Dr. Jacob Hovind
Jacob Hovind studied at the University of Minnesota (B.A., Comparative Literature and English) and Emory University (Ph.D., Comparative Literature), and he currently teaches as Assistant Professor of English at Towson University.
While at Emory, he served as a Graduate Fellow of the Arts and Sciences (2005 – 2010), also working as a research fellow for the Letters of Samuel Beckett. From 2010 to 2011, he served as Graduate Assistant to the Editors of the Letters. This experience working with the Letters has invaluably enriched his own research into European modernism and literary history, as he gained both a deeper familiarity with Beckett than he could have had otherwise, as well as a unique lens through which to understand the larger literary field of twentieth-century Europe. More generally, working with Dr. Overbeck and the other members of the Letters project has made him a better researcher, editor, writer, and reader, while also providing him with a gracious and supportive group of colleagues.
Dr. Hovind’s articles and reviews have appeared in Comparative Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, and The French Review. He has also contributed a chapter to a volume of essays on Beckett’s work, Beckett Re-Membered. He has recently completed his first book manuscript, Becoming Literary: The Life of Character in the Language of Modernism, in which he theorizes the ontology of literary character while also specifically investigating the centrality of character in modernism, particularly in the works of Erich Auerbach, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and Beckett. Central to his readings of Beckett’s later novels is the necessity of engaging their very “novelness,” asking how they employ the traditional elements that constitute the form, such as voice, point of view, and tense. They may be novels that tell no story, and have no recognizably human characters to speak of, and yet they remain novels nonetheless, ones which in their paucity in fact provide an essential interrogation into the novel’s unique ontological mode.