Nan Z. Da

Nan Z. Da joined the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame in 2014. She works on American and Chinese literature, literary theory and social theory, and comparative studies. Her first book, Intransitive Encounter, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press (Fall 2018). Her next book is tentatively titled "Untracking Devices." Descriptions of her projects can be found on her website:


Flat Protagonists: A Theory of Novel Character by Marta Figlerowicz

Here is a get-over-yourself model of literary character. Flat protagonists are those that do not become more filled out or more compelling to others over the course of the novel even though they occupy the most space. Marta Figlerowicz takes a wonderful risk in giving her book this name because the flatness of the protagonists she tracks is not a dimensional reduction (as in: keeping them flat to study them from a distance, paring down their attributes until only the most essential—usually, historical materialist—ones remain, or turning them into the new objects of an anti-depth hermeneutics).