About Us


Susan  Mooney

Susan Mooney

Susan Mooney
Associate Professor, Comparative Literature
Director of Literature
Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate of Comparative Literature


Office: CPR 301-N
Phone: 813/974-9504


Susan Mooney (Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Toronto, 2001) specializes in Comparative Literature, theories of narrative, gender and sexuality, including LGBTQIA2S+, film theory and semiotics, psychoanalysis, contemporary and twentieth-century literatures and film in English (by Irish, English, American, African American, Canadian, and indigenous writers and filmmakers), Spanish (Peninsular and Latin American), French, and Russian. In The Artistic Censoring of Sexuality: Fantasy and Judgment in the Twentieth-Century Novel (Ohio UP, 2008), she examines novelists’ transformation of state censorship and psychoanalytic censoring in landmark novels (Joyce’s Ulysses; Nabokov’s Lolita; Martín-Santos’s Tiempo de silencio; and Erofeev’s Russian Beauty [Russkaia krassavitsa]) across Ireland, Great Britain, France, the United States, Spain, and Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. This global comparative study shows how censorship’s preoccupation with sexuality and sexuality’s potential to challenge the political status quo are harnessed by writers to suggest new ethical intersections of the (masculine) individual with social forces.


This book has launched her into further studies of masculinity, ethics, and affects. Recently, she has published articles on masculinity in James Joyce’s Dubliners:
"Interrupted Masculinity in Dubliners: Anxiety, Shame, and Shontological Ethics." Joyce Studies Annual, vol. 2017, 2017, pp. 220-255. Project MUSE

and in Samuel Beckett’s Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable:

“Feeling Fear, Narrating Feelings: The Decomposing Masculine Subject in Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable.” Journal of Beckett Studies, Feb 2017, vol. 16, No. 1-2: pp. 204-222. https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/pdfplus/10.3366/jobs.2007.16.1-2.18


Malone Dies: Postmodernist Masculinity."  A Companion to Samuel Beckett.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.  275-88. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/A+Companion+to+Samuel+Beckett-p-9781405158695

In film studies, in the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Mooney has published on women’s maternal and queer looking relations and the gaze in Notes on a Scandal:


She is developing more gendered work on the filmic gaze in a forthcoming article
“The Male Gaze Repurposed: Intersectional Gendering in Films by Almodóvar, Cuarón, and Jenkins.”

Dr. Mooney is currently at work on two book manuscripts. The first is Masculine Narrative Ethics and Affects: Fathers, Sons, Gentlemen, and the Nonheroic in Modern Literature and Film. This comparative transnational study examines how writers and filmmakers across diverse traditions question the foundations of masculine meaning in the familial relations of fathers and sons, adult male narratives of the quest, Bildungsroman, deconstruct the modern gentleman, and warily shun the heroic in modern men’s stories. This book will suggest gendered and intersectional understandings of ethics and affect and interprets diverse male-identified subjects heterosexual to LGBTQIA2S+ (https://www.ndsu.edu/lgbtq/faq/).

Her second book project, Writing Resistance: Censorship and the Novel, Theater, and Film in Franco's Spain, examines comparatively the impact of censorship in Franco's Spain (1938-1975) and the transition (1975-1983) on Spanish literature and film through archival research of censorship files, interviews with prominent writers and directors, and critical analyses of selected works. This project has been partly funded by Spain’s Ministry of Culture and USF’s Humanities Institute. The project includes research Mooney conducted in archives storing literary, theater and film censorship files kept by censors of Franco’s era:

Archivo General de la Administración, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain

and interviews with some 20 Spanish writers, editors, filmmakers, and intellectuals.

Writing Resistance aims to expand knowledge of the workings of censorship and to enact a dialogue among censors and the writers who previously could not read the secret reports written by censors about manuscripts. The book demystifies the workings of censorship while also offering a way to see beyond a purely “us” versus “them” relationship in this power relationship. Through authors’ oppositional stances to censorship, they devise diverse, creative ways, even in the most repressive years of censorship, to offer publicly challenging versions of Spain that defied the government’s overly sunny version.

Dr. Mooney teaches advanced undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as introductory and general education course, and invites advising inquiries from current and prospective students whose research interests intersect with her areas of expertise. She supervises work at the doctoral, masters, and honors levels. Dissertations, portfolios, and theses have included twentieth-century and contemporary Irish, British, American, African American, Latinx, Spanish, French, and Russian literatures and film, and topics have included masculinity, feminist theory, postmodernism, dystopias, emotions, totalitarian systems, slavery and slave narratives, asylums, mourning, beauty, place, postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, narrative theories, trauma, poetry, the novel, Bildungsroman, and more. Authors of focus have included Joyce, Beckett, Nabokov, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Wilde, Woolf, Zamiatin, Platonov, Hurston, Morrison, Ellison, McCarthy, DeLillo, Atwood, Allende, Coetzee, Junot Díaz, and more.

In 2007, she received USF's Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

For information regarding the Graduate Certificate of Comparative Literary Studies, see: https://www.usf.edu/innovative-education/graduate-certificates/index.aspx

Toure Rider, Academic Services Administrator
Email: GradCerts@usf.edu
and trider@usf.edu
Phone: 813-974-9943

Dr. Mooney offers specific advising on potential applicants to the Comparative Literature Graduate Certificate and she advises all students registered in the program.
Current USF graduate students in English who wish to apply should also consult