Wlad Godzich

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Wlad Godzich
Wlad Godzich
Godzich in 1999
Born (1945-05-13) May 13, 1945 (age 74)
CitizenshipUS, Canada
EducationPh.D., Columbia University[1]
GenreLiterary theory
SubjectEmergent literature
Globalization and culture
European integration
Notable worksThe Culture of Literacy
Theory and History of Literature Series
The Emergence of Prose: An Essay in Prosaics

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Wlad Godzich (born May 13, 1945 in Germany, raised in France) is a literary critic, literary theorist, translator, and scholar. He is attributed with influencing the conceptualization of modern literary critical theory.[2] He currently serves as Professor of general and comparative literature, and critical studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.[3]


Godzich has published and translated several books, edited eight collections of essays, and authored over a hundred scholarly articles, lectures, and papers.[4] In 2000, Godzich joined the University of California, Santa Cruz as dean of Humanities.[2] Prior to this, he was Professor of English (Chair of Emergent Literatures), Comparative Literature, and European Studies at the University of Geneva and professor of Comparative literature at Université de Montréal. He has also held visiting appointments at the University of Silesia (Poland), the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Harvard University, and the University of Zurich.

At the University of Minnesota, he was the director of the Office of Research Development, director of the comparative literature program, director of the Center for Humanistic Studies, and coordinator of their international program in Dakar, Senegal.[5]

Organizer of dozens of international conferences, he also acts as consultant to many university presses and organizers of university programs in the Americas and Europe. He sits on the editorial board of multiple American, European and Asian journals, both print and electronic. His research grants have been primarily from US, Canadian, Swedish, Swiss and private agencies.[6]

Work in the 1980s[edit]

Through his work at the University of Minnesota Press, Godzich brought important works of critical theory into English translation.[7] His essays during this period were well received by critics as they were among the first to link deconstruction, cultural criticism, and third-world literatures through linguistics:

they can now be seen as tesserae composing a theoretical mosaic of remarkable scope. The patterns of his thought emerge from his interest in the relationship between language and literacy-the latter conceived as "a determinate set of relations that we have to language." Godzich reinvigorates the semiological project proposed by Saussure but forsaken by his heirs: that of exploring the social functioning of language in its historical and rhetorical actualizations.[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Emergence of Prose: An Essay in Prosaics (Minnesota, 1987; ISBN 978-0-8166-1572-8)
  • Philosophie einer un-europäischen Literaturkritik (Fink, 1989)
  • Crisis of Institutionalized Literature in Spain (Minnesota, 1991; ISBN 978-0-8166-2010-4)
  • The Culture of Literacy (Harvard University Press, 1994; ISBN 978-0-674-17954-7)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ University of California, Santa Cruz, Literature 2002-03: Faculty and Professional Interests, 2002.
  2. ^ a b Mckenna, Barbara, New dean of humanities named at UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz Currents, July 31, 2000.
  3. ^ Duke University Press, boundary 2.2006; 33: 229-231, 2006.
  4. ^ Stanford University, The Stanford Presidential Symposium on: The Social Sciences, Law, and the Humanities - Symposium Biographies, November 5–6, 1999.
  5. ^ Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy, ISNAE Founders.
  6. ^ Simpson, John B. Administrative Messages from the Provost, July 21, 2000.
  7. ^ Bauerlein, Mark, The Chronicle of High Education, The Chronicle Review: Diminishing Returns in Humanities Research, July 20, 2009.
  8. ^ Project MUSE, The Culture of Literacy, and: The Contingency of Theory: Pragmatism, Expressivism, and Deconstruction (review), 1995.

External links[edit]