Cyrus R.K. Patell

Visiting Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Affiliation: NYU New York
Education: AB Harvard College; AM Harvard University; PhD Harvard University

Research Areas: World Literature; Cosmopolitanism; Global Shakespeare; Star Wars; Minority Discourse Theory; Literary Historiography; US Literary History


Cyrus R. K. Patell is Visiting Professor of Literature at NYUAD and a Professor of English at NYU in New York. He received his AB, AM, and PhD in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. Patell began his scholarly career as a specialist in 19th- and 20th-century US literature and culture, but his recent scholarship and teaching has centered on the theory and practice of world literature, cosmopolitanism, Global Shakespeare, and Star Wars. He has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Undergraduate Honors for the English Department at NYU. From 2010-2013, Patell was the inaugural Associate Dean of Humanities for NYU Abu Dhabi.

He is the author most recently of Lucasfilm: Filmmaking, Philosophy, and the Star Wars Universe (2021), published by Bloomsbury as part of its “Philosophical Filmmakers series.” Other publications include Emergent U.S. Literatures (NYU Press, 2014) and Cosmopolitanism and the Literary Imagination (Palgrave, 2015). Patell is presently at work on entitled “What in the World is a Global Text?” as well as a study of the ways in which Shakespeare's Hamlet became a part of global cultural heritage. With Deborah Lindsay Williams, he is co-editing volume eight of the twelve-volume Oxford History of the Novel in English (general editor Patrick Parrinder) on the American novel after 1940.

At NYU Abu Dhabi, Patell teaches a variety of courses including “Problems and Methods of Literary Study,” “The Cosmopolitan Imagination,” “Literary Theory,” and “Global Shakespeare and the Idea of World Literature.” Past courses include “Classic American Literature,” “Foundations of Literature I: Epic and Drama,” “Foundations of Literature II: Lyric Poetry and the Novel,” "Global Text: Moby-Dick" (with Shamoon Zamir), Global Text: Star Wars,” “Shakespeare and Cosmopolitanism,” “Speculative Fiction,” and “Technophilia and Its Discontents.”

Patell serves as the publisher for Electra Street: A Journal of the Arts and Humanities and its sister publication, Airport Road, a journal of student creative work.

In 2004, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award, New York University's highest honor for teaching.

Courses Taught

Courses Taught