February 11, 2016 Peter Brooks Appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar at John W. Kluge Center

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213

Peter Brooks, a literary critic and comparative literature professor, is now serving as a distinguished visiting scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. Brooks arrived in late January and will spend five months in residence.

Brooks is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale University and the Andrew W. Mellon Scholar in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

At the Kluge Center, Brooks will research his current book project, tentatively titled “Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris.” The project will explore the genre of the novel in relation to history and politics, working in particular from Flaubert’s “Sentimental Education” in the context of the year 1871. In French history, 1871 is known as the “Terrible Year,” because of the defeat of Napoleon III’s army in the Franco-Prussian War and the insurgency of the Paris Commune that was brutally crushed by the national government. Brooks will draw on the Library’s rich resources in history and area studies for his research, particularly sources within the European Reading Room.

Brooks was the founding director of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale. He also held the position of lecturer in the Yale Law School on several occasions. From 2003-2006, he was University Professor at the University of Virginia, teaching in the English Department and its School of Law, where he founded the Program in Law and Humanities.

Brooks has published widely on narrative and narrative theory, on the 19th- and 20th-century novel, mainly those written in French and English, and, more recently, on the interrelations of law and literature. He is the author of several books, including “Henry James Goes to Paris” (2007), winner of the 2008 Christian Gauss Award, “Realist Vision” (2005), “Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature” (2000), and “Psychoanalysis and Storytelling” (1994). He was appointed a distinguished visiting scholar at the Kluge Center by Emeritus Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, prior to Billington’s retirement.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center visit loc.gov/kluge/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at loc.gov.


PR 16-027
ISSN 0731-3527