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Indiana University Bloomington

Susan Gubar

Susan Gubar


Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1972
M.A., The University of Michigan, l968
B.A., City College of New York (CUNY), l965

After Sandra Gilbert and I brought out the third edition of the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and the new Norton Reader of Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism in 2007, my research continued to revolve around women, literature, and criticism. I am currently putting together a volume of autobiographical essays, tentatively entitled A Feminist Facebook, by some of the founders of feminist literary criticism. My interest in new forms of critical writing was in part sparked by my efforts to reinvent Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own in a book I called Rooms of Our Own. When I can, I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on women’s literature and feminist criticism. But I also regularly teach a required freshmen lecture as well as upper-division classes on literature about the Holocaust. This last subject sparked my interest in the book I am currently completing, a biography of the cultural life of Judas, the twelfth apostle (which will be published by Norton in 2009). When not teaching or writing, I work as Special Advisor to the Provost for the Arts and the Humanities, trying to strengthen support for artists and humanists on the Bloomington campus.

Click here for further information regarding Professor Gubar's work in 20th Century Literature and culture. >>

Click here for further information regarding Professor Gubar's work in American Literature. >>

Recent Courses

L142: Introduction to Writing and the Study of Literature
L207: Women and Literature
L375: Studies in Jewish Literature
L663: Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies
& Various Graduate Seminars

Selected Publications (click images for more information)


Judas: A BiographyJudas: A Biography (New York: W.W. Norton, 2009).

Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism: A Norton ReaderFeminist Literary Theory and Criticism: A Norton Reader, coedited with Sandra M. Gilbert (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007).

Rooms of Our OwnRooms of Our Own (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006).

A Room of One's OwnAn Annotated Edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, with an introduction (New York: Harcourt Brace, 2005).

Poetry After AuschwitzPoetry After Auschwitz: Remembering What One Never Knew (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003).

Critical ConditionCritical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century (Columbia University Press, 2000). A Selection of Reader’s Subscription Books Club.

The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th-Century Literary Imagination, co-authored with Sandra M. Gilbert (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).

Shakespeare's Sisters: Feminist Essays on Women Poets, co-edited with Sandra M. Gilbert (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979).

Women Poets, Special Double Issue of Women's Studies, co-edited with Sandra M. Gilbert (1980).

The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English, co-edited with Sandra M. Gilbert (New York: W.W. Norton, 1985; revised second edition 1996).

A Guide to "The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English", co-authored with Sandra M. Gilbert (New York: W.W. Norton, 1985; revised second edition 1996).

The Female Imagination and the Modernist Aesthetic, co-edited with Sandra M. Gilbert (New York: Gordon and Breach, 1986); also published as a Special Double Issue of Women's Studies (Vol. 13, no. 1 & 2 (1986).

The War of the Words, Volume I of No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, co-authored with Sandra M. Gilbert (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988).

Sexchanges, Volume II of No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, co-authored with Sandra M. Gilbert (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).

For Adult Users Only: The Dilemma of Violent Pornography, co-edited with Joan Hoff (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989)

English Inside and Out: The Places of Literary Criticism, Papers from the 50th Meeting of the English Institute, co-edited with Jonathan Kamholtz (New York: Routledge 1993).

Letters from the Front, Volume III of No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, co-authored with Sandra M. Gilbert (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).

MotherSongs: Poetry by, for, and about Mothers, edited with Sandra M. Gilbert and Diana O'Hehir (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995).

Masterpiece Theatre: An Academic Melodrama, co-authored with Sandra M. Gilbert (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995).

Excerpts from the above appear in such collections as The Feminist Reader, ed. Catherine Belsey and Jane Moore; Criticism: Major Statements, ed. Charles Kaplan and William Anderson; Feminisms: Gender and Literary Studies, ed. Robyn R. Warhol and Diane Price Herndl; Dekonstrucktiver Feminismus: Literaturwissenschaft in Amerika, ed. Barbara Vinken, etc.

Also see Making Feminist History: The Literary Scholarship of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, ed. William E. Cain (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1994).

Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). A Selection of Reader’s Subscription Book Club.


"The Genesis of Hunger, According to Shirley," Feminist Studies (Spring-Summer 1976), 5-21; reprinted in Critical Essays on Charlotte Bronte, ed. Barbara Timm Gates (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1990), pp. 232-52.

"The Female Monster in Augustan Satire," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 3 (Winter 1977), 380-94. And "Reply to Comments" in Signs (Spring 1978), 732-3.

"Mother, Maiden, and the Marriage of Death: Women Writers and an Ancient Myth," Women and Men: The Consequences of Power, ed. by Dana V. Hiller and Robin Sheets (Cinncinnati: The Office of Women's Studies, 1977), pp. 386-97; reprinted in Women's Studies 6 (1979), 301-15.

"The Echoing Spell of H. D.'s Trilogy," Contemporary Literature 19 (Spring 1978), 196-218; reprinted in Shakespeare's Sisters; reprinted in H.D.: Modern Critical Views, ed. Harold Bloom (New York: Chelsea House, 1989), pp. 63-78G; reprinted in Signets, ed. Susan Friedman and Rachel Blau DuPlessis (University of Wisconsin Press, 1990).

"C. L. Moore and the Conventions of Women's SF," in Science Fiction Studies 20 (March 1980), 16-27; reprinted in Women and Science Fiction, ed. Jane Donawerth

"The Blank Page' and the Issues of Female Creativity," in Critical Inquiry, VIII, 2 (Winter 1981), 243-63; reprinted in Writing and Sexual Difference, edited by Elizabeth Abel (Univ. of Chicago, 1982), pp. 73-94; in Feminist Literary Criticism, edited by Elaine Showalter (New York: Pantheon, 1985), pp. 292-313; and in Gender Studies: New Directions in Feminist Criticism, ed. Judith Spector (Bowling Green State University Press, 1986), pp. 10-29; also translated as "Das unbeschriebene Blatt' und die Fragen einer weiblichen Kreativitat," in Auf der Suche nach den Garten unserer Mutter, edited and translated by Sara Lennox (Sammlung Luchterhand, 1982); in Isak Dinesen: Critical Views, ed. Olga Anastasia Pelensky (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1993), pp. 100-22.

"Blessings in Disguise: Cross-Dressing as Re-dressing for Female Modernists,"in The Massachusetts Review, XX 1, 3 (Autumn 1981), 477-508. Reprinted in The Pushcart Prize, VII: Best of the Small Presses, ed. Bill Hendersen (NY: The Pushcart Press, 1982), pp. 492-519.

"A Jury of Our Peers: Teaching and Learning in the Indianapolis Women's Prison," with Anne Hedin in College English, 43, 8 (December, 1981): 779-89.

"The Birth of the Artist as Heroine" in The Representation of Women in Fiction, edited by Carolyn Heilbrun and Margaret Higonnet (Johns Hopkins Press, 1982), pp. 19-59.

"She in Herland: Feminism as Fantasy "in Coordinates: Placing Science Fiction and Fantasy, ed. George E. Slusser, Eric S. Rabkin and Robert Scholes (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1983), pp. 139-49.

"Sapphistries," Signs 10, 1 (Autumn 1984), 43-62; reprinted in The Lesbian Issue: Essays from Signs, ed. Estelle B. Freedman, Barbara C. Gelpi, Susan L. Johnson, and Kathleen M. Weston (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985), pp. 91-110.

"Tradition and the Female Talent," with Sandra M. Gilbert, Literary History: Theory and Practice, ed. Herbert L.Sussman (Vol. 2, 1984), pp. 1-27; reprinted in The Poetics of Gender, ed. Nancy K. Miller (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 183-207 and in Making Feminist History, ed. Cain.

"Ceremonies of the Alphabet: Female Grandmatologies and the Female Authorgraph," with Sandra M. Gilbert, The Female Autograph, ed. Domna C. Stanton and Jeanine Parisier Plottel (New York: New York Literary Forum, 1984), pp. 23-62.

"Sexual Linguistics: Gender, Language, Sexuality," with Sandra M. Gilbert in New Literary History (Spring 1985); reprinted in The Feminist Reader: Essays in Gender and the Politics of Literary Criticism, ed. Catherine Belsey and Jane Moore (New York and London: Blackwell, 1989), pp. 81-100; translated in Dekonstruktiver Feminismus: Literaturwissenschaft in Amerika, ed. Barbara Vinken (Suhrkamp, 1992), pp. 386- 411.

"Forward Into the Past: The Complex Female Affiliation Complex," with Sandra M. Gilbert, Historical Studies and Literary Criticism, ed. Jerome J. McGann (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985, pp. 240-65; reprinted in Criticism: Major Statements, 3rd ed., Charles Kaplan and Willaim Anderson (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991).

"This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun': World War II and the Blitz on Women," Behind the Lines: Gender and The Two World Wars, ed. Margaret Randolph Higonnet, Jane Jenson, Sonya Michel, Margaret Collins Weitz (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987), pp. 227-59.

"Representing Pornography: Feminism, Criticism, and Depictions of Female Violation," Critical Inquiry 13, 4 (Summer 1987): 712-42; reprinted in Feminist Cultural Studies, Volume II, ed. Terry Lovell (Aldershot, UK: An Elgar Reference Collection, 1995), pp. 599-628.

"The Mirror and the Vamp: Reflections on Feminist Criticism," with Sandra M. Gilbert, Future Literary Theory, ed. Ralph Cohen (New York: Routledge, 1989), pp. 144-66; reprinted in Making Feminist History, ed. William Cain, pp.3-36.

"Masterpiece Theatre: An Academic Melodrama" (Part I) in Critical Inquiry 17 (Summer 1991): 693-717; reprinted in Contemporary World Literature (1994, Seoul, Korea).

"But oh! that deep romantic chasm'": The Engendering of Periodization," with Sandra M. Gilbert, Kenyon Review XIII, 3 (Summer 1991): 74-81.

"Feminist Misogyny: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Paradox of 'It Takes One to Know One,'" Feminist Studies 20, 3 (Fall 1994): 453-73; reprinted in Feminism Besides Itself, ed. Diane Elam and Robyn Wiegman (New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 133-54.

"Eating the Bread of Affliction: Judaism and Feminist Criticism," Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 13, 2 (Fall 1994): 293-316; reprinted in People of the Book: Essays in the Autobiographical Mode, ed. Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky and Shelley Fisher Fishkin. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), pp. 15-36.

"What Ails Feminist Criticism?" Critical Inquiry 24 (Summer 1998): 878-902.

"The Graying of Professor Erma Bombeck" College English 61, 4 (March 1999): 431-47.

“Jewish-American Women Writers and the Jewish Question,” for the Cambridge Companion to Jewish-American Literature, ed. Michael Kramer and Hana Wirth-Nesher, (Cambridge University Press, 2003): 231-49.

"Minstrelsy's Racechanging Numbers: A Postscript to Racechange and the Fictions of Identity," a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies, 49, 3 (Fall 2003): 614-26.

"The Long and the Short of Holocaust Verse," New Literary History 35, 3 (Summer 2004): 443-68.

"Poetry and Holocaust Remembrance," Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (MLA Series), ed. Marianne Hirsch and Irene Kacandes (New York: MLA, 2004).

"Falling for Etty Hillesum," Common Knowledge, 12,2 (Spring 2006): 279-300.

"Racial Camp: The Producers Bamboozled" Film Quarterly (forthcoming).

"Feminist Criticism Today," (forthcoming in PMLA).

Selected Honors and Awards

Senior Class Council Outstanding Teaching Award, Indiana University, 1975-76
NEH Summer Stipend, 1979
The Madwoman in the Attic nominated for The Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, 1979
Co-director of NEH Summer Seminar on Feminism, Modernism, and Feminist Criticism, Summer 1981
NEH Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, 1981-82
The Pushcart Prize, 1982 (for "Blessings in Disguise")
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1983-84
Indiana Committee for the Humanities Summer Fellowship, 1985
Ms. Woman of the Year, 1985 (with 11 others)
U.S.A. Today People Who Made a Difference, 1985
Amoco Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, IU, 1986
Townsend Harris Medal, from The Alumni Association of the City College of New York, 1988
Board of Supervisors, English Institute, Harvard University, 1989-1992; Elected Chair of the Supervisors, 1991
Honorary Member of Phi Beta Kappa, City College's Gamma Chapter, 1990
Director, NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1991
IU Office of Women's Affairs Distinguished Scholar Award, 1991
IU College of Arts and Sciences' Distinguished Scholar Award, 1992
NEH Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, 1994-95
PMLA Advisory Committee, 1994-6
Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, Virginia Foundation Institute on Violence, Culture, and Survival, Spring 1999
Resident, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center, May 11-June 9, 2001
Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellowship, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, September 2001-May 2002
IU Trustees Teaching Award, 2002
The Faculty Mentor Award, from the IU Graduate and Professional Student Organization, 2003
Resident, The Bogliasco Foundation's Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities, April 19-May 20, 2004
IU College Arts and Humanities Institute Fellowship, Spring 2005