Department of English and Comparative Literature
William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Areas of Interest
Comparative Literature (20th century French, German, British, American); feminist theory, narrative; cultural memory; Holocaust studies, visual culture
Marianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is immediate past president of the Modern Language Association of America. She was born in Romania, and educated at Brown University where she received her BA/MA and Ph.D. degrees. Before moving to Columbia, she taught at Dartmouth College.
Hirsch's work combines feminist theory with memory studies, particularly the transmission of memories of violence across generations. Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012), Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (University of California Press, 2010), Rites of Return: Diaspora, Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (Columbia University Press, 2011). With Diana Taylor she co-edited the Summer 2012 issue of é-misferica on “The Subject of Archives.” Other recent publications include Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory (1997), The Familial Gaze (ed.1999), Time and the Literary (co-ed.2002), a special issue of Signs on "Gender and Cultural Memory" (co-ed. 2002), Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (co-ed. 2004), and Grace Paley Writing the World (co-ed. 2009).
Marianne Hirsch is the former editor of PMLA and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, the National Humanities Center, the Bellagio and Bogliasco Foundations, and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. She has served on the MLA Executive Council, the ACLA Advisory Board, the Board of Supervisors of The English Institute, and the Executive Board of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, and is on the advisory boards of Memory Studies and Contemporary Women's Writing. She is one of the founders of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference and of its global initiative “Women Creating Change.”