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. Modules I regularly offer at Leeds include: ARTF 1026, "Cinema and Media History"; ARTF 2127 "Keywords"; ARTF 2065 "Postcolonial Feminisms"; and ARTF 3014/5009 "Making Sense of Sound." 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>