Faculty Profile
Rebecca L. Walkowitz

Rebecca L. Walkowitz
Associate Professor of English
Director of Graduate Studies

Murray Hall | Room 117
College Avenue Campus

Phone: (848) 932-7674

Office Hours: By appointment.

Curriculum VitaeCurriculum Vitae
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Professor Walkowitz has published widely in the fields of modernist studies, twentieth-century British fiction, the contemporary novel, and world literature. She is President of the Modernist Studies Association. Her research focuses on the translation and global circulation of modernist and contemporary fiction, and on transnational approaches to literary history.

Her new book, Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature, will be published by Columbia University Press in June 2015. As Walkowitz shows, many contemporary novels do not simply appear in translation. They have been written for translation from the start. Born Translated will be the first monograph to consider how the idea of world literature, as a network of multilingual editions and audiences, has changed the aesthetic strategies and formal dimensions of contemporary writing. It engages with recent theories of world literature but rethinks some of the foundational assumptions of that project.

Walkowitz’s first book, Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation (2006), was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2008 Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative.  She is also editor or coeditor of several other books, including Bad Modernisms (2006, with Douglas Mao), Immigrant Fictions (2007), and The Turn to Ethics (2000, with Marjorie Garber and Beatrice Hanssen). 

She is currently writing several essays that consider how the expansive circulation of contemporary literature alters the fundamental concepts as well as the organization of literary history.  Related to this, she is in the final stages of editing, with Eric Hayot, a volume of experimental essays by leading scholars in the fields of world literature and modernist studies.  That volume, titled A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism, shows how the intellectual paradigms we’ve long associated with modernism are transformed, and how new paradigms emerge, when modernism’s archive extends beyond the European center.  It also explores how our methodologies change when we approach modernism comparatively and when we draw out modernism’s own engagement with ideas of the world. With Matthew Hart (Columbia University) and David James (Queen Mary, University of London), Walkowitz is editor of “Literature Now,” a book series published by Columbia University Press.

Walkowitz serves as First Vice President of the Modernist Studies Association, and will ascend to President in November 2014.  She has served as an editor of the journal Contemporary Literature (2008-2012), as Program Chair of the Modernist Studies Association (2008-2011), as Publications Chair of the American Comparative Literature Association (2009-2012); and as Chair of the MLA Divisions on Prose Fiction and on Twentieth-Century English Literature (2013 and 2007). 
At Rutgers, Professor Walkowitz runs a seminar series on Modernism & Globalization.  She is also organizer and founder, with Sarah Cole of Columbia University, of the NYNJ Modernism Seminar.

At Rutgers, Walkowitz teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on violence and art in the twentieth-century novel; the post-1945 British novel from Lamming to Sebald; Joyce’s Ulysses and its legacies; the contemporary novel in an age of world literature; and critical and uncritical reading.  Since 2000, Walkowitz has supervised 15 Ph.D. dissertations.  Recent placements include tenure-track jobs at Duke University, Ohio University, the University of Toronto, and Wellesley College.

Walkowitz is the recipient of several major national and university fellowships, including a Marshall Scholarship, a Javits Fellowship, an ACLS Fellowship, a National Humanities Center Fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, and three teaching prizes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Education Areas of Specialization
PhD, Harvard University
M. Phil., University of Sussex
AB, Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges

Twentieth- and twenty-first-century literatures in English, especially the British novel, modernist fiction and prose, the global Anglophone novel, and the novel in translation. Additional fields include the theory of the novel, world literature, translation studies, cosmopolitanism, and theories of reading.

Other Departmental and University Positions
Coordinator, Modernism & Globalization Series

Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation

Immigrant Fictions: Contemporary Literature in an Age of Globalization

Bad Modernisms

The Turn to Ethics

Other Publications
Undergraduate Courses Taught Graduate Courses Taught
  • Critical and Uncritical Reading: Introduction to Literary Theory
  • Vernacular Fictions: Joyce and After
  • Violence and Creativity: Introduction to the Contemporary British Novel
  • What is Sophistication?
  • Modernism, Translation, and the New World Literature
  • The Post-War British Novel from Lamming to Sebald
  • The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature
Awards and Distinctions Professional Memberships and Affiliations
  • Honorable Mention, George and Barbara Perkins Prize for most significant book in narrative studies, awarded to Cosmopolitan Style, 2008
  • Elected to Advisory Board, American Comparative Literature Association, 2008
  • Elected as Program Chair, Modernist Studies Association, 2008
  • Vilas Associate Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
  • Phillip R. Certain Distinguished Faculty Award for most distinguished faculty member to receive tenure in the College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
  • American Comparative Literature Association
  • Modernist Studies Association
  • Narrative Society
  • Modern Language Association
  • Graduate Advisory Board, The Harvard Crimson
Other Information of Interest

Faculty News

Graduate News

Undergraduate News

Undergraduate Program