Academic Fiction Criticism: A Working Bibliography

Here is a very rough bibliography of critical works on academic fiction. I thought this could be a way to do some productive crowd-sourcing, while hopefully contributing something useful to others who might be interested in this genre. My plan is to update this list with new sources as I find them.  So please consider this a work-in-progress rather than a fixed authoritative bibliography. And if you have any suggestions, feel free to drop me an email or leave a message in the comments.

I should also mention that this list includes some critical works on academic films which I was not aware of when I wrote my “Top 10” articles on academic films.  I’ve noticed that I have received quite a few hits on those particular posts.  If anyone is interested in finding more academic films and a deeper analysis of academia on screen, John Conklin’s Campus Life in the Movies is a particularly helpful resource, with a far more extensive listing of films than the ones I posted in my articles.

For a list of academic novels, the best resources are John Kramer’s annotated bibliographies The American College Novel (2nd edition, 2004) and Academe in Mystery and Detective Fiction (2nd edition, 2000).  Both of these books have been extremely helpful in locating academic novels by black writers in particular.  (The next bibliography that I post here will be a list of black academic fiction.)



Bosco, Mark and Kimberly Rae Connor, eds. Academic Novels as Satire: Critical Studies of an Emerging Genre.  Ceredigion, UK: Edwin Mellen Press, 2007.

Carter, Ian.  Ancient Cultures of Conceit: British University Fiction in the Post War Years.  London and New York: Routledge, 1990.

Conklin, John E. Campus Life in the Movies: A Critical Survey from the Silent Era to the Present. Jefferson: McFarland, 2008.

Dougill, John.  Oxford in English Literature: The Making and Undoing of the English Athens. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998.

Edgerton, Susan et al, eds.  Imagining the Academy: Higher Education and Popular Culture.  New York: Routledge, 2005.

Hinton, David B. Celluloid Ivy: Higher Education in the Movies 1960-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 1994.

Kramer, John E., Jr. The American College Novel: An Annotated Bibliography. 2nd ed.   Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2004.

Kramer, John E., Jr. Academe in Mystery and Detective Fiction. 2nd ed. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2000.

Lyons, John O. The College Novel in America. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962.

McGurl, Mark.  The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Moseley, Merritt.  The Academic Novel: New and Classic Essays.  Chester: Chester Academic Press, 2007.

Proctor, Mortimer.  The English University Novel.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957.

Rawat, Vinod Kumar. Knowledge-Power/Resistance: Beyond Bacon, Ambedkar and Foucault. Gurgaon: Partridge Publishing India, 2014.  

Rossen, Janice.  The University in Modern Fiction: When Power is Academic.  London: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.

Showalter, Elaine. Faculty Towers: The Academic Novel and Its Discontents. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

Tobolowsky, Barbara and Pauline J. Reynolds (eds.). Anti-Intellectual Representations of American Colleges and Universities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2017.

Umphlett, Wiley Lee. Movies Go to College:  Hollywood and the World of the College-Life Film. Madison: Farleigh-Dickinson University Press, 1984.

Womack, Kenneth.  Postwar Academic Fiction: Satire, Ethics, Community.  New York: Palgrave, 2002.


Anderson, Christian K. and John R. Thelin. “Campus Life Revealed: Tracking Down the Rich Resources of American Collegiate Fiction.” The Journal of Higher Education. 80.1 (2009): 106-113.

Begley, Adam. “The Decline of the Campus Novel.” Lingua Franca. September 1997.

Brown, Stephanie. “J. Saunders Redding and the African American Campus Novel.” The Postwar African American Novel: Protest and Discontent, 1945-1950. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2011. 132-160.

De Mott, Benjamin. “How to Write a College Novel.”  The Hudson Review , 15.2 (1962): 243-252.

Edemariam, Aida. “Who’s Afraid of the Campus Novel?” The Guardian. 2 October 2004.

Foster, Travis. “Campus Novels and the Nation of Peers.” American Literary History. 26.3 (2014): 462-483

Green, Charles. “The Droves of Academe.” The Missouri Review. 31.3 (2008): 177-188.

Kramer, John. “College and University Presidents in Fiction.”  The Journal of Higher Education. 52.1 (1981): 81-95.

Leuschner, Eric.  “Body Damage: Dis-Figuring the Academic in Academic Fiction.”  The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. (2006) 28: 339-354.

Marshall, Megan.  “Academic Discourse and Adulterous Intercourse: What Campus Novels Can Teach Us.”  Atlantic Online. August 2006.

Pinsker, Sanford. “Who Cares if Roger Ackroyd Gets Tenure?” Partisan Review. 66 (1999): 439-52.

Rogers, Jenny. “Old, Boring, White, and Mean: How Professors Appear on the Small Screen.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 12 November 2012.

Thelin, John and Barbara Townsend. “Fiction to Fact: College Novels and the Study of Higher Education.”  Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. 4th ed. New York: Agathon Press, 1988. 183-211.

Tierney, William G. “Academic Freedom and Tenure: Between Fiction and Reality.”  The Journal of Higher Education. 75.2 (2004): 161-177.

Williams, Jeffrey. “Teach the University.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture.  8.1 (2007): 25-42.

—-. “The Rise of the Academic Novel.”  American Literary History. 24.3 (2012): 561-589.

—-. “Unlucky Jim: The Rise of the Adjunct Novel.” The Chronicle of Higher Education.  12 November 2012.


Fullerty, Matthew H. G. The British and American Academic Novel. The “Professorromane”: The Comic Campus, The Tragic Self.  Diss. The George Washington University, 2008.  

UPDATED 10 May 2017.  

3 thoughts on “Academic Fiction Criticism: A Working Bibliography

  1. Pingback: Black Academic Fiction | "Schoolsville:" Academic/Campus/College/University Fiction

  2. Thank you for the details regarding the works done on academic fiction across the globe. It would be really great if you could help me getting hold of these books, mentioned in the working bibliography.

    • I’m not sure I can help much with procuring books. But I have made sure to list all the publisher information in citations here. Some of them have free previews in Amazon and Google Books.

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