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Indiana University Bloomington

Judith C. Brown

Judith C. Brown


Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Ph.D. Tufts University, 2002

My research focuses on modernist literature, culture, and aesthetics. My book, Glamour in Six Dimensions: Modernism and the Radiance of Form looks at a wide range of cultural productions—from high literary modernism to consumer items like cigarettes and Chanel No. 5—and finds in them a shared aesthetic that bridges high and low, material and ephemeral modernisms. My research for this project, while grounded in literature, took me in a number of surprising directions from perfume chemistry to the history of the plastics industry to the aesthetic debates that framed the early decades of the twentieth century.

I am now at work on a book called Passive States: Modernism and the Unproductive Life. I'm particularly interested in the idea of the non-instrumental, the useless, and the unproductive in narratives that, in one way or another, encounter Empire. Studying the highly experimental fiction of Virginia Woolf and G.V. Desani, and the arguably quietist novels of R.K. Narayan and E.M. Forster, I examine the ways that they (like Melville's scrivener) "prefer not to," yet wind around and through the logics of production that governed the relationship between England and India in the late colonial period.

Recent Courses

Modernism and the Aesthetics of Feeling
Twentieth Century American Poetry
Modernist Primitivism
Regarding Nothing: Modernism and Absence
Literature and Anxiety
The Idea of Genius
Globalizing Modernisms

Select Publications (click images for more information)


Glamour in Six Dimensions: Modernism and the Radiance of FormGlamour in Six Dimensions: Modernism and the Radiance of Form (Cornell University Press, 2009).

Selected Publications:

"Questions for R.K. Narayan," forthcoming in PMLA (2016).

"Style," forthcoming in A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism, ed. Rebecca Walkowitz and Eric Hayot (Columbia UP, 2015).

"Glamour's Silhouette: Fashion, Fashun, and Modernism," in A Handbook of Modernism Studies, ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté (Blackwell, 2013).

"Pretty Richard," in Shakesqueer: The Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed. Madhavi Menon (Duke UP, 2011).

"Garbo's Glamour," in Modernist Star Maps, ed. Aaron Jaffe and Jonathan Goldberg (Ashgate Press, 2010).

"Cellophane Glamour," Modernism/Modernity 15.4 (November, 2008): 605-626.

"Borderline, Sensation, and the Machinery of Expression," Modernism/Modernity 14.4 (November, 2007): 687-705.

"A Certain Laughter: Sherwood Anderson's Experiment in Form," Modernist Cultures 2.2 (2007): 132-144.


New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, spring 2016
College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI) Fellowship, fall 2015
Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, 2011
Exploratory Travel Fellowship, Indiana University, 2009
Mellon Fellowship, Penn Humanities Forum, 2007-2008
Indiana University Summer Faculty Fellowship, 2007