Frances Bartkowski was director of the RU-Newark Women and Gender Studies Program, the oldest such program at Rutgers, from 1989-2002. She served as chair of the Department of English from 2010-2016, and Interim Chair of the Arts, Culture and Media Department in 2019. She also works closely with graduate students in the American Studies doctoral program and the English Department master’s program.

In 2015 Bartkowski was awarded a $75,000 Chancellor's Seed Grant for her work with The Collaboratory at RU-N.

In 2013 Bartkowski team-taught a course about the HBO show The Wire with Sherri-Ann Butterfield, Professor of Sociology, and Executive Vice Chancellor. In a 2014 series of events inspired by that show and focused on Newark, Bartkowski and Professor Roland Anglin, director of the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, interviewed Michael K. Williams (aka ”Omar”), one of four actors in The Wire who spoke at Rutgers during that year.

Bartkowski published her first novel, An Afterlife in 2018, and is also the author of Feminist Utopias, 1989; Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates, 1995; and Kissing Cousins: A Kinship Bestiary, 2008.

Frances Bartkowski has taught courses in feminist theory, literature and criticism, memoir and autobiography, travel writing, utopian fiction, 20th century American and European fiction, and authors Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather.

Bartkowski’s research interests include feminism, animal studies, trauma and memory studies.


Ph.D.              University of Iowa; Comparative Literature, 1982

M.A.                University of Iowa; Comparative Literature, 1978

M.L.S.             University of Southern California, Library Science,1972

Diplôme        Université de Caen, France; Etudes supérieures, 1968

B.A.                 Montclair State College, NJ; French/English; 1969