Pardis Dabashi


My project, “Missing Story: Contingency and Narrative in Modernist Fiction and Film,” examines the converging histories of film and the modern novel, especially as they developed along the axis of narrative form. Arguing against the notion that the new media were reviled Others of or determinant influences on modernist literature, my dissertation shows that early cinema and its cultures of exhibition presented an opportunity for the modernist novel to explore an evolution of its own, already underway, from nineteenth-century realist plot towards contingency and non-narrativity. I show how cinema’s increased reliance on narrative over the course of the early twentieth century served as an inverted reflective surface against which the modern novel was processing its own radical upheaval, and in some cases abandonment, of nineteenth-century realist story–even as the relinquishment of plot caused such longing for it that exemplary modernist novels sought its rehabilitation.

Ph.D., English and American literature, Boston University, in progress
M.A., English and American literature, Boston University, 2013
B.A., English and Comparative literature, Columbia University, 2008

Ecole Philippe Gaulier, 2010
Ecole Jacques Lecoq, 2009


“The Art of the High-Born: A Look Back at Bahman Farmanara’s Shazdeh Ehtejab,” in Politics/Letters (September 2018).

“The Compsons Were Here: Indexicality, the Actuality, and the Crisis of Meaning in The Sound and the Fury,” in Modernism/modernity (September 2017).

“Literature, Lecoq, and the ‘nouveau roman’” in The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq (Routledge, 2016).