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Daniel Novak

Daniel Novak

Associate Professor
Department of English
Director, Jewish Studies Program

What was your previous position and where?

I was a visiting assistant professor at Tulane.

What brought you to LSU?

As with most academics, my route here was circuitous. I grew up in Los Angeles and got my B.A. at UCLA. I then went to Princeton University for my M.A. and Ph.D, then south for the first time ever for my visiting job at Tulane. From Tulane, I joined the English department at LSU - a job that was doubly sweet to get because I was engaged to a professor at LSU. Even though I enjoy the east coast, I love the people here, especially my colleagues in English and womenís and gender studies.

What is your research interest?

My research interest is 19th century British literature. My first book focused on the nexus of 19th century literary realism, photographic technology and identity. Iím currently working on two book projects that grew out of the same interest in representation and identity, particularly racial and sexual identity. The first, "Victoriaís Accursed Race," is on Victorian literature about the Cagots, an ethnic group of unknown origin and ambiguous race found in France and Spain. The second, "Specters of Wilde," focuses on the beginning of Oscar Wilde studies as a field.

What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?

Of course, I hope to expand and continue my research. But, even more, I hope to continue to mentor undergraduate students. Iím the advisor of two undergraduate groups, as well as graduate students. Iím currently the job placement coordinator and the advisor for another graduate student organization. I also, strangely, enjoy faculty governance and hope to continue participating in institutions on campus that can affect change. I am currently vice president of the A&S Faculty Senate and the chair of the programs committee on the Womenís and Gender Studies Coordinating Council.

What do you enjoy most about LSU?

I enjoy the faculty most. I find LSU the most collegial, fun and supportive institution Iíve ever been a part of. We know how to have a great time - like myself, friends on the faculty are in Mardi Gras Krewes - yet we manage to be incredibly productive and supportive of each otherís work.

What are your major accomplishments?

The publication of my first book, "Realism, Photography, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction" with Cambridge University Press in 2008, and getting tenure last year. I thought both would be a little anti-climactic. They werenít.


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