Department of English

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Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profile
David Kurnick

David Kurnick
Associate Professor of English

Murray Hall | Room 013
College Avenue Campus
Phone: (848) 932-7977

Office Hours: TBA

Professor Kurnick’s research and teaching focus on the history of the novel, narrative theory, sociology and literature, and sexuality and gender. He is the author of Empty Houses: Theatrical Failure and the Novel (Princeton, 2012). The book examines the theatrical ambitions of major novelists (William Makepeace Thackeray, George Eliot, Henry James, James Joyce, and James Baldwin) better known for their narrative explorations of domestic and psychological interiors, tracing the novelistic aftermath of these failed theatrical projects to claim that these writers’ pioneering narrative techniques for representing interiority grew out of a frustrated appetite for collectivity. The book argues that the novel, frequently taken as a proponent of inwardness, in fact prompts us to public ways of imagining the psyche, intimacy, and sexuality.

Professor Kurnick’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in ELH, PMLA, Raritan, Victorian Studies, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Victorian Literature and Culture, The Henry James Review, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Vol. 3: 1820-1880, and Literature Compass.
Education Areas of Specialization
PhD, Columbia University
M. Phil. Columbia University
AB, Harvard College

Victorian and modernist literature, the novel and narrative theory, gender and sexuality, sociology and literature.

Empty Houses
Other Publications
      Undergraduate Courses Taught Graduate Courses Taught
        • Genres of the City
        • Victorian Literature and Culture
        • Promiscuity and Fidelity in the Novel
        • Thinking Sexuality: Queer Theories
        • The Uses of History in Queer Culture
        • Principles of Literary Study: Introduction to Narrative
            • The Social Imagination of the Nineteenth-Century Novel
            • George Eliot
            • The Novel and Totality
            • Backgrounds to Contemporary Theory and Historical Method
              Awards and Distinctions Professional Memberships and Affiliations
              • Margaret Bundy Scott Visiting Professor, Williams College Department of English. Fall 2013
              • Faculty Fellow, “Formalisms," Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University, 2012-13.
              • Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, 2012
              • Faculty Fellow, “New Media Literacies,” Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers, 2008-09.
              • Columbia Society of Fellows, 2006-07.
              • Leon Edel Prize for best essay on Henry James by a beginning scholar, 2005.
              • W.M. Keck Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library, Pasadena, 2005.
              • Member, Modern Language Association
              • Member, North American Victorian Studies Association
              • Member, Northeast Victorian Studies Association
              • Member, Society for the Study of Narrative Literature
              • Member, American Literature Association
              • Member, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies
              • Member, Henry James Society
              Other Information of Interest
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