BA (English), University of Pennsylvania; MA (English and American literature), University of Michigan; PhD (English and American literature), Brandeis University
Research interests: twentieth-century literature, philosophical problems, fiction, poetry, informal essays
Teaching courses as broad as the humanities sequences at the College not only requires me to speak on a wide variety of subjects but permits me to get away with writing about them. I have been interested in literature, music, film, painting, and philosophy since my youth; at the College, I am afforded the invaluable privilege of teaching them all to young people. The responsibility of presenting so many arts and disciplines necessitates perennial learning. Learning provokes thinking, and thinking can lead to writing.
I have published formal essays on American and Continental literature, philosophy and pedagogy, as well as various informal essays. I am interested in and have written about cultural figures from Scott Fitzgerald to Thomas Hobbes, Socrates to Bertolt Brecht, Albert Camus to Anton Chekhov, G. B. Shaw to Mary Shelley, Søren Kierkegaard to Gustave Flaubert. In short, the habit of being a generalist is so fixed in me, and so congenial to my temperament, that I no longer have any special field.
While my scholarly work is important to me and moored most closely to my teaching, it makes up less than a third of my published writing.
When I am up to it, I write fiction. When I can’t help it, I write poems.
In 1993 Professor Wexelblatt won the Peyton Richter Award for interdisciplinary teaching and in 1983 Professor Wexelblatt received the Metcalf Cup and Prize, Boston University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching.
Winner of the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Award for fiction, Wexelblatt’s Zublinka Among Women is a funny, gracious novel of ideas.
A list of Robert Wexelblatt’s publications is available here.