Contact Us
101 North Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: (610) 526-5306
Fax: (610) 526-7477

Bryn Thompson, Administrative Assistant

Michael Tratner

Michael Tratner grew up in Hollywood, where the arts, business and government are hard to tell apart, and he still feels most at home among critics who treat literature, economics and politics as inseparable.   Studying literature is thus for him a part of the overall process of creating a more equitable and just society.  He is the author of three books of criticism. The first, Modernism and Mass Politics: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats, argues that modernists developed new literary forms in order to participate in the new, collectivist forms of mass politics emerging in the early twentieth century. The second, Deficits and Desires: Economics, Sexuality and Literature in the Twentieth Century, examines how morality and psychology changed when "being in debt" became a normal part of everyday life and governmental policy during the 20's and 30's. The third, Crowd Scenes: Movies and Mass Politics, returns him to his childhood city, for a study of how Hollywood movies borrowed the innovations of Fascist and Communist filmmakers while struggling against the politics of those innovations.  He is currently working on a study of literary works that remain suspended between historical periods, leaving their politics and economics uncertain and unsettled.  In his teaching, he has tried to demonstrate that bringing politics, economics and literature together increases the instruction and entertainment to be derived from all these disciplines.

Courses Taught

229 - Movies and Mass Politics (crosslisted w/Comp.Lit)
234 - Postcolonial Literature in English
244 - Poetry as Cultural Criticism
290 - Twentieth Century Novels
292 - Introduction to Critical Theories
354 - Virginia Woolf
322 - Love and Money
377 - James Joyce