Jennifer Spitzer

Jennifer Spitzer

Associate Professor, Department of English
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies

Specialty:Late 19th and 20th-Century Literature; Transatlantic Modernism; Gender and Sexuality
Phone:(607) 274-7056
Office:305 Muller Center
Ithaca, NY 14850

I write and teach at the intersection of transatlantic modernism, theories of mind, psychoanalysis, modern spiritualism, and gender and sexuality. Before coming to Ithaca College in 2013, I taught at New York University (where I completed my Ph.D. in 2012) and at Harvard University, as a Lecturer in History and Literature. I am completing a book manuscript entitled Secret Sharers: Modernism and the Debate with Psychoanalysis, which illuminates the ways in which the perceived threat of psychoanalysis as an adjacent discipline mediated the aesthetic and discursive concerns of Anglo-American modernism. My project examines psychoanalysis as a crucial context for literary modernism by anchoring modernist arguments about aesthetic autonomy, literary form, literary interpretation, and the role of the critic in debates between modernists and psychoanalysts during the early decades of the twentieth century. I am also currently preparing a special issue on the literary "detail" with Shirley Lau Wong (Westfield State). One of our goals for the project is to expand the horizons of the detail, which has been historically linked to nineteenth-century literature, realism, and gender critiques. The articles in our special issue investigate the mechanisms of literary detail in colonial ethnography, ethnic American literature, experimental modernist novels, and postcolonial memoir. 

In addition to seminars on modernism and 20th-century literature, I teach the introductory course for the major and courses on banned books, coming-of-age fiction, and women's literature. I have served on the board of Women's and Gender Studies at Ithaca College for four years. Alongside Professor Chris Holmes, I co-organized The Global Modernism Symposium at Ithaca College in 2014, and the Global Modernism speaker series in 2017. I have directed honors theses on Margaret Atwood, Ford Madox Ford and William Faulkner, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, and the Spice Girls. I recently directed a summer scholars project on contemporary legacies of poststructuralism, and am directing two honors theses this fall, one on Jean Rhys, Sam Selvon, and Jamaica Kincaid, and the other on representations of disability in Faulkner and Steinbeck. 


"The Heterodox Psychology and Queer Poetics of Auden in the 30s," Journal of Modern Literature, 42.3 (Spring 2019). 

 "'I Find My Mind Meeting Yours': Rebecca West's Telepathic Modernism," Studies in the Novel, 50. 4 (Winter 2018).  

 “On Not Reading Freud: Amateurism, Expertise, and the ‘Pristine Unconscious’ in D.H. Lawrence,” Modernism/modernity, 21.1, (January 2014).   

 “Unveiling the Dance of the Seven Veils: Oscar Wilde and the Power of Myth-Making,” Special Issue on Oscar Wilde’s Salome, Oscholars, (Fall 2012).

Recent Courses:

Banned Books and Censorship Trials: Obscenity in the 20th Century (Fall 2014)

Approaches to Literary Study (Spring 2015)

Twentieth-Century British Novel (Spring 2015)

Modernism and Its Global Inheritors (co-taught with Professor Chris Holmes, Spring 2017)

Engendering Modernity: Twentieth-Century Women Writers (Fall 2017)

Coming of Age Fiction (Spring 2018)


Ph.D. New York University (2012)

M.A. New York University (2008)

B.A. Wesleyan University (2002), with honors, Phi Beta Kappa 

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