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Jonathan Beck Monroe


Jonathan Beck Monroe

Klarman Hall, Room 305

Educational Background

Davidson College, B.A.

University of Oregon, Ph.D.





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
  • Romance Studies

Graduate Fields

  • Comparative Literature
  • English Language and Literature
  • Romance Studies


  • Innovative, experimental, alternative 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
  • Writing and disciplinary practices
  • Interdisciplinary approaches in literary and cultural studies.




  • Framing Roberto Bolaño — Poetry, Fiction, Literary History, Politics
  • Appositional Poetics: Poetry Among the Discourses
  • Postcolonial Poetry and the Poetics of Relation


  • A Poverty of Objects: The Prose Poem and the Politics of Genre. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987.
  • Writing and Revising the Disciplines. Editor and co-author. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002.
  • Local Knowledges, Local Practices: Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell. Editor and co-author. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003; second edition, 2006.
  • Demosthenes’ Legacy (prose poems, short fiction). Tokyo and Toronto: Ahadada Books, 2009.


  • Poetics of Avant-Garde Poetries II. “Aftershock: Poetry and Cultural Politics Since 1989.” Editor and co-author. Poetics Today 21.1 (Spring 2000).
  • Poetry, Community, Movement. Editor and co-author. Diacritics 26.3–4 (Fall–Winter 1996).


  • “Genre.” Literature Now—Key Terms and Methods for Literary History. Ed. Sascha Bru, Ben de Bruyn & Michel Delville. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016, 252-264 and 296-298.
  • “Urgent Matter.” “What Is a Thing?” Special issue of Konturen. Ed. Nicholas Reynolds and Jeffrey S. Librett. Vol 8, 2015, 8-39.
  • “Los amores y juegos del joven Berger” (on Roberto Bolaño’s El Tercer Reich). In Bolaño salvaje. Ed. Edmundo Paz Soldán y Gustavo Faverón Patriau. Canet de Mar (Barcelona): Editorial Candaya, 2ndn nd edition, 2013, 487-506.
  • “Autrement dire : La poussée vers l'abstraction de Rosmarie Waldrop.” In Dossier: Lorrine Niedecker-Alejandra Pizarnik- Rosmarie Waldrop. Cahier critique de poésie. Ed. Jean Daive. Marseille: Centre international de poésie. Collection, Cahier critique de poésie. Paris: Gallimard, No. 26, 2013, 86-89.
  • “Composite Cultures, Chaos Wor(l)ds” (on Edouard Glissant). In Tradition, Trauma, Translation: The Classic and the Modern. Ed. Timothy Mathews and Jan Parker. Oxford University Press, 2011, 155-174.
  • “Philosophy, Poetry, Parataxis.” In Philosophy as a Literary Art: Making Things Up. Ed. Costica Bradatan. New York and London: Routledge, 2014; rpt. from The European Legacy 14 (5), 2009, 599-611; Rpt. from The European Legacy 14.5 (2009), 599-611; Routledge, 2014; rpt. from The European Legacy 14 (5), 2009, 599-611.
  • “Every Person, Many Studies.” ADFL Bulletin 42.2 (2013), 13-20.
  • Demosthenes’ Legacy: fragments traduits en français par Christine Pagnoulle. In “Dossier / La prose des poètes.” Ed. Michel Delville. Culture. Liège: Université de Liège, February, 2016, 
  • ")Writing Writing(." Poetry and Pedagogy: The Challenge of the Contemporary. Ed. Joan Retallack and Juliana Spahr. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, 64-79.
  • ”"Index and Symptom: 'Connective' Reading, (Post-)Language Poetries, and Cultural Critique." Contemporary Literature 44.4 (Winter 2003), 748-770.