Marilyn Reizbaum

Harrison King McCann Professor of English, Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program

Teaching this semester

ENGL 2006. Getting Real : The Development of Literary Realism

Intermediate seminar.Examines the development of literary realism and brings it forward to consider current issues regarding authenticity and representational veracity. Extends beyond English letters to do so (US and UK), moving to works on the continent; and beyond the page to film, television, and the visual arts. In conjunction with the primary texts, studies the changing concept of realism through the theoretical debates that have surrounded the shifts, including the modernist critique of the real, the challenge to postmodernism, the demand for aesthetic and journalistic accountability, the contest between realism and satire. Intended to provide a focused entrée into the major and the discipline of literary study. Authors include Gustav Flaubert, Lorraine Hansberry, Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Frederick Wiseman, Gordon Parks, Ava DuVernay, Larry David, Stephen Colbert, Bruno Latour, and Jacques Derrida.

ENGL 2451/GSWS 2247. Modernism/Modernity

Examines the cruxes of the “modern,” and the term’s shift into a conceptual category rather than a temporal designation. Although not confined to a particular national or generic rubric, takes British and transatlantic works as a focus and includes fiction, poetry and visual art. Organized by movements or critical formations of the modern, i.e., modernisms, psychoanalysis, postmodernism, cultural critique, transnationalism. Readings of critical literature in conjunction with primary texts. Authors/directors/artists may include T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Langston Hughes, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Zadie Smith, J. M. Coetzee, Roberto Bolao, Man Ray, Stanley Kubrick.

Marilyn Reizbaum works in the areas of modernist studies, contemporary Scottish and Irish literatures and film, Jewish cultural studies, the history of ideas.  She has written widely on the work of James Joyce, and also about other modernist writers such as Djuna Barnes and Virginia Woolf. Her recent book project, Unfit: the Jewish Science of Modernism, considers the impact of degeneration theory authored by fin-de-siècle Jewish cultural critics on developments within historical modernism, with chapters on photography, fiction and film. Her current project is a monograph on Muriel Spark’s literary style, “The Art of Ridicule."

Teaching Areas
Modernism, Irish and Scottish literatures and film; James Joyce; Modern Drama and Performance Studies; Poetry, Modern British; Jewish literatures.

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  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.Litt., English Literature, University of Edinburgh

Recent Publications

“En-garde: Two Gallants," with Maud Ellmann in Collaborative Dubliners. Edited by: Vicky Mahaffey Syracuse University Press), 2012.

Urban Legends, Earrach/Samhradh Éire-Ireland - Volume 45:1&2, Spring/Summer 2010, pp. 242-265

“The Stranger Spark,” The Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark, Edited By: Michael Gardiner and Willy Maley, Edinburgh University Press, 2010

"Yiddish Modernisms: Red Emma Goldman," Modern Fiction Studies 51.2 (2005) 482-483

Max Nordau and the Generation of Jewish Muscle," in Jewish Culture and History 6.1 (Summer 2003): Special Issue "The Image of the Jew in European Liberal Culture, 1789-1914."

James Joyce's Judaic Other
Stanford University Press

Ulysses—En-Gendered Perspectives Eighteen New Essays on the Episodes
Edited by Kimberly J. Devlin and Marilyn Reizbaum
The University of South Carolina Press