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Walter KalaidjianProfessor


Walter Kalaidjian (B.A. Kenyon College; Ph.D. University of Illinois) is Professor of English at Emory University. He has authored four books on 20th-Century American literature, and he is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to American Modernism and the Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry. His research and teaching focus on transnational modern and contemporary literature and culture specializing in poetics, critical theory, and psychoanalysis.

A recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and Andrew Mellon Foundation, Professor Kalaidjian in his forthcoming research explores textual linkages among globalization, terrorism, and extraordinary experience.


  • B.A., Kenyon College
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois

Selected Publications

  • “Occult Surrealism as ‘Profane Illumination’:  Mina Loy, Leonora Carrington, and Ithell Colquhoun,” Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Fall 2022), 158-176.
  • "Refinding the Object in Modern Fiction Studies." American Imago, Vol. 79, No. 1 (Spring 2022):  61-87.
  • "The Surrealist Bestiary and Animal Philosophy."Surrealism: Cambridge Critical Concepts. Ed. Natalya Lusty. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021:272-290.
  • "Theodore Roethke's Dark Society." A Field Guide to the Poetry of Theodore Roethke. Ed. William Barillas.  Athens, OH: Ohio University Press / Swallow Press, 2021: 374-381.
  • "Reading Abu Ghraib." Polysèmes:  Revue d’études intertextuelles et intermédiales Vol.19, (2018):
  • A Century of Violence:  Revisiting the Armenian Genocide.”  Los Angeles Review of Books.  21 May. 2016. 
  • The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry.  New York, NY:  Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • "Left Poetry."  A Companion to Modernist Poetry. Eds. David E. Chinitz and Gail McDonald.  Chichester, West Sussex, UK:  Wiley Blackwell, 2014:  267-280.
  • "Traversing Psychosis: Lacan, Topology, and 'The Jet-Propelled Couch'."  American Imago, Vol. 69, No. 2 (Summer 2012): 185-213.
  • "'The Pardon of Speech':  The Psychoanalysis of Modern American Poetry." The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry.  Ed. Cary Nelson.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2012:  425-460.
  • "Genocide, Modernism, and American Verse."  Poetry and Cultural Studies:  A Reader. Ed. Maria Damon and Ira Livingston.  Urbana, IL:  University of Illinois Press, 2009:  390-405.
  • "Incoming: Globalization, Disaster, Poetics." South Atlantic Quarterly 4 (Fall 2007): 825-848.
  • "Josephine Baker, Performance, and the Traumatic Real." Scholar and Feminist Online, Barnard Center for Research on Women 6.1-6.2 (Fall 2007)
  • The Edge of Modernism:  American Poetry and the Traumatic Past.  Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.
  • The Cambridge Companion to American Modernism.  New York, NY:  Cambridge   University Press, 2005.
  • American Culture Between the Wars:  Revisionary Modernism and Postmodern Critique. New York, NY:  Columbia University Press, 1994.
  • Languages of Liberation: The Social Text in Contemporary American Poetry. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1989.
  • Understanding Theodore Roethke.; Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1987. Published in the Understanding Contemporary American Literature series, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli


The Cambridge Companion to Modern American PoetryThe Edge of Modernism: American Poetry and the Traumatic PastThe Cambridge Companion to American Modernism (Cambridge Companions to Literature)American Culture Between the Wars: Revisionary Modernism and Postmodern Critique