Inger S. B. Brodey

Office:   Greenlaw 434
Curriculum Vitae:   File Brodey Vitae.docx


Associate Professor of Comparative Literature

Bank of America Distinguished Term Professor of Honors

Affiliate faculty in the Department of Asian Studies

Affiliate faculty in Global Studies


Ph.D. University of Chicago (1993)

M.A. University of Chicago (1991)

B.A. Colorado College (1987)


Dr. Brodey was born in Kyoto, Japan, and studied at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg, Germany, as well as at Waseda University in Tokyo, before receiving her Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. With a background in comparative literature and political philosophy, Dr. Brodey is a committed comparatist, both in terms of the cross-cultural comparison of literatures and in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of literature. Her primary interest is in the history of the novel in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe and Meiji Japan. She works in German, Japanese, French, and Italian, as well as English and her native Danish.  

Her courses in Comparative Literature include: Global Jane Austen; Literary Landscapes; Approaches to Comparative Literature; Cross-Currents in East-West Literature; Cowboys, Samurai, Rebels in Film and Fiction; Almost Despicable Heroines; The Feast in Film, Philosophy, and Fiction; Asian Food Rituals; and Narrative Silence. Several of these courses are cross-listed with Asian studies.

Dr. Brodey's recent book Ruined by Design: Shaping Novels and Gardens in the Culture of Sensibility (Routledge, 2008) draws on fictional narratives, landscape architecture, discussions of ‘natural’ language, guides to rhetoric, philosophical writings, and other aspects of the culture of sensibility in England, France, and Germany, to offer a new synthesis of its literary and material culture: Ruined by Design reveals a widespread discomfort with authorship and authority in general, which led to innovative new structures in the fledging novel, as well as in landscape gardens and their architecture.  Ruined by Design won the 2009 SAMLA Studies Book Award.

Her Rediscovering Natsume Sôseki (Global Press, 2000) includes the first English translation of Sôseki's Mankan Tokoro Dokoro (Travels through Manchuria and Korea), co-translated from Japanese with Sammy Tsunematsu.

Other publications include articles and book essays on Jane Austen, Laurence Sterne, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and Natsume Sôseki. Her current research is on connections between Meiji Japan and post-Enlightenment Europe, particularly involving changes in the understanding of the novel as a genre and the connection between Natsume Sôseki and Jane Austen.  She also is working on a book-length manuscript entitledCowboys and Samurai: Authority, Nation-Making, and Individualism, as well as a separate project on the cultural currency of Jane Austen in Asia.

Dr. Brodey's awards include a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities (1988-1993), a Jacob M. Javitz Fellowship, a Fulbright-DAAD Fellowship (1987-88), and Earhart Fellowships (1993, 1997, 2008).  At UNC, she has won a Spray-Randleigh Faculty Fellowship, a Brandes Honors Curriculum Development Award, a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2006), and a Chapman Family Teaching Excellence Fellowship at IAH (2010).

She serves as Director of the Comparative Literature Program, and as faculty advisor for CLOUD and as a mentor for Johnston Scholars.

Teaching Awards

Distinguished Professorship in Honors, 2012
Chapman Family Teaching Award, 2011
Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2006

CoLEAGS Faculty Mentor Award, 2016