Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Michael Rothberg

Head of the Department, Professor of English, Criticism and Interpretive Theory, Jewish Culture and Society, Comparative and World Literature, Germanic Languages and Literatures, French and Italian, and Center for Global Studies

User Photo

Contact Information

Office Hours

  • By appointment only


Swarthmore College, B.A. with Highest Honors in English and Linguistics; CUNY Graduate Center, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature

Research Interests

Critical Theory; Comparative Twentieth-Century Literatures; Holocaust Studies; Contemporary American Literature; Postcolonial Studies; Trauma, Memory, and Justice; Please visit my personal website for a full list of publications and other information.

Selected Publications


  • Cary Nelson and the Struggle for the University: Poetry, Politics and the Profession. Ed. Peter Garrett and Michael Rothberg. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009.
  • Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.
  • The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings. Ed. Neil Levi and Michael Rothberg. New Brunswick, NJ & Edinburgh, UK: Rutgers UP & Edinburgh UP, 2003.
  • Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

Publication Photo

Book Contributions

  • Rothberg, Michael. "The Witness as ‘World’-Traveller: Multidirectional Memory and Holocaust Internationalism before Human Rights." Probing the Ethics of Holocaust Culture. Ed. Todd Presner, Claudio Fugo, and Wulf Kansteiner. Harvard UP: Cambridge, 2014.
  • Rothberg, Michael. "Power." Routledge Handbook to Contemporary Jewish Cultures. Ed. Laurence Roth and Nadia Valman. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • "Between Paris and Warsaw: Multidirectional Memory, Ethics, and Historical Responsibility." Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe. Ed. Uilleam Blacker, Alexander Etkind, and Julie Fedor. New York: Palgrave, 2013.
  • "Multidirectional Memory and the Implicated Subject: On Sebald and Kentridge." Performing Memory in the Arts and Popular Culture. Ed. Liedeke Plate and Anneke Smelik. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • "Beyond Tancred and Clorinda: Trauma Studies for Implicated Subjects." The Future of Trauma Theory. Comp. Samuel Durrant and Robert Eaglestone. Ed. Gert Buelens. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • "Remembering Back: Cultural Memory, Colonial Legacies, and Postcolonial Studies." The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • "Power." The Routledge Handbook to Contemporary Jewish Cultures. Ed. Laurence Roth and Nadia Valman. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • "Fractured Relations: The Multidirectional Holocaust Memory of Caryl Phillips." After Testimony: The Ethics of Holocaust Narrative. Ed. Jakob Lothe, James Phelan, and Susan Suleiman. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2012.
  • "Remembering Back: Cultural Memory, Colonial Legacies, and Postcolonial Studies." The Oxford Handbook to Postcolonial Studies. Ed. Graham Huggan. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.
  • "Writing Ruins: The Anachronistic Aesthetics of André Schwarz-Bart." After Representation?: The Holocaust, Literature, and Culture. Ed. Robert Ehrenreich and R. C. Spargo. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.
  • "Multidirectional Memory and the Universalization of the Holocaust." Remembering the Holocaust: A Debate. Ed. Jeffrey Alexander. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • "Seeing Terror, Feeling Art: Public and Private in Post-9/11 Literature." Literature After 9/11. Ed. Ann Keniston and Jeanne Quinn. New York: Routledge, 2008. 123-42.
  • "Der Holocaust, Kolonialphantasien und der Israel-Palastina Konflikt: Multi-Direktionale Erinnerung." Zwischen Antisemitismus und Islamophobie: Vorurteile und Projektionen in Europa und Nahost. Ed. John Bunzl and Alexandra Senfft. Hamburg: VSA, 2008. 177-94.
  • "Roth and the Holocaust." The Cambridge Companion to Philip Roth. Ed. Timothy Parrish. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 52-67.
  • "Construction Work: Theory, Migration, and Labor in an Age of Globalization." On Jameson: From Postmodernism to Globalization. Ed. Ian Buchanan and Caren Irr. Albany: SUNY Press, 2005. 117-41.
  • "Le Coup de grâce as Male Fantasy: On the Sexual Politics of Fascism." Subversive Subjects: Rereading Marguerite Yourcenar. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004.
  • "Pedagogy and the Politics of Memory: ‘The Countermonument Project.’." Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust. Ed. Marianne Hirsch and Irene Kacandes. New York: MLA, 2004. 466-76.
  • "’There Is No Poetry In This’: Writing, Trauma, and Home." Trauma at Home: After 9/11. Ed. Judith Greenberg. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003. 147-57.

Journal Articles

  • "'Ensnared in Implication': Writing, Shame, and Colonialism." Contemporary Literature 53.2 (2012): 374-86.
  • "Progress, Progression, Procession: William Kentridge and the Narratology of Transitional Justice." Narrative 20.1 (2012): 1-24.
  • Byrd, Jodi A., and Michael Rothberg. "Between Subalternity and Indigeneity: Critical Categories for Postcolonial Studies." Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 13.1 (2011): 1-12.
  • "From Gaza to Warsaw: Mapping Multidirectional Memory." Criticism 53.4 (2011): 523-48.
  • Rothberg, Michael, and Yasemin Yildiz. "Memory Citizenship: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary Germany." Parallax 17.4 (2011): 32-48.
  • Goodlad, Lauren M., and Michael Rothberg. "Preface: States of Welfare." Occasion 2 (2011): online.
  • "Between Memory and Memory: From Lieux de Mémoire to Noeuds de Mémoire." Yale French Studies (2010): 3-12.
  • "Quantifying Culture? A Response to Eric Slauter." American Literary History (2010): 341-46.
  • "A Failure of the Imagination: Diagnosing the Post-9/11 Novel: A Response to Richard Gray." American Literary History (2009):
  • Druker, Joanthan , and Michael Rothberg. "A Secular Alternative: Primo Levi’s Place in American Holocaust Discourse." Shofar (2009): 104-26.
  • "After Apartheid, Beyond Filiation: Witnessing and the Work of Justice." Law and Literature 21.2 (2009): 275-90.
  • "Entre Auschwitz et Algérie: Une mémoire multidirectionnelle." Témoigner entre Histoire et Mémoire (2009): 105-27.
  • "In the Nazi Cinema: Race, Visuality, and Identification in Fanon and Klüger." Wasafiri 24.1 (2009): 13-20.
  • "Decolonizing Trauma Studies: A Response." Studies in the Novel 40.1-2 (2008): 224-34.
  • "Beyond Eichmann: Rethinking the Emergence of Holocaust Memory." History and Theory 46.1 (2007): 74-81.
  • "Against Zero-Sum Logic: A Response to Walter Benn Michaels." American Literary History 18.2 (2006): 303-11.
  • "Between Auschwitz and Algeria: Multidirectional Memory and the Counterpublic Witness." Critical Inquiry 33.1 (2006): 158-84.
  • "The Work of Testimony in the Age of Decolonization: Chronicle of a Summer, Cinéma Vérité, and the Emergence of the Holocaust Survivor." PMLA 119.5 (2004): 1231-46.
  • Rothberg, Michael, and Jared Stark. "After the Witness: A Report from the Twentieth Anniversary Conference of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale." History and Memory 15.1 (2003): 85-96.
  • Levi, Neil, and Michael Rothberg. "Auschwitz and the Remains of Theory: Towards an Ethics of the Borderlands." Symploke 11.1-2 (2003): 23-38.
  • "Dead Letter Office: Conspiracy, Trauma, and Song of Solomon’s Posthumous Communication." African American Review 37.4 (2003): 501-16.
  • "W.E.B. Du Bois in Warsaw: Holocaust Memory and the Color Line, 1949-1952." Yale Journal of Criticism 14.1 (2001): 169-89.
  • "After Adorno: Culture in the Wake of Catastrophe." New German Critique 72 (1997): 45-81.
  • "Documenting Barbarism: Yourcenar's Male Fantasies, Theweleit's Coup." Cultural Critique 29 (1995): 77-105.
  • "Small Acts, Global Acts: Paul Gilroy's Transnationalism." Found Object 4 (1994): 17-26.
  • "'We Were Talking Jewish': Art Spiegelman's Maus as 'Holocaust' Production." Contemporary Literature 35.4 (1994): 661-87.

Special Issues of a Journal

  • Rothberg, Michael, and Jodi A. Byrd. Between Subalternity and Indigeneity: Critical Categories for Postcolonial Studies. Spec. iss. of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 13.1 (2011): 1-94.
  • Goodlad, Lauren M., Bruce Robbins, and Michael Rothberg. States of Welfare. Spec. iss. of Occasion 2 (2011): online.
  • Craps, Stef, and Michael Rothberg. Transcultural Negotiations of Holocaust Memory. Spec. iss. of Criticism (2011): forthcoming.
  • Rothberg, Michael, Debarati Sanyal, and Max Silverman. Noeuds de Mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in Postwar French and Francophone Culture. Spec. iss. of Yale French Studies (2010): 1-241.

Works in Progress