Adam Zachary Newton is the Bill and Carol Fox Center’s Distinguished Visiting Professor during the Spring Semester 2017, with an appointment in the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies.
Prof. Newton is Emeritus Professor of English at Yeshiva University, where he served as University Professor, Chair of the English Department, and Ronald P. Stanton Chair in Literature and Humanities at Yeshiva University from 2007-2014. He was previously the Jane and Rowland Blumberg Centennial Professor in English at the University of Texas at Austin, where he taught from1997 to 2007. Beginning in 2005, he served as interim director of UT’s Program in Jewish Studies, leading to the establishment of the University’s Center for Jewish Studies in 2007.
Dr. Newton received his formal graduate training in literature and philosophy at Harvard University. He is a cross-disciplinary literary scholar, with expertise in three primary fields: 1) ethical criticism and the ethics of reading; 2) the Novel in various national literatures; 3) Jewish Studies, with a particular focus on modern Jewish thought.
He is the author of five monographs: To Make the Hands Impure: Art, Ethical Adventure, the Difficult and the Holy (Fordham UP, 2014; The Elsewhere: On Belonging at a Near Distance: Reading Literary Memoir from East-Central Europe and the Levant (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005); The Fence and the Neighbor: Emmanuel Levinas, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, and Israel Among the Nations (SUNY Press, 2001); Facing Black and Jew: Literature as Public Space in 20th-Century America (Cambridge UP, 1998); and Narrative Ethics (Harvard UP, 1995). For the last mentioned book, Prof. Newton won the 24th annual Thomas J. Wilson Prize of the Board of Syndics of Harvard University Press and the International Society for the Study of Narrative’s Perkins Prize for best book published that year. An important contribution to the theoretical study of narrative, Narrative Ethics has influenced fields outside literary studies such as narrative medicine and religion.
Dr. Newton's current project is Jewish Studies as Counterlife: A Report to the Academy, represents a foray into “critical Jewish Studies,”which seeks to place (and displace) the field against the future horizon of the academic humanities.