Chris Holmes

Associate Professor and Chair, English
Phone: 607-274-3190
Office: Muller Faculty Center 318, Ithaca, NY 14850
Speciality: Postcolonial and Anglophone Literature; Theories of Translation and World Literature

Ph.D. Brown University (2012)

M.A. Middlebury College/Bread Loaf School of English

M.A.T. Brown University

B.A. Bates College

Chris received his PhD from Brown University in 2012 where he was awarded the Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award, a distinction given to one graduate student at the university each academic year. He joined the English Department at Ithaca College in 2011, and teaches introductions to postcolonial and contemporary literatures, as well as upper division courses on the South African novel, and on the emergent genre of the global novel. He is the co-director, with the novelist Eleanor Henderson, of Ithaca's New Voices Festival, a three-day celebration of talented, early career writers. Now in its eighth year, New Voices brings eight writers of poetry, fiction, drama, and essay to campus each Spring for a series of readings and workshops. He is the founder of The Global Modernism Symposium, which he co-organized with Ithaca's Professor Jennifer Spitzer. 

Chris's primary research field is contemporary postcolonial/Anglophone literature, especially those texts and authors that cross borders, geographic and otherwise, and become, willingly or not, works of "world" literature. He is particularly interested in the recent re-exploration of theories of world literature as applied to novels concerned with postcolonial politics. His research investigates translation as a conceptual model that explains how novels consider the world, and as well, how those same novels unwind the limitations that the world sets upon them.  Chris has recently published research articles on the theoretical and philosophical concept of the limit in Literature Compasscorporate personhood and Kazuo Ishiguro's novels in NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Zadie Smith's novels of style in The Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature, and on genre in Ishiguro's canon in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature. He is currently contracted to write an article on the controversies surrounding JM Coetzee's novel Disgrace for The Bloomsbury Companion to J. M. Coetzee, and on The Man Booker Prize and post-imperial British fiction for Oxford University Press's Research Encyclopedia. Chris is completing a book manuscript entitled, “At the Limit: The Contemporary Novel and the Ends of Form." With Kelly Mee Rich (Harvard), he is editing a special issue on "Kazuo Ishiguro After the Nobel" for the journal Modern Fiction Studies. With Thom Dancer (U Toronto), he is editing a special issue on "The Novel at its Limits" for the journal Critique. He is a member of the Editorial Board at the journal ARIEL, a Johns Hopkins University Press journal of international literature in English.

In 2018, Chris received the Faculty Excellence Award at Ithaca College for distinction in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.

Recent Publications:

"Out of Place: Ishiguro's World Literature." A Companion to World Literature. Edit. Venkat Mani. Wiley Blackwell (10/2019)

“Ishiguro at the Limit: The Corporation and the Novel.” Novel: Forum on Fiction. (1 November 2019)

"Exercises in Style: Zadie Smith and the Novel After Form."The Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature. Edit. Richard Bradford, Stephen Butler, Madelena Gonzalez, James Ward. London: Wiley-Blackwell Press. (2019)

“Ugly Duckling: J.M. Coetzee’s Decoys.” The Comic Mask: Theorizing Satire, Humor, and Laughter in South African Culture.  Edit. Rita Barnard and Andrew van der Vlies (Under Consideration)

“The Limits of World Literature.” Literature Compass. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 13, 9 (2016): 572–584.

“Transition as Form in the Work of Ivan Vladislavić.” States of Transition in South African Fiction: Temporality, Modernity, Futurity. Edit. Rita Barnard and Andrew van der Vlies. Bloomsbury (Feb. 2019).

“The Novel’s Third Way: Zadie Smith’s ‘Hysterical Realism’.” Reading Zadie Smith: The First Decade & Beyond. Edit. Philip Tew. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. 141-153.

“Global Special Delivery,” (Review. Contemporary Literature. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014. 55(1): 182-191.

“The Nation After the Age of the Global.” Diaspora 18, 3 (2015): 392–403. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

“What the World Leaves Behind: Ready-Made Translations and the Closed Book in the Postcolonial Novel.” Literature, Translation, and Geography: The New Comparative Horizons. Ed. Stefan Helgesson. London: CSP, 2011: 40-53.

“An Interview with Patrick Flanery.” Contemporary Literature. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013. 54(2): 427-458.

“The Leftovers,” (Review). NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013. 46(2): 313-318.


Spring 2018: Senior Seminar: "Theory Now!!"; Eyes on the Prize: Race, Gender, and the Politics of the Booker Prize

Fall 2017: First Year Seminar: "Gun"; Faking It: Reality Hunger and in Age of Artifice

Spring 2017: In the Age of the Global Novel; Senior Seminar: Global Modernism

Fall 2015: Introduction to Contemporary World Literatures; Writing the Contemporary: Kazuo Ishiguro and JM Coetzee

Fall 2013: Prizing the Postcolonial: Novels of the Booker Prize; Studies in World Literature:  The Post-Apartheid South African Novel*

Spring 2013: Approaches to Literary Studies (The Agony and Ecstasy of Theory)*; Honors Program Seminar: The Novel and the Terrorist Aesthetic*

Fall 2012:  Approaches to Literary Studies (The Agony and Ecstasy of Theory)*; In the Age of the Global Novel*

Spring 2011:  Faking It: The Hoax and the Novel; Studies in World Literature:  The Post-Apartheid South African Novel*

* selected courses have class blogs. Click on the class title to go to the website.