Timothy Brennan

Professor of English, Cultural Studies, and Comparative Literature

University of Minnesota

Timothy Brennan works on the relationship between comparative literature, world literature, and global English. He is a member of both the departments of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, and English, and is a member of the graduate faculty of American Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Global Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies. His essays and course offerings deal with issues of intellectual history, cultural theory, the Marxist and phenomenological traditions, the avant-gardes, theories of colonialism and imperialism, problems of translation, and popular music. He is the author most recently of Secular Devotion: Afro-Latin Music and Imperial Jazz (Verso, 2008), and edited, introduced, and co-translated the first English edition of Alejo Carpentier’s classic study, Music in Cuba (U of Minnesota P, 2001). His other recent books include Wars of Position: The Cultural Politics of Left and Right (Columbia UP, 2006), Empire in Different Colors (Revolver, 2007) and At Home in the World: Cosmopolitanism Now (Harvard UP, 1997), and Borrowed Light: Vico, Hegel and the Colonies (forthcoming).

In 1989, he received an award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for his special issue of Modern Fiction Studies titled “Narratives of Colonial Resistance“ (1989). Brennan is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the McKnight foundation, and has taught at Cornell University, the University of Michigan, and the Humboldt University (Berlin). He was Director of the Humanities Institute between 2002 and 2004, has chaired the Sociological Approaches to Literature Division of the Modern Language Association (MLA), editing a book series ““Cultural Margins“ at Cambridge University Press between 1997-2003. Since 2000, Prof. Brennan has been the featured speaker at over sixty universities and cultural institutions throughout the world, and has worked as an international news features broadcaster for WKCR-FM (New York), and appeared on Chicago Public Radio and as a panelist on PBS. His essay on the Canadian politician Michael Ignatieff was featured in the September 3, 2006 Sunday edition of the Toronto Star, and his essay (co-written with Doug Rossinow) on the Israel/Palestine conflict was the featured article on Yahoo.com in 2003. His essays have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Turkish, French, Slovenian, Chinese, Hungarian, and Japanese, and his writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Studies, Critical Inquiry, The South Atlantic Quarterly, Public Culture, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the London Review of Books.