Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English, The Pennsylvania State University


University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory (2002)

Dartmouth College, A.B. in High Honors English and French, Magna Cum Laude (1993)



  • Surrealism and the Art of Crime. Cornell University Press, 2008.
  • Paris, Modern Fiction, and the Black Atlantic. Co-edited with Jeremy Braddock. Modern Fiction Studies Book Series. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.
  • The Year’s Work in the Oddball Archive. Co-edited with Judith Roof. “The Year’s Work” Book Series. Indiana University Press, 2016.
  • Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde. Co-edited with Catriona McAra. Manchester University Press, 2017.
  • Nerds, Wonks, and Neo-Cons. Co-edited with Benjamin Schreier. Indiana University Press, 2017.

Books in Progress

  • Outsider Theory (under review).
  • The Great Surrealist Bargain Basement (in progress).

Edited Journal Issues

  • Special Issue Co-Editor, with Judith Roof, “Experimentalism,” ASAP/Journal 1:2 (Spring 2016).
  • Special Issue Editor, “The Avant-Garde at War,” Criticism (2015; appeared 2017).
  • Special Issue Co-Editor, with Andrew Epstein, “Poetry Games.” Comparative Literature Studies 51:1 (Winter 2014).
  • Special Issue Co-Editor, with Rita Felski, “What Is an Avant-Garde?” New Literary History 41:4 (Autumn 2010) (appeared 2011).
  • Special Section Co-Editor, with Kevin Bell, “Chester Himes, 1909-2009.” African American Review 45:2/3 (Summer/Fall 2009) (appeared 2011).
  • Special Issue Co-Editor, with Jeremy Braddock, “Paris, Modern Fiction, and the Black Atlantic.” Modern Fiction Studies 51:4 (Winter 2005).

Journal Articles



  • “Dante, Bruno, Vico, S.Nob: The Wake in Mexico,” James Joyce Quarterly. Special issue on “Joycean Avant-Gardes,” edited by Catherine Flynn and Richard Brown (forthcoming).
  • “Sztuka outsiderska / teoria outsiderska” [Outsider Art/Outsider Theory], translated by Marcin Napiórkowski. Kultura Współczesna 3:87 (2015), 84-96.
  • “The Terror of Being Destroyed,” Critical Philosophies of Race. Special Issue on James Baldwin and Philosophy, ed. John Drabinski and Grant Farred. 3:2 (2015), 259-283.
  • “Garveyism and its Involutions,” African American Review 47:1 (Spring 2014), 1-19.
  • “Leonora Carrington et la connaissance universelle,” Mélusine 33 (2013), 231-233.
  • “Breton’s Wall, Carrington’s Kitchen: Surrealism and the Archive,” Intermédialités: Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques. n° 18, automne 2011 (appeared 2012), 17-43.
  • “Leonora Carrington, Mexico, and the Culture of Death,” Journal of Surrealism and the Americas. Special Issue on Surrealism and Women, ed. Katharine Conley. 7-8 (Spring 2011), 19-32.
  • “‘A Work Whose Importance Still Escapes Us’: Joyce After Surrealism,” Journal of Modern Literature 34: 2 (Winter 2011), 139-153.
  • “Anti-Menckenism: Nathanael West, Robert M. Coates, and the Provisional Avant-Garde,” Modern Fiction Studies 56:3 (2010), 518-543.
  • “The Chef-Drive: Cooking Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: Sites 14:2 (March 2010), 179-187.
  • “The Future of Irrevolution: Surrealism and Mediation in the 1950s,” Contemporary French Civilization 34:2 (Spring 2010), 67-90.
  • “Adoptive Affinities: Josephine Baker’s Humanist International,” S&F Online, special issue on Josephine Baker, ed. Kaiama Glover. 6.2-6.3: Fall 2007/Spring 2008.
  • “Anti-Humanism and Terror: Surrealism, Theory, and the Postwar Left” Yale French Studies 109 (2006), 39-51.
  • “The Transatlantic Mysteries of Paris: Chester Himes, Surrealism, and the Série NoirePMLA 120: 3 (May 2005), 806-821.
  • “Violette Nozières et la réécriture alchimique du viol,” Pleine Marge 40 (December 2004), 61-77.
  • “Chandler’s Waste Land,” Studies in the Novel 35: 3 (Fall 2003), 366-382.
  • “That Obscure Object of Revolt: Heraclitus, Surrealism’s Lightning-Conductor,” Symploke 8: 1-2 (Spring 2000), 180-204.
  • “Trafficking in the Void: The Consumption of Otherness in the Beat Generation.” Modern Fiction Studies 43:1 (Spring 1997), 53-92.

Book Chapters, Editorial Introductions, and Other Contributions

  • Consulting Editor, Encyclopedia of Surrealism, Volumes I, II, III, edited by Dawn Ades, Krzyzstof Fijalkowski, Steven Harris, Michael Richardson, and Georges Sebbag. Bloomsbury (in progress; forthcoming 2018).
  • “Introduction: Working in and on Nerds, Wonks, and Neo-Cons, This Year and to Come,” with Benjamin Schreier. The Year’s Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neo-Cons. Indiana UP (May 2017).
  • “Introduction: The Avant-Garde at War,” Criticism 51:4 (2015), appeared 2017.
  • “Introduction: Cygenetics of Experimentalism,” with Judith Roof. ASAP/Journal 1:2 (May 2016), 169-181.
  • “Bargain-Basement Thought,” Against Value in the Arts and Education, ed. Sam Ladkin, Robert McKay and Emile Bojesen. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), 97-112.
  • “Postmodern Precursors,” The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern American Fiction, ed. Paula Geyh. Cambridge UP (forthcoming 2017).
  • Introduction, Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde, ed. Jonathan P. Eburne and Catriona McAra. Manchester University Press (2017), 1-16.
  • “Poetic Wisdom: Leonora Carrington and the Esoteric Avant-Garde,” in Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde, ed. Eburne and McAra. Manchester University Press (2017).1-16
  • “Surrealism and the Dialectic,” Surrealism: Key Concepts. Ed. Kryzsztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson. (London: Acumen/Routledge, 2016), 141-162.
  • “Crime/Insurrection,” The Blackwell Companion to Dada and Surrealism. Ed. David Hopkins (London: Wiley, 2016) , 258-269.
  • “History of the Collection,” with Judith Roof. This Year’s Work in the Oddball Archive, ed. Jonathan Eburne and Judith Roof. (Indiana UP, 2016), ix-xxi.
  • “Fish Kit,” This Year’s Work in the Oddball Archive, ed. Jonathan Eburne and Judith Roof. (Indiana UP, 2016), 179-212.
  • “Savage Balm: Claude Cahun and Lise Deharme,” Intersections: Women Artists/ Surrealism/ Modernism. Ed. Patricia Allmer. (Manchester UP, 2016), 69-90.
  • “Approximate Life: The Cybernetic Adventures of Monsieur Wzz…,” Surrealism, Comics, and Science Fiction, ed. Gavin Parkinson. (Liverpool UP, 2015), 62-81.
  • “Dada, Futurism, and Raymond Roussel,” 1922: Literature, Culture, Politics, ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté. (Cambridge UP, 2015), 128-144.
  • “Introduction: Poetry Games,” with Andrew Epstein. Comparative Literature Studies 51:1 (Winter 2014), 1-17.
  • “Zombie Arts and Letters,” This Year’s Work at the Zombie Research Center, ed. Edward Comentale and Aaron Jaffe. (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2014), 389-415.
  • “Comme une érosion unique” : les provocations d’Infra-noir,Surréalisme de Bucharest, ed. Monique Yaari. (Collection Pleine Marge/ Peter Lang, 2014), 33-45.
  • “Surrealism,” The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Fourth Edition. (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2012), 1377-1380.
  • “Noir Fiction,” The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Fiction, ed. Patrick O’Donnell, David Madden, and Justus Nieland. (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 739- 743.
  • “Introduction: What is an Avant-Garde?” with Rita Felski. New Literary History 41:4 (Autumn 2010), v-xv.
  • “Introduction: Chester Himes, 1909-2009,” with Kevin Bell. African American Review 45:2/3 (Summer/Fall 2009) (appeared 2011), 225-231.
  • “Misère de la pornographie: Du surréalisme à l’écriture féminine.” Plaisir, souffrance et sublimation, ed. Jean-Michel Devesa. (Bordeaux: Pleine Page, 2008), 123-132.
  • “Locked Room, Bloody Chamber,” Surrealism: Crossings/Frontiers, ed. Elza Adamowitz (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2006), 133-150.
  • “On Murder, Considered As One of the Surrealist Arts: Robert Desnos in the Shadow of Jack the Ripper,” Surrealism in the New Century: Celebrating Robert Desnos, eds. Marie-Claire Barnet and Eric Robertson (Dublin: Philomel Press, 2006), 187-202.
  • “Paris, Capital of the Black Atlantic,” Introduction to “Paris, Modern Fiction, and the Black Atlantic,” with Jeremy Braddock. Modern Fiction Studies 51:4 (Winter 2005), 731-740.
  • Assistant Editor, with Mary Ann Caws, Surrealism, Themes and Movements (London: Phaidon, 2004).
  • “Surrealism Noir,” Surrealism, Politics, and Culture, ed. Raymond Spiteri and Donald LaCoss (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press, 2003), 91-110.
  • “The Cheerless Art of Industry: Marcel Duchamp and the Smithee Readymade,” Directed By Allen Smithee, ed. Jeremy Braddock and Stephen Hock (Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 2001), 229-247.

Review Essays

Review Essay: George Baker, The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris (MIT, 2007); Gen Doy, Claude Cahun: A Sensual Politics of Photography (IB Tauris, 2007); David Hopkins, Dada’s Boys: Masculinity After Duchamp (Yale UP, 2007); Natalya Lusty, Surrealism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Ashgate, 2007); Amy Lyford, Surrealist Masculinities: Gender Anxiety and the Aesthetics of Post-World War I Reconstruction in France (U California P, 2007); Ian Walker, So Exotic, So Homemade: Surrealism, Englishness and Documentary Photography (Manchester UP, 2007). In History of Photography 34:1 (February 2010), 101-108.

Review Essay: “Object Lessons: Surrealist Art, Surrealist Politics.” Texts Reviewed: Steven Harris, Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930s: Art, Politics, and the Psyche (Cambridge UP, 2004); Johanna Malt, Obscure Objects of Desire: Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics (Oxford UP, 2004); David Bate, Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism, and Social Dissent (I.B. Tauris, 2004), and Jean Clair, Du surréalisme considéré dans ses rapports au totalitarianisme et aux tables tournantes (Mille et une nuits, 2003). In Modernism/ Modernity 12.1 (2005), 175-181.

Review Essay: The Edges of Surrealism.” Texts reviewed: Katharine Conley, Robert Desnos, Surrealism, and the Marvelous in Everyday Life (Nebraska UP, 2003); Claudine Frank, ed., The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader (Duke UP, 2003); and Eric Zafran, Surrealism and Modernism (Yale UP, 2003), in Journal of Modern Literature 26: 3/4 (Spring 2004), 148-153.

Review Essay, Dalia Judovitz, Unpacking Duchamp: Art in Transit (U California P, 1998); and David Joselit, Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910-1941 (MIT Press, 1998). In Other Voices 1:2 (September 1998).


Philippe Sers, Kandinsky at the Heart of Modernity. Translated with Aurélie Matheron and Anna Navrotskaya. Thames & Hudson, 2016.

Michel Wieviorka, “A Critique of Europe,” in New Literary History 43:4 (Autumn 2012), 687-702.

Philippe Sers, “The Radical Avant-Garde and the Contemporary Avant-Garde,” in New Literary History 41:4 (Autumn 2010), 847-854.

Robert Desnos, “The Third Manifesto of Surrealism,” “A Description of the Next Revolt,” and “Modern Imagery,” The Essential Writings of Robert Desnos, ed. Mary Ann Caws. Boston: Black Widow Press (2008), 58-73.

Michel Fabre, “René, Louis, and Léopold: Senghorian Negritude as a Black Humanism,” with Randall Cherry. Modern Fiction Studies 51:4 (Winter 2005).

Louis Aragon, “A Note on Freedom” (1925); René Char, “Untitled [Violette Nozières]” (1933); René Crevel, “Response to an Inquiry on Suicide” (1925) and “Notes toward a Psycho-Dialectic” (1933); Maurice Heine, “An Open Letter to Luis Buñuel” (1931); André Masson, “The Tyrrany of Time” (1926); Pierre Naville, “Fine Arts” (1925); Benjamin Péret, “Untitled [Violette Nozières]” (1933). In Surrealism, ed. Mary Ann Caws (London: Phaidon Press, 2004).


  • Word of the Year: Surreal.” Los Angeles Review of Books Blog, December 31, 2016. Online.
  • “A Little Brass Treasury of Hate Poems.” Avidly. July 15, 2015. Online.
  • “Monad (for Bob Brown.” In Bob Brown, 1450-1950, ed. Craig Saper. (Roving Eye Press, 2015), xiii.
  • “Palace Art Squat.” The Brooklyn Rail. November 5, 2014. Online.
  • “He Has His Tools and Chemicals: A David Lynch Retrospective.” The Los Angeles Review of Books. October 8, 2014. Online.
  • “A Pleasure to Burn.” The Los Angeles Review of Books. April 30, 2014. Online.
  • With Matthew Hart and Aaron Jaffe, “An Interview with Tom McCarthy.” Contemporary Literature 54:4 (December 2013), 657-682.
  • “Dildo Cay,” in “Very Bad Books.” American Book Review 31:2 (January/February 2010), 5.


  •    Review of Ara Merjian, Giorgio de Chirico and the Metaphysical City: Nietzsche, Modernism, Paris (Yale UP, 2014), in Modernism/modernity. 23:1 (January 2016), 249-251.
  •    Review of Roger Lockhurst, The Mummy’s Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy (Oxford UP, 2012), in Textual Practice. (April 2014); online.
  • With Aaron Jaffe, review of David L. Martin, Curious Visions of Modernity: Enchantment, Magic, and the Sacred (MIT, 2011), in Criticism 51:4 (2015), appeared 2017.
  • Review of Pim Higginson, The Noir Atlantic: Chester Himes and the Birth of the Francophone African Crime Novel. (Liverpool UP, 2011), in CLS: Compative Literature Studies 50:4 (2013); online.
  • Review of Richard D. Sonn, Sex, Violence, and the Avant-Garde: Anarchism in Interwar France. (Pennsylvania State UP, 2010), in The American Historical Review 116:5 (December 2011), 1579-1580.
  • “Surrealist Photography and the Inner Life of Paris.” Review of Therese Lichtenstein, ed. Twilight Visions: Surrealism and Paris (U. California Press, 2009), in H-Urban (March 2011). Web.
  • Review of Leonard Cassuto, Hard-Boiled Sentimentality (Columbia, 2008) in Modern Fiction Studies 57:1 (Spring 2011), 154-158.
  • Review of Mark Antliff, Avant-Garde Fascism: The Mobilization of Myth, Art, and Culture in France 1909-1939 (Duke, 2007), in The Canadian Journal of History 45:1(Spring/Summer 2010), 136-138.
  • Review of Nancy Grace, Jack Kerouac and the Literary Imagination (Palgrave, 2007) and Michael Hrebeniak, Action Writing: Jack Kerouac’s Wild Form (Southern Illinois, 2006), in Studies in the Novel 41:3 (Fall 2009), 384-387.
  • Review of Haim Finkelstein, The Screen in Surrealist Art and Thought (Ashgate, 2007), in Symploke 16:1-2 (2008), 389-391.
  • “Modernism’s Weird Sisters.” Review of Christine Coffman, Insane Passions: Lesbianism and Psychosis in Literature and Film (Wesleyan UP, 2006), in Journal of Modern Literature 32: 3 (Spring 2009), 176-178.
  • Review of Isabelle Casta, Nouvelles mythologies de la mort (Honoré Champion, 2006), in Rivista di letterature moderne e comparate 61: 4 (2008), 503-505.
  • Review of Grant Farred, Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football (Temple UP, 2007), in The Center Daily Times (October 12, 2008), 4.
  • Review of Michael Sheringham, Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present (Oxford UP, 2006), in CLS: Comparative Literature Studies 45:3 (Fall 2008), 396-398.
  • Review of Willard Bohn, Marvelous Encounters: Surrealist Responses to Film, Art, Poetry, and Architecture (Bucknell UP, 2005), in The French Review 81:6 (Spring 2008), 1273.
  • Review of Caroline Rupprecht. Subject to Delusions: Narcissism, Modernism, Gender (Northwestern UP, 2006), in German Quarterly 80:4 (Fall 2007), 556-558.
  • Review of Dafydd Jones, ed. Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde (Rodopi, 2006), in Symploke 14:1-2 (2006, appeared 2007): 344-346.
  • Review of Susan Aberth, Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy, and Art (Lund Humphries, 2004) in Papers of Surrealism 5 (Spring 2007).
  • Review of John Cullen Gruesser, Confluences: Postcolonialism, African American Literature Studies, and the Black Atlantic (Georgia UP, 2005) in Modern Fiction Studies 52:3 (2006), 748-752.


Director, The Modern and Contemporary Studies Initiative at Penn State (MCSI), Fall 2016-

Research Group Member, “Polish Vernacular Culture in Comparative Perspective: Memory, Imagination and Practices of Resistance.” Sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Marcin Napiórkowski, University of Warsaw, Principal Investigator. 2014-2017

International Research Network Member, “Americans in Paris.” Sponsored by the Sussex Centre for American Studies, co-directed by Daniel Kane, Katharina Rietzler, and Natalia Cecire.


Founding Co-Editor (with Amy Elias), ASAP-Journal, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press (2016- ).

Past President of ASAP: Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (2015-2016 and 2016-2017 (acting)); also President (2014-2015) Vice-President (2013-2014), Second Vice-President (2012-2013).

Book Series Editor, “Refiguring Modernism,” The Pennsylvania University Press (2013-); Co-editor (2012).

President, Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism (2013-); Co-President (2009- 2013).

Director of Graduate Studies, Dept. of Comparative Literature (2012- 2015).

Coordinator of weekly Comparative Literature lecture series (2015-) and (2005-2010); co-organizer Fall 2005.

Legacy Committee, The Kurt Seligmann Center, Orange County NY (2015-)

Advisory Editor, Journal of Modern Literature (2013-)

Member of Editorial Board, Modern Fiction Studies (2013-)

Member of Editorial Board, Comparative Literature Studies (2011-).

Member of Editorial Board, Dada/Surrealism (2010-).

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Surrealism and the Americas (2013-).

Member of Editorial Advisory Committee, The Space Between (2011-).

Planning committee, ASAP: Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (2007-2009).

Member, Advisory Board, Penn State Center for American Literary Study (CALS) (2010-)

Co-applicant, with Emily Robins Sharpe, “Editing Modernism in Canada” (2010-2).

Co-organizer, with Gabeba Baderoon, the Arts in Public Life project at Penn State (2008-2010).

Graduate Committee, Dept. of Comparative Literature (2006-2010; 2011-); Promotion and Tenure Committee (2012- ); Policy Committee (2007-9).

Graduate Job Placement officer, Comparative Literature Department, (2008-2010 ); Asst. placement officer, English Department (2005-7).

Search Committee for position in African and Comparative Literature (2006, 2007, 2008); Arabic and Comparative Literature (2015) .

Faculty advisor, International Languages & Literatures Graduate Organization (2009-).




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