In December 1996 the Clara and Robert Vambery Fund was established to honor the memory of Clara Vambery and the significant achievements of Robert Vambery, the dramaturge for the original production of Bertoldt Brecht’s Three Penny Opera, who made substantial contributions to the history of German drama and had an abiding interest in the use of music in the theater. The Clara and Robert Vambery Fund provides for appointment of a Clara and Robert Vambery Distinguished Professor of Comparative Studies.

Faculty recipients of the Clara and Robert Vambery Distinguished Professor of Comparative Studies are selected on the basis of demonstrated work in European and American comparative literary studies in print, in film, or in other newly discovered technological forms. Those candidates selected for the Vambery Distinguished Professorship who propose projects involving digital media are eligible to become MITH Vambery Fellows and receive MITH workspace and consultation.


Affiliates of the Program in Comparative Literature, and Core Faculty Members are eligible to apply for the Vambery Award. Winners of the Vambery Professorship may not reapply for three years after having won the award. In other words, it is only possible to be named a Vambery Distinguished Professor once every four years.

Selection Process

The Vambery Distinguished Professor will be selected every spring by a committee of three: The Director of Graduate Studies of Comparative Literature, and the two Vambery Distinguished Professors immediately preceding the current cycle. Calls for applications will be issued through the Comparative Literature


The 2016-17 Vambery Fellow is Ryan Long. Past MITH Vambery Fellows include Silvia MejiaHester Baer, and Oliver Gaycken.