Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literature
Alison James’s field of research is twentieth and twenty-first century French literature, with a particular focus on postwar experimental writing (both poetry and prose), the Oulipo group, representations of everyday life, and connections between literature and philosophy. Her book Constraining Chance: Georges Perec and the Oulipo (Northwestern University Press, 2009) considers Perec’s use of formal and semantic constraints both as a spur to literary inspiration and as a means of exploring the tension between chance and determinism, fate and human agency. Her current book project examines documentary tendencies in modern and contemporary French literature. In the area of poetry and poetics, she has recently published articles on the contemporary French poet Jacques Roubaud, conceptions of form in French and American avant-garde poetics, and the philosopher Jacques Rancière’s approach to 19th-century French poetry. Her teaching at the University of Chicago includes courses on the literary avant-garde and on encounters between poetry and philosophy in postwar France.
Professor of Classics
Mark Payne is Professor in the Department of Classics, the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, and the College. He is the author of numerous articles on Greek poetry and its reception, from Romanticism to the present. His first book, Theocritus and the Invention of Fiction, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. His second book, The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2010 and received the 2011 Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. He has taught classes on Greek and Roman poetry, Wordsworth (with Wendy Olmsted), and postwar French avant-garde poetry (with Alison James), as well as directed readings on the animal poetry of modernism. This spring he will teach a class on Hölderlin and the Greeks with Christopher Wild from the department of Germanic Studies.
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature
Boris Rodin Maslov specializes in Archaic Greek poetry and its modern reception, Russian literature, and theories of comparative literature. He is interested in historical and sociological approaches to poetics, and offers classes and seminars on Russian Formalism, Bakhtin, lyric genres, and comparative metrics. He is currently preparing a monograph entitled Pindar and the Emergence of the Literary.
Assistant Professor of Classics
Sarah Nooter (Ph.D. Columbia University, 2008) is the author of When Heroes Sing: Sophocles and the Shifting Soundscape of Tragedy (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which examines lyricism in the voice of Sophocles’ heroes. Her interests include poetry in drama, ancient Greek lyric poetry, and contemporary poetry, as well as their intersection in translations and adaptations. She is currently working on a project that examines aural aesthetics in Aeschylus and Greek lyric poetry.
Associate Professor of English
Professor of Comparative Literature
Haun Saussy writes on various kinds of poetry: Chinese classical poetry, Imagist verse, translation into and out of English, Baudelaire, oral epic, Caribbean lyric. Some of this has been published in the following forms: The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic, about the early poetic collection Shi jing; The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound, critical edition edited with Jonathan Stalling and Lucas Klein; the introduction to Timothy Billings and Chris Bush, trs., Victor Segalen: Stèles; "Death and Translation" (Representations); and translations from the Haitian poets René Depestre, René Bélance and Jean Métellus. He teaches in the department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on Social Thought, and the department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and keeps an eye out for poetic events on the south side of Chicago.
Associate Professor of English
Jennifer Scappettone is a poet, translator, and scholar, whose interests in poetics include the relations between poetry, music, dance, architecture, new media, and the visual arts; polylingualism and untranslatability; lyric historiography; transnational currents in modernism and postmodernism; collaboration, literary collectivity, and other complications of Iness; cross-genre writing, and the rigorous convergence of research and practice. She is the author of the poetry collection From Dame Quickly (Litmus, 2009) and of several chapbooks, including Thing Ode / Ode oggettuale (La Camera Verde, 2008), translated into Italian in dialogue with Marco Giovenale. Exit 43, a poetic archaeology of the landfill and opera of pop-up pastorals, is in progress for Atelos Press, with a letterpress fragment, A Chorus Fosse, forthcoming from Compline. She edited and translated the trilingual oeuvre of Amelia Rosselli to produce Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), which won the Academy of American Poets' biennial Raiziss/De Palchi Book Prize. She also edited Belladonna Elders Series #5: Poetry, Landscape, Apocalypse (Belladonna, 2009), and a special feature on contemporary experimental Italian poetry for Aufgabe 7 (2008). Recent poetry, writings on poetics, and translations appear in Abitare, Blackbox Manifold, Critical Inquiry, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale (Routledge, 2013). Recent collaborations include sonic performances of Exit 43 with the Difforme Ensemble; digital archaeologies with Judd Morrissey; scores and libretti for the performance work PARK, directed and choreographed by Kathy Westwater and presented in sites such as Dance Theater Workshop/NY Live Arts, Pratt Institute, and Fresh Kills Landfill; and sound pieces for X Locus, installations at the American Academy in Rome designed with AGENCY Architecture and composer Paul Rudy. Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice, Scappettone’s study of the premodern city as a crucible for twentieth-century experiments across literature, politics, the visual arts, architecture, and urbanism, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Her latest book project on dreams of a transnational language in poetry after World War II was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in 2010-11, and by an NEH summer seminar grant to study contemporary Brazilian literature.
Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor
Rosanna Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are Departure (2003) and Ghost in a Red Hat (2011). She is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, The American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New England Poetry Club, among others. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor of Practice in the Arts
John Wilkinson is Chair of the Committee on Creative Writing, and a Professor of Practice on the Arts in the Department of English and the College. Before coming to the United States in 2005 he worked in mental health services in London. As well as numerous chapbooks he has published eight major collections of poetry, the most recent being Reckitt’s Blue (Seagull Books 2013). His selected poems, The Universal Thicket, will be published in 2014. A collection of critical essays, The Lyric Touch, was published in 2007. Subsequently he has published papers on George Oppen, Barbara Guest, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, J.H. Prynne and A.R. Ammons. Currently he is working on W.S. Graham, the painting of Roger Hilton and other St Ives artists, abstraction and temporality. He is also editing a special issue of Critical Quarterly on Game of Thrones. In Fall 2013 John Wilkinson is teaching a course on British Poetry of the Long 1930s, and a Beginning Poetry course for Creative Writing.
Associate Professor of Classics
David Wray (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1996) is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and the College and Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. He is the author of Catullus and the Poetics of Roman Manhood (Cambridge 2001) and is currently writing Phaedra's Virtue: Ethics, Gender, and Seneca's Tragedy. His research and teaching interests include Hellenistic and Roman poetry (especially Apollonius Rhodius, Catullus, Lucretius, Virgil, Tibullus, Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, and Statius); Greek epic and tragedy; Roman philosophy; ancient and modern relations between literature and philosophy; gender; theory and practice of literary translation; and the reception of Greco-Roman thought and literature, from Shakespeare and Corneille to Pound and Zukofsky.
Ferdinand Schevill Distinguished Service Professor
Adam Zagajewski was born in 1945 in Lvov (now in Ukraine) and grew up in Gliwice, Poland. Since 1982, he has lived in Paris. In 2002, he returned to Krakow. In Paris, Zagajewski joined the editorial board of the exile literary magazine “Zeszyty Literackie.” In the spring of 1988 he began teaching one semester a year at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. In 2007 he became a member of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago where he teaches one quarter per year. Zagakewski has published several volumes of poems and essays translated into many languages. He recently published Unseen Hand, a collection of poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011).