Martin Puchner

Martin Puchner is a literary critic and philosopher. He studied at Konstanz University, the University of Bologna, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, before receiving his Ph.D. at Harvard University. Until 2009 he held the H. Gordon Garbedian Chair at Columbia University, where he also served as co-chair of the Theater Ph.D. program. He now holds the Byron and Anita Wien Chair of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is the founding director of the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University.

As a literary critic, he focuses on modernism, especially such genres as the closet drama, the literary manifesto, and modern drama. His philosophical work concerns the philosophical dialogue and the intersections of theater and philosophy.

In an interview with Rain Taxi, Puchner anticipates the avant-garde in the 21st century in its relation to media, asserting “We are going through a media revolution even more extreme than that of the 20th century. I would say that an avant-garde for the 21st century would have to develop ways of using our own new media in critical, innovative, provocative ways. It would also have to be part of a political analysis of our moment, and translate that analysis into a new set of attitudes and ambitions.”

He is the general editor of the ''Norton Anthology of World Literature'' and lectures on world literature.

In 2016 he launched a HarvardX MOOC on World Literature.

In 2017, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship. He currently is a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library.

In 2017, he published a sweeping account of literature from the invention of writing to the Internet: ''The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization.'' New York: Random House, 2017. The book won advanced praise from Margaret Atwood.

On October 13, 2020, W. W. Norton & Company will publish his latest book, ''The Language of Thieves: My Family's Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate''. Provided by Wikipedia
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