About the Director
Sara Guyer is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has directed the Center for the Humanities since 2008.
Sara is a scholar of poetry and rhetoric, with a particular interest in romanticism and its legacies. Her research seeks to demonstrate the ongoing relevance of romanticism and poetry for thinking about the major social and philosophical issues of our time, including survival, the human after humanism, geographic displacement, and public life. She is the author of Romanticism after Auschwitz (Stanford, 2007) and the editor (with Steven Miller) of “Literature and the Right to Marriage,” a special issue of Diacritics. With Celeste Langan, she is currently coediting a special issue of Romantic Circles on “Romanticism and Materiality,” and as a 2011-12 fellow of the Howard Foundation, she is completing a new book on Biopoetics: Homelessness, Sovereignty, Romanticism.
In addition to courses on Romantic and Holocaust literatures, Sara regularly teaches a seminar on Critical Methods for graduate students in the English Department and with Richard Keller has co-taught a graduate course on biopolitics that eventuated in a Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on Biopolitics: the Politics of Life Itself.
At the Center, Sara has concentrated on imagining a humanities that draws upon the rigors of critical theory, while encouraging both established and emerging scholars to help shape public life. She is committed to research and thinking that reaches across institutional lines both within and beyond the university – and includes the sciences, arts, and professions. This emphasis on the public humanities envisions new audiences for research in literature, history, philosophy, and culture and is part of the reinvention of graduate education in the 21st Century.
Prior to her arrival in Madison, Sara studied at Brandeis, Oxford, Warwick, and Berkeley, and taught at UC-Irvine and the University of Oregon. She is the recipient of WARF Vilas and Romnes Awards, and holds the Borghesi Family Faculty Fellowship in the College of Letters and Science.