Skip to content

Susan Rubin Suleiman

Faculty Associate


Susan Rubin Suleiman

Susan Rubin Suleiman was born in Budapest and emigrated to the U.S. as a child with her parents. She obtained her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and has been on the Harvard faculty since 1981, where she is the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and research professor of comparative literature.

Suleiman is the author or editor of a dozen books and more than 100 articles on contemporary literature and culture, published in the U.S. and abroad. Her latest book, The Némirovsky Question: The Life, Death, and Legacy of a Jewish Writer in 20th-Century France (Yale University Press, 2016), is about the Russian-French novelist Irène Némirovsky, who was deported from France in 1942 and died in Auschwitz. Suleiman’s other books and edited volumes include Crises of Memory and the Second World War (2006); Risking Who One Is: Encounters with Contemporary Art and Literature (1994); Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde (1990), Exile and Creativity: Signposts, Travelers, Outsiders, Backward Glances (ed.,1998), and French Global: A New Approach to Literary History (ed. with Christie McDonald, 2010). In addition to her scholarly work, Suleiman is the author of Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook, a memoir about Hungary. Her book reviews and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The American Scholar, Moment Magazine and other newspapers and magazines.

Suleiman has won many honors and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others. During the 2009-2010 academic year, she was the invited Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In spring 2016, she was an invited Faculty Fellow at the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study. She spent the fall semester of 2017 in Budapest, as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Central European University. In 1992 she was awarded a medal by the French government, as Officier des Palmes Académiques; in 2018, she was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur.


  • C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and Research Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University