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Jonathan D. Culler

Class of 1916 Professor

photo of Jonathan D. Culler

Klarman Hall, Room 202



Jonathan Culler came to Cornell in 1977 as Professor of English and Comparative Literature and in 1982 succeeded M.H. Abrams in the Class of 1916 Chair.

His Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study of Literature, won MLA’s Lowell Prize and established his reputation as analyst and expositor of critical theory. Now known especially for On Deconstruction and Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (which has been translated into some 26 languages), he published Theory of the Lyric (Harvard University Press) in the spring of 2015.

Professor Culler has been President of the American Comparative Literature Association and chair of the departments of English, Comparative Literature, and Romance Studies at Cornell, as well as Senior Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2006. He currently serves as Secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies and as the Chair of the New York Council for the Humanities.


    • Comparative Literature
    • English

    Graduate Fields

    • Comparative Literature
    • English Language and Literature
    • Romance Studies


    • French Studies Program


    • Literary Theory
    • 19th Century French literature
    • English poetry
    • Theory of the lyric



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