Shaj Mathew

Shaj Mathew's picture
5th Year Student


Shaj Mathew is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature at Yale. He studies contemporary literature from the Middle East, Latin America, and the Anglophone world. His dissertation, a study of the global origins of the flâneur, establishes a genealogy of modernity that is chiefly located in the non-West.                                                                  

His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Critique and Critical Inquiry. He also contributes literary criticism to The New Yorker, 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 Persian, Turkish, American, and Latin American literature; Iranian cinema; Nuri Bilge Ceylan; the occult; theories of world literature; non-Western modernities; wunderkammern & museum studies


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

Working Languages

Persian, Turkish, Spanish

Selected Publications

“Traveling Realisms, Shared Modernities, Eternal Moods: The Uses of Anton Chekhov in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep.” Adaptation (2019). 1-15.

“Review of Hamid Dabashi’s Persophilia.” Critical Inquiry. Forthcoming, Fall 2018.

“Picking Up the Pieces.” The New York Times Book Review. August 26, 2018. pp. BR16. [NYT]

“Fathers, Sons, and the West in Pamuk’s Turkey.” The New Yorker. Oct. 30, 2017. [The New Yorker]

Translated into Persian in Tarjomaan, December 2017; translated into Azerbaijani in Azadliq, November 2017

“The Power of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.” The New Republic. December 5, 2017. [TNR]

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

“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]

“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. [TNR]

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. [TNR]

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

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