Competition: US & Canada
University of Iowa
Following studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University, Steven Ungar’s teaching and research at Case Western Reserve and at Iowa have increasingly engaged topics in philosophy, history, and film linked to 19th- through 21st-century French literature. A 1981 Camargo Foundation Fellowship supported completion of Ungar’s first book, Roland Barthes: The Professor of Desire (1983). Additional publications included a single-authored study, Blanchot and France Since 1930 (1995), and two co-edited anthologies Signs in Culture: Roland Barthes Today (1989) and Identity Papers: Contested Nationhood in Twentieth-Century France (1996). In 1984, a course in France between the wars taught with then Iowa colleague Dudley Andrew led to three National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars for College Teachers. A 1987–1991 Interpretive Project grant from the NEH resulted in a co-authored book, Popular Front Paris and the Poetics of Culture (2005). In 2007, Ungar focused on early Fifth-Republic France while drafting a monograph on Agnès Varda’s 1962 feature film, Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7) for the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series. His current research involves a critical history of social documentary in France.
Ungar has directed twenty-seven Ph.D. dissertations on topics ranging from the poetry of Francis Ponge to contemporary fiction by Algerian women. Over the same period, he has served on the advisory/editorial boards of the Publications of the Modern Language Association, French Cultural Studies, Contemporary French & Francophone Studies, Comparative Literature, SubStance, and Diacritics. Recognitions of Ungar’s professional achievements include being named a Collegiate Fellow in the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 2005. A year later, the French Ministry of Education awarded him the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms), for services rendered to French culture. In 2009, Ungar spent six months as Solomon Katz Distinguished Professor at the University of Washington’s Simpson Center for the Humanities.