Gloria Orenstein

Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies


  • M.A. Slavic Languages and Literatures, Radcliffe Graduate School of Harvard University
  • Ph.D. Comparative Literature, New York University
  • B.A. Romance Languages and Literature, Brandeis University
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, University of Southern California, 01/01/1981 –
    • Director, The Rutgers Junior Year in France, Rutgers University, 01/01/1978 – 01/01/1979
    • Chair, Women’s Studies Program, Douglass College, 01/01/1976 – 01/01/1978
    • Assistant Professor, English Department, Douglass College of Rutgers University, 01/01/1975 – 01/01/1981
    • Charge de Cours in American Culture and Literature, University of Paris, 01/01/1971 – 01/01/1972
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Orenstein researches women’s studies in contemporary art, literature and culture; ecofeminism in the arts; surrealism; women and surrealism; shamanism and Jewish women artists. Her first book, The Theater of the Marvelous: Surrealism and The Contemporary Stage, paved the way for her pioneering work on the women of surrealism. She has recently written The Reflowering of the Goddess, a feminist analysis of the movement in the contemporary arts that reclaims the Goddess as a symbol of a paradigm shift and a change in our mythos and ethos. More recently she has become a Contributing Editor to FEMSPEC, an interdisciplinary feminist journal dedicated to critical and creative works in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, surrealism, myth, folklore and other supernatural genres. She is currently at work on pieces about other women in the surrealist movement in Mexico whose work has, as yet, been unrecognized. She hopes to extend the article on Jewish women artists into a book. Finally, Professor Orenstein plans to write a monograph on Surrealist artist Alan Glass, who will have a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City in Fall 2008.

  • Book

    • Orenstein, G. F. (1993). Multi-Cultural Celebrations: The Paintings of Betty LaDuke 1970-1990. Pomegranate Art Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Orenstein, G. F. (2008). The Dreaming Universe of Jean Kazandijan. Los Angeles, CA.: Kazandijan.
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2007). The Shamanic Journey of the Bee Priestess in The Work of Nancy Macko. Los Angeles, CA: Catalogue Essay for Nancy Macko/Barnesdall Park.
    • Orenstein, Gloria Feman, Vijali Hamilton (Ed.). (2007). Introduction to Vijali Hamilton’s Autobiography:World Wheel: One Woman’s Quest For Peace. World Wheel Press: Castle Valley, Utah, 2007: Hamilton.
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2005). Hidden, Revealed and Transformed:Catalogue Essasy for Suzanne Benton: FACE AND FIGURE, Work 1955–2005. (Vol. April, 2005) New York, NY: Queens College Art Center.
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2005). The World As You Dream It: The Ecstatic Vision Quest of Anais Nin. New York and London CONTINUUM PRESS: Great Women Travel Writers from 1750 to the Present/Continuum Press.

    Journal Article

    • Orenstein, G. F. (2007). Torah Study, Feminism and Spiritual Quest in the Work of Five American Jewish Women Artists. Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies & Gender Issues. (No. 14)
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2007). Ethnography Through Your Soul: When the Imaginary Becomes Real as Surrealism Said it Would: “All the Rest is Litterature”. FEMSPEC. Vol. 7 (2)
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2007). A Memorial Tribute to Monique Wittig. FEMSPEC. Vol. 7 (2)
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2004). Vision and Visibility: Contemporary Jewish Women Artists Visualize The Invisible. FEMSPEC/FEMSPEC. Vol. Vol. 4, pp. Issue 2.
    • Orenstein, G. F. (2003). The Greening of Gaia: Ecofeminist Artists Revisit The Garden. Ethics and the Environment/Ethics and the Environment. Vol. Vol. 8 (No. 1), pp. Spring.
    • Text in a series on LE HASARD OBJECTIF (OBJECTIVE , These texts relate events in Alan Glass’ life and art. 1. “The Secret Life of The Bronze Glove”
      2. “The Invisible Weavings of Le Hasard Objectif or The Surreal Genesis of Alan Glass’ large Glass Box, PIGALLS: PARA LOUIS MORIN Y MARCEL DUCHAMP”
      3. “The Mystery of a Visit to the Flea Market on a Rainy Day in Rome”. , 2010-2011
    • Bio appears in Feminists Who Changed America: 1963-1975, ed. Barbara J. Love, U of IL, 2006, 2006
    • Noted in Les Femmes Artistes dans les Avant-Gardes by Marie-Jo Bonnet, Odile Jacob, 2006, 2006
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Femspec, 1995 –