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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Carlo Rotella

english department

Carlo Rotella

Professor of English

B.A., Wesleyan University
Ph.D., Yale University

Stokes Hall S419
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467

Phone: 617-552-3191
Fax: 617-552-4220

Academic Profile

Specializes in American Studies, urban literature and culture, American literature, and nonfiction writing.

Additional Professional Information

Professor Rotella is Director of the American Studies Program. He has held Guggenheim, Howard, and Du Bois fellowships and received the Whiting Writers Award, the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award, and The American Scholar prizes for Best Essay and Best Work by a Younger Writer, and Cut Time was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He has received U.S. Speaker and Specialist Grants from the State Department to lecture in China and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is a founding editor of the “Chicago Visions and Revisions” series at the University of Chicago Press. He writes for the New York Times Magazine, he has been a regular columnist for the Boston Globe and radio commentator for WGBH FM, and his work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Critical Inquiry, American Quarterly, The American Scholar, Raritan, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post Magazine, Transition, Harper’s, DoubleTake, Boston, Slate, The Believer, TriQuarterly, and The Best American Essays.

Publications (Selected)


  • Playing in Time:  Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
  • Cut Time: An Education at the Fights (Houghton Mifflin, 2003).
  • Good With Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt (University of California Press, 2002).
  • October Cities: The Redevelopment of Urban Literature (University of California Press, 1998).
  • Co-editor, with Michael Ezra, The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside (University of Chicago Press: forthcoming 2017).

Recent articles and chapters

  • "Prefight: The Baddest 49-Year- Old On the Planet" and "Postfight: Your Intelligence Come Up," The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside, ed. Carlo Rotella and Michael Ezra (University of Chicago Press: forthcoming 2017).
  • “Harry Greb, Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey, and the Roaring Twenties,” Cambridge Companion to Boxing, ed. Gerald Early (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • "Foreword," Jack Vance, Cugel: The Skybreak Spatterlight (Spatterlight Press, 2016 [1983], forthcoming 2016).
  • "Hurtin" (On the Bottle): Margo Price," New York Times Magazine (March 13, 2016): 28-32.
  • "Buddy Emmons," New York Times Magazine (December 27, 2015): 56.
  • "No Dragons, No Zombies," Washington Post Magazine (August 2, 2015): 8-15.
  • "Everything at Once," New York Times Magazine (May 31, 2015): 28-33.
  • "The Inevitable Spectacle of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao," New York Times Magazine (May 1, 2015): 
  • “Profiling ‘Money,’” Public Culture 27.1 (January 2015): 7-19.
  • Leading With His Head,” New York Times Magazine (November 2, 2014): 22-27.
  • “The Landscape of Home,” Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love, ed. Andrew Blauner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013): 290-300.
  • No Child Left Untableted,” New York Times Magazine (September 15, 2013): 26-32, 53.
  • With a Rebel Twang,” New York Times Magazine (March 17, 2013):  36-39.
  • Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho,” New York Times Magazine (December 30, 2012):  27.
  • “The Cult of Micky Ward in Massachusetts,” For the Home Team:  Essays on Sport, Community, and Identity, ed. Daniel Nathan (University of Illinois Press, Sport and Society series, 2013).
  • “The Case Against Kojak Liberalism,” The Wire:  Race, Class, and Genre, ed. Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro (University of Michigan Press, 2012):  113-129.
  • "Within Limits: On the Greatness of Magic Slim," Pop When the World Falls Apart, ed. Eric Weisbard (Duke University Press, 2012): 230-239.
  • “Hollywood on the Charles,” Boston (January, 2012): 39-43.
  • So Many Fearsome Contemporaries,” New York Times Magazine (December 25, 2011): 28-29.
  • A Darker Shade of Green,” New York Times Magazine (August 15, 2011): 34-38.
  • A Wild Mind Loose in Suburbia,” New York Times Magazine (April 24, 2011): 24-29.
  • True to ‘True Grit,’” New York Times Magazine (December 12, 2010):  11-12.
  • The Professor of Micropopularity,” New York Times Magazine (November 28, 2010): 50-55.
  • "Ghosts," in My Town:  Writers on American Cities (U. S. State Department, forthcoming). Excerpted online.
  • "The Long Shot," Washington Post Magazine (March 21, 2010): cover, 10-17.
  • "Class Warrior," The New Yorker (February 1, 2010):  24-29.
  • “The End of American Sporting Life,” A New Literary History of America, ed. Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors (Harvard University Press, 2009):  856-860.
  • "Desperately Seeking Deval," Boston (September, 2009):  74-79, 134-142.
  • "The Genre Artist," New York Times Magazine (July 19, 2009):  20-25.
  • "Crime Story," Washington Post Magazine (July 20, 2008):  cover, 8-15, 22-26.
  • "And Now, the Biggest Entertainer in Entertainment," Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine (June 1, 2008):  56-61, 87.
  • "Praying for Stones Like This: The Godfather Trilogy," Catholics in the Movies, ed. Colleen McDannell (Oxford University Press, 2007): 227-252.
  • "When the Gloves Came Off," Boston (November 2007): 120-123, 134-139
  • "Pulp History," Raritan 27.1 (Summer 2007): 11-36.
  • "Shannon Briggs Says Nyet," New York Times Magazine (April 15, 2007): 36-39.
  • "The Two Jameses," The Believer (April, 2007): 49-54.
  • "The Elements of Providence," Washington Post Magazine (September 17, 2006): 24-28, 51-53.
  • "The Kingdom and the Power," Boston (August 2006): 69-84.