Shaj Mathew

Shaj Mathew's picture
4th Year Student


Shaj Mathew is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature at Yale. He studies contemporary literature, film, and art from the United States, Latin America, and the Middle East. During the academic year 2017-2018, he is conducting dissertation research in Mexico City.

His scholarly writing has appeared in Critique, and his literary criticism has appeared in The New York Times Book Review and The New Republic.

In 2014, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was twice an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of the Penn Humanities Forum.

Research Interests

Aby Warburg; contemporary American, Latin American, Turkish, and Persian literature; Iranian cinema; witchcraft; theories of world literature; modernity; wunderkammern & museum studies

Education History

M.A. Yale (2016)
B.A. Penn (2014)


“Ciudad Juárez in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666: Mexico’s Violent Cradle of Modernity.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 57.4 (2016): 402-416. [TF Online]

“Unwelcome Guests.” The New York Times Book Review. March 26, 2017. pp. BR18. [NYT]

“The Tempest.” The New York Times Book Review. May 24, 2015. pp. BR20. [NYT]

“The Readymade Novel.” The New Republic. July/August 2015. pp. 82-83. [New Republic]

Translated into Spanish as “La novela readymade” in Revista Nexos, March 2016; translated into Italian as “Benvenuti nell’era del romanzo ready made” in Grafias, July 2015; translated into Tamil in Padhaakai, May 2015  

“Orhan Pamuk’s Working-Class Flâneurs.” The New Republic. October 13, 2015. [New Republic]

“Forugh Farrokhzad: Poetry as Life, Life as Poetry.” Guernica. February 26, 2014. [Guernica]

“Poring Through Bolaño’s Archives.” Guernica. September 5, 2013. [Guernica]