Caren Irr


Department of English

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA 02454 USA



US literature and culture since 1900 * critical theory * film and media studies * 21st-century writing * global studies


RESEARCH (see also CV)


-Toward the Geopolitical Novel: U.S. Fiction in the 21st Century (Columbia University Press, 2013)

        Here is an interview about the book.


-Pink Pirates:  Contemporary American Women Writers and Copyright (Iowa 2010)

-The Suburb of Dissent:  Cultural Politics in the United States and Canada during the 1930s (Duke 1998)

-Rethinking the Frankfurt School:  Alternative Legacies of Cultural Critique (co-ed., SUNY 2002)

-On Jameson:  From Postmodernism to Globalization (co-ed., SUNY 2006)


In the Works:

-Orphan Stories (in progress).  A dissection of the most common contemporary fantasies about children growing up without the care of their biological parents.

-Politics and the Green Novel:  Eco-fiction in English since 1980 (in progress). A group of essays on environmentalist versions of the political novel.





Fall 2016:

ENG 50b:  American Independent Film

For 2016, this undergraduate course will explore independent film of two moments:  the 1980s and the 2010s.  We will be interested in how respected independent filmmakers respond to and transform the dominant media practices of their moment.  Films to include Chan is Missing, Blue Velvet, Do the Right Thing, Matewan, Stranger than Paradise, Sin Nombre, Man Push Cart, Middle of Nowhere, Boyhood, and Under the Skin.

Spring 2017:

ENG 238a:  new graduate seminar on Capitalism and the American Novel

This seminar examines representations of the processes and ideals of the capitalist economy as these appear in American fiction. For 2017, it will focus on post-1945 fiction and the themes of consumerism, accumulation, and finance. Readings will include some economic theory and critiques as well as Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead; Joseph Heller, Catch-22; John Updike, Rabbit Is Rich; Charles Johnson, The Middle Passage; Linda Hogan, Mean Spirit; Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres, Brett Easton Ellis, American Psycho; Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections, and Tao Lin, Taipei. 



For Graduate Students:

How to Write a Prospectus

Chronicle of Higher Education's job market advice


New Writing:



PEN America



National Book Critics Circle




Last updated 4/2016