Dr. Victoria Papa

Assistant Professor, English & Communications

Victoria Papa
(413) 662-5275
60 Porter St. Rm 204


Ph.D., Northeastern University

M.A., University of Albany, SUNY

B.A., Saint Anselm College

Courses Taught

Creativity & Survival

Gender & Global Modernisms

Introduction to Literature

Introduction to Visual Culture

MASS MoCA Immersion

Visions & Voices: American Ethnic Literature & Art


About Me

My research and teaching examine the intersections of creative expression and the survival of structural traumas in literature and visual culture from the modernist period to the present. My work is especially interested in how writers and artists make use of aesthetic possibilities to enact life-affirming counternarratives of care and kinship.

Research Interests

I am currently at work on a book project that traces an alternative history of modernism and crisis to show how modernists who wrote out of the experience of systemic oppression expand representations of trauma beyond fractured narratives of war and sudden accident. I am the co-creator and co-director of a public humanities and arts project, CARE SYLLABUS—a multimodal and justice-centered education resource that I have developed with the contemporary art museum, MASS MoCA. 

Selected Publications

Interfacing Grief: Haptic Autotheory & Performance as Afterlife in Anne Carson’s Nox,” Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (2022)

Care and the Contingencies of Critique,” ASAP/J (2021)

Clean, Original, Primitive”: Sexual Radicalism, Race Consciousness, and the Case of Harlem’s Queers,” Modernism/modernity Print+ (2021)

The Art of Care: Susannah Cahalan on Madness, Diagnosis, and COVID-19,Public Books (2020)

"Embodied Haunting: Aesthetics and the Archive in Toni Morrison's Beloved" in Madness in Black Women's Fictions: Aesthetics of Resistance and the Practice of Diaspora. Ed. Caroline Brown and Johanna Garvey. London: Palgrave Macmillan (2017)

selected presentations

"Minoritarian Modernisms Roundtable," Between the Acts: An MSA Digital Conference, April 2022

“Caremaking: Beyond Dynamics of Give and Take,” ASAP/12, Virtual, October 2021

“Care Practices: A Panel Discussion,” The Wattis Institute at California College of the Arts, Virtual, May 2021

“Institutions & the Crisis of Care,” College Art Association, Virtual, February 2020 

“Trauma Studies: A Prognosis, Modern Language Association, Virtual, January, 2020

Features in MCLA News

MCLA Professor Reflects on Fellowship at Yale's Beinecke Library (Fall 2022)

Leading Classes, and National Conversations, on Care and the Therapeutic Arts (Spring 2022)

New MCLA/MASS MoCA Collaboration Explores the Meaning of Care (Fall 2020)

MCLA English Professor to Complete Brandeis University Fellowship (Fall 2020)