As an English professor, Julie Rivkin works on American literature and literary theory, and recently turned her attention to issues raised by gender studies and contemporary literature. She is probably best known for her work on Henry James: her book False Positions: The Representational Logics of Henry James's Fiction (Stanford University Press, 1996) offers approachable yet theoretical readings of James's novels.
She has also co-edited with Michael Ryan Literary Theory: An Anthology (Basil Blackwell, 1998. Rev. 2000), a text widely used in introductory theory classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Her recent publications include "The Genius of the Unconscious: Henry James and Psychoanalysis," Palgrave Advances: Henry James Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007: 59-79.
Julie Rivkin's teaching is closely engaged with her research interests. Not only did the theory anthology arise out of the theory courses she teaches at the college, but also her other interests in identity construction and performance are at once the topics of her courses and the subject matter of her recent publications.
Her newest course, "The Literature of Passing," considers the topic of racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, and class identities as they are constructed, (mis)represented, and performed in different social contexts. She also teaches courses on American Women Writers, Contemporary Women Writers, and Henry James, as well as a variety of American literature surveys and first-year seminars with such titles as Family Stories and Cultural Histories.
Julie Rivkin served as Associate Dean of the Faculty from 2007-2011.
She is a member of the MLA, is Vice President of the the Henry James Society, and she is on the editorial board of Henry James Review.
She was the director of Jamesian Strands: Third International Conference of the Henry James Society held at Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island, in July, 2008.
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