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Curriculum Vitae: Naomi Mandel, Ph.D

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Department of English
University of Rhode Island


  • University of California, Irvine
    Ph.D., English; Critical Theory Emphasis, 2000
  • Cornell University, School of Criticism and Theory
    Certificate, 1998
  • University of California, Irvine
    M.A., English, 1995
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel
    B.A., English, 1993
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel
    B.M., Music, 1993


Assistant Professor of English, University of Rhode Island, August 2000
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Rhode Island, July 2006
Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Rhode Island, July 2012.


Visiting Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Halbert Center for Canadian Studies), February-June 2010


Books and Edited Collections

Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, and Lunar Park. (Ed.) London: Continuum, 2011. 

Against the Unspeakable: Complicity, the Holocaust, and Slavery in America. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006 (hardcover and paperback)

Novels of the Contemporary Extreme. Co-edited with Alain-Philippe Durand. London: Continuum, 2006. (reissued in paperback 2008).

Guest Editor, Atrocity, Outrage, and the Ordinary. Special Issue of the Journal of Mundane Behavior 3.3 (2002).

Articles and Book Chapters

"Fact, fiction, and fidelity in the novels of Jonathan Safran Foer." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45.2 (2012): 238-256.

"The Value and Values of Bret Easton Ellis." In Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, Lunar Park.  London: Continuum, 2011

"Fiction and Fidelity: Windows on the World." Mattheiu Dalle, trans. In Frédéric Beigbeder et ses doubles. Alain-Philippe Durand, ed. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008. 107-126.

"Introduction." With Alain-Philippe Durand. Novels of the Contemporary Extreme. London: Continuum, 2006. 1-5.

"'Right Here in Nowheres': Bret Easton Ellis and Violence's Critique." In Novels of the Contemporary Extreme. London: Continuum, 2006. 9-19.

"Ethics after Auschwitz: the Holocaust in History and Representation. Criticism 45.5 (2004): 509-518.

"'I made the ink': Identity, Complicity, 60 Million, and more." Modern Fiction Studies 48.3 (2002): 581-613.

"To Claim the Mundane." Journal of Mundane Behavior 3.3 (2002): 327-335.

"The mundane and the limits of the human: thoughts on Hamlet, Roswell, N.M., and the Jerry Springer show." Journal of Mundane Behavior 2 (2000): 207-224.

"Rethinking 'After Auschwitz: Against a Rhetoric of the Unspeakable in Holocaust Writing.'" boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture 28 (2001): 203-228.

"Speaking Corpses and Spectral Spaces: Representing Testimony After the Holocaust." Dialectical Anthropology 24 (2000): 357-376.

Book Reviews

"The Contours of Loss: Laura Tanner's Lost Bodies: Inhabiting the Borders of Life and Death. Criticism 50.4 (2008): 663-673.
Brian Richardson, Unnatural Voices: Extreme Narration in Modern and Contemporary FictionNovel: A Forum on Fiction (2007): 320-322.

Eng and Kazanjian, eds., Loss: The Politics of Mourning. SubStance 32.3 (2003): 11-15.

Michael Rothberg, Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation. Cultural Critique 51 (2002): 241-245.

Norman Naimark, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. Modernism/Modernity 9.2 (2002): 356-358.


"Unspeakable Fidelities: Violence, Justice, and Being True." "Parsing the Unspeakable." MLA. January 2011.

"Fidelity to Fact or Fiction: Frédéric Beigbeder on Being True." "Literature of 9/11." MLA. December 2009.

"Violent Fidelities." "Epistemologies of Deceit" Plenary Panel. SCLA. October 2009. "Narrative after the Holocaust and 9/11: On Fiction, Fidelity, and Being True." Narrative. May 2008.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Illuminated, or, Being Nomadic with the Truth." Louisville Conference on Language and Literature After 1900. February 2008.

"Human Rights Between Violence and Ethics." NEH Institute: Human Rights in Conflict: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. July 2006

"'Confessions of Nat Turner': The Ethics and Politics of Narrative Closure." Narrative. April 2004.

"'Right Here in Nowheres': The Sick Twisted Ethics of Bret Easton Ellis." ACLA. April 2004.

"'Conceived in Language, Not in Blood': The Specter of the Body in the Modern Nation." ACLA. April 2003.

"Silent politics and politics of silence: trauma and the Holocaust." MLA. Winter 2001.

"The Game of Who Suffered Most: Limits of Language, Identity Politics, '60 million and more.'" Central New York Conference on Language and Literature. October 2001

"Ethics, Politics and Identity 'After Auschwitz.'" Cultural Studies: Between Politics and Ethics. Bath, UK. Summer 2001.

"Hiroshima Holocaust." East/West: points of contact. Lycoming College, Williamsport PA. Spring 2001.

"Paul de Man and the Holocaust's Challenge to Theory." Deconstruction Reading Politics. Straffordshire, UK. July 1999.

"Speaking Schindler's List." M/MLA. November 1999.

"After the Unspeakable: Writing Identity After the Holocaust." Works in Progress Seminar. UCI, April 1998.

"Speaking the Unspeakable: Guilt and Complicity in Writing and Reading the Holocaust." The Holocaust: its relevance to today's world. Omaha, Nebraska. April 1998.

"Speaking Corpses and Spectral Spaces: Representing Testimony After the Holocaust." Narratives of Crisis. Rutgers University. October 1997.

Invited Lectures

"Something Empty in the Sky: Fiction and Disaster in 21st Century Fiction." The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Israel. May 2011,

"9/11 and Catastrophe Literature: Transgression and Fidelity." Ben Gurion University. May 2011.

"Telling and Retelling: truth and history in the novels of Jonathan Safran Foer." York University, Toronto, Canada. April 2011

"Canadian ... Extreme." Halbert Centre, Hebrew University. May 23, 2010.

"Impossible Murders: Trauma and Testimony in Elie Wiesel's Night and Art Spiegelman's Maus. Haifa University. 17 May 2010.

Panel Discussion on the Literature of Extremity and the Rhetoric of Urgency. With Dr. Louise Bethlehem. Hebrew University. April 27, 2010.

"Being Nomadic with the Truth: Fact, Fiction, and Fidelity in the novels of Jonathan Safran Foer."  Hebrew University in Jerusalem. April 13, 2010.

"Studying and Teaching Disability in the Classroom." URI Disability Summit. October 2008.

"On Being Complicit: Resistance, Reference, and Identity after 'Auschwitz.'" SUNY Buffalo State. April 2008.

"In Fidelity: From Being Right to Being True." University of Rhode Island Center for the Humanities. April 2008.

Talma Yzraely Lecture: "Fiction and Fidelity: Windows on the World." Tel Aviv University, Israel. March 2007.

"Against the Unspeakable." Ben-Gurion University, Israel. March 2007

"Between Reference and Resistance: Identity 'after Auschwitz.'" Haifa University, Israel. December 2006.

"'And Not Let Fall': Mourning Jacques Derrida." Jacques Derrida Memorial Service, Introductory Remarks. University of Rhode Island. October 2004.

"'The Twin Towers of Auschwitz and Hiroshima': Identity, Complicity and the Unspeakable." University of Rhode Island Faculty Colloquium. 2004.

"Against the Unspeakable: Complicity, Identity and the Specter of the Holocaust." Tel Aviv University, Israel. April 2003.


National and International

2010   Visiting Professor at the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies at Hebrew University in
2008   Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Summer Fellowship (declined)
2006   NEH Summer Institute: Human Rights in Conflict: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
2000   University of California Regents, California President’s Dissertation Fellowship

University of Rhode Island

2009   URI Hope and Heritage Faculty Development Fund
2009   Faculty Development Grant
2009   University of Rhode Island, Beaupré Hope and Heritage Fund Grant
2009   URI Center for the Humanities Visiting Speaker Fund
2007   University of Rhode Island, Beaupré Hope and Heritage Fund Grant
2007   URI Center for the Humanities Visiting Speaker Fund
2007   URI Honors Program Visiting Scholar Fund
2006   URI Center for the Humanities Subvention Grant (to reproduce artwork)
2006   URI Center for the Humanities, David Maron Sabbatical Fellowship
2006   University of Rhode Island, Career Enhancement Grant
2002   URI Foundation, Capstone Course Development Grant
2002   University of Rhode Island, Faculty Development Research Grant
2001   URI Marks Fund Travel Grant


General Education and Introductory Level

  • Introduction to Literature (ENG 110)
  • Principles of Literary Study (ENG 201)
  • Introduction to U.S. Literature after 1865 (ENG 242)

Upper-division Undergraduate

  • Literature and Medicine (ENG 357)
  • Literary Theory and Criticism: Violence and Representation (ENG 350)
  • History of Literary Theory and Criticism from Plato to the Present (ENG 351)
  • Postmodern and Contemporary Literature: Postmodern Constructions of Identity (ENG 378)
  • The 20th century Novel (ENG 469)
  • U.S. Major Authors: Toni Morrison and William Styron (ENG 485)

Honors Courses

  • Narratives of Ability and Disability (HPR 107)
  • Violence and the Novel (HPR 412)
  • History of Literary Theory and Criticism from Plato to the Present (HPR 319/CLS 351)
  • Fictions of Ability and Disability (HPR 411)
  • Novels of the Contemporary Extreme (URI Honors Colloquium, coordinated with Alain-Philippe Durand) (HPR 202)

Graduate Courses

  • The Canadian Extreme (Jerusalem 2010)
  • Studies in Critical Theories (ENG 514)
  • Contemporary U.S. Responses to War (ENG 545)
  • Special Topics: Testimony (ENG 590)
  • Toni Morrison, William Styron, and the Politics of Identity (ENG 615)
  • Special Topics: Violence (ENG 660)
  • Fictions of Extremity (ENG 660)



Conferences and Symposia Organized

April 2008: Coordinator and Organizer of URI Honors Symposium on Violence and Ethics. (with Alain-Philippe Durand).

February 2008: Panel Organizer, "Extreme Contemporary, Contemporary Extreme. Louisville Conference on Language and Literature after 1900.

July 2006: Participant, NEH Institute. Human Rights in Conflict: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

April 2004. Panel Organizer, "Violence and Ethics." ACLA.

Peer and Professional Evaluation

2007-2009: evaluate manuscripts for Rutgers University Press; Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Fordham University Press, Pacific Coast Philology, PMLA

2001-2007. Reader for College Literature.

2001-2007. Editorial Board Member, ATQ (American Transcendental Quarterly).

1999-2004. Founding member and editorial board member, The Journal of Mundane Behavior.

University of Rhode Island

Administrative Appointments

2010-2012 Director of Graduate Studies in English. Responsible for all aspects of the Graduate Program (M.A. and Ph.D.)

2007-2009 Coordinator of English at Feinstein Campus, Providence. Responsible for staffing, scheduling, outreach, and assessments.

2008 interim director, Comparative Literature Program. Advised students in the program about course and degree requirements; Chair, Comparative Literature Executive Committee.

2001-2006 Teaching Assistant Program Administrator and Supervisor of Literature TAs. Formal training and Supervision of 28 Teaching Assistants in English

Committes, Development, and Service

University of Rhode Island

2011 Graduate Dean Search Committee
2003-2006: Faculty Senate Representative
2010-2012 Graduate Council.
2010-2012: Graduate Council Awards subcommittee
2010 Graduate Council Nominating committee
2010-2011 Graduate Council subcommittee on Assessments
2009-present Center for the Humanities Executive Committee
2005-2007 Ad-Hoc Committee for Development of Judaic Studies Program at URI
Spring 2004: University of Rhode Island Visualizations Film Festival Division Director
Fall 2003: University College and General Education Committee.
2002-2003: Arts and Literature General Education Sub-Committee.

Department of English

2007-2012: English Department Executive Committee

2007-2008: English Department Selections Committee

2007-2008: English Department Assessments Committee

2003-2006: English Department Graduate Committee

2003-2006: English Department Curriculum Committee

2003-2004: English Department Long Range Planning Committee

Spring 2003: Selections Committee for English Department Chair

2001-2002: English Department Selections committee

2001-2002: English Department Graduate committee

2000-2001: Committee for Undergraduate Recruitment