Pericles Lewis, Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English at Yale University, serves as Dean of Yale College. In partnership with other university leaders and faculty members, he is responsible for guiding the curriculum, intellectual life, residential experience, and student affairs of the Yale College community. His goal is to ensure that Yale offers the world’s best undergraduate education.
Lewis earned his B.A. with first-class honors in English literature from McGill University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Stanford University in 1997. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the Yale faculty in 1998 as assistant professor in the Comparative Literature and English departments, rising to the rank of full professor in 2007.
Lewis’s research shows how developments in literary form emerge out of a background of social, political and existential ferment. His literary critical work focuses on the modernists who revolutionized European literature in the early twentieth century. He is the author of three books on the social contexts of modern literature and editor of four books. He is currently writing a book on liberal education and completing work on the fifth edition of the Norton Anthology of World Literature, for which he serves as the primary editor for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
A former member of the advisory board of the American Comparative Literature Association, Lewis serves on several editorial boards and has written for the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Harvard International Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Times Higher Education.
Lewis has supervised 14 doctoral dissertations, and his former students now teach at leading colleges and universities in the United States and worldwide. In 2004, Yale recognized him with the Graduate Mentor Award. During his deanship, he will not be supervising dissertations, but he is available to graduate students for consultation.
Born in Toronto, Lewis is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. His wife Sheila Hayre, a graduate of Yale Law School and former staff attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance, teaches at Quinnipiac University Law School in North Haven, Connecticut. Their son is a recent graduate of Yale College, and their daughter is a current Yale undergraduate.
“In Asia, for the World: Liberal Education and Innovation.” The Liberal Arts and Science Education Dialogue across Continents: Experiences and Perspectives from the USA, Europe, and Asia, ed. William Kirby and Marijk van der Wende. London: Palgrave, 2016.
Pericles Lewis and Katherine Rupp, “Liberal Education in Asia: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities,” New Global Studies 9 (2015): 245-66.
Editor, The Norton Anthology of Western Literature, ninth edition. Primarily responsible for final section, Literature Since 1900, under the general editorship of Martin Puchner. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
“Asia Invests in the Liberal Arts,” Harvard International Review 35.1 (Summer 2013): 36-39.
Elyse Graham and Pericles Lewis, “Private Religion, Public Mourning, and Mrs. Dalloway,” Modern Philology 111 (2013): 88-106.
Editor. The Norton Anthology of World Literature, third edition. Primarily responsible for volume F, Literature Since 1900, under the general editorship of Martin Puchner. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Shorter edition 2013. Fourth edition in preparation for publication in 2018.
“Modernism and Religion.” The Cambridge Companion to Modernism, second edition, ed. Michael Levenson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 178-96.
Religious Experience and the Modernist Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
“Inventing Literary Modernism During the Great War.” London, Modernism and 1914, ed. Michael Walsh. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. 148-64.
The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
“Churchgoing in the Modern Novel.” Modernism/Modernity 11 (2004): 667-94.
“Walter Benjamin in the information age? On the limited possibilities for a defetishizing critique of culture.” In Mapping Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Digital Age. Ed. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Michael Marrinan. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003. 221-9.
“The Conscience of the Race: The Nation as Church of the Modern Age in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” Joyce Through the Ages. Ed. Michael P. Gillespie. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999. 81-106. Reprinted in the Norton Critical Edition of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce, ed. John Paul Riquelme. New York: Norton, 2007. 451-70.
Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
“‘His Sympathies were in the Right Place’: Heart of Darkness and the Discourse of National Character.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 53 (1998): 211-44. Reprinted in Harold Bloom, ed. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea House Press, 2008. 51-78.