Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Roy Rosenstein is among AUP’s longest-serving professors, having arrived at the University in 1977. A New Yorker by birth, he holds British, French and Lithuanian passports alongside American citizenship. He has studied on both sides of the Atlantic, at the Sorbonne, Harvard, NYU and Columbia, and has taught in the US, Greece and Brazil as well as at the Sorbonne in Paris. He continues to travel widely on academic engagements. Concurrently with his responsibilities at AUP, he used to work as an interpreter for the US Department of State.
Roy is a comparatist. His PhD dissertation was on classical Latin, medieval Latin, and medieval Romance lyric. His research focuses principally on the Romance languages, though his books and articles also attest to his wider interests. He has published and taught on all periods from antiquity to contemporary literature. As well as the English and American traditions, he has written about gay people, Jewish people, and Muslim people in medieval literature; Arabic ties to Western texts; Russian and German models for Japanese fiction; and woman authors from France, Brazil and elsewhere. In 2012, the French government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
At AUP, he co-founded the comparative literature major and the Department of Comparative Literature and English. The department has evolved to include a creative writing major and no fewer than nine minors. The American University of Paris is immensely grateful to Professor Rosenstein for his commitment to sharing his passion for the written word with generations of AUP students. In 2021, he was presented a festschrift by sixty colleagues, students and friends titled “Literature is Comparative: Toute littérature est comparée,” in recognition of his lifelong dedication to comparative literature. Another two dozen essays in his honor are in press in a triple issue of Etudes médiévales, 22–24.
As Faculty Marshal, Roy will lead the graduation procession for the last time in May 2022, before retiring on July 31 after serving AUP for 45 years, or three quarters of its 60-year history. In his classes have been representatives of some of the many families who share his devotion to AUP: Ariane Delamater ’93, Grégory Salinger ’84, Vanessa van Zuylen ’90, Gisel Hiscock Kordestani ’96, and Christina Sandel de Labouchere ’86 and Mark Sandel ’89. On several happy occasions he has taught successive generations: Douglas Culver ’84 and his daughter Lucile ’13, both comparative literature majors; Pierre Sauvagnat ’83 and his son Alexandre ’21, also a comp lit major; and Marion Craig Morrison ’85 and her niece Flew ’24, currently a student.