Jane Zwart

Jane Zwart


Professor Zwart received her B.A. from Calvin College in 2000, with majors in English and art history. She then went on to study at Boston University, where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English, writing her dissertation on rewritings of the Scarlet Letter.


Favorite books

  • Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
  • Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  • If on a winter’s night a traveler, Italo Calvino
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  • The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Vladimir Nabokov
  • A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry


  • Running 20 miles each week
  • Amateur photography
  • Reading for pleasure
  • Watching TV on DVD
  • Hearing good bands
  • Eating good food with loved ones
  • All general lounging about with Andrew (her husband), Wendell, Ambrose, and Augie and Bella (her cats)

Additional information

Academic interests

  • Narratives that focus on particular letters of the alphabet
  • books with odd and inventive formats (e.g. ones that include pictures or are written as a dictionary or instruction manual)
  • postcolonial literature—especially Southeast Asian literature
  • writing poetry.


Professor Zwart has recently published several poems, including "The Perishable" in Rattle, "Stachys Byzantina" and "The Burley Park Flea Market" in Faultline, and "Women's Bathroom, College of Fine Arts” in Boston Review, “Our Neighbor Reads” in Margie, and “The Legend of Good Aunts” in Natural Bridge. She has written several book reviews for Books and Culture, including one on Steven Millhauser's Dangerous Laughter, one on Toni Morrison's A Mercy, and others (in the print edition) on Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger, Mavis Gallant's The Cost of Living, and Tash Aw’s Map of the Invisible World.


  • Sabbatical (interim and spring term 2016).
  • Calvin Research Fellowship (2 course releases, interim and spring term 2009)

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