Paula Rabinowitz

Paula Rabinowitz's research and teaching are in the areas of American materialist feminist cultural studies. Her work considers the interlocking roles of cinema, photography, painting and material culture in and through twentieth-century literature. She focuses on contemporary and modernist American women’s art and literature; her work explores hidden histories within working-class, pulp and popular cultures. Her books include LABOR AND DESIRE: WOMEN'S REVOLUTIONARY FICTION IN DEPRESSION AMERICA; THEY MUST BE REPRESENTED: THE POLITICS OF DOCUMENTARY; BLACK & WHITE & NOIR: AMERICA'S PULP MODERNISM; and AMERICAN PULP: HOW PAPERBACKS BROUGHT MODERNISM TO MAIN STREET, which won the 2015 DeLong Prize for Book History Book from Society for the History of Authorship, Readers and Publishing (SHARP). She is co-editor with Cristina Giorcelli of HABITS OF BEING, a four-volume series of essay on clothing, fashion, dress and identity; and co-editor, with Ruth Barraclough and Heather Bowen-Stryuk of RED LOVE ACROSS THE PACIFIC: POLITICAL AND SEXUAL REVOLUTIONS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. She has also co-curated gallery exhibits on women and pulp fiction, women’s sound installation art and feminist film. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LITERATURE.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: American Culture, University of Michigan, 1986.
  • M.A.: American Culture, University of Michigan, 1980.
  • B.A.: American Studies, Brandeis University, 1974.

Curriculum Vitae


  • American women, minority, and working-class writers
  • US literary radicalism
  • marxist and feminist theories
  • film, photography, media
  • cultural studies
  • modernisms
  • visual culture
  • American Studies
Courses Taught
  • What to Wear: Representations of Clothing, Dress and Fashion in American Literature and Film
  • American Modernisms and Modernity
  • Documentary Rhetoric
  • Girls v. Marx: Materialist-Feminist Cultural Theory
  • Desire and Destruction: Film as Cultural Theory
  • Feminist Film Theory and Practice
  • Film Noir:Bad Girls/Doomed Guys
  • U.S. Literary Radicalism
  • Killer Women: From Medea to Monster
  • Political Pulp
  • Working in the U.S.A.: Representations of Labor in Art and Literature
  • Archives, Documents, Monuments, Museums
  • Nuclear/Family
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Editor-in-Chief: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature: 2014 - Present
  • Speaker's Bureau: ASA , 2007 - present
  • Executive Council: MLA , 2006 - 2009
  • National Council: ASA , 2006 - 2009
  • American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street. Rabinowitz, Paula, Princeton University Press, Author, 2014. Link Image
  • Red Love Across the Pacific: Political and Sexual Revolutions of the Twentieth Century. Rabinowitz, Paula, Ruth Barraclough and Heather Bowen-Stryuk, Palgrave , Co-Editor, 2015. Link Image
  • Accessorizing the Body: Habits of Being 1. Rabinowitz, Paula, Cristina Giocelli, University of Minnesota Press, Co-Editor, 2011. Link Image
  • Exchanging Clothes: Habits of Being 2. Rabinowitz, Paula, Cristina Giorcelii, University of Minnesota Press, Co-Editor, 2012. Link Image
  • Fashioning the Nineteenth Century: Habits of Being 3. Rabinowitz, Paula, Cristina Giorcelii, University of Minnesota Press, Co-Editor, 2014. Link Image
  • Extravagances: Habits of Being 4. Rabinowitz, Paula, Cristina Giorcelii, University of Minnesota Press, Co-Editor, 2015. Link Image
  • Lineages of the Literary Left: Essays in Honor of Alan M. Wald. Rabinowitz, Paula, Howard Brick and Robbie Lieberman, Maize Books of Michigan Publishing, Co-Editor, 2015. Link Image
  • Black & White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism. Rabinowitz, Paula, Columbia University Press, Author, 2002. Link Image
  • They Must Be Represented: The Politics of Documentary. Rabinowitz, Paula, Verso, Author, 1994. Link Image
  • Labor and Desire: Women's Revolutionary Fiction in Depression America. Rabinowitz, Paula, University of North Carolina Press, Author, 1991. Link Image
  • Writing Red: An Anthorlogy of American Women Writers, 1930-1940. Rabinowitz, Paula, Charlotte Nekola, Feminist Press, Co-Editor, 1987. Link Image
  • Visiting Fellow, United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, March 2016 - May 2016
  • 2015 DeLong Prize for Book History Book, Society for the History of Authorship, Readers and Publishing
  • Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer in American Cultures, East China Normal Univeristy , Shanghai, China, February 2011 - July 2011
  • CLA Dean's Medal, 2008
  • Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities, 2005 - 2008
  • Senior Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Oregon State University, 2000 - 2001
  • Rockefeller Foundation Residency, Bellagio, Italy, 2000
  • Fulbright Professor of American Studies, University of Rome, 1997
  • CLA Scholar of the College, 1996 - 1999