Professor of English
Current projects include:
- Wild Domestic: Forthcoming from Sheep Meadow Press, Fall 2014. A manuscript of poems dealing with childhood and family history; migration and travel among history-laden places in the world; the strangeness of the animal and human worlds; and a variety of works of art.
- "Eye and Myself: Essays on Art, Intimacy, and Being Alone": A collection of memoir essays exploring the formation of my sensibility through travel, books, art and, especially, the clash and combination of languages and cultures within and outside my own family.
- "Hidden": A novel about Jews hidden in World War II, their afterlives in New York as well as those of their hiders in Poland, and their descendants.
Years at Knox: 1998 to present
Ph.D., English, 1992, Princeton University.
B.A., English, 1985, Bryn Mawr College.
English literature, modern British literature, Irish literature, American literature, Jewish literature, creative non-fiction, literature of the Holocaust, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
Included in "Notable" list in Best American Essays 2013 for "Gravity," published in Fifth Wednesday and Best American Essays 2011 for "Life and Death," published in Southwest Review.
Writing fellowships at the Jentel Artists' Residency Program, Wyoming; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Ragdale; Hawthornden Castle, Scotland.
Illinois Arts Council Literary Award for the poem "Bodies" published in Another Chicago Magazine, 2007.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Grant for seminar participation, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, 1998.
Outsiders Together: Virginia and Leonard Woolf: Princeton University Press, 2000 (published in paperback, 2001; reviewed in the TLS, Modern Fiction Studies, and elsewhere).
A study whose focus on the relationship of Virginia and Leonard Woolf emphasizes the intersubjective basis of Virginia Woolf's prose and links both style and subject of her works with larger sociopolitical questions about belonging and exclusion.
Poems, Essays, Stories
"Mammography," "Advice to Women Artists," and "Aria for Castrato," in Calyx.
"An Infinite Grace," poems written to accompany paintings by Knox Alumna Jenny Hager, in Yew.
"Ars Poetica" on PoetryDaily, February 18, 2013.
"Calatrava" and "Ars Poetica," Gettysburg Review.
"Princeling" and "The Minder," in Fairy Tale Review.
"The Tenant," in DIAGRAM.
"Zoo," "In Praise of the Small," and "Mid-Life Ruminations on Louise Bourgeois" in Michigan Quarterly Review.
"Double Portraits: Friendship and Seeing," "Life and Death," and "What Is Home?" in Southwest Review.
"Longing," "He and I," "Opera," "Too Much," and "Hampstead Heath: A Sketch," in /nor.
"Enthrallments," "Life-Size Sculptures: Women," "Love and Gusto(n)," "Books, the Body, and the Dead," and "Nefertiti and the Hammam: or, The Company of Women," in Hotel Amerika, Spring 2006.
"In a Cold City," "Hammersmith," "Rittenhouse Square," and "Bodies," in Another Chicago Magazine, Spring 2006.
"Privacy and Hunger: Looking at Lucian Freud," in Ninth Letter, Fall 2004.
Bilingual Reading, American Literary Translators' Association Conference, Pasadena, November 2009.
"Modern and Post-modern Street Haunting: Virginia Woolf and W.G. Sebald," Paper, W.G. Sebald: An International and Interdisciplinary Conference, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2008.
"Individual Voices: A Discussion of the 'I' in Literary Nonfiction." Virginia Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Cunning in Exile: Leopold Bloom's Dirtyclean Pockets." Nineteenth International James Joyce Symposium (and the Bloomsday Centennial), Dublin, Ireland, 2004.
Reading of individual poems as part of a panel on contemporary Jewish women writers, organized by S.L. Wisenberg, at annual AWP convention in Chicago, 2004.
Campus & Community Involvement
Coordinator, Madeleine and Joe Glossberg Visiting Israeli Scholar Program at Knox.
Consulting/Contributing Editor, The American Poetry Review.
Volunteer, Front Desk, Lincoln Park Community Shelter, Chicago.
What Students Say
"Natania Rosenfeld's intellect and rigor ensure that her students leave her classrooms better thinkers and better communicators. But, what's more and possibly more important, she reminds her students that art is not merely entertaining and pleasurable--it is vital. The precision of vision and articulation that she demands from her students, and which she works hard to help them achieve, finds its origin in her belief that the study of literature is also an ethical act. Her classrooms and the texts that populate them often expose our vulnerabilities--at the least our ambivalence--and Professor Rosenfeld makes a space for students to wade into those murky waters. She wades in with them. She is unflinching; her enthusiasm, her tough questions, and her conviction that what we think and say matter are catching."
-Elizabeth S. Marzoni, English Major, History Minor
"Natania is deeply invested in all of her students and is very approachable. She encourages everyone to participate in class and guides discussions with challenging follow-up questions. Like all good professors, she sees teaching as an opportunity for her to learn as well as her students. She's the kind of person who prefers to give you feedback over coffee so that she can get to know you as well. Besides being an excellent teacher, Natania is a proficient writer, juggling poetry, personal essays, academic articles and fiction with enviable ease. She has a true passion for literature and is a fantastic role model for any prospective writer or teacher."
-Laura Zuber, English and Spanish Major