Jennifer Spitzer

Associate Professor, Literatures in English
Phone: 607-274-7056
Office: Muller Faculty Center 305, Ithaca, NY 14850
Specialty: Late 19th and 20th-Century Literature; Transatlantic Modernism; Gender and Sexuality

I write and teach at the intersection of transatlantic modernism, psychoanalysis, modern spiritualism, the medical humanities, and gender and sexuality. Before coming to Ithaca College in 2013, I taught at New York University, where I completed my Ph.D., and at Harvard University, as a Lecturer in History and Literature. My book, Secret Sharers: The Intimate Rivalries of Modernism and Psychoanalysis (Fordham UP, 2023), traces a genealogy of secret sharing between literary modernism and psychoanalysis, focusing on the productive entanglements and intense competitive rivalries that helped shape Anglo-American modernism as a field. I recently co-edited with Shirley Wong a special issue of Modern Language Quarterly on the literary "detail." One of our goals was to expand the horizons of the detail, which has been historically linked to nineteenth-century literature and realism. The articles in our special issue investigate the mechanisms of literary detail in colonial ethnography, contemporary Asian American fiction, British modernist novels, and postcolonial memoir. 

I teach seminars on modern and contemporary literature as well as courses on banned books, queer literature, and 20th- and 21st-century writing by women. I have served on the board of Women's and Gender Studies at Ithaca College for eight years. Alongside Professor Chris Holmes, I co-organized The Global Modernism Symposium at Ithaca College in 2014, and the Global Modernism speaker series in 2017. 


Secret Sharers: The Intimate Rivalries of Modernism and Psychoanalysis. Fordham University Press, 2023.

"Rebecca West, Modern Spiritualism, and the Problem of Other Minds", The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism, Spiritualism, and Religion. Eds. Suzanne Hobson and Andrew Radford (January 2023).

"Introduction: The Devil is in the Details" (co-authored with Wong) and "Scaling the Detail: Woolfian Proportions," for "The Detail, Revisited," Modern Language Quarterly 84.1 (April 2023). 

"The Heterodox Psychology and Queer Poetics of Auden in the 30s," Journal of Modern Literature, 42.3 (Spring 2019). 

 "'I Find My Mind Meeting Yours': Rebecca West's Telepathic Modernism," Studies in the Novel 50. 4 (Winter 2018).  

 “On Not Reading Freud: Amateurism, Expertise, and the ‘Pristine Unconscious’ in D.H. Lawrence,” Modernism/modernity, 21.1 (January 2014).   

 “Unveiling the Dance of the Seven Veils: Oscar Wilde and the Power of Myth-Making,” Special Issue on Oscar Wilde’s Salome, The Oscholars, (Fall 2012).

Public Writing:

"No Way to Say Goodbye," The New York Times (April 26, 2022).

"Me and Mrs Dalloway: On Losing My Mother to Covid-19," Los Angeles Review of Books, Avidly (July 2020).

"Purebloods: The Antisemitism and White Supremacy of the Anti-Vax Movement." The Edge (August 2022). 

Courses Taught:

Making It New: British and U.S. Modernism

Queer Lit

Banned Books

Approaches to Literary Study 

20th and 21st-Century British Novel

Engendering Modernity: Twentieth-Century Women Writers 


Ph.D. New York University (2012)

M.A. New York University (2008)

B.A. Wesleyan University (2002), with honors, Phi Beta Kappa