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Cyrus Patell

Cyrus R. K. Patell is Associate Professor of English at New York University and Associate Dean of Humanities for NYU Abu Dhabi. He regularly blogs on two sites: and Patell and Waterman’s History of New York.

A former Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Undergraduate Honors for the English Department, he regularly teaches the undergraduate courses “Conversations of the West,” “American Literature I,” and “Writing New York.” Recent graduate courses include “Why Moby-Dick Matters,” “U.S. Fiction after 1940,” and “Contemporary Emergent U.S. Fiction.” This January he will be teaching a three-week course on “New York and Modernity” for NYU Abu Dhabi. His 2009 lecture for the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, “Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism, and the Promise of Literature” can be seen on the Institute’s website. Continued below

Publications by Cyrus Patell

Negative Liberties: Morrison, Pynchon, and the Problem of Liberal Ideology

Since the nineteenth century, ideas centered on the individual, on Emersonian self-reliance, and on the right of the individual to the pursuit of happiness...  Read more about this book »

"Emergent Literatures, 1940-1990" ures, 1940-1990" in The Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 7

Volume 7 examines a broad range of American literature of the past half century, revealing complex relations to changes in society. Christopher Bigsby discusses..... Read More about this book »

Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York City

New York holds a special place in America's national mythology as both the gateway to the USA and as a diverse, vibrant cultural center distinct from the rest of the nation. Read More about this book »

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A specialist in 19th- and 20th-century American literature and culture, Patell’s recent scholarship and teaching has centered on the theory and practice of cosmopolitanism and on the literature and culture of New York City. His publications include the monograph Negative Liberties: Morrison, Pynchon, and the Problem of Liberal Ideology (Duke University Press, 2001) and the “Emergent Literatures” section of The Cambridge History of American Literature, Volume Seven: Prose Writings, 1940–1990 (general editor Sacvan Bercovitch, 1999), which will appear next year in a substantially revised from NYU Press entitled US Multicultural Literatures: An Introduction to Emergent Writing after 1940. He has recently co-edited the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York City (with Bryan Waterman). He is currently writing a book on the album Some Girls by the Rolling Stones for Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, and he is editing (with Deborah Lindsay Williams) the volume devoted to U.S. fiction after 1940 for the twelve-volume Oxford History of the Novel in English (general editor, Patrick Parrinder).

Patell is a two-time winner of the Golden Dozen Award for Undergraduate Teaching. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award, NYU’s highest pedagogical honor.

Professor Cyrus Patell
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