Rithika Ramamurthy

Rithika Ramamurthy

B.A. English, University of Miami, 2011.
M.A. English Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2014.

[email protected]

My research interests range across the Victorian novel and its afterlives, labor, political economy, and critiques of capitalism in the long nineteenth century. My dissertation, Affecting Labors: The Novel Form and the Antinomies of Bourgeois Production, explores the ways in which novels after 1850 theorize labor as a problem of emotional and economic proportions. Canonical writers of the realist novel—Dickens, Hardy, Eliot, and James— formally and conceptually coordinate the relationship between subjectivity and the social act of production through affective tropes which creatively figure the conditions of the laboring subject. These literary innovations animate inner life with the forces of historical transformation such as industrialization and the rise of immaterial types of work. In this way, the nineteenth century realist novel takes on the problem of labor’s relation to feeling in order to develop more dynamic representations of the working class and its composition.

My work has been presented at the ACLA and MLA conferences, and published in LARB, The Drift Magazine, and V21; I serve as the graduate assistant editor of NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction. I have also co-authored public writing and given several invited talks on the subject of the crisis in higher education and graduate worker union organizing, and was elected president of the Graduate Labor Organization in 2020.

Dissertation Title:

"Affecting Labors: The Novel Form and the Antinomies of Bourgeois Production"


Articles and Book Chapters

“Goya’s Gaze: Seeing Non-Relation in Los caprichos.” Lacan and Romanticism, SUNY Press, 2017. Forthcoming. 

Reviews and Responses

Response to The Afterlife of Enclosure: British Realism, Character, and the Commons by Carolyn Lesjak. Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literary Group, expected June 2021

Response to Populating the Novel: Literary Form and the Politics of Surplus Life by Emily Steinlight. Collations Book Forum of the V21 Collective. 14 March 2018

Review of Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis by Todd McGowan. Psychoanalysis, Cultures and Society 21.3, 2016

Public Writing

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things: Personal Problems in the Climate Crisis” The Drift Magazine, expected June 2021

“Accidental Collectives.” Hyped on Melancholy, 4 January 2021

“Work Sucks: On Anne Helen Petersen’s Can’t Even.” Los Angeles Review of Books, 31 December 2020

"How the Coronavirus Can-- or Should-- Transform Graduate Education." Co-authored. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 4 May 2020

Courses Taught:

ENGL 0200: "Discourse/Intercourse: Recognizing Desire in Novels and Media" (elective literature course for majors and non-majors), Spring 2018

ENGL 0900: “Critical Reading and Writing I: The Academic Essay” (first-year composition seminar), Fall 2017

CEEL0991: “Putting Yourself into Words” Summer 2017

CEEL 0997: “Party Girls: Feminist Fiction Up ‘Till Dawn, 1815-2015” Summer 2017 and Summer 2018 (Co-Instructor)

Research and Teaching Interests:

Literary and Cultural Theory; Romantic and Victorian; Studies in the Novel