Professor of English, University of Delaware

Thomas Leitch, trained as a literary scholar at Columbia and Yale, drifted into cinema studies when he discovered a love of storytelling that transcended literature. Even before he came to Delaware to teach film studies, he had already begun to explore this love in his first book, What Stories Are: Narrative Theory and Interpretation. Since then he has taught undergraduate courses in film, specializing in popular Hollywood genres from romantic comedy to film noir, and graduate courses in literary and cultural theory.

Leitch has continued to move back and forth between literature and cinema studies in ten books and over a hundred essays. Since preparing an annotated bibliography of his teacher Lionel Trilling, he has published extensively on narrative theory, genre theory, and popular culture. In addition to Perry Mason and Crime Films, which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2003, he has written two books on Alfred Hitchcock and coedited a third. For the past ten years, most of his work—especially Film Adaptation and Its Discontents: From Gone with the Wind to The Passion of the Christ—has focused on the process of textual adaptation and its broader implications for the teaching of English. His most recent books are Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies. He is currently working on The History of American Literature on Film.

A two-time alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar, Leitch has taught as a Fulbright Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He serves on the steering committee of the Delaware Teachers Institute and on the editorial boards of Literature/Film Quarterly, Adaptation, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Hitchcock Annual, Studia Filmoznawcze, the Contemporary Film and Media Studies series published by Wayne State University Press, and the Adaptation and Visual Culture series published by Palgrave Macmillan. He regularly reviews mystery and suspense fiction for Kirkus Reviews, where he is Mystery Editor.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of English, University of Delaware