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Professor of Literature, American University

Professor Pike is Chair of the Department of Literature (June 2016-May 2022). His most recent book is "Cold War Space and Culture in the 1960s and 1980s: The Bunkered Decades" (Oxford UP, 2021). He is the author of "Canadian Cinema since the 1980s: At the Heart of the World" (U of Toronto P, 2012); "Metropolis on the Styx: The Underworlds of Modern Urban Culture, 1800–2001" (Cornell UP, 2007); "Subterranean Cities: The World beneath Paris and London 1800–1945" (Cornell UP), shortlisted for the 2006 Modernist Studies Association book prize; "Passage through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds" (Cornell UP), recipient of the 1997 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools and a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 1997; and articles on medieval literature, modernism, film, neo-Victorianism, subterranea, urban fantasy, global urban culture, slum imaginaries, and Paris and London.

He is co-author of "Literature: A World of Writing"; co-general editor of the Longman Anthology of World Literature; and co-author, with Malini Ranganathan (SIS, AU) and Sapana Doshi (UC-Merced) of “Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics, and Publics in the Late Capitalist City,” forthcoming from Cornell UP.

In addition to urban culture and the underground, he teaches courses on European and Canadian cinema, film noir, the western, modernism, Dante, Roman literature, and the novel. From 1993 to 1995, Professor Pike was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University. Among his awards and fellowships are NEH Fellowships for College Teachers in 1999 and 2021, an ACLS Fellowship for Junior Scholars, an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for "Corruption Plots," and the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Contributions. Current projects include "Slum Lore," a cultural history of modern urban poverty.


  • –present
    Professor of Literature, American University