Featured English Alumni

Lisa Colletta, Ph.D. in English

Photo of Lisa Colletta

Current Position

Associate Professor of English & Director of the English Program, The American University of Rome

Ph.D. 1999, CGU-- Twentieth-Century British Literature

"During my first semester in graduate school at CGU I took Professor Wendy Martin’s course in American Literature and the Jazz Age, and it changed my life. She had invited Noel Riley Fitch, who at that time was teaching at The American University of Paris, to speak to the class, and I left that day knowing exactly what I wanted to do—teach, write, and live abroad. I moved first to Boston, where I was tenured at Babson College, but in 2009 I was offered a position at The American University of Rome, directing the program in English writing and literature."

"Studying at Claremont broadened my interests while it demanded a deep understanding of a tradition. At that time we sat for exams in six centuries and had to pass reading exams in two foreign languages—a rigorous course of study that I will always be grateful for. It made me a scholar and fostered my interests in transnational and comparative literatures."

Lisa Colletta is Associate Professor of English at the American University of Rome. Her research interests include the twentieth-century British novel, humor studies, and the literature of travel and exile. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and essay collections, and she is the author of Dark Humor and Social Satire in the Modern British Novel (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), editor of Kathleen and Christopher: Christopher Isherwood's Letters to his Mother (University of Minnesota Press, 2005), and co-editor with Maureen O’Connor (a CGU graduate) of Wild Colonial Girl: Essays on Edna O'Brien (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006). She has just completed a book manuscript on the life and work of British novelists in Hollywood during the middle decades of the twentieth century, entitled Voluntary Exiles.


Wild Colonial Girl: Critical Essays on Edna O’Brien, co-edited with Maureen O’Connor. University of Wisconsin Press, August 2006.

Kathleen and Christopher: Christopher Isherwood’s Letters to His Mother. University of Minnesota Press, November 2005.

Dark Humor and Social Satire in the Modern British Novel. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.


“Isherwood, Los Angeles, and the Performance of Self” in The New Isherwood Century. University of Wisconsin Press, Forthcoming, fall 2013.

“The Liberal Arts and the Marketplace” in The Western Humanities Review, Fall 2011.

“The Non-utility Degree: In Defense of the Liberal Arts” in Academe (97:3 Sept 2010).

“Political Satire and Postmodern Irony: The Really Fake or the Really Real in Contemporary Mock (or not) News Programming” Critical Engagements: A Journal of Criticism and Theory, 3:2: Winter 2009.

“Intermodern Travel: J.B. Priestley’s English and American Journeys” Intermodernism: Writing and Culture in Interwar and Wartime Britain. Kristin Bluemel, editor. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, October 2009.

“The Spirit of (Simulated) Place: Travel, Art, and the Theme-Park Aesthetic” The International Journal of Arts in Society (4:4 Dec 2009).

“Political Satire and Postmodern Irony in the Age of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart” The Journal of Popular Culture (42:5 Oct 2009).

Introduction to E.M. Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread. NY: Barnes and Noble Publishing, October 2006.

“Modernism and Dark Humor” Precursors and Aftermaths: Literature in English, 1914-45 (Volume II:I 2004).

"The Dark Domestic Vision of Ivy Compton-Burnett" And in Our Time: Vision and Revision in British Writing of the 1930s. Antony Shuttleworth, editor. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2003.

"The Geography of Ruins: John Fowles's Daniel Martin and the Travel Literature of D.H. Lawrence" The Landscapes of John Fowles. James Aubrey, editor. New Jersey: Farleigh Dickenson University Press, 1999.

Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal Issue on Women and Travel. Guest editor. 26:5 (June 1997).

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