Erin Graff Zivin

Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature

Contact Information
E-mail: egz@dornsife.usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-8043
Office: THH 156

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

Erin Graff Zivin (Ph.D., New York University, 2004; M.A., UC Berkeley, 1998) has been faculty at USC since 2008.  Her research and teaching interests focus on constructions of Jewishness and marranismo in the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic, aesthetic representations of torture and interrogation, the relationship between ethics, politics, and aesthetics (particularly in the context of Latin American literary and cultural studies), and the intersection of philosophy and critical theory more broadly.  Prof. Graff Zivin is the author of Figurative Inquisitions: Conversion, Torture, and Truth in the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic (Northwestern UP, 2014) and The Wandering Signifier: Rhetoric of Jewishness in the Latin American Imaginary (Duke UP, 2008), and the editor of The Ethics of Latin American Literary Criticism: Reading Otherwise (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).  She has also published articles in Modern Language Notes (MLN), SubStance, CR: The New Centennial Review, Politica Comun: A Journal of Thought, the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Variaciones Borges, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Chasqui, the Journal of Jewish Identities, and Modern Jewish Studies.  Currently, she is beginning work on a new book-length project tentatively entitled "Misunderstanding Literature: Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics in a Post-literary Latin America."


  • M.A. Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 5/1998
  • Ph.D. Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, New York University, 5/2004

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 2009-  
    • Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Southern California, 2008-2009   
    • Assistant Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh, 2004-2008  


    • Graff Zivin, E. (2014). Figurative Inquisitions: Conversion, Torture, and Truth in the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Link to Northwestern University Press
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2008). The Wandering Signifier: Rhetoric of Jewishness in the Latin American Imaginary. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Link to Duke University Press
    • Graff Zivin, Erin (Ed.). (2007). The Ethics of Latin American Literary Criticism: Reading Otherwise. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Link to Palgrave Macmillan

    Book Chapter
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2012). Writing. Iberian Postcolonialities. (Vol. 3). London: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2012). El lenguaje secuestrado: Estetica, etica y politica en Los planetas de Sergio Chejfec. Sergio Chejfec: Trayectorias de una escritura pp. 87-100. Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2012). Ethics. Dictionary of Latin American Cultural Studies pp. 147-152. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Link to University Press of Florida
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2008). "The Scene of the Transaction: 'Jewishness,' Money and Prostitution in the Brazilian Imaginary." Rethinking Jewish-Latin Americans. pp. 106-131. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. Link to University of New Mexico Press
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2007). "Introduction: Reading Otherwise." The Ethics of Latin American Literary Criticism: Reading Otherwise. pp. 1-7. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2006). "Cuerpos errantes, sujetos patológicos en la obra de Luisa Futoransky y Margo Glantz." Memoria y representación: Configuraciones culturales y literarias en el imaginario judío latinoamericano. pp. 249-262. Rosario: Beatriz Viterbo Editora.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2005). "Sick Jews: Disease and Deformity in Luisa Futoransky’s De Pe a Pa: De Pekín a París and Margo Glantz’s ‘Zapatos: Andante con variaciones.’" Luisa Futoransky y su palabra itinerante. Montevideo: Hermes Criollo.

    Journal Article
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2014). Beyond Inquisitional Logic, or, Toward an An-archaeological Latin Americanism. CR: The New Centennial Review. Vol. 14 (1), pp. 195-211.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2013). Politics Against Ethics. Política Común. A Journal of Thought. Vol. 4 Link to article
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2012). Aporias of Marranismo: Sabina Berman’s En el nombre de Dios and Jom Tob Azulay’s O Judeu. CR: The New Centennial Review. Vol. 12 (3), pp. 187-216.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2012). Seeing and Saying: Towards an Ethics of Truth in Jose Saramago. SubStance. Vol. 41 (1), pp. 109-123.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2012). Kidnapped Language: Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics in Sergio Chejfec's Los planetas. Journal of Jewish Identities. Vol. 5 (1), pp. 77-87.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2011). Semitic Mysteries, Universal Truths: Jewishness and Arabness in Jorge Luis Borges. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. Vol. 6 (2), pp. 121-139.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2008). Diagnósticos modernistas de Max Nordau: Darío, Ingenieros y Silva leen al médico judío. Estudios: Revista de Investigaciones Literarias y Culturales. Vol. 14 (28), pp. 171-186.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2007). Writing the Absent Face: ‘Jewishness’ and the Limits of Representation in Borges, Piglia and Chejfec. MLN (Modern Language Notes). Vol. 122 (2), pp. 350-370.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2006). Transacciones judías y discursos promiscuos en "Emma Zunz.". Variaciones Borges. Vol. 22, pp. 191-199.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2005). Conversiones textuales, inquisiciones transatlánticas: La figura de la cristiana nueva en Dias Gomes y Antonio Gala. Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. Vol. 6 (3), pp. 259-269.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2005). Reading Max Nordau: Unspeakable Difference in Spanish American Modernism. Chasqui; revista de literatura latinoamericana. Vol. 34 (1), pp. 102-113.
    • Graff Zivin, E. (2004). The Face of the Other: Diagnosing Jewishness in Latin American Literature. Modern Jewish Studies. Vol. 14, pp. 91-101.

  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 156
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0358