Rebecca Karni completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), after which, having obtained a postdoctoral research fellowship, she was a Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University’s Departments of English and Comparative Literature. Her academic interests include 20th- and 21st-century global/world, British, American, Anglophone, Asian British and Asian American, Japanese, and French/Francophone literatures; literary studies in the contexts of globalization, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism; the ethics of reading and representation; translation and mediation; affect and literary studies; diaspora studies; transnational (especially East-West) aesthetics, translation, and interpretation; the novel and narrative; film and visual culture; literary and critical theory; ecocriticism; and literature and/as performance.
She is currently at work on two book projects. One considers the Japanese British author Kazuo Ishiguro’s fiction in the context of current critical debates on the nature of world/global literature and the ethics of reading. The second study focuses on style, translation/mediation, and affect in late 20th- and early 21st-century transnational novels and films. Articles related to these projects have either been published, are forthcoming, or are in progress.
Her courses at Roger Williams focus on post-1945 British and American, Anglophone, global/world, and contemporary literatures. She also periodically offers a course on Asian literatures and film in a transnational context. Through student-centered teaching and a wide range of literary texts in terms of both genre and provenance, as well as related films, her aim in all her classes is to foster in students a sense of the pleasures and perils of reading (of primarily literary texts and films, but also of non-fictional texts, performances, etc.) – i.e. a critical awareness as to one’s own and a text’s positions, perspectives, and biases – in a global/world literary context, as well as their confidence with texts and in their own interpretations.