Michael Rothberg is Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies. He is also co-organizer of the Working Group in Memory Studies and an affiliate of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies.
He is the author of three influential books. The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019) and Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009) were both published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series. Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000) was published by the University of Minnesota Press. Multidirectional Memory has been translated into French, German, and Polish; its publication in Germany in 2021 led to a national debate in the mainstream press about the relationship between the Holocaust and other histories of violence.
He has also co-edited The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003; with Neil Levi) as well as five special issues of journals: Trump and the “Jewish Question” (Studies in American Jewish Literature; with Neil Levi); Noeuds de Mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in Postwar French and Francophone Culture (Yale French Studies, with Debarati Sanyal and Max Silverman); Between Subalternity and Indigeneity: Critical Categories for Postcolonial Studies (Interventions, with Jodi A. Byrd); States of Welfare (Occasion, with Lauren M.E. Goodlad and Bruce Robbins); and Transcultural Negotiations of Holocaust Memory (Criticism, with Stef Craps).
His work has been published in such journals as American Literary History, Contemporary Literature, Critical Inquiry, Cultural Critique, History and Memory, Memory Studies, New German Critique, and PMLA, and has been translated into French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Together with Yasemin Yildiz he won a 2011-2012 ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for a co-authored book, Memory Citizenship: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance, which is under contract with Fordham University Press. He also writes regularly for public-facing venues such as Inside Higher Ed, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Nation, as well as German-language publications such as Die Zeit, Berliner Zeitung, and Geschichte der Gegenwart.
He teaches courses and directs graduate student work on contemporary literatures, critical theory, cultural memory, Holocaust studies, human rights, and postcolonial studies.
- B.A. from Swarthmore College with Highest Honors in English and Linguistics
- Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center in Comparative Literature
- Center for Film and Literary Criticism, Paris
- Literature Program, Duke University