Jennifer Fleissner

Associate Professor of English

Indiana University

Jennifer L. Fleissner is Associate Professor at Indiana University.  She taught previously at UCLA, where she received tenure in 2005, and last year she was an NEH fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC.  She is the author of Women, Compulsion, Modernity: The Moment of American Naturalism (University of Chicago Press, 2004) as well as numerous essays published in such journals as Critical Inquiry, ELH, American Literature, Studies in Romanticism, differences, and American Literary History, as well as in such anthologies as The Cambridge History of the American Novel and The Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies.  At present, she is at work on two new projects.  The first, from which her talk today is drawn, is titled Maladies of the Will: Literature as a Symptomatology of Modernity, and it aims to reconceive the American novel across two centuries as an ongoing response to the dilemma of modern subjectivity conceived as a hyperbolically free and a radically determined will at one and the same time.  Her second project, Eating and Time: American Literature and the Embodied Everyday, focuses on turn-of-the-century fiction in order to explore the narrative function of eating as a means of conceptualizing the encounter between a materially constituted self and world.