Rutgers English

Faculty Profile
FullSizeRender 3Jeffrey Lawrence

Jeffrey Lawrence
Assistant Professor of English

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Murray Hall | Room 007
College Ave Campus

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 11am - 12pm and by appointment
P: (848) 932-7371

Curriculum VitaeCurriculum Vitae
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Jeffrey Lawrence’s research and teaching focus on 20th- and 21st-century American literature and culture and Latin American/Hemispheric Studies.  His first book, Anxieties of Experience: The Literatures of the Americas from Whitman to Bolaño (forthcoming, Oxford University Press), studies the centrality of discourses about experience and reading in modern and contemporary US and Latin American literature. Revisiting longstanding debates in the hemisphere about whether the source of authority for New World literature arises from an author's contact with American places and peoples or through a creative (mis)reading of existing traditions, the book charts a widening disparity in how writers in the US and Latin American fields defined their literary authority beginning in the early twentieth century.  The book traces the rise of an aesthetics of experience in the United States in the 1920's and 1930's across literary modernism and pragmatist philosophy, paying particular attention to how Latin America increasingly figured as a new "field of experience" for US writers such as Katherine Anne Porter, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, and Waldo Frank.  At the same time, the book argues that a strong anti-experiential discourse of writing-as-reading emerged in the works of Latin American writers of the period in part as a means of challenging, undermining, and revising this dominant US literary strain. Anxieties of Experience reconstructs the circuit of these discourses from their prehistory in the nineteenth century to their development in post-1945 works by Toni Morrison, Roberto Bolaño, Ricardo Piglia, Francisco Goldman, and Cristina Rivera Garza.

Professor Lawrence’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from American Literary History, Twentieth-Century Literature, Variaciones Borges, The IC Scientific Journal of Information and Communication, Pensamiento de los confines, Tropics of Meta, and The Huffington Post.  His translation of Andrés Neuman’s How to Travel Without Seeing appeared in 2016.  He is also a founding contributor to the online blog of literary reviews El Roommate: colectivo de lectores.

Education Areas of Specialization
PhD Comparative Literature, Princeton University, 2014.
BA Spanish, Amherst College, 2007.
20th- and 21st-century American literature and culture, Latin American/Hemispheric Studies
Books Published
Anxieties of Experience: The Literatures of the Americas from Whitman to Bolaño. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017. Oxford Studies in American Literary History.
Other Publications
  • "Why She Wrote about Mexico: Katherine Anne Porter and the Literature of Experience." Twentieth-Century Literature, forthcoming 2017.
  • “‘I Read Even the Scraps of Paper I Find on the Street:’ A Thesis on the Contemporary Literatures of the Americas.” American Literary History 26.3 (2014): 536-558.
  • “The International Roots of the 99%,” IC Scientific Journal of Information and Communication, 10 (2013): 53-72.
  • “El viajero y el lector: Waldo Frank, Jorge Luis Borges, y la disputa por la América whitmaniana,” Pensamiento de los confines30 (Summer 2013): 204-214.
  • “An American History of Infamy,” Variaciones Borges 31.1 (2011), 160-179.
 Undergraduate Courses Taught  
  • American Postmodernism: Fiction, Theory and Film
  • Social Movements and American Literature after 1945
  • Roberto Bolaño and the Genres of the Americas


 Graduate Courses Taught  
  • Culture in Movement: Post-45 Literature and Culture


Awards and Distinctions

  • International Association of Inter-American Studies prize for the best dissertation in Inter-American Studies for 2013/4.
  • Princeton Institute for International Relations Dissertation Fellowship (2012-3)
Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • Modern Language Association
  • Modernist Studies Association
  • Society for U.S. Intellectual History
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • Katherine Anne Porter Society
  • Percival Everett International Society