J. Bret Maney

Americanist. Literary Translator. Digital Humanist.

My areas of specialization are nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture, the digital humanities, and the practice and theory of translation. I translate from the French and Spanish.

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  • Assistant ProfessorEnglishLehman College
Academic Interests

American literature and culture, translation studies, digital humanities


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


Selected Translations

Manhattan Tropics/Trópico en Manhattan. By Guillermo Cotto-Thorner. Arte Público Press, 2019. Supported by a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant.

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).

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.

Selected Criticism

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

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

“A Bit of Ashes in Their Hands”: The Dysphoria of Success in Sister Carrie. Studies 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 Project. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 22.1 (2017).

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

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

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