Susan L. Mizruchi

Professor; Director, Boston University Center for Humanities

BA, Washington University
MA, PhD, Princeton University


Room 314
617-358-2529
For CV click here

Susan L. Mizruchi is Professor of English Literature at Boston University.  She received B.A.’s in English and in History from Washington University in 1981 and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985.  Professor Mizruchi’s specialties are nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature; religion and culture; literary and social theory; literary history; and history of the social sciences.  She has taught courses in literature, gender, and film at Boston University for twenty-nine years.  Publications include: Brando’s Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work (Norton, 2014); Film Rights Sold, 2014; Paperback Published, 2015; The Rise of Multicultural America (North Carolina UP, 2008); Becoming Multicultural: Culture, Economy, and the Novel, 1860–1920 (Cambridge UP 2005);  The Science of Sacrifice: American Literature and Modern Social Theory (Princeton UP, 1998); The Power of Historical Knowledge: Narrating the Past in Hawthorne, James, & Dreiser (Princeton, 1988); and, as editor Religion and Cultural Studies, editor (Princeton UP, 2001) and contributor to The Norton Critical Edition of The Souls of Black Folk (1999) and Everyman Edition of The Bostonians (1994).  She is the recipient of many academic honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Huntington Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the ACLS, and the Fulbright Commission. She is the recipient, most recently, of the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education, 2015, and the Financial Times ‘Best Books of 2014 and Booklist Editor’s Choice, 2014’ for Brando’s Smile.  She serves as the U.S. Delegate for Literature, Film and Media Studies for Oxford University Press, and a consultant for PBS, the Princeton University English Department Advisory Council, and the NEH, NHA, ACLS, and the MacArthur Foundation, among others.

Selected Publications
  • “The School of Martyrdom: Culture and Class in The Catcher in the Rye” Religion and Literature (Summer 2015—published Summer 2016), pp. 23-40.
  • Brando’s Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work (Norton, 2014); Film Rights Sold, 2014; Paperback Published, 2015
  • “Risk Theory and the Contemporary American Novel,” American Literary History (2009)
  • The Rise of Multicultural America (North Carolina UP, 2008)
  • “Gibson’s Passion in Ethical Perspective,” Journal of Renmin University of China (2007)
  • Becoming Multicultural: Culture, Economy, and the Novel, 18601920 (Cambridge UP 2005)
  • Editor, Religion and Cultural Studies (Princeton UP, 2001)
  • The Science of Sacrifice: American Literature and Modern Social Theory (Princeton UP, 1998)
  • The Power of Historical Knowledge: Narrating the Past in Hawthorne, James, and Dreiser (Princeton UP, 1988)
  • “Lolita in History,” American Literature (2003)
  • “Becoming Multicultural,” American Literary History (2003)
  • “The Place of Ritual in Our Time,” American Literary History (2000)
  • “Neighbors, Strangers, Corpses: Death and Sympathy in the Early Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois,” Centuries’ Ends, Narrative Means (1996) and The Norton Critical Edition of The Souls of Black Folk (1999)
  • “Cataloging the Creatures of the Deep: Billy Budd and the Rise of Sociology,” Revisionary Interventions into the Americanist Canon (1994) and Boundary 2 (1990)
  • “Reproducing Women in The Awkward Age,” Representations (1992)
  • “The Politics of Temporality in The Bostonians,” Nineteenth-Century Literature (1985)
Work in Progress
  • Book project on Risk and Contemporary American Culture
  • Book Project on 1950s Literature, Film, and Social Theory
  • A Novel in Five Acts
Honors, Grants, and Awards
  • Fulbright Award, Brazil, 2015
  • Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education, 2015
  • Brando’s Smile: Financial Times “Best Books of 2014”; Booklist Editor’s Choice, 2014
  • Senior Research Fellowship, Boston University Humanities Center, 2015-2016
  • Raymund Schwager Memorial Lecturer, Colloquium on Violence and Religion, 2010
  • Boston University Humanities Foundation Senior Fellowship, 2008–2009
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2001–2002
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Boston University Honors Program, 2001
  • Fletcher S. Jones Fellowship, Huntington Library, 1995
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1990–1991