Nicholas Rennie Interview

You know a professor is really good when you feel a little empty inside after his class ends. This is how I felt after I took a comparative literature class at Rutgers University with Professor Nicholas Rennie. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt that way.

What’s wonderful about Professor Rennie is that he is truly interested in hearing his students’ ideas and he’s super-smart but really down-to-earth. If you go to Rutgers and have the opportunity to take a class with Professor Rennie, don’t pass it up. You won’t regret it.

While Professor Rennie is candid about the difficulties of being a professor, make no mistake, he loves his profession. If you’re interested in teaching at the university level in the humanities, this interview is a must read.

Title: Professor and Undergraduate Director, Department of Germanic, Slavic, and Eastern European Languages and Literatures at Rutgers University


B.A. Comparative Literature, Princeton, 1989

Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 1990

Ph. D. Comparative Literature, Yale, 1997

Age: 45

Did you set out to go into academia?

No, I didn’t set out to go into academia. My father is a physician. I thought about doing that for a career too. I quickly discovered that that was not the path for me. When I was in my freshman year, I went to an orientation session for students thinking about doing pre-med. Continue reading