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Jean-Christophe Cloutier

Assistant Professor of English

Fisher-Bennett Hall 316

Office Hours

fall 2016

Wednesdays 10am-11:45am; & 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. He is currently completing a book that uncovers the strategic redeployment of archived materials by novelists not typically associated with archival practices--Claude McKay, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Jack Kerouac, 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 edited a scholarly edition of the book that provides extensive historical contextualization of its composition, and a discussion of its implications for our understanding of McKay's late career. The novel will be available in February 2017.

Cloutier recently edited a volume of Jack Kerouac's comprehensive original French writings for Les Éditions du Boréal entitled La vie est d'hommage (2016). He has also translated into English Kerouac's two French novellas, "Sur le chemin" [On the Road: Old Bull in the Bowery] and "La nuit est ma femme" [The Night is My Woman], for a new Library of America volume entitled The Unknown Kerouac: Rare, Unpublished, & Newly Translated Writings, edited by Todd Tietchen. 

His work is also featured in the catalogue, Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem, published by Steidl in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation and The Art Institute of Chicago. This catalogue accompanies a photography exhibition at the AIC (May 21 to August 28, 2016) and includes, for the first time, the photographs taken by Parks for Ellison's 1948 essay, "Harlem Is Nowhere," as well as Parks' complete series on Invisible Man

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

fall 2016

ENGL 103.001 Comics and Graphic Novels  
ENGL 800.301 Pedagogy  

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