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Faculty Fellow

Lawrence Rothfield

Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature University of Chicago


Rothfield's research focuses on the way in which literature, criticism, and other cultural activities are caught up within epistemic and political struggles. He is interested in understanding, in particular, how the nineteenth-century novel in England and France mutates in response to changes in what counts as knowledge (the emergence of physiology, statistics, economics, biology, linguistics, Darwinism); how cultural criticism carves out a niche for itself within the field of disciplines; and how fiction and criticism function as instruments of power.

He has also published two books (one as editor) dealing with the looting of Iraq's national museum and archaeological sites, and is working now on a book about the more general problem of how best to bring the black market in antiquities under control.

Rothfield is co-founder and Faculty Director of the Cultural Policy Center which brings together faculty whose research—whether in economics, law, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, political science, public policy, history, art history, or cultural studies—touches on or could help inform policies (regarding copyright regimes, government funding, censorship, heritage preservation, etc.) affecting the arts and humanities.

To learn more about his research and publications, please visit his profile page.

Featured Project

The Past for Sale: Morag Kersel – Visiting Fellow

2015 – 2017


The Past for Sale: New Approaches to the Study of Archaeological Looting

The Past for Sale: New Approaches to the Study of Archaeological Looting

Researchers applied empirical research and new methodologies to identify promising policy solutions to the complex international problem of archaeological looting and trafficking.

The problem of archaeological looting has long vexed policymakers. But the opacity of the market for illicit antiquities makes it difficult for them to bring looting under control. Even as global demand rises and archaeological sites in war-torn regions are pillaged by terrorist groups, the...