J. Bret Maney (he/him)

Americanist. Literary Translator. Digital Humanist.

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  • Associate ProfessorEnglishLehman College
  • Associate ProfessorM.A. Program in Digital HumanitiesCUNY Graduate Center
Academic Interests

American literature and culture, translation studies, digital humanities


A.B., Harvard; Maîtrise, Paris VII; M.A., Ph.D., Penn

digital    projects

Books, Translated and Edited

The River in the Belly. By Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Deep Vellum/Phoneme, 2021. Finalist for the 2022 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. Shortlisted for the 2022 Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation.

Manhattan Tropics/Trópico en Manhattan. By Guillermo Cotto-Thorner. Arte Público Press, 2019. Supported by a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant. Winner of the 2020 International Latino Book Award for Best Translation of a Work of Fiction.

Selected Criticism

“Ah! To become the Balzac of America!”: The Balzacian Subtext of Sister Carrie. American Literary Realism 55.2 (2023), 119–135.

How to Make the Best of a Bad Translation. Teaching Literature in Translation: Pedagogical Contexts and Reading Practices, Routledge (2022), 25–34.

Going South: Disaster Beneath the Mason-Dixon Line in The Beautiful and DamnedThe Romance of Regionalism in the Work of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald: The South Side of Paradise, Lexington Books (2022), 149–166.

“The Special Beat of Chicago”: Desegregation, Antiblack Noise, and the Sound of Resistance in Frank London Brown’s Trumbull Park. American Quarterly 74.1 (2022), 95–117.

Rediscovering the Pleasures of Fitzgerald’s Early Short Fiction. The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review 18.1 (2020), 269–273.

Erasing Race: Translating Out the “Afro” in René Marqués’s The Oxcart/La carretaCENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. 31.3 (2019), 4–24.

John Edgar Wideman, Philadelphia FireThe Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. (2019).

“A Bit of Ashes in Their Hands”: The Dysphoria of Success in Sister CarrieStudies in American Naturalism. 13.1 (2018), 1–23. Winner of the Robert H. Elias Essay Prize.

Critics and Cartographers in the Literature Classroom: Using CARTO and WordPress to Build a Digital Public Writing ProjectKairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 22.1 (2017).

“Taps at Reveille”: Fitzgerald’s Sojourn in Morningside HeightsThe F. Scott Fitzgerald Society Newsletter, 24 (2016), 12–15.

“Ministers, Gossips, and Communists: On Translating Guillermo Cotto-Thorner.” PEN America. (2015). 

Selected Shorter Translations

Love & Remains. By Kim Thúy Ly Thanh. The American Way: Stories of Invasion, Comma Press (2021), 131–138.

Two Poems. By Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Words Without Borders (2021).

The 2020 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation: Translations of Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Gulf Coast. 33.2 (2021), 24–45. Co-winner of the 2020 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation.

From The River in the Belly. By Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Asymptote (2019). Poetry Runner-Up in the 2019 Asymptote Close Approximations International Translation Contest.

The Roads are Serpents. By Sinzo Aanza. Congo as Fiction: Art Worlds between Past and Present, Scheidegger & Spiess (2019), 225–231.

Immigrants in Years 2070, 2081, and 2097 Must Furnish the Following Documents. By Fiston Mwanza Mujila. The Common. (2019).

I Get Off at Vohidiala. By David Jaomanoro. Interculturel Francophonies. (2019), 151–154. 

Kasala for Myself. By Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Asymptote. (2018).

Short Trip to Your Soul, The Country Bride. By Julia de Burgos. Centro Journal. 29.2 (2017), 93–95, 98–99.

An Empty Body. By Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Exchanges. (2017).

The Revenant. By Christophe Kayembe. Lunch Ticket. 10 (2017).

From Manhattan Tropics. By Guillermo Cotto-Thorner. Gulf Coast. 29.1 (2017), 81–89. Commendation in the 2015 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation.

The First Three Chapters from Manhattan Tropics. By Guillermo Cotto-Thorner. The Brooklyn Rail. (2013). Winner of the University of Pennsylvania’s Ezra Pound Prize for Literary Translation, 2012.


PSC-CUNY Cycle 53 Traditional B Research Grant, 2022–2023. 

US Latino Digital Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, 2021–2022.

PSC-CUNY Cycle 50 Traditional A Research Grant, 2019. 

CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program Awardee, 2018–2019.

CUNY Research in the Classroom Idea Grant, 2018. 

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, 2014.

Digital Humanities Forum Grant, University of Pennsylvania, 2012.