Karen Zumhagen-Yekple is Assistant Professor of English at Tulane University, where she is also an affiliated faculty member of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
She works in European, British, North American and Latin American literature and film of the 19th-21st centuries with a focus on modernism, its continued resonance in global fiction and cinema, and the relationship between philosophy and literature. Before coming to Tulane, she taught at Harvard, where she was College Fellow in Comparative Literature; at Stanford, as fellow in English and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her PhD in Comparative Literature. She also studied at the EHESS in Paris and holds an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Virginia.
Her current book manuscript, A Different Order of Difficulty in Wittgenstein, Joyce, Woolf, Kafka and Musil, attends to the significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for studies in literary modernism and its afterlife in contemporary literature. She is also co-editor, with Michael LeMahieu, of the volume, Wittgenstein and Modernism, under contract with the University of Chicago Press (2014). Her essays have appeared in Comparative Literature, The James Joyce Quarterly, and Philosophy and Kafka.
Topics that are the focus of her teaching and research include: film studies; transatlantic and European modernism, contemporary literature; the novel; the foundations of Analytic philosophy; Continental philosophy; faith and secularity; modern and postmodern difficulty; autobiography and confession; experimental fiction; critical theory.
Karen's recent courses include seminars "Transatlantic Modernism", "20th c Paradoxes of the Secular-Sacred," "Kafka, Coetzee and the Difficulty of Reality," "The Moment in Modernism," "From Weimar to Film Noir," "Modernism's Global Afterlife," "Literature of Fall and Redemption" and "The Booker Prize: Aesthetics, Commerce and Canon-Making," "Virginia Woolf and Modernism," and lecture courses on 19th and 20th-century British and Irish Literature. Courses slated for 2014-15 include "The Modernist Story, the Millennial Film," "The Novels of Virginia Woolf," and "Grace and Disgrace."