Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies
- University Hall 319
- Office Hours: On Leave 2023-24
Harris Feinsod is a literary and cultural historian of the United States, Latin America, and the Atlantic world. His teaching and research emphasize poetry and poetics, modernism and the avant-garde in Europe and the Americas, multiethnic US literature, and transnational studies (especially hemispheric and oceanic approaches). At Northwestern since 2011, he earned a Ph.D. from Stanford (2011) and an A.B. from Brown (2004), both in Comparative Literature.
His first book, The Poetry of the Americas: From Good Neighbors to Countercultures (Oxford, hardcover 2017/paperback 2019), offers a detailed literary history of relations among poets in the US and Latin America across the mid-twentieth century. Fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Harry Ransom Center, and the University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center supported the research and writing of this book.
Feinsod is now at work on “Into Steam: The Worlds of Maritime Modernism.” A global account of transoceanic and dockside poetry, narrative fiction, visual art, and radical history in the early twentieth century, “Into Steam” charts modernist culture as viewed from its industrializing seaways. Essays related to this project appear in American Literary History, English Language Notes, and Modernism / modernity, and it has been supported by a fellowship at the National Humanities Center (2019-2020).
Feinsod’s timely essays appear in popular and scholarly venues such as The Baffler, In These Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, n+1 and Post45. He also collaborates on several large-scale translation and editorial projects. He is the co-translator (with Rachel Galvin), of Oliverio Girondo’s Decals: Complete Early Poems (Open Letter, 2018), which was shortlisted for the National Translation Award in Poetry. He co-directs Open Door Archive, a digital platform featuring reissues of neglected print cultures of the Americas. Previously, he served as assistant editor for The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: Fourth Edition (2012). With Leah Feldman and Peter Kalliney, he is currently co-editing a global anthology of anticolonial thought. He serves on the editorial board of Northwestern University Press (2019–23) and is elected to the Executive Committee of the Modern Language Association’s Forum on Poetry and Poetics (2019–24).
At Northwestern, Feinsod has core appointments in the Department of English and the Program in Comparative Literary Studies (where he served as Director of Graduate Studies from 2018–22), and he is an affiliate of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Highly committed to graduate education, he has served on more than 25 dissertation committees across many departments and programs, and he is active in the graduate clusters in Environment, Culture & Society, Global Avant-Garde and Modernist Studies, and Poetry & Poetics. He also co-organizes the Workshop in Transnational Cultural History (WITCH) with Kalyan Nadiminti (on hiatus for 2023-24).
Modern, Poetry & Poetics, Literary Theory, American: 20th Century, Postcolonial, Critical Race & Ethnicity Studies, Latina & Latino Literature
Articles and Essays
- “David Berman’s Edge Cities: Poetry, Commercial Real Estate, Municipal Feeling.” Post45: Contemporaries (January 30, 2023)
- “Postindustrial Waterfront Redevelopment and the Politics of Historical Memory,” Comparative Literature 73.2 (2021): 184–208. Special Issue on “Beaches and Ports”
- “World Poetry: Commonplaces of an Idea,” Modern Language Quarterly 80.4 (December 2019): 427–452. Special issue on “Literary History after the Nation?”
- “Canal Zone Modernism: Cendrars, Walrond and Stevens at the ‘Suction Sea,’” English Language Notes 57.1 (April, 2019): 116-128. Special section on “Hydro-critical Practices: Modernism and the Sea.”
- “‘The Mayor Is a Tough Act to Follow’: Some Social Poetry in the Theaters of the Rahm Regime,” Post45: Contemporaries (April 23, 2019)
- “Oliverio Girondo’s Absurd Cosmopolitan World” (Intro to Decals), Literary Hub (Dec 13 2018)
- “Death Ships: The Cruel Translations of the Interwar Maritime Novel,” Modernism/modernity Print Plus Vol. 3 Cycle 3 (September, 2018)
- “Vehicular Networks and the Modernist Seaways: Crane, Lorca, Novo, Hughes,” American Literary History 27.4 (Winter, 2015): 683-716.
- “Between Dissidence and Good Neighbor Diplomacy: Reading Julia de Burgos with the FBI,” Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies 26.2 (Fall, 2014): 98-127
- “Reconsidering the ‘Spiritual Economy’: Saint-John Perse, His Translators, and the Limits of Internationalism,” Telos 138 (Spring, 2007): 139-161
- “All at Sea: Surveying the watery expanses of the world economy.” Review of Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula, by Laleh Khalili. The Baffler (Aug 24, 2020). Translated into Spanish as “Mar revuelta,” CTXT: Contexto y Acción, trans. Álvaro San José (March 29, 2021)
- “Workers of the World Take the Mic: The Poetry of the Factory and the Soapbox.” Review of Social Poetics, by Mark Nowak. In These Times 44.4 (April 2020): 54-57
- Review of A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, by Angela Jackson, Chicago Review 62:04/63:01/02 (Summer/Fall 2019)
- Review of Surveying the Avant-Garde: Questions on Modernism, Art, and the Americas in Transatlantic Magazines by Lori Cole, The ALH Online Review Series XVII (Dec 4, 2018)
- “Has Don Rafael Spoken?” Commentary on Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narrative, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas by Tom McEnaney, Syndicate Lit (June 26, 2018)
- “Sub-Sub-Underground-Anti-Connoisseurship: Adrift with Allan Sekula,” n+1 online (Aug 4, 2017)
- “C.D. Wright’s Apology,” Iowa Review 46.2 (Fall 2016): 193-198
- “The Era of Inter-American Cultural Diplomacy,” American Quarterly 66.4 (December, 2014): 1129-1141
- Review essay of Collecting as Modernist Practice by Jeremy Braddock and Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity edited by Jed Rasula and Tim Conley. Chicago Review 58.1 (July, 2013): 135-139
Occasional Essays & Interviews
- Harris Feinsod on Williams Carlos Williams (“To Elsie”), Close Readings with Kamran Javadizadeh. Podcast (April 17, 2023).
- “Historical Fidelity: Margaret Randall on Translating Cuban Poetry,” Los Angeles Review of Books (July 24, 2018)
- “Rhyme at the End of Democracy: Leonard Cohen’s Futures,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities, & the World (Dec 20, 2016)
- “#DownWithCentennialism,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities, & the World (9 Sept, 2015)
- “Para-Library Science at the NYPL,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities & the World (3 March, 2014)
- “Glosses and Conjectures on the Inaugural Poem,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities and the World (28 Jan, 2013)
- “The Tolson Exception: The Anthology in the 21st Century,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities, & the World (9 Jan, 2012)
- “World Poetry Grindhouse,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities, & the World (13 Oct, 2011)
- “Denby, Edwin (1903-1983),” The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (Taylor and Francis, 2016).
- “Glossolalia,” Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: Fourth Edition, ed. Roland Greene et. al. (Princeton University Press, 2012): 572-573
- “Hypogram,” Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: Fourth Edition, ed. Roland Greene et. al. (Princeton University Press, 2012): 649
- “Sound Poetry,” Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics: Fourth Edition, ed. Roland Greene et. al. (Princeton University Press, 2012): 1327-1329