Professor of English
B.A., Wesleyan University
Ph.D., Yale University
Stokes Hall S419
Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467
Specializes in American Studies, urban literature and culture, American literature, and creative nonfiction writing.
Additional Professional Information
Professor Rotella is Director of the American Studies Program and Director of the Lowell Humanities Series. 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's 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 an editor of the "Chicago Visions and Revisions" series at the University of Chicago Press. He writes for the New York Times Magazine and the Washington Post Magazine, he is a regular columnist for the Boston Globe, he is a 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 Boston Globe, Transition, Harper's, DoubleTake, Boston, Slate, The Believer, TriQuarterly, and The Best American Essays.
- 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).
Recent articles and chapters
- “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, forthcoming).
- “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.