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Faculty: Brian Ingraffia

Brian IngraffiaBrian Ingraffia, Associate Professor, English

Office: CFAC 278 (directions)


Educational/Professional Background

Professor Ingraffia graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 with a BA in the Plan II liberal arts honors program. He received his MA in English in 1986 and his PhD in American literature with a critical theory emphasis in 1993, both from the University of California, Irvine. Professor Ingraffia taught in Biola University's English department until 2002, when he joined the English department at Calvin College.

Academic Interests/Areas of Specialization

  • Twentieth-century American literature
  • Postmodern American fiction
  • Postmodern theory and culture
  • Literature and religion
  • Contemporary literary theory
  • History of critical theory
  • Hermeneutics
  • Philosophy and literature
  • Postcolonial African literature

Selected Activities

Professor Ingraffia is the author of Postmodern Theory and Biblical Theology: Vanquishing God's Shadow, published by Cambridge University Press. In 2009, he received a grant from the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship for Theorizing Religion and Literature: An Anthology of Modern, Postmodern, and Postsecular Essays. His most recent publication is entitled “‘If Jesus existed I wouldn’t be clean’: Self-Torture in Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood," which appeared in the Flannery O’Connor Review. He has an essay forthcoming in Christianity and Literature entitled “‘Deadly Conversions’: Louise Erdrich’s Indictment of Catholicism in Tracks, Love Medicine, and The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse.”

Professor Ingraffia has presented papers at 40 professional conferences and has published essays and reviews on religion, theory, and recent American literature. He regularly teaches African American literature for Calvin’s Entrada program, and in 2012, he received the “From Every Nation” Award for Excellence in Teaching “for innovative and effective efforts of Calvin College faculty to promote a multicultural, anti-racist curriculum.”

Favorite Books

  • Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  • Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos


  • Collecting music and books—he has over 3,000 books in his library
  • Listening and dancing to the blues

Additional Information