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English Department

Contact Information

phone: 322-2286
303 Benson Science Hall

Office Hours

Tuesday 200-400pm.


Vera Kutzinski

Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of English, Professor of Comparative Literature
Director of the Alexander von Humboldt in English (HiE) Project

Vera M. Kutzinski joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2004 as the first Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of English, a Professor of Comparative Literature, and the Director of the Center for the Americas.

Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Professor Kutzinski held appointments in English, African American Studies, and American Studies at Yale University, the faculty of which she joined in 1986. Kutzinski holds a Yale Ph.D. in American Studies and a Yale M.A. in African American Studies. She has extensive experience in academic administration at the departmental and the university level. Her research and teaching interests encompass United States, Caribbean, and Latin American literatures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has directed and co-directed 30 dissertations, the majority of them in English and Comparative Literatures.

Besides numerous articles and book chapters, she has published three books on Comparative American and Caribbean literatures: the award-winning Against the American Grain: Myth and History in William Carlos Williams, Jay Wright and Nicols Guilln (John Hopkins, 1987), Sugar's Secrets: Race and the Erotics of Cuban Nationalism (Virginia, 1993), and the translation Nicol's Guilln's The Daily Daily (California, 1989). She is completing a book entitled Langston Hughes in the Americas, portions of which were published in Diacritics and ALH.

In addition to translating recent literary criticism from Germany, she is also the director and principal editor of the Alexander von Humboldt in English (HiE) project, a collaboration between Vanderbilt and the University of Potsdam, Germany, which is working on three volumes of new English translations of Humboldt's major writings on the America in critical editions to be published by the University of Chicago Press. The first volume, the Political Essay on the Island of Cuba (in-press), is scheduled for 2010.