Debra Shostak

Debra Shostak

Mildred Foss Thompson Professor - English, Film Studies [Department Chair], Comparative Literature

Office: Kauke 221
Phone: 330-263-2402


  • B.A. - Carleton
  • M.A. - Wisconsin
  • Ph.D. - Wisconsin

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 120: Language, Literature, and Culture: Modern Selves
  • ENGL 220  William Faulkner
  • ENGL 230  Tradition/Countertradition in 19th Century American Literature
  • ENGL 240  Narrative and the Real World
  • ENGL 240  American Film
  • ENGL 401  Perspectives and Methods in Independent Study
  • First Year Seminar: Art as Adaptation: Rewriting Literature on Film (current topic)
  • CMLT 236 Comparative Film Studies

Professional Activities

  • Executive Co-Editor, Philip Roth Studies

Publications (Recent)


  • Fictive Fathers in the Contemporary American Novel (forthcoming).
  • Philip Roth: American Pastoral, The Human Stain, The Plot Against America. (Editor) London: Continuum, 2011.
  • Philip Roth—Countertexts, Counterlives. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004.


  • "Philip Roth and Life as a Man." The Political Companion to Philip Roth. Eds. Claudia-Franziska Bruehwiler and Lee Trepanier. University Press of Kentucky. Series: The Political Companions to Great American Authors. 2017. 191-219.
  • “‘Every third thought shall be my grave’: Roth, Memento mori, and Story.” Roth After Eighty: Philip Roth and the American Literary Imagination. Eds. David Gooblar and Aimee Pozorski. Lexington Books. 2016. 1-18.
  • "Prosthetic Fictions: Reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close through Philip Roth's The Plot Against America." American Writing After 9/11. Ed. Catherine Morley. Bloomsbury Academic. Series: Themes in Contemporary North American Fiction. 2016. 21-40.
  • "Marginal Writers; or, Jews Who Aren't." Edinburgh Companion to Modern Anglophone Jewish Fiction, ed. David Brauner and Axel Stähler. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 2015. 161-171.
  • "Philip Roth's Graveyards, Narrative Desire, and 'Professional competition with death.'" Special issue on Philip Roth, ed. Gustavo Sanchez Canales and Victoria Aarons, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 16.2. June 2014.
  • "Lateness, Timeliness, and Elegy: Philip Roth's Dying Animal on Film." Genre 47.1 (Spring 2014): 79-102.
  • "American Pastoral's Ghost Writer: Anne Frank in Old Rimrock." Cercles: Revue pluridisciplinaire du monde Anglophone 33 (2014). Online at
  • "Pennies from Heaven from BBC to MGM: Adaptation and the Anti-Musical." Journal of Adaptation in Film and Video 6.1 (May 2013): 65-80.
  • "'Impossible Narrative Voices': Sofia Coppola's Adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides." ILS: Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 15.2 (2013): 179-201.
  • "Late Style in the Later Novels." Critical Insights: Philip Roth. Ed. Aimee Pozorski. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2013. 164-84.
  • "Philip Roth," Cambridge Companion to American Novelists, ed. Timothy Parrish. Cambridge University Press, 2013. 280-89.
  • "'Into Thin Air': Roth and Celebrity Selfhood." Philip Roth and Celebrity. Ed. Aimee Pozorski. Lexington Books, 2012. 85-100.
  • "The 'very sudden thing': Narration and the Fall into History." Reading Philip Roth's American Pastoral, ed. Velichka Ivanova. Toulouse, France: Presses Universitaires du Mirail. 2011. 165-78.
  • "Biography: John Updike." Critical Insights: John Updike. Ed. Bernard F. Rodgers, Jr. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2011. 18-25.
  • " 'A story we could live with': Narrative Voice, the Reader, and Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides," Modern Fiction Studies 55.4 (Winter 2009): 808-32.
  • "In the Country of Missing Persons: Paul Auster's Narratives of Trauma," Studies in the Novel 41.1 (Spring 2009): 66-87.
  • "Dancing in Hollywood's Blue Box: Genre and Screen Memories in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive," Post Script 28.1 (Fall 2008): 11-29.
  • " 'Theory uncompromised by practicality': Hybridity in Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex," Contemporary Literature 49.3 (Fall 2008): 383-412.
  • "Under the Sign of Moon Palace: Paul Auster and the Body in the Text," Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 49.2 (Winter 2008): 149-68.
  • "Roth and Gender." The Cambridge Companion to Philip Roth. Ed. Timothy Parrish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 111-126.


Shostak specializes in 20th and 21st century American fiction and film.