Department of English

Academic Staff

FRITZ GYSIN retired in September 2002 as Professor of English and American Literature. He had held that position since October 1980, lecturing on drama, fiction, and poetry (from the Puritans to the Postmodernists) as well as on African American literature and literary theory. A former president of the Swiss Association for North American Studies (SANAS) and the Swiss Association of University Teachers of English (SAUTE), a former secretary of the European Association for American Studies (EAAS), he is also a founding member and board member of the Colloquium for African American Research (CAAR). He has written two books, The Grotesque in American Negro Fiction (1975) and Model as Motif in Tristram Shandy (1983), has edited Apocalypse (1999) and (with Christopher Mulvey) Black Liberation in the Americas (2001), and has published articles on Sterling Brown, Joseph Conrad, Leon Forrest, Charles Johnson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Langston Hughes, Nathaniel Mackey, George Schuyler, Jean Toomer, Mark Twain, John Edgar Wideman, and Sherley Anne Williams, as well as on boundaries, Jazz Fiction, and Postmodern African American writing. His research interests are boundaries in recent African American fiction and the interfaces of Black fiction and Black Jazz. Originating from Basel, he has returned to his home town. He loves to play the piano, to practice drumming (for Carnival, of course!), to go to the theatre, to read, write, and enjoy concerts of baroque and contemporary music. At present he is editing (with Cynthia Hamilton) The Complexions of Race: The African Atlantic and writing an article on Percival Everett's Erasure.