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Peter Swirski (born 1966) is a Canadian scholar and literary critic[1] featured in Canadian Who's Who.[2][3] As a specialist in American literature and American Studies, he is the author of seventeen books, including the prize-winning Ars Americana, Ars Politica (2010) and the staple of American popular culture studies From Lowbrow to Nobrow (2005). His other studies include American Utopia and Social Engineering (2011), American Political Fictions (2015), and the digital-futurological bestseller From Literature to Biterature (2013). He is also the leading scholar on the late writer and philosopher Stanisław Lem.[4]

Peter Swirski
Peter Swirski interviewed for European TV, 2009.
Peter Swirski interviewed for European TV, 2009.
Born (1966-02-27) February 27, 1966 (age 53)
OccupationAuthor, Educator, Scholar, Literary Critic

Life and careerEdit

Peter Swirski is a Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Literature at the Department of English at the Sun Yat-sen University[5] and a Senior Research Associate at the Wirth Institute at the University of Alberta.[6] Formerly he was a Professor and Research Director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in Finland[7] and a Honorary Professor in American literature at South China University of Technology.[8]

In the mid-1980s he worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He obtained his doctorate summa cum laude from McGill University in Montreal, in 1996. Subsequently, he was affiliated with the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, and the University of Hong Kong.[9][10]

Swirski's study of American popular and "nobrow" cultures, From Lowbrow to Nobrow (2005), was followed up by two other books on "nobrow" literature, culture, and other forms of "artertainment" (his coinage): American Crime Fiction (2016) and a collection of critical essays When Highbrow Meets Lowbrow: Popular Culture and the Rise of Nobrow (2017). His book Ars Americana, Ars Politica (2010) received a positive review from the Financial Times.[11]

In 2012, Swirski became a panelist on the regular BBC World Service program "The Forum".[citation needed]

Peter Swirski on BBC Forum, 2012.

Several of his books and articles from the Times Literary Supplement to the MIT Technology Review and other venues deal with the analysis of the work of the writer and philosopher Stanislaw Lem.[citation needed]

In 2012 Ars Americana was the subject of Professor Swirski's plenary lecture at UNE's Institute for Global Humanities alongside Noam Chomsky and other invited speakers.[12] In the summer and fall of 2013, he was a speaker at the 4th Philippine Literary festival in Manila,[13] and a BBC World Service panelist at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival.[14] In March 2015, he was a keynoter at the Millennium International Documentary Film Festival in Brussels.[15]




  1. ^ Esteves, Patricia (June 20, 2013). "Author Peter Swirski keen on teaching in Manila". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  2. ^ "Canadian Who's Who".
  3. ^ "Canadian Who's Who".
  4. ^ Borowski, Jacek (September 12, 2018). "When Swirski met Lem: Scholar Peter Swirski talks to TFN about one of the world's greatest sci-fi writers, the late Stanisław Lem". The First News. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Peter Swirski". Sun Yat-sen University. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  6. ^ "Peter Swirski". Wirth Institute, University of Alberta. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "Peter Swirski: Two Cultures... and the Twain Shall Never Meet". Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Who is Writing/Rewriting American History? Internationally Renowned Expert Peter Swirski Gives a Lecture". South China University of Technology. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "European Television Interviews American Studies - Professor Peter Swirski". March 10, 2009.
  10. ^ Jimenez, Florianne (July 15, 2013). "Author Peter Swirski keen on teaching in Manila". Rappler. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  11. ^ "FINANCIAL TIMES January 28, 2011".
  12. ^ "Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Of Democracy and Its Deficits". University of New England. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  13. ^ "THE END OF LITERARY HISTORY". Ateneo de Manila University. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "Peter Swirski". Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  15. ^ "Millennium International Documentary Film Festival in Brussels". Millennium International Documentary Film Festival. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  16. ^ book review: American Utopia and Social Engineering in Literature, Social Thought, and Political History

External linksEdit