Assistant Professor of the Practice,
Program of Liberal Studies
B.A.H University of Kings College (Dalhousie University); M.A. Queen's University; Ph.D. University of Cambridge
Joseph Rosenberg’s research focuses on twentieth-century literature, and he is particularly interested in the interconnections between literature, media, and psychology in mid-century Britain. He recently completed work on his first book, Wastepaper Modernism: Twentieth-Century Fiction and the Ruins of Print, an examination of the recurrent images of destroyed and ravaged print that haunt the modern novel, from Henry James’s obsessions with the burning of manuscripts to the fixation with destroyed libraries in the fiction of the Blitz. Wastepaper Modernism argues that these images are vital to our understanding of modernism and its aftermath, disclosing an anxiety about textual matter that lurks behind the desire for radically different modes of communication.
In addition, his recent writing has focused on a number of “late modernist” writers including Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, and Edward Upward. This work is part of a second book project, provisionally entitled Shallow All the Way Down: Late Modernism in Britain. Taking seriously E.M. Forster’s injunction that after the political and aesthetic failures of modernism “the best chance for future society lies through apathy, uninventiveness, and inertia,” Shallow All the Way Down argues that British literature, from the post-war era to Thatcher, is categorized by a radically unmodernist veneration of the superficial as an aesthetic mode.
He has been the recipient of major fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His essay “Paper Bombs” won the 2015 Space Between Society Essay Prize.
Rosenberg was recently interviewed about his research for the literary magazine Rough Beast: “Exiling Waste: An Interview with Joseph Rosenberg” click on interview
215 O'Shaughnessy Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5639