Fabrizio S. Ciccone

Fabrizio S. Ciccone

B.A. Literature, Sarah Lawrence College.

M.A. English, Boston College.

[email protected]


My teaching and research focus on the long twentieth century on both sides of the Atlantic, with a special emphasis on the intellectual history of catastrophe. My work seeks to carve out a literary tradition motivated by the idea of failure. By placing modernism at the heart of this tradition, I aim to reassess modernism’s legacy of experimentalism, replacing innovation with disappointment as the engine of creativity. One avenue my broad interest in failure has taken is the phenomenon of cultural defeat and the perhaps unlikely laughter such an experience inspires. I organize my thinking around writings that take as their subject the ongoing political, environmental, and economic catastrophes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. What distinguishes the kinds of texts I am interested in working on is their refusal of a “tragic” perspective when conceptualizing the experience of defeat, turning instead to a distinctly “comedic” mode of thinking. The resurgence of interest among contemporary scholars in tragedy has coincided with an increasing distrust and disavowal of comedy as an effective means of engaging with our catastrophic present. My work pursues an alternative route.

Research and Teaching Interests:

American Literature and Culture; Colonial and Postcolonial Studies; Literary and Cultural Theory; Race and Ethnicity; Studies in the Novel; Transatlantic Studies; 20th-Century and Contemporary; Theories of Comedy and Satire; War and Its Representations; Film