Alec Pollak


Alec Pollak is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Literatures in English at Cornell University. Her research investigates how the decisions of literary estates, the management of archives, and the mechanics of intellectual property law have influenced the legacies of early- and mid-twentieth century authors. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (winner of the 2022 Katharine Newman Best Essay Award), Feminist Theory, the LA Review of Books, and the Yale Review. She is the winner of the 2018 Ursula Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship and the 2023 Hazel Rowley Prize for her work on a biography of feminist science fiction author Joanna Russ.

Alec has received fellowships and honors from Cornell University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University's Houghton Library, the New York Public Library, and Yale's Beinecke Library, among others. She will be a Junior Fellow at the Rare Books School's Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography beginning in 2023.  

Research Focus

  • Gender studies
  • Queer theory
  • Critical race theory
  • Cultural & media studies
  • 20th-century print culture
  • African American literature
  • Intellectual property law
  • Archival methods