Jean-Christophe Cloutier received his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, an M.A. from SUNY Buffalo, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts and English from Concordia University, Montréal, in his native Québec (Canada). At Columbia, he also worked as an archivist in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library where, among other collections, he processed the papers of the notorious publisher Samuel Roth, the popular American poet and novelist Erica Jong, and the radical publisher and editor of Grove Press, Barney Rosset. A current book project, “Archival Vagabonds: 20th Century American Fiction and the Archive in Novelistic Practice,” explores the interplay between the archival and aesthetic sensibilities of American novelists including Claude McKay, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Jack Kerouac, Patricia Highsmith, and Stephen King.
A second book project combining films, novels, and comics focuses on “post-heyday” narratives to investigate aging, technology, and masculinity in multiple genres. An article from this project, “A Country for Old Men: Unforgiven, The Shootist, and the Post-Heyday Western,” appeared in Cinema Journal.
In 2009, Cloutier discovered Amiable with Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem, a previously unknown novel by Claude McKay, in the papers of Samuel Roth. In collaboration with Brent Hayes Edwards, Cloutier is currently producing a scholarly edition of the book that will provide extensive historical contextualization of its composition, and a discussion of its implications for our understanding of McKay as well as the Harlem Renaissance.
Cloutier is also currently at work on a translation of the as-yet unpublished French writings of Jack Kerouac for an upcoming edition of rare and uncollected Kerouac texts, for which he will also provide a translator’s note.
His teaching and research interests also involve popular culture, notably comics and cinema. A few years ago, while still at Columbia, Cloutier established a summer course on “comics as literature” that is still being taught there every year. Here at Penn, he continues to teach the graphic novel and will be co-teaching, along with cartoonist extraordinaire Rob Berry, a new course on “Making Comics” this coming Spring. See: https://makingcomicsatupenn.wordpress.com
His essays, reviews, and translations have been published in Modernism/Modernity, NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Cinema Journal, Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Heroes & Superheroes, Public Books, A Time for the Humanities, UMBR(a), Transmission II, and others.
last updated 2014/09/14