Daphne Patai is a professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Her B.A. (from Indiana University) was in Comparative Literature, and her Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison) was in Portuguese. She teaches and writes about Brazilian literature and film, translation studies, utopian film and fiction, literary theory, oral history, feminism and women’s studies, and problems in higher education.
She is the author and editor of over a dozen books, among them: Myth and Ideology in Contemporary Brazilian Literature (1983); The Orwell Mystique: A Study in Male Ideology (1984), Brazilian Women Speak: Contemporary Life Stories (1988); Women’s Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History (1991, co-edited with Sherna Berger Gluck); Rediscovering Forgotten Radicals: British Women Writers 1889-1939 (1993, co-edited with Angela Ingram); and Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism (1998).
Her ten years with a joint appointment in women’s studies led to her 1994 book Professing Feminism, written with Noretta Koertge, which was reissued in a new and expanded edition in 2003 as Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women’s Studies.
Together with Will H. Corral, Patai edited a large volume of essays entitledTheory’s Empire: An Anthology of Dissent (Columbia University Press, 2005), which brings together the work of fifty scholars critical of contemporary theory fads. A volume of Patai’s own essays, entitled ‘What Price Utopia?’ : Essays on Ideological Policing, Feminism, and Academic Affairs, was published in 2008 (Rowman & Littlefield). A selection of her essays was recently published in Brazil as História Oral, Feminismo e Política (Letra e Voz, 2010).
Long concerned about the attack on free speech on American campuses, Patai has been involved with FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; see thefire.org ) since its inception in 1999 and serves on its Board of Directors. Her articles on these and other problems in higher education have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Minding the Campus, and other print and online publications.
Patai is the recipient of research fellowships from the NEH, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Humanities Center, and is on leave for the academic year 2011-2012, with a Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship.