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Mary Jacobus was a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, from 1971 to 1980. In 1980 she moved to Cornell University, where she held the John Wendell Anderson Chair of English and Women¹s Studies. In 2000 she returned to the UK as Grace 2 Professor of English at the University of Cambridge, where she was also a Professorial Fellow of Churchill College from 2000-2011.
From 2006 until her retirement, she was Director of Cambridge's Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). In 2011-12, she returned to Cornell as M. H. Abrams Distinguished Visiting Professor. She has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, and the AHRC, and is an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She served on the Academic Committee of Norway's Holberg International Memorial Prize 2009-2015.
She has written widely on Romanticism, feminism, and psychoanalysis, as well as visual culture; her most recent books include The Poetics of Psychoanalysis: In the Wake of Klein, Romantic Things: A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud, and a forthcoming book, Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint (Princeton UP, 2016).