Peter Brooks

Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature

Peter Brooks, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale University, is currently Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar, in the University Center for Human Values and the Department of Comparative Literature, Princeton University.  He was the Founding Director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale.  He also held the position of Lecturer in the Yale Law School on several occasions.  From 2003-2006, he was University Professor at the University of Virginia, teaching in the English Department and the Law School, where he founded the Program in Law and Humanities.

He has published on narrative and narrative theory, on the 19th and 20th century novel, mainly French and English, and, more recently, on the interrelations of law and literature.  He is the author of several books, including Henry James Goes to Paris (2007), winner of the 2008 Christian Gauss Award, Realist Vision (2005),Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature (2000), Psychoanalysis and Storytelling (1994),Body Work (1993), Reading for the Plot (1984), The Melodramatic Imagination (1976) and The Novel of Worldliness (1969). He co-edited, with Paul Gewirtz, Law’s Stories (1996) and, with Alex Woloch, Whose Freud? (2000). He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Comparative Literature and Yale Journal of Law & Humanities. A novel, The Emperor’s Body, and a critical study, Enigmas of Identity, will be published in 2011.

Brooks has served as a visiting professor at Harvard University, the University of Texas, Austin, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Bologna, and the Georgetown University Law Center. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School in 1994. During the 2001-2002 academic year, he was Eastman Professor at Oxford University, and Fellow of Balliol College.  His work has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, in 1997; in 2007 he received the Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement award; he was elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.