Rivky Mondal

Cohort Year: 2016
Research Interests: late 19th and 20th century American and British literature | aesthetics | literary, visual, and material cultures | feminist and queer studies | translation | theories of interpretation | critical theory


Rivky Mondal received her B.A. in English and in Hispanic & Portuguese Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She won a departmental prize for her senior thesis on Jacques Lacan and Salvador Dalí, and received honorable mention for an essay on the documentary styles of Samuel Beckett and Ross McElwee. She received an M.A. in English from the Pennsylvania State University on a teaching fellowship. She is completing a dissertation on the micro-social forms that undergird and frustrate the sharing of aesthetic judgments. The project examines how the terms with which we explain our responses to art inadvertently lay open our tastes and ourselves to collective judgment. This unique kind of self-exposure is not limited only to the realm of aesthetic encounter but switches on a range of social feelings present in the strivings of self-presentation and interpersonal understanding. 

Rivky is also a freelance copyeditor. She has performed editorial work for a range of academic publications, including Reading Sedgwick, edited by Lauren Berlant; 1922 and A Handbook of Modernism Studies, both edited by Jean-Michel Rabaté; and Critical Inquiry.


  • “Too Literal Translation: Some Poems of Roger Fry.” Modernism, Theory and Responsible Reading: A Critical Conversation. Edited by Stephen Ross (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).
  • “Henry James and the Device of the Observer: A Study on Microexpressions.” Henry James Review 41, no. 1 (Winter 2020). Special issue: “Emotion, Feeling, Sentiment in James: ‘Sorrow comes in great waves.’”
  • “‘Killers and killed all’: Luis Felipe Fabre’s Sor Juana y otros monstruos.” 3:AM Magazine.
  • “Malfunctioning Machines: Replaying The Plays of Samuel Beckett by Katherine Weiss.” Journal of Modern Literature 38, no. 2 (Winter 2015). Special Theme: “Irish Modernism.”