Gloria Fisk

  • Gloria Fisk profile photo
Associate Professor Klapper Hall 632 718-997-4674

Research interests

Gloria Fisk writes about contemporary literature in a global context, with a particular interest in the novel. Her areas of interest include the critical debates surrounding world literature in the U.S. as well as novel theory, postcolonial studies, translation theory, and critical writing.

In her first book, Gloria reads the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk as a case study in the unevenness of Western canons’ expansion across the eastern border of Europe. Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature theorizes the ways the Turkish novelist arrives among his readers in the U.S. and Europe, where he meets a standard for literary value that that emerges in tandem with him.

In her current book project, Gloria theorizes the ethics and politics of prolepsis in contemporary world literature asking: Why do so many novels that reach Anglophone readers today begin with a scene of terrible violence — a chemical spill, maybe, or untimely death at sea; incarceration, or a terrorist attack — to narrate in retrospect the paths that converge to create it? This use of prolepsis is historically specific to the contemporary period, so Gloria sets out to explain why. She shows that proleptic representations of violence were rare in Western literary traditions until the turn of the twenty-first century, but they have become ubiquitous now, because they work well to express new anxieties and hopes about the limits of our political communities, within and beyond the nation. The working title of her book is We Know How This Will End: Prolepsis, Tragedy, and the Representation of Structural Violence on a Global Scale.

These projects are interdisciplinary as well as international, and Gloria pursues her research toward them through her work on the Motherboard of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present.

Selected Publications

Orhan Pamuk and the Good of World Literature. Literature Now. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.


“Teaching Snow in Translation,” in MLA Approaches to Teaching Orhan Pamuk, ed. Sevinç Türkkan and David Damrosch, MLA Press, 2017.

‘Against World Literature’: The Debate in Retrospect.” The American Reader, Web. April 9, 2014.

Putting Tragedy to Work for the Polis: The Rhetoric of Pity and Terror, Before and After Modernity.” New Literary History 39.4 (2008): 891-902.

Orhan Pamuk and the Turks.” n + 1 6 (2008): 157-166.