Michael Kalisch, Downing

Degree: PhD
Course: AmLit
Supervisor: Dr K Boddy
Dissertation Title:

Male Friendship in Contemporary Literature

Biographical Information

My PhD thesis explores the role of male friendship in contemporary U.S. fiction, focussing on two generations of Jewish-American novelists: Philip Roth, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Lethem. I read English at Oxford, received my MPhil in American Literature from Cambridge, and last year held a Procter Visiting Fellowship in History at Princeton. 

Research Interests

  • Post-45 American literary culture 
  • Jewish-American literary history
  • Contemporary political philosophy
  • Critical theory 

Areas of Supervision

  • American literature 
  • Literary theory 
  • Dissertations on post-45 fiction

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

- “Correcting Philip: Reading Franzen Reading Roth”, Philip Roth Studies, 13:2 (Fall 2017), pp. 21-38.

- “Michael Chabon in a Queer Time and Place”, Open Library of Humanities (Special Collection: “New Voices in Jewish-American Literature”), 3(2):10 (2017), pp. 1-27. DOI: https://doi. org/10.16995/olh.140 [Open Access]

- “‘A Late Adventure of the Feelings’: Eulogizing Male Intimacy in I Married a Communist and The Human Stain”, Philip Roth Studies, 12:2 (Fall 2016), pp. 83-96.  [Winner of the Philip Roth Society's Siegel/McDaniel Award 2014]


Academic Reviews

- “‘Copy and Paste’: Review of Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (Harvard, 2016), by Matthew Kirschenbaum”, Cambridge Quarterly, 46:3, September 2017, pp. 274-281.

- “‘Against Obedience’: Review of Unforbidden Pleasures (Hamish Hamilton, 2015), by Adam Phillips”, Self & Society: International Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 44:2 (August 2016), pp.172-3.

- “Becoming Freud (Yale, 2014), by Adam Phillips”, Critical Quarterly, 57:3 (2015), pp. 98-100. “Friendship (Yale, 2013), by A. C. Grayling”, Critical Quarterly, 56:1 (2014), pp. 94-98.

Other Reviews

- “‘Refined Sentiments’: Review of The Throwback Special, by Chris Bachelder”, The Times LiterarySupplement, 22 July 2016, p. 22.

- “Falling After 9/11: Crisis in American Art and Literature, by Aimee Pozorski”, The Times LiterarySupplement, 8 May 2015, p. 26.