Greif, Mark

Greif, Mark

Mark Greif
PhD, Yale University, American Studies
MPhil, Oxford University, English Literature
BA, Harvard University, History and Literature, summa cum laude
Assistant Professor, Literary Studies

Mark Greif was born in 1975 in Boston. He received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard in History and Literature and an M.Phil. from Oxford in English as a British Marshall Scholar. He earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale in 2007. In 2000, he entered journalism as a Writing Fellow at the political magazine The American Prospect, where he was subsequently a Senior Correspondent. In 2004, in New York, he co-founded the literary and intellectual journal n+1, and has been a principal at the magazine since then. In 2005 and again in 2007 his essays from n+1 were chosen for Best American Essays, the second time by David Foster Wallace. His writing has been widely anthologized and translated.

Greif has taught at Brown University, and since 2008 has been Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at the New School in New York. He has been an editor of the books What Was the Hipster?: A Sociological Investigation (n+1/HarperCollins), with Kathleen Ross and Dayna Tortorici, concerning contemporary subculture; the collective volume Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America (Verso), with the staff of the Occupy! Gazette, for the Occupy social movement; and The Trouble is the Banks: Letters to Wall Street (n+1/Occupy the Boardroom), edited with Dayna Tortorici, Kathleen French, and Emma Janaskie, about the 2007-2008 financial collapse and the Great Recession.

A collection of translations of his own essays on media, Bluescreen (Suhrkamp), appeared in Germany in 2011, where it made multiple best-of-the-year lists in newspapers. His scholarly book, The Age of the Crisis of Man, providing a new picture of literature and intellect in the mid-20th century, has been published in 2015 by Princeton University Press.

Greif’s criticism and journalism have appeared in publications including London Review of Books, New York Times, Boston Globe, TLS, New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, Guardian (UK), New Statesman, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt, Courrier Internationale, Etiqueta Negra, Village Voice, Dissent, and, principally, n+1. In 2010, he was elected a member of the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU. In 2013-2014, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in its School of Social Science.

Courses Taught:
Post-1945 American Fiction
American Literature to 1845
Small Magazines and American Intellect
Contemporary Literature: US Realism
New Journalism and 1960s Nonfiction

Advanced Nonfiction: Research Methods
Intermediate Nonfiction: Cultural Coverage
Introduction to Nonfiction

Pasts and Futures of the Popular Arts (graduate level)
Recent Publications:

    The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).

    (With Editors of n+1). Happiness: Ten Years of n+1. (New York: Faber & Faber/ FSG, 2014).

    Foreword to Luc Boltanski, Mysteries and Conspiracies: Detective Stories, Spy Novels, and the Making of Modern Societies, trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2014).

    Catalog essay in Margaux Williamson, I Could See Everything: Paintings (Toronto: Coach House, 2014).

    “Cavell as Educator,” in German as Afterword to Stanley Cavell, Die Sinne von Walden: Mit einem essay von Mark Greif [The Senses of Walden] (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2014).

    “All There is to Use: A Critic’s Credo,” in The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics, ed. Jeffrey J. Williams and Heather Steffen (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).

    Phone Number/Extension:
    (212) 229-5100 x3445


    Research Interests:
    Prof. Greif is a scholar of US literature and intellectual history from the colonial period to the present, specializing in the 20th and 21st centuries. His interests also include cultural history and popular culture, contemporary morals, analytic and Continental philosophy, the sociology of knowledge, media, and aesthetics. To explain his interests to undergraduates, he writes: “I look at literature’s relation to the world: how new ideas are embraced or refused in fiction and nonfiction, and how arguments find their way into art.”
    Professional Affiliations:
    Modern Language Association
    Awards and Honors:
    Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 2013-2014.

    New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, 2010-.

    Best American Essays 2007 and 2005.

    Whiting Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities, 2005-2006.

    Jacob Javits Fellowship, 2000-2003.

    Marshall Scholarship, 1997-1999.

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