1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Jennifer Wicke


408 Bryan Hall

Office Hours:

M 1:00-4:00

W 1/21 only 1:00-4:00

Class Schedule:

M 5:00-7:30

TR 2:00-3:15


Ph.D. Columbia, 1983
M.A. Columbia, 1977
B.A. University of Chicago, 1974

I majored in philosophy at the University of Chicago, and spent time in its doctoral program before transferring to Columbia and receiving my PhD in English and Comparative Literature. As a result I’m a comparatist in English, Spanish, German, French across the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, and add Ancient Greek to the comparative work I do in critical theory and philosophy. This comparative bent extends to interdisciplinary studies that include film, media and mass culture, political economy and political theory, gender and sexuality studies, and global and postcolonial theory, in an Anglo-American and ultimately global framework. Before coming to Virginia I had a joint appointment in English and in Comparative Literature at Yale for nine years, where I was also on the Film Faculty; taught at New York University as a professor and chair of the Comparative Literature department for seven years, and was part of American Studies and the program in Irish Studies; was a visiting professor at Columbia, and have since been a professor at the University of Virginia, teaching and researching in both American and British literary contexts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as in comparative literary studies, film and media studies, and global studies, particularly in relation to theories of globalization and questions of empire, and in relation to the genre of the novel. Special interests include modernism and the “new modernist studies,” the work of Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Claude McKay, E. M. Forster, James Joyce, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, and Virginia Woolf, to name a few, and modernity studies in relation to modernization, mass media, economics and ethics, from the late nineteenth century to the present moment. Consumption in many senses plays a major part in my work on modernity and the present, also technologies of modernity including celebrity, advertising, mass cultural vernaculars, and the importance of literature, translation, and the gift economy The history and theory of the novel engages me as a scholar and as a teacher; I’m on the executive board of the new international Society for Novel Studies--convening its first conference at Duke University in 2012--have taught courses on the global novel, and have a book in progress seeking to identify that contemporary genre in world literature. Additional interests involve the relation between the Middle East and world literature and politics; the importance of play, performance, and games in modern culture, from probability to game theory to performances of identity; genre studies in film, television, and cultural narratives; travel writing from the medieval period to today; how “theory” has become a common vernacular and language in a mediated, digital, and global world. The hallmark of my work is melding aesthetics with material, historical, and political form.


19th C American, 19th C British, 20th C American, 20th C British, Critical Theory, Film, Modernism


The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Pearson/Longman, 2009

1st-4th Editions, 20th Century Editor/Contributor with Kevin Dettmar

Feminism and Postmodernism, Duke University Press, 1994

Edited Works

A Companion to the English Novel, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015


  • “The Bananas of Modernity:  Consuming Paths in Globalism’s Pre-history”; Critical Inquiry, Fall 2008
  • “Modernism’s Speculative Bubble,” Modernism/Modernity, Fall issue, 2003           
  • “Like Terror on a Monument: Transatlantic Memory” ALH, Spring 2004
  • “Hugh Kenner’s Pound of Flesh,”  Modernism/Mpdernity, Spring 2005
  • “I Profess:  Another View of Professionalization” in Profession, MLA annual volume, December 2001
  • “Virginia Woolf’s Dialectical Materialism,” in New Studies in Virginia Woolf, ed. J. Berman, Pace 2001
  • “Resistance to ‘Resistance’ in Theory”; SAQ  25th Anniversary Theory Issue, ed. Kenneth Suvin; Duke University Press, May 2003
  • “Joyce and Consumer Culture,” in Cambridge Companion to James Joyce, 2nd ed., edited Derek Attridge, Cambridge UP, Summer 2004
  • "Hemi-Semi-Demi-Quavers: The Eccentricities of the Postcolonial," Semicolonial Joyce, ed. Derek Attridge, Margery Howes, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • "Commerce and Victorian Literature," chapter of The Oxford Companion to Victorian Literature, ed. Herbert Tucker, University of Virginia, Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • "Birth of an Orion: Why There Are No Women in National Cinema," Toward a National Cinema, ed. Luke Gibbons, Duke University Press, 1998.
  • "The Same and the Different: Standards and Standardization in Tess of the D'Urbervilles," Bedford Critical Editions, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ed. John Paul Riquelme, series ed. Ross Murfin, 1998.
  • "Fin de Siècle and the Technological Sublime," Centuries' Ends, Narrative Means, ed. Robert Newman, Stanford University Press, 1996.
  • "Double Cross-Dressing: The Politics of a Genre," Annals of Scholarship, May 1997.
  • "Enchantment, Disenchantment, Reenactment: Joyce and the Cult of the Absolutely Fabulous," NOVEL, Spring 1996.


  • The Novel in English, twentieth-century editor and volume editor with J. Paul Hunter and Stephen Arata,  Blackwell Companion Series 2008 
  • The Longman Anthology of British Literature, 1st and 2nd Editions, 20th Century Co-Editor/Contributor with Kevin Dettmar; Pearson/Longman
  • Feminism and Postmodernism, Co-Editor (with Margaret Ferguson)/Contributor(1994, Duke University Press)

Lectures and Conferences

  • “Globalization and the Re-Enchantment of Culture,” Brown University, March 3, 2008 “A Novel Theory of Terror: Geopolitics of a Genre,” The NOVEL Conference, Brown University, November 5, 2007
  • “Angelic Jolie: Celebrity, Governmentality, and the Gender of Human Rights, “ ACLA Conference, Long Beach California, April 2008
  • “The Global Novel and Human Rights,” Huamn Rights Conference, University of Connecticut, Storrs, January 2008
  • “The Global Commodity and the Global Sublime,” Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Modernism/Modernities Colloquium, University of Wisconsin, Madison, December 2007
  • “The Extreme Century,” Panelist and Moderator, MLA Convention , Chicago, December 2007
  • “Joyce and the Margins of Europe: Revolution and the Tourist Imaginary,” International James Joyce Symposium, Austin Texas, July 2007
  • “Celebrity Potlatch,” MLA Convention, Washington D.C., December 2006
  • “The Forensics of Everyday Life,” Monash Conference “Future, Human”, Global Humanities Institute, Florence Italy, July 2004
  • “The Bananas of Modernity,” featured speaker, Flair Conference on Modernism, re-opening of the Harry Ransom Center for the Study of Culture, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, February 2004.
  • “The Modernity of Modern times,” Film and Ideology Panel, MLA Coinvention, San Diego, December 2003
  • “Time Squared: Transatlantic Memory,” panel, Modern Language Association convention, New York City, December 2002.
  • “Modernism’s Speculative Bubble,” MSA “New Modernism’s Conference, Philadelphia, October 2001.
  • “The Penny Arcades Project: Joyce’s Benjaminian Memory Palace,” International James Joyce Symposium, Goldsmith’s College, London, June 2000
  • “Mind Candy: Crystallization and Consumption,” invited lecturer, Pembroke Center Colloquium on “The Culture of the Market,” Brown University, April 2000
  • “Sublime Lite: Millenial Anticlimax and the American (End of) Century,” The English Institute, Harvard University, September 1999
  • “Sumptuary Modernism,” The New Modernism Conference, October, 1999, Penn State.
  • Featured Speaker, 50th Anniversary Conference, The Dickens Project in Victorian Studies; Annual Conference of the Dickens Project, University of California, Santa Cruz, August 1999
  • “Joyce at Century’s End,”, James Joyce Annual Summer School, University College, Dublin, July 1999
  • “Modernism’s Shopping Frenzy,” Invited lecture for the Modernism Seminar, The Center for Literary and Critical Studies, Harvard University, April 1999
  • “Deliriums of Gender: American Literature avant-la-lettre” CUNY Graduate Center Distinguished Lecturer Series, May 1998
  • “How to Do Things With Words: the Problem of Agency” Culture, Politics, Peace Conference, September 1998, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Norwegian National Course on Feminist Theories, Course leader, discussant, sole lecturer, University of Bergen, Norway, November 4-12, 1998