Jeff Drouin

Jeff is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, focusing on British and American modernism. His interests include the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century novel, narratology, textual criticism, and digital humanities. Currently he is completing his dissertation, Advanced Projects: The Modernist Novel and the New Physics, a Study of Genre, which examines formal and thematic developments in the high modernist novel (ca. 1919-1939) in conjunction with the popularization of Einstein's relativity theories in radio broadcasts, avant-garde magazines, and generalist periodicals.

Jeff's interest in material modernism -- the study of early Twentieth-Century print culture and ephemera -- stems from his graduate work on modernist literature and the new physics. A research paper and M.A. thesis dealing with narrative structure in James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and aspects of Einstein's special and general theories of relativity (1905; 1916) form the basis of his doctoral work. A critical problem has been to demonstrate the necessary connection between literature and science in the absence of substantial biographical evidence that Joyce had knowledge of Einstein's theories. Further research turned into life-changing events when Jeff read Michael H. Whitworth's Einstein's Wake: Relativity, Metaphor, and Modernist Literature (Oxford 2002) and Holly Henry's Virginia Woolf and the Discourse of Science: The Aesthetics of Astronomy (Cambridge 2003). These two studies examine the periodicals that various modernists read and contributed to, in which books that popularized Einstein were reviewed, critiqued, and further digested in humanistic essays. It was through the discursive periodical cultures of various groups of modernists that Einstein's ideas made their way into the content and form of certain works. Researching the place where science and literature share a common body of material has resulted in a fascination with the modernist periodical genre in itself.

Other projects include the Ecclesiastical Proust Archive -- an experimental technology for analysis of the church motif in Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu -- and various instructional technology initiatives at the Macaulay Honors College.

While completing his M.A. at the University of Virginia (2000), an art history course on Cubism sparked a love of machinery that has translated into a healthy obsession with motorcycles, particularly those made by Royal Enfield. He also enjoys bicycling and spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their dauntless Boston Terrier, Petunia.