Jessica Burstein (they/them/theirs)

Associate Professor
Jessica Burstein

Contact Information

PDL A-502
Office Hours
W 11-1


Ph.D., University of Chicago

Jessica Burstein works on fashion, modernism, and the avant-garde with historical expertise in British and European literature and visual art from the late 19th century through the contemporary moment. Graduate courses include “fashion and modernism,” the transhistorical novel, the middlebrow, and introductory surveys to modernism. Undergraduate courses range from large lecture introductions to the English major; to smaller seminars on boredom, wandering women, contemporary fiction, blood, privacy, and "Excellent Women"--the latter part of an ongoing interest in domestic fictions and under-read female British writers of the 1910s-1960s. Professor Burstein also teaches modern novel courses, some focusing on adultery, some on embodiment; and major-texts courses on Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf. Having chaired dissertation committees on a variety of topics--the changing role of cartography in the Great War, the cultural role of impersonality, nonsense, music, the mistake, risk at high altitude, and crime and detection-- Professor Burstein is interested in working with students invested in historically grounded research, literature, and/or aesthetics.

Cold Modernism: Literature, Fashion, Art, Professor Burstein's first book, is widely interdisciplinary, engaging writers Wyndham Lewis, Mina Loy, and Henry James; visual artists Balthasar Klossowski de Rola and Hans Bellmer; and couturier Coco Chanel. As the author of the Cambridge Companion to Modernist Culture's "Visual Arts" chapter, Burstein is a member of the editorial committee of the scholarly journal Modernism/modernity, and the editorial boards of The Journal of Modern Literature and MLQ. Burstein has also directed the UW English Department's London Study Abroad Program since 2017.

Pushcart Prize, 2018
Royalty Research Fund, 2011
Whiting Fellowship, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago, 2005
Distinguished Teaching Award, Department of English, University of Washington, 2004
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in the Humanities, 2002
Society of Scholars, Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington, 2002


Courses Taught


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