Marianna Torgovnick

Marianna Torgovnick

Professor of English

External Address: 
302E Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708-0015
(919) 684-2110


Marianna Torgovnick writes on the novel and novel theory, film, postcolonialism, modernism, and the twentieth century more generally, and especially on contemporary American culture. Her work is broadly interdisciplinary and has been taught in Art History, Anthropology, and Religion courses as well as English, Literature, and Theory. She has published Closure in the Novel (Princeton, 1981), and The Visual Arts, Pictorialism, and the Novel: James, Lawrence, and Woolf (Princeton, 1985), Gone Primitive: Savage Intellects, Modern Lives (Chicago, 1990), and Crossing Ocean Parkway (Chicago, 1994), for which she won an American Book Award, and Primitive Passions: Men, Women, and the Quest for Ecstasy (Knopf, 1997; paperback Chicago, 1998) and The War Complex: World War II in Our Time, about memories and perceptions of the Second War World in the Twenty First Century. She has also written series of articles for general interest publications. Professor Torgovnick currently directs The Duke in New York Arts and Media Program, taught in New York. She returns to teach America Dreams American Movies to a large enrollment each year. For more information, visit her website

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 1975

  • M.A., Columbia University 1971

  • B.A., New York University 1970

Torgovnick, M. "Marianna Torgovnick (section)." The Writer’s Journal. Ed. S Bender. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Torgovnick, M. "Discovering Jane Ellen Harrison." Seeing Double: Revisioning Edwardian and Modernist Literature. Ed. C Kaplan and AB Simpson. Boston: St. Martin’s Press, 1996. 131-48.

Torgovnick, M. "So, What Did Your Mother Think?." Voices in Italian Americana. 1996.

Torgovnick, M. "Closure and Shape of Fictions: The Example of Women in Love." The Study in Time IV. Ed. D Park and N Lawrence. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1981. 147-58.


Torgovnick, M. "The Neo-Primitivist Turn: Critical Reflections on Alterity, Culture, and Modernity." CRITICISM-A QUARTERLY FOR LITERATURE AND THE ARTS 49.4 (2007): 545-550.

Torgovnick, M. "Camera works: Photography and the twentieth-century word." AMERICAN LITERATURE 78.3 (September 2006): 629-631. Full Text

Torgovnick, M. "Review, Michel North, Camera Works: Photography and the Twentieth-Century Word." American Literature (2006). (Review)

Torgovnick, M. "Animals and Aura." (2005).

Torgovnick, M. "My Secret Life with Earrings." (2004).

Torgovnick, M. "Interview with Duke Writing Group." (2003).

Torgovnick, M. "A response to Shoshana Felman." Critical Inquiry 28.3 (January 1, 2002): 780-784. (Review) Full Text

Torgovnick, M. "A Response to Shosana Felman’s ’Theatres of Justice’." Critical Inquiry 27 (2002).

Torgovnick, M. "Memoir, Autobiography, and Diaries." Encyclopedia of American Studies (2001).