Rochelle L Rives
Phone: +1 (212) 220-8000;ext=7480
I specialize in transatlantic modernist literature and have further research and teaching interests in visual culture, aesthetics, history of science, postcolonial literature, contemporary transnational literature, and critical theory. My book, Modernist Impersonalities: Affect, Authority, and the Subject (Palgrave 2012), examines the topic of “impersonality” in modernist literature as a response to the pervasive power of “personality” in social and political life. It charts an alternative modernist genealogy that links what has traditionally been interpreted as a conservative aesthetic doctrine to a more progressive understanding of affect and the emotions. My second monograph, The New Physiognomy: Modern Aesthetics and Facial Form, continues investigating the problem that personality poses for modernist expression, connecting a modernist preoccupation with the face to problems of aesthetic form and expression and to the critical practice of reading. This work extends to a consideration of the new facial realities born of the Covid-19 pandemic–including masking and zooming–as well as new technologies such as Facial Recognition Technology and the widely scrutinized deepfake video. Portions of the manuscript, on Mina Loy, Gaudier-Brzeska, Joseph Conrad, and Oscar Wilde appear in Journal of Modern Literature, Criticism, and PMLA. I also write regularly on film and other aspects of visual culture, and my article on French film director Robert Bresson and the problems animals pose for narrative appears Symploke. Aside from composition courses at BMCC, I regularly teach Introduction to Literary Studies, Postcolonial Literature, The European Novel, Women and Literature, and Modern World Literature.
I am also a three time winner of the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Faculty at CUNY, or the William P. Kelley Research Fellowship, and my research has also been supported by the Mellon Foundation and the University of California at Los Angeles as well as other institutions.
Modernism, History of Science, Visual Culture, Film, Aesthetics
- B.A. University of Texas at Austin, English and History
- Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, English Language and Literature
- Students placed in ENG 100.5 are offered extra support, afforded through additional instructional time. Students completing ENG 100.5 will have mastered the fundamentals of college-level reading and writing, including developing a thesis-driven response to the writing of others and following the basic conventions of citation and
documentation. They will have practiced what Mike Rose calls the a??habits of minda?? necessary for success in college and in the larger world: summarizing, classifying, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Students will be introduced to basic research methods and MLA documentation and complete a research project. Students are required to take a departmental final exam that requires the
composition of a 500 word thesis-driven essay in
conversation with two texts. Successful completion of this course is equivalent to passing ENG 101.
Prerequisite: Students who scored between 48-55 on the CAT-W and 70 or higher on the CAT-R can take this course
- English Composition is the standard freshman writing course. The course introduces students to academic writing. By its conclusion, students will be ready for English 201 and for the writing they will be asked to do in advanced courses across the curriculum. Students completing ENG 101 will have mastered the fundamentals of college-level reading and writing, including developing a thesis-driven response to the writing of others and following the basic conventions of citation and documentation. They will have practiced what Mike Rose calls the "habits of mind" necessary for success in college and in the larger world: summarizing, classifying, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Students will be introduced to basic research methods and MLA documentation and complete a research project. Students are required to take a departmental final exam that requires the composition of a 500 word, thesis-driven essay in conversation with two designated texts.
Prerequisite: Pass the CAT-R and CAT-W or Accuplacer tests
- This is a course that builds upon skills introduced in English 101. In this course, literature is the field for the development of critical reading, critical thinking, independent research, and writing skills. Students are introduced to literary criticisms and acquire basic knowledge necessary for the analysis of texts (including literary terms and some literary theory); they gain proficiency in library and internet research; and they hone their skills as readers and writers. Assignments move from close readings of literary texts in a variety of genres to analyses that introduce literary terms and broader contexts, culminating in an independent, documented, thesis-driven research paper. By the conclusion of English 201, students will be prepared for the analytical and research-based writing required in upper-level courses across the curriculum; they will also be prepared for advanced courses in literature.
Prerequisite: ENG 101
- This course acquaints students with the wide range and varied forms of the short story as it developed in America, Europe, and other continents. Readings will include works by male and female authors of different periods and nationalities, and some attention may be paid to the historical development of the short story as a genre, as well as the cultural contexts in which the assigned stories were written.
Pre-Requisite: ENG101 and ENG201 or ENG121
- This course will study and analyze selected novels, short stories, poems and plays of postcolonial writers from Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, the English speaking Caribbean, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. The course will examine the ways in which postcolonial writers transcend a British imperial legacy of colonialism to redefine their own distinctive social and cultural worlds. Note: This course is crosslisted as: AFL 336.
- This course focuses on the contributions of women literary artists from a variety of cultures and ethnic groups. It examines how some writers have both reflected the prevailing female stereotypes of their age and background, and also imagined the "New Woman." Enrollment is open to both women and men.
- This survey course is independent of English 371, which is not a prerequisite. It covers the principal figures, styles, themes and philosophies represented during three literary periods: the Romantic Era, the Victorian Age and the Twentieth Century. It exposes students to major works of literature including poetry, plays, short stories, novels and essays. It enables students to appreciate the thoughts and contributions of outstanding writers such as Keats, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats and Eliot, as well as Dickens, Joyce and Lawrence.
- European social and political ideas as they are reflected in the works of such novelists as Gide, Silone, Koestler, Camus, Sartre, Mann, and Kafka are examined and analyzed. Prerequisites: ENG 101 and 201, or ENG 121
Research and Projects
- Modernist Impersonalities: Affect, Authority, and the Subject, 2012, Palgrave
- “The Voice of an Animal: Robert Bresson and Narrative Form,” 2016, Symploke
- “Facing Wilde; Or, Emotion’s Image,” 2015, PMLA
- “Face Values: Optics as Ethics in Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent,” 2014, Criticism
- “Modernist Prosopopoeia: Mina Loy, Gaudier-Brzeska and the Making of Face,” 2011, Journal of Modern Literature
- A Straight Eye for the Queer Guy: Mary Butts’ Fag-Hag and the Modernist Group, 2008, Modernist Group Dynamics: The Politics and Poetics of Friendship (Cambridge)
- Things that Lie on the Surface: Modernism, Impersonality, and Emotional Inexpressibility 2007, Disclosure: A Journal of Social Theory
- No Real Men: Mary Butts’ Socio-Sexual Politics, A Response to Andrew Radford, 2009, Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate
- Problem Space: Mary Butts, Modernism, and the Etiquette of Placement,” 2005, Modernism/Modernity
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- Chancellor’s Research Fellowship for Distinguished Faculty, 2015-2016; 2017-2018; 2019
- Andrew Mellon Mid-Career Fellowship, Interdisciplinary Committee for Science Studies, 2014-2015
- PSC CUNY Research Grant, Cycles 46, 44, 43, 41, 39