Professor John Mowitt

Professor John Mowitt


I received my doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982 and taught in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cites from 1985 until 2013. I have published numerous books and articles on the broad areas of theory, culture and politics, and serve as a senior coeditor of the academic journal, Cultural Critique. Member of the Research and Innovation Committee in FAHACS.


  • Leadership Chair in Critical Humanities

Research interests

My interests follow mainly from my areas of expertise.  However, for the last 15 years I have been working mainly in the anti-disciplinary area of sound studies. My current project, provisionally titled Tunings, is a study of the encounter between literature and music, specifically as realized in the music essay (compositions titled, ‘essays’, not essays written about music).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Comparative Literature
  • BA in Philosophy
  • AA in Liberal Studies

Professional memberships

  • American Comparative Literature Association

Student education

I teach at all levels of the school curriculum and supervise both MAs and PhDs. Additionally, as a partisan of the ‘critical humanities’, I have a keen interest in curricular innovation. To that end I have both developed new modules (‘Making Sense of Sound;) and helped re-design the cultural and media studies course (‘Keywords’ and soon ‘Introduction to Cultural Analysis’).  I am active in the C.A.V.E. MA in Fine Art and co-supervise practice led doctorates.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Critical Materialist Studies
  • Futures of the University

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>