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Department of English

Naomi Mandel

Naomi Mandel Professor of English & Comparative Literature

Ph.D. University of California, Irvine (Critical Theory Emphasis)
M.A. University of California, Irvine
B.A., B.M., Tel Aviv University

Office: 175B Swan Hall
Phone: 401-874-4011
Office Hours: T 2-3 and by appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Naomi Mandel specializes in contemporary literature and critical theory, with particular research interests in the aesthetics and ethics of violence. She has published on Slavery, the Holocaust, online activism, and the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Her research is multidisciplinary, and includes published work on film, visual media, cyberculture, and graphic novels, as well as literature and philosophy.

Mandel's first book, Against the Unspeakable: Complicity, the Holocaust, and Slavery in America, critically examines the view that vast and violent events are unspeakable: that they are beyond the limits of representation, comprehension, and thought. Her second book, Disappear Here: Violence After Generation X, is a bold, novel analysis of a profound cultural change that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s—a period in which developments in technology, media, and global politics revised long-standing cultural, philosophical, and ethical approaches to violence, to reality, and to the ever-elusive meaning of “real violence” in the media age.

Mandel’s commitment to interdisciplinary, collaborative, and international work is also evident in her edited collections. Novels of the Contemporary Extreme, co-edited with Alain-Philippe Durand, investigates the contemporary phenomenon of "extreme fiction" and explores its international dimension with essays on novels from North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, Lunar Park, brings together scholars of this cult figure from the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. An early adopter of digital publishing platforms and open access scholarship, Mandel is a co-founder of the online Journal of Mundane Behavior, where she edited a special edition on Atrocity, Outrage and the Ordinary.

Current work reflects Mandel’s fascination with secrecy, silence, and the esoteric in the information age. Two projects are in preparation. One focuses on images of hacking, programming, gaming, and coding in contemporary visual and literary culture. Another explicates the manifestations of (dis)ease with systems and institutions that monitor, record, and graph information. Ongoing projects include trying to wake up earlier in the morning and watching less T.V.

Against the Unspeakable      Disappear Here

Cover: Novels of the Contemporary Extreme -- Edited by Naomi Mandel and Alain-Philippe DurandBret Easton Ellis_Edited EssaysJMB