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where he was the Director of the Language Resource Center and Associate Director for Emerging Instructional Technologies.  In addition to supervising the operations of Learning Support Services, he is involved in the Hispanidades Project in collaboration with Columbia University and other institutions, and works on issues of culture and computer-mediated communications.