Pericles Lewis

Pericles Lewis's picture
Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of Comparative Literature
2 Whitney Avenue, Room 447
+1 (203) 432-6326


Pericles Lewis, Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of Comparative Literature, serves as Yale’s vice president and vice provost for global strategy. From 2012 to 2017 Professor Lewis served as founding president of Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between Yale and the National University of Singapore. Under his leadership, the college developed into a thriving model of residential liberal arts education much admired and studied throughout Asia and the world.

Pericles Lewis earned his B.A. with first-class honors in English literature from McGill University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 1997. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the Yale faculty in 1998, with appointments in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature. His teaching has included undergraduate surveys of English poetry, the European epic tradition, and literary theory, and courses on modernism in literature and the arts, ranging from freshman to graduate seminars. He has received a variety of honors and awards for his contributions to research, teaching, and service.

A former member of the advisory board of the American Comparative Literature Association, Professor Lewis also serves on several editorial boards and as an advisor to various academic publishers, foundations, and educational institutions in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and Japan. He is the author or editor of six books on modern European literature and has written for academic journals as well as the Chronicle of Higher EducationTimes Higher Education, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. His research on modernism shows how developments in literary form emerge out of a background of social, political and existential ferment. Rather than understand the modernists as elitists, hermetically sealed off from the broader culture, he explores their engagements with that culture and the distinctively literary solutions that they found for the central problems of their time. More recently, he has been writing on the development of liberal education in the United States and worldwide.


B.A. McGill University, 1990
A.M. Stanford University, 1991
Ph.D. Stanford University, 1997 

Research Interests

Modernism, Literature and Philosophy, Liberal Education

Publication Highlights

“In Asia, for the World: Liberal Education and Innovation.” The Liberal Arts and Science Education Dialogue across Continents: Experiences and Perspectives from the USA, Europe, and Asia, ed. William Kirby and Marijk van der Wende. London: Palgrave, 2016.
Pericles Lewis and Katherine Rupp, “Liberal Education in Asia: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities,” New Global Studies 9 (2015): 245-66.
Editor, The Norton Anthology of Western Literature, ninth edition. Primarily responsible for final section, Literature Since 1900, under the general editorship of Martin Puchner. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
“Asia Invests in the Liberal Arts,” Harvard International Review 35.1 (Summer 2013): 36-39.
Elyse Graham and Pericles Lewis, “Private Religion, Public Mourning, and Mrs. Dalloway,” Modern Philology 111 (2013): 88-106.
Editor. The Norton Anthology of World Literature, third edition. Primarily responsible for volume F, Literature Since 1900, under the general editorship of Martin Puchner. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Shorter edition 2013. Fourth edition in preparation for publication in 2018.
“Modernism and Religion.” The Cambridge Companion to Modernism, second edition, ed. Michael Levenson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 178-96.
Religious Experience and the Modernist Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
“Inventing Literary Modernism During the Great War.” London, Modernism and 1914, ed. Michael Walsh. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. 148-64.
The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
“Churchgoing in the Modern Novel.” Modernism/Modernity 11 (2004): 667-94.
“Walter Benjamin in the information age? On the limited possibilities for a defetishizing critique of culture.” In Mapping Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Digital Age. Ed. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Michael Marrinan. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003. 221-9.
“The Conscience of the Race: The Nation as Church of the Modern Age in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” Joyce Through the Ages. Ed. Michael P. Gillespie. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999. 81-106. Reprinted in the Norton Critical Edition of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce, ed. John Paul Riquelme. New York: Norton, 2007. 451-70.
Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
“‘His Sympathies were in the Right Place’: Heart of Darkness and the Discourse of National Character.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 53 (1998): 211-44. Reprinted in Harold Bloom, ed. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea House Press, 2008. 51-78.
Research Interests: 
Critical Theory and Philosophy