Vincent B. Leitch




Course Syllabi

Curriculum Vita



Vincent B. Leitch              

Paul and Carol Daube Sutton Chair in English
George Lynn Cross Research Professor

University of Oklahoma              Phone: (405) 325-6218
Department of English                    Fax: (405) 325-0831
Gittingerhall, Room 113
Norman, OK 73019-2021          email:


I was born and raised in Babylon, Long Island, New York. I studied at the State University of New York Maritime College, Hofstra University, Villanova University, and University of Florida, where I earned a Ph.D. focused on the history of poetry and poetics. I have worked as a literature professor at the University of Florida, Mercer University, University of Tampere (Finland), University of Memphis, Purdue University, University of Debrecen (Hungary), and University of Oklahoma. During recent times I have taught mainly in my specialty, criticism and theory, such university courses as Problems in the History of Criticism; Major Works of Cultural Criticism and Theory; Topics in Cultural Studies; Contemporary Criticism and Theory; Theories of Postmodern Culture; Philosophy and Literary Theory; Poetry and Poetics; and Modern American Poetry.

Honors I have received include membership in Phi Kappa Phi; election to PEN American Center; Outstanding Academic Book from the Association of College and Research Libraries; senior Fulbright-Hays lectureship in criticism and theory at the University of Tampere in Finland; listing in Who's Who; five awards for teaching excellence; appointments to eleven journal advisory boards and four academic press boards; election by the membership of the Modern Language Association to several national committees, including the executive committee of the 7,000-member literary criticism division.

In the decade after completing my doctoral degree, I was awarded four postdoctoral grants for advanced study. The National Endowment for the Humanities funded a seminar in literature and theory at Princeton University; the School of Criticism and Theory at the University of California in Irvine supported study in its renowned theory program; the Andrew Mellon Foundation covered expenses for a term at the International Institute for Semiotic and Structural Studies held at Vanderbilt University; and my own university's Research Fund paid for advanced language training at the Alliance Française in Paris.

I have, in addition, received six postdoctoral awards for research and publication. The American Philosophical Society granted me funds for archival research, leading to the publication of a facsimile edition of Robert Southwell's forgotten 1591 early meditative text, Marie Magdalens Funeral Teares (1975). The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded me a fellowship to finish my book Deconstructive Criticism (1983), a comparative history of French and American deconstruction. The American Council of Learned Societies provided a fellowship, supporting the completion of my cultural history, American Literary Criticism from the 1930s to the 1980s (1988). I spent a semester doing research at Purdue University's Center for Humanistic Studies, where I wrote a polemical work, Cultural Criticism, Literary Theory, Poststructuralism (1992), that argues for a cultural studies informed by poststructuralism. And on a second occasion I worked in Purdue’s Center on my Postmodernism--Local Effects, Global Flows (1996). The Oklahoma Humanities Council supported research on Southwestern blues subculture, which appears as a chapter in my Theory Matters (2003). The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded me a fellowship for work on the contemporary history of U.S. literary criticism, bits of which appear in my Living with Theory (2008) and my American Literary Criticism since the 1930s, second edition (2010).

Several recent one-semester competitive sabbatical leaves from the University of Oklahoma as well as a Research Professorship bestowed on me have supported my research and its publication, including Literary Criticism in the Twenty-First Century: Theory Renaissance (2014) and a book collection of my essays translated into Chinese and published in Beijing by Peking University Press A Leitch Reader (2014).