Kevin Dettmar

Pomona College


Dr. Kevin J. H. Dettmar is W. M. Keck Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Pomona College. With a PhD in modern British literature from UCLA, he taught at Loyola Marymount University, Clemson University, Columbia University, and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, before coming to Pomona in 2008.

A scholar of literary modernism by vocation, he has published widely on twentieth-century and contemporary British and Irish fiction. His first book, The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism: Reading Against the Grain, was published in 1996. He has edited three volumes of critical essays on modernism: Rereading the New: A Backward Glance at Modernism (1994); Marketing Modernisms: Self-Promotion, Canonization, and Rereading (1996; with Stephen Watt); and A Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture (2006; with David Bradshaw). He currently serves as General Editor for the Longman Anthology of British Literature, a classroom text, and as series editor, with Mark Wollaeger, of the Oxford University Press series Modernist Literature & Culture. He is past-President of the Modernist Studies Association and the Midwest Modern Language Association. With William S. Brockman, Robert Spoo, and Michael Groden, he is now at work compiling a 3- volume edition of the nearly 2,000 unpublished letters of James Joyce for Oxford University Press.

While a literary scholar by training, Dettmar has become a popular music critic by avocation. In 1999, he edited Reading Rock & Roll: Authenticity, Appropriation, Aesthetics, with William Richey. Is Rock Dead? followed, in 2006; he also edited the Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan (2009), and a popular music history textbook, Think Rock (2010). He has served on the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. Branch (IASPM- US), and served a term as the Editor-in-Chief of the Association’s Journal of Popular Music Studies. His most recent book, a volume in the Continuum/Bloomsbury series 33⅓ on Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album, Entertainment!, was published last spring.