Jill Jarvis

Jill Jarvis's picture
Assistant Professor
82-90 Wall Street, Rm 421
203 432 4906
PhD, Princeton University, 2016
MA, Princeton University, 2012
MFA, Sarah Lawrence College, 2008
BA, Whitman College, 2001

Jill Jarvis specializes in the aesthetics and politics of North Africa. Her first book, Untranslatable Justice: The Politics of Fiction in the Postcolony (Algeria 1962-2001), brings together close readings of fiction, film, and photographs with analyses of juridical, theoretical, and activist texts to illuminate both the nature of state violence and the stakes of literary study. She is also at work on a second book project, Signs in the Desert: An Aesthetic Cartography of the Sahara, which maps the Sahara as a site of material, intellectual, and linguistic exchanges that challenge both disciplinary boundaries and received notions of African studies. Other work appears in New Literary HistoryPMLA, and The Journal of North African Studies (forthcoming co-edited special volume).

In her teaching as well as her research, she is dedicated to questioning the assumptions of area studies and methodological orthodoxies.  Her work centers the aesthetic and the literary, making the case for literature as constitutive—rather than simply reflective—of political agency.


‘Violence and the Politics of Aesthetics: A Postcolonial Maghreb Without Borders,’ with Brahim El Guabli.  Introduction to co-edited special volume (double issue) of the same title.  The Journal of North African Studies.  Forthcoming Winter/Spring 2018. 

‘Inheriting Assia Djebar,’ with Anjuli Gunaratne.  PMLA 131.1 (2016), pp. 116-124.

‘Remnants of Muslims: Reading Agamben’s Silence.’  New Literary History vol. 45, no. 4 (Autumn 2014), pp. 707-728.  Winner of the Ralph Cohen Prize.   


Introduction to Maghrebi Literatures and Cultures

La guerre d’Indépendance de l’Algérie et la littérature

Introduction to French Literary Study

French Literature in a Global Context

Postcolonial Cities (co-taught with Prof. Chris Miller)

On Violence: Politics and Aesthetics Across the Maghreb (graduate seminar)

Decolonizing Memory (graduate seminar)