Rebecca L. Walkowitz is Associate Professor in the English Department and an affiliate faculty member in the Comparative Literature Program at Rutgers University. She was recently elected Second Vice President of the Modernist Studies Association and will serve as President in 2014-2015.
Walkowitz's research focuses on the intersections between cosmopolitan aspirations and modernist aesthetics, and on transnational approaches to literary history. Her first book, Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation (Columbia UP, 2006), showed that new theories of cosmopolitanism, whose champions in philosophy, literary criticism, and anthropology had resisted associations with aesthetic practices, are in fact crucially shaped by the history of literary modernism. Cosmopolitan Style was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2008 Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative.
Walkowitz has published widely in the fields of modernist studies, twentieth-century British literature, the contemporary novel, and world literature. Her most recent essay is “Why Transnational Modernism Can't Be All in One Language,” which appeared in English Language Notes in 2011. She is the editor or coeditor of seven books, including Immigrant Fictions: Contemporary Literature in an Age of Globalization (2007), Bad Modernisms (2006, with Douglas Mao), and The Turn to Ethics (with Marjorie Garber and Beatrice Hanssen, 2000). From 2008-2012, she was an editor of the journal Contemporary Literature. She has served on the advisory board of the American Comparative Literature Association and as trustee and Program Chair of the Modernist Studies Association. At Rutgers, Walkowitz runs a seminar series on Modernism & Globalization.
Since 2006, Walkowitz has published six essays related to a new book project entitled “Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature.” One of those essays, on world literature and contemporary fiction, was recently translated into Danish. In addition to “Born Translated,” Walkowitz is developing “Global Modernism: Towards a New Lexicon,” an anthology of experimental essays on the conjunction of modernist studies and world literature. She is editing that project with Eric Hayot. With Sarah Cole at Columbia, she is co-organizer of the NYNJ Modernism Seminar.
Walkowitz is also co-editor, with Matthew Hart (Columbia University) and David James (University of London, Queen Mary), of Literature Now, a book series published by Columbia University Press. Literature Now gathers ambitious books that focus on the literature of “now” while considering what counts, now, as “literature.” It will be the first-ever book series to welcome studies of contemporary literature that are transnational and comparative as well as national and regional in approach.
Professor Walkowitz is the recipient of several major national and university fellowships, including a Marshall Scholarship, a Javits Fellowship, an ACLS Fellowship, a National Humanties Center Fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, and three teaching prizes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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On leave in 2012-2013.