Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center. English, Theatre.
Senior Fellow, Center for the Humanities, City University of New York
Research Interests: Contemporary literature and American studies; urban and ethnic fiction; realism and modernism; cultural criticism; English Romantic poetry; film genre and film history; politics and literature; literary journalism, literary criticism, and public intellectuals.
Selected Publications: Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education (New York: Liveright, 2015); Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression (New York: Liveright, 2009) [nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism]; A Mirror in the Roadway: Literature and the Real World (Princeton University Press, 2005); Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970 (Harvard University Press, 2002). For discussion see "Book Club," Slate (June 4-6, 2002); http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_book_club/features/2002/leopards_in_the_temple/chronicle_of_a_death.html "Fiction and Society, 1940-1970," in Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 7, ed. Sacvan Bercovitch (Cambridge U.P., 1999). Editor, The Revival of Pragmatism: New Essays on Social Thought, Law, and Culture (Duke UP, 1998). Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties. New York: Basic Books, 1977. Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, 1978. Most recent paperback edition: Harvard U. P., 1997. Double Agent: The Critic and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Paperback edition, Oxford, 1996. "Popular Fiction and Critical Values: The Novel as a Challenge to Literary History," in Reconstructing American Literary History, ed. Sacvan Bercovitch. Harvard English Studies 13 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986). Literary Freud: Mechanisms of Defense and the Poetic Will (Psychiatry and the Humanities, vol. 4), ed. Joseph H. Smith, M.D. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980). Keats and His Poetry: A Study in Development. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971. Paperback edition, Phoenix Books, University of Chicago Press, 1974.
Recent Work: "The Home and the World: Film Documentaries and Social Crises," Dissent (Winter 2004); "Steinbeck and the Great Depression," South Atlantic Quarterly (Winter 2004). "Hope Against Hope: Orwell's Posthumous Novel," in The American Scholar (Spring 2004). Also in George Orwell: Into the Twenty-First Century, ed. Thomas Cushman and John Rodden (Paradigm Publishers, 2004). 10,000-word essay on Jewish American fiction, Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature, ed. Jay Parini (Oxford U. P., 2004). "In a Dark Wood," review of James Wood, The Book Against God. Slate (May 30, 2003); http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2003/05/in_a_dark_wood.html Radio interview by Hugh LaFollette, East Tennesse State University, on Leopards in the Temple; (April 23, 2003). "Between Generations: An Interview with Morris Dickstein," with Robert Boynton. Minnesota Review, Nos. 53-55 (2002). "Afterword: Historicism and Its Limits," in Historicizing Theory, ed. Peter C. Herman (SUNY Press, 2004). First appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education (May 23, 2003); http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i37/37b00701.htm. An essay adapted from the Cambridge History, "Ralph Ellison, Race, and American Culture," appeared in the Spring issue of Raritan. An excerpt, dealing with Salinger, the Beats, and the road novel, appeared in Beat Culture (Amsterdam: Vu University Press, 1999). May, 1999: talk on "Roots of the Counterculture" at a conference on the Sixties at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, TX.