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Elizabeth Susan Anker

Associate Professor

Goldwin Smith Hall, Room 233


Elizabeth S. Anker works on law and literature, postcolonial studies, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her first book, Fictions of Dignity: Embodying Human Rights in World Literature (2012), examined how liberal human rights discourses and norms depend on the construct of bodily integrity. She has recently published essays in New Literary HistoryAmerican Literary History, the University of Toronto Quarterly, and NOVEL, in addition to various edited volumes. She has been a fellow at the Cornell Society for the Humanities and the Stanford Humanities Center. She is currently working on two book projects. First, Our Constitutional Metaphors: Law, Culture, and the Management of Crisis conducts a comparative analysis of the aesthetic forms that underlie constitutionalism; and second, Beyond Paradox: Critical Theory and the Story of Human Rights investigates the frequent theoretical preoccupation with paradox as it plays out in philosophical assessments in the notion of rights.  She is also completing two co-edited collections. New Directions in Law and Literature (with Bernadette Meyler) is under contract with Oxford UP, and Critique and Postcritique (with Rita Felski) is forthcoming in March 2017 with Duke UP.


    Research Focus

    • Postcolonial criticism and theory
    • Twentieth and Twenty-first century British and American literature
    • Human Rights
    • Law and Literature
    • Novel and Narrative studoes
    • Political Theory


    • English

    Graduate Fields

    • English Language and Literature