Reviews of Reading Games

Reading Games is a subtle, provocative,

intellectually invigorating study of the ludic impulse

in literature. Thoughtful, carefully researched, and

mobile in its strategy, this book argues for a

reconfigured vision of literature, one based on an

ethics of writerly and readerly gesture…The kind of play that Reading Games describes is both free and uncorrupted; it is refreshingly dialogical, clearing away a site for interaction and articulation within the text; most importantly perhaps, it encourages us to ‘see otherly.’”       --Warren Motte                                                                                

 “We all know there’s more to games than fun. Bohman-Kalaja’s remarkable study of O’Brien, Beckett and Perec is the first to get to grips with the deeper issues involved of the ludic practices of these post-modern masters. It also teaches us a great deal about what kind of games can be played with and through words. Learned, illuminating, original and profound, this is a study that should transform the teaching of modern literature – and bring back some of the fun!”         --David Bellos                                                                     

 “It was the historian Johan Huizinga who first elaborated a theory of play. Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Roger Caillois and other luminaries have also been drawn to the subject. Now, Kimberly Bohman-Kalaja has applied play-theory to the words of three authors – Flann O’Brien, Samuel Beckett and Georges Perec – with illuminating, sometimes startling results. I was in turn bemused, enlightened and exhilarated…                                                                                 --Anthony Cronin 

Interviewing Albania's leading novelist, Ismail Kadare 

With students at Marin Barleti University (Guest lecturer)



Outstanding Professor Award, California State University Dominguez Hills (2014)

Award for Excellence in Teaching, NYU (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006) 

With Former US Ambassador to Albania, Alexander Arvizu


Imagining Nations: Politics and Poetics at the Margins of Europe.


Professor Bohman-Kalaja's current research considers how economic systems serve as foundational metaphors for the way in which value is assigned to (ostensibly) non-material realms of experience. An examination of contemporary Balkan literary texts reveals an unnerving intersection of moral and economic systems of value, the construction of which involves conscious and conscientious acts of remembering and forgetting that tread the almost indiscernible boundary between what Todorov calls "le devoir de mémoire" and the necessity of forgetting.  


Phi Beta Kappa
New York Public Library Scholar (2017-18)
American Councils Eastern Europe Research Fellow 
U.S. Faculty Fulbright Fellow 
IDEA Award for East European Studies, Critical Languages Institute Tempe, AZ

American Council of Learned Societies, East European Grant  
Comparative Language Institute Grant
Quin Morton Fellowship, Princeton University
Princeton University Summer Research Grant 
Committee for European Studies Research Fellow
Princeton Comparative Literature Research Grant 
Princeton Department of French Studies Grant 
Princeton GAA
Summer Research Fellowship 
Council on Regional Studies Summer Grant
French-Language Scholarship, Middlebury College 
Doctoral Fellowship, Princeton University 
Rotary Foundation International Ambassadorial Peace Scholarship (Northern Ireland)​    


Visiting Professor in the Department of English, University of Tirana