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New named professor

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Thomas Leitch appointed Kirkpatrick Chair in Writing

Thomas Leitch

​Thomas Leitch

Thomas Leitch has been appointed Unidel Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr. Chair in Writing in the Department of English, effective Sept. 1.

Also newly appointed in the College of Arts and Sciences is Meredith K. Ray, professor of Italian and interim chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, who has been named Elias Ahuja Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Leitch is a professor in the Department of English who trained as a literary scholar at Columbia and Yale, moving into cinema studies when he discovered a love of storytelling that transcended literature and leading to his first book, What Stories Are: Narrative Theory and Interpretation.

He teaches film studies and literature at UD and has taught undergraduate courses in film, specializing in popular Hollywood genres from romantic comedy to film noir, and graduate courses in literary and cultural theory. He is the author of nine books, the editor of two others and is currently editing a collection of essays, The Scandal of Adaptation.

Leitch has also written more than 100 essays, publishing extensively on narrative theory, genre theory and popular culture.

His books include Perry Mason and Crime Films, which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2003, and books about Alfred Hitchcock. Over the past 10 years, most of his work—especially Film Adaptation and Its Discontents: From “Gone with the Wind” to “The Passion of the Christ”—has focused on the process of textual adaptation and its broader implications for the teaching of English.

His most recent books are The History of American Literature on Film (2019), the Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies (2017) and Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age (2014).

A two-time alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar, Leitch has taught as a Fulbright Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He serves on the steering committee of the Delaware Teachers Institute and on the editorial boards of Literature/Film Quarterly, Adaptation, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Hitchcock Annual, Studia Filmoznawcze, the Contemporary Film and Media Studies series published by Wayne State University Press, and the Adaptation and Visual Culture series published by Palgrave Macmillan. He regularly reviews mystery and suspense fiction for Kirkus Reviews, where he is mystery editor.

Article by College of Arts and Sciences communications staff

Published July 16, 2021

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Thomas Leitch, who teaches film studies and literature in the Department of English,  has been appointed Unidel Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr. Chair in Writing.
7/16/2021
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