Suleiman author photo; credit Allen ReinerSusan Rubin Suleiman is the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and Research Professor of Comparative Literature

She was born in Budapest and emigrated to the U.S. as a child with her parents. She obtained her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and has been on the Harvard faculty since 1981, where she is currently the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and Research Professor of Comparative Literature. She retired from full-time teaching in 2015.

Suleiman is the author or editor of numerous books and more than 100 articles on contemporary literature and culture, published in the U.S. and abroad. Her latest book, The Némirovsky Question, to be published by Yale University Press in fall 2016, is about the Russian-French novelist Irène Némirovsky and issues of “foreignness” in 20th-century France. Her other books include Crises of Memory and the Second World War; Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre; Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde, and Risking Who One Is: Encounters with Contemporary Art and Literature. She has edited and co-edited influential collective volumes, including French Global: A New Approach to Literary History and Exile and Creativity: Signposts, Travelers, Outsiders, Backward Glances.

In addition to her scholarly work, Suleiman is the author of Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook, a memoir about Hungary. Her book reviews and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The American Scholar, Moment Magazine and other newspapers and magazines.

Suleiman has won many honors, including a decoration by the French Government as Officer of the Order of Academic Palms (Palmes Académiques). She has held a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, and several NEH Fellowships. She has been an invited Fellow at the Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest and at the Center for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, as well as the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study. During the 2009-2010 academic year, she was the invited Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.In 2015-16 she was a Faculty Fellow at the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study in College Station, Texas. She lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.


2 thoughts on “Home

  1. Dear Ms Suleiman,
    I just finished reading your memoir “Budapest Diary” and I was extremely moved by it. I look forward to reading your new book on Irene Nemirovsky and to attending your lecture at Albertine in Manhattan.
    Thank you for your compelling and fascinating work.
    Truly yours,
    Florence Dempsey
    Yonkers NY


  2. May 2, 2017

    Congratulations on the fine tri-alogue this afternoon on “The Nemerovsky Question”. I came totally uninformed, found the subject fascinating, and you, a delightful and entertaining speaker. I certainly look forward to seeing you again and hearing you speak at the Barnard Club in Paris gathering.

    Best wishes,

    Anne Atheling, Barnard 1951.


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