Biography

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Photo: Martyn Galinda-Jones

Marianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former  President of the Modern Language Association of America. She was born in Romania and educated at Brown University, where she received her BA/MA and Ph.D. degrees.

Hirsch’s work combines feminist theory with memory studies, particularly the transmission of memories of violence across generations. Hernmost recent books are School Pictures in Liquid Time: Reframing Difference, co-written with Leo Spitzer (University of Washington Press, 2019) and Women Mobilizing Memory, co-edited with Ayse Gul Altinay, Maria Jose Contreras, Jean Howard, Banu Karaca, and Alisa Solomon (Columbia University Press, 2019). Other books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012), Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (University of California Press, 2010), Rites of Return: Diaspora, Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (Columbia University Press, 2011). With Diana Taylor she co-edited the Summer 2012 issue of e-misférica on “The Subject of Archives.” Other publications include Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory (1997), The Familial Gaze (ed. 1999), Time and the Literary (co-ed.2002), a special issue of Signs on “Gender and Cultural Memory” (co-ed. 2002), Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (co-ed. 2004), and Grace Paley Writing the World (co-ed. 2009).  She is currently at work on a series of essays on the future of memory.

Marianne Hirsch is the former editor of PMLA and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, the National Humanities Center, and the Bellagio and Bogliasco Foundations. She has served on the MLA Executive Council, the ACLA Advisory Board, the Board of Supervisors of The English Institute, and the Executive Board of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, and is on the advisory boards of Memory Studies and Contemporary Women’s Writing. She is one of the founders of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference and its global initiative, “Women Creating Change.”

More information on Professor Hirsch’s life and work can be found on Wikipedia, Postmemory.net, her website on her work about postmemory, and Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference. For interviews with Professor Hirsch, click here.