Bartkowski, Frances

Professor Frances Bartkowski

Department of English - Newark 


Tel: (973) 353 5014

Office: 515 Hill Hall, Newark


Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of Iowa, 1982

M.A. in Comparative Literature, University of Iowa, 1978

M.L.S. in Library Science, University of Southern California, 1972

Diplôme in Etudes supérieures, Université de Caen, France, 1968

B.A. in French/ English, Montclair State College, NJ, 1969

Research Interests

Contemporary fiction, trauma and memory studies, feminist theory.

Biographical Notes

Professor Frances Bartkowski is a feminist theorist and literary critic. She was the recipient of a Mellon post-doctoral fellowship at Wesleyan University in 1984-85, and a Visiting Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1994-95. Professor Bartkowski has been teaching English and Women's Studies at Rutgers University-Newark since 1989.

Professor Bartkowski's work has always been an effort to participate in defining new fields: whether the wholesale rewriting of utopian and dystopian discourse in literature and theory by feminists in the 1970s and into the 1980s as in her first book; or, in her second book, where she examined questions of identity and dislocation through political and psychoanalytic categories as found in travel writing, immigrant autobiographies, and in concentration camp memoirs.

While at work on Kissing Cousins the field of animal studies began to emerge, and this book is a text that introduces some of the key questions of the field to students, scholars and general readers. Reviewers for the press described the manuscript as "groundbreaking," and its style as "bold" in its combination of "philosophical analysis and poetic evocation." This book takes up the disciplines of anthropology, primatology and genetics as they come to terms with the rewriting of kinship in the 21st century as evidenced in literature, film, art and current events. Professor Bartkowski's work at the Institute for Advanced Study on the topic of "Being Human" will continue to explore how much the question of the human remains with us, unsettled and unsettling, whether considering a field such as genetics or the continuing proliferation of events gathered under the term genocide.

Click here to view Professor Bartkowski's CV.

Selected Publications

Feminist Utopias, her first book, appeared in 1989 from University of Nebraska Press; Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates: Essays in Estrangement was published in 1995 by University of Minnesota Press; and Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary came out in 2008 from Columbia University press; Her textbook, Feminist Theory: A Reader, co-edited with Wendy Kolmar of Drew University is scheduled for a 4th edition from McGraw-hill. She has published articles in Boundary 2, differences. Her articles include work on French post-structuralism, questions of the sublime, artists such as the photographer Diane Arbus and the painter Samuel Bak. She has also published essays in Tikkun, The New York Times. She Occasionally publishes poems, and is currently working on a novel, An Afterlife. Most recently she has been writing about the representation of animals in the visual arts; she is a member of the Animal Studies Group at NYU.

Courses Offered

Graduate English/Women’s and Gender Studies:

  • Feminist Theory/Queer Theory
  • Gender, Race and the Holocaust
  • Post-War European Novel
  • History of Feminist Thought
  • Introduction to Graduate Literary Study
  • Feminist Literary Criticism
  • Psychoanalysis and Feminism
  • Thinking Gender/Writing Feminism

Undergraduate English:

  • Humans and Other Animals
  • Post 9/11 Novel in America
  • Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison
  • Toni Morrison and Philip Roth
  • Edith Wharton and Willa Cather
  • Feminist Utopian Writing
  • The Novel in America
  • Fictions of Gender
  • Immigrant Autobiographies
  • Cultural Confrontations
  • English 102
  • 20th Century US Autobiographies
  • Women's Autobiographies
  • Women in Literature

Women's Studies:

  • Politics of Sexuality
  • Feminist Theory
  • Introduction to Women's Studies