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Jean-Christophe Cloutier

Assistant Professor of English

Fisher-Bennett Hall 316

Office Hours

fall 2015

MW 11am-12noon; & by appointment

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 Samuel Roth, Erica Jong, and former publisher of Grove Press, Barney Rosset. His current book project 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.

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Cloutier is also editing a volume of Jack Kerouac's unpublished experimental French writings for Les Éditions du Boréal entitled La vie est d'hommage, scheduled for release in Spring 2016. At the same time, he is translating into English Kerouac's two French novellas, "Sur le chemin" [On the Road] and "La nuit est ma femme" [The Night is My Woman], for an upcoming edition entitled Unpublished, Rare, and Newly Translated Writings. This edition will be released in Fall 2016 by The Library of America.

His teaching and research interests fall largely within 20th Century and contemporary American literature, and also involve popular culture, notably comics and cinema. Here at Penn, he regularly teaches the graphic novel and has been co-teaching, with cartoonist extraordinaire Rob Berry, a new course on “Making Comics” this Spring. See:

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.

Courses Taught

spring 2016

ENGL 122.301 Making Comics  

fall 2015

ENGL 016.304 Kerouac in Context  

spring 2015

ENGL 122.301 Making Comics  

spring 2014

fall 2013

ENGL 260.301 The Graphic Novel