Julie Rivkin’s teaching and research concentrate primarily on American literature of the late 19th through 21st century, with a secondary focus on literary theory, especially gender and queer theory. She has long been active in the world of Henry James studies, with her book False Positions: The Representational Logics of Henry James Fiction (Stanford 1996) bringing together her theoretical and her textual interests. Co-editor of the widely adopted Literary Theory: An Anthology (Wiley Blackwell 1998, 2004, 2017) now in its third edition, she is committed to making literary theory accessible in the college classroom.
More recently Professor Rivkin has turned her attention to the Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, and she has published on both Munro and James in essay collections and journals like PMLA, ELH, and Textual Practice. An interest in intertextuality and authorial afterlives is evident in this work, and she has traced the queer afterlives of Henry James in contemporary writers David Leavitt and Alan Hollinghurst, as well as Munro’s complex inheritance from both classical and folk literatures. Professor Rivkin’s current projects include a critical edition of Henry James’s novel What Maisie Knew, part of the Complete Fiction of Henry James (Cambridge UP), as well as a collection of essays on Alice Munro.
Professor Rivkin has twice served as President of the Henry James Society, and she also organized Jamesian Strands: The Fourth International Conference of the Henry James Society in 2008.
Professor Rivkin’s teaching follows and extends her research interests, with courses that explore gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, commodification and globalization, and narrative and care. Such courses include “The Literature of Passing,” “Novel Commodities,” “Family Stories, Cultural Histories,” and “Narrative Medicine.”
Professor Rivkin has served as Department Chair, Director of American Studies, and Associate Dean of the Faculty.
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317 Blaustein Humanities Center