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Jonathan Beck Monroe



Professor of Comparative Literature (working in English, French, German, and Spanish) and a member of the Graduate Fields of Comparative Literature, English, and Romance Studies, Jonathan Monroe has served several terms as Comparative Literature’s Director of Graduate Studies. Focusing especially on Europe and the Americas from the Age of Revolution to the 20th and 21st centuries, his areas of interest and specialization include modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, aesthetics and politics, genre and media theory, avant-gardes, postcolonial and Caribbean studies, history and literary history, and philosophy and critical theory. Recent publications include chapter contributions on "Genre" (Literature Now: Key Terms and Methods for Literary History), "Urgent Matter" (“What Is a Thing?” special issue of Konturen), and "Philosophy, Poetry, Parataxis" (Philosophy as a Literary Art), as well as articles on Rosmarie Waldrop, Roberto Bolaño, and Edouard Glissant, central figures in several book-length projects now nearing completion. Following his Fall 2016 courses "Introduction to Comparative Literature" and "Poetry and Poetics of the Americas," he will be teaching in Spring 2017, in addition to "Great Books: The Short Works," a new graduate seminar on "Global Avant-Gardes." Author of A Poverty of Objects: The Prose Poem and the Politics of Genre (Cornell UP) and co-author and editor of Writing and Revising the Disciplines (Cornell UP), Local Knowledges, Local Practices: Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell (Pittsburgh UP), Poetry Community, Movement (Diacritics), and Poetics of Avant-Garde Poetries (Poetics Today), he has published widely on modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, innovative poetries of the past two centuries, avant-garde movements and their contemporary legacies, writing and disciplinary practices, and interdisciplinary approaches in literary and cultural studies. A former DAAD and ACLS Fellow, he served several years as a member of the IIEE's national Fulbright selection committee. In 2009, he published Demosthenes’ Legacy (Ahadada Books), a book of prose poems and short fiction. His verse and prose poetry, short fiction, and cross-genre writing have appeared as well in numerous journals, including The American Poetry Review, Epoch, Harvard Review, /nor New Ohio Review, Verse, Volt, and Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics. A Cornell Merrill Presidential Scholar Outstanding Educator, he has ­served at Cornell as chair of the university’s Humanities Graduate Fellowship Board and as a member of the steering committee of the Institute for German Cultural Studies, the University Appeals Committee, and the Dean's Advisory Committee on Appointments for the College of Arts Sciences. During his time as director of Cornell's John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell's discipline-specific approach to writing at all levels of the curriculum led Time and The Princeton Review to name Cornell "Research University of the Year" (2001).


  • Comparative Literature
  • English

Graduate Fields

  • Comparative Literature
  • English Language and Literature
  • Romance Studies


  • Innovative, experimental, alternative,  or "other" poetries of the past two centuries
  • Avant-garde movements and their contemporary legacies
  • Poetry and the poetics of difference, poetry and the public sphere
  • The prose poem and cross-genre writing generally
  • Writing and disciplinary practices
  • Interdisciplinary approaches in literary and cultural studies.


  • A Poverty of Objects: The Prose Poem and the Politics of Genre
  • Co-author and editor of Poetics of Avant-Garde Poetries (Poetics Today, Winter 1999/Spring 2000, with Brian McHale and Meir Sternberg)
  • Poetry Community, Movement (Diacritics, Fall-Winter 1996)
  • Writing and Revising the Disciplines (forthcoming fall 2001)
  • Local Knowledges, Local Practices: Cultures of W Cornell (forthcoming spring 2002)
  • Poetry Among the Discourses: Contemporary Poetry and Cultural Criticism
  • Demosthenes' Dictionary (prose poems)
  • Has published articles on Ashbery, Baudelaire, Césaire, Eliot, Enzensberger, Gander, Harjo, Mullen, Novalis, Rich, Stein, and Waldrop.
  • His poetry has appeared most recently in a range of print and on-line journals, including Aught, Barcelona Review, Combo, Epoch, Harvard Review, Moria, Slope, Unarmed, Verse, and Xcp: Cross-Cultural Poetics