Research and Publications

Christian Moraru specializes in American literature, especially post-1945 fiction; literary-cultural theory and history of ideas; global studies, cosmopolitanism, and comparative and world literature with emphasis on the contemporary novel; postmodernism; postcolonialism and its East-European developments; Cold War/post-Cold War studies in transnational perspective; narrative, ethics, community; U. S. popular culture and new material studies. He published his first book in Romania in 1985, one year after he had finished college. That monograph was followed by two more in his native language. In 1992-1993, he spent one year and a half at University of Heidelberg, Germany, as a Humboldt Research Fellow, before going on to pursue a double Ph. D. in English and Comparative Literature at Indiana University. He received the degree in 1998. His 1990 book on the history of mimetic theory, Poetics of Reflection: An Archaeology of Mimesis, was partially reprinted in The Play of the Self (SUNY Press, 1994).

His books include: Rewriting: Postmodern Narrative and Cultural Critique in the Age of Cloning (SUNY Press 2001), Memorious Discourse: Reprise and Representation in Postmodernism (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005), Cosmodernism: American Narrative, Late Globalization, and the New Cultural Imaginary (University of Michigan Press, 2011), the manifesto monograph Reading for the Planet: Toward a Geomethodology (University of Michigan Press, 2015), and Flat Aesthetics: Twenty-First-Century American Fiction and the Making of the Contemporary (Bloomsbury, 2023). He has also edited and coedited essay collections such as Postcommunism, Postmodernism, and the Global Imagination (Columbia University Press/EEM Series, 2009) and The Planetary Turn: Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century (Northwestern University Press, 2015, with Amy J. Elias), as well as Romanian Literature as World Literature (2018), Francophone Literature as World Literature (2020), The Bloomsbury Handbook of World Theory (2022), and Theory in the “Post” Era: A Vocabulary for the 21st-Century Conceptual Commons (2022), all from Bloomsbury.

A Note on Teaching Students, and Scholarship

In his undergraduate and graduate courses alike, Christian Moraru urges students to use the class to put their work in the larger, more demanding, and increasingly competitive perspective of professionalism and academic performance. In particular, his graduate offerings are systematically geared toward reading and writing carrying potential for publication and presentation outside UNCG. While fulfilling the course’s requirements remains the basic goal, students are invited to take these requirements as an opportunity to think about themselves as part of the broader academic community, with its standards, idioms, methods, tools, formats, resources, challenges, and venues. Along these lines, here are a few questions routinely raised in his classes: Where do I stand as a scholar, teacher, critic, and writer, and which are my goals? What do I need to do to get where I want to be as a well-published researcher? What is or will be my audience? In what kind of scholarly conversation do I wish to intervene based on what I learn here? What steps do I have to take to do that? What are the available resources and instruments? Which are the outlets for my work? What do I have to do to turn my course presentation/paper into a conference talk/journal article/dissertation chapter/writing sample?