In her role as Vice President, Caroline Levander leads Rice University's global and digital strategies and program development. Among other things, she is responsible for expanding the university's global impact through the development of new partnerships and academic programs, and for innovating Rice's teaching and learning enterprise through digital technologies. In this role Levander works closely with university faculty to direct Rice's growing strategy for international engagement and impact in four major geographic areas: Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Levander oversees all university online curricula and has built the university's in-house provider for digital content and innovation, Rice Online Learning. Her office works to build and maintain external digital education partnerships, related K-20 initiatives and other university collaborations, such as OpenStax College

 An award-winning cultural and literary critic and Carlson Professor of Humanities and English at Rice University, Levander teaches, talks, and writes about American life and culture. Her writing has recently appeared in Slate, The New York Times, and Business Insider, and her latest book, Hotel Life: the Story of a Place Where Anything Can Happen, is about the everyday work of one of the world’s most fascinating and strange institutions. In addition to authoring three other books including Where is American Literature? (2013) and co-editing many others such as Hemispheric American Studies (2008) and Companion to American Literary Studies (2011), Levander spends time thinking about the future of higher education. She writes and speaks regularly in venues such as Inside Higher Ed and at international higher education and innovation summits. Levander is currently at work on two books. One is an alternative cultural history of American political life, entitled Confounding Fathers: The Hidden History of the Men Who Threatened to Make America Great. The other, entitled Undisciplined: ‘Poetical Science’ from Ada Lovelace to Vannevar Bush, tells the story of how scientific innovators of the digital age imagined a future out of the collective wisdom, practices, and ideas of other disciplines, most particularly the literary and creative arts as well as philosophy, religion, and history.

Recently, Levander has completed a 2017 Fulbright Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and a 2016 Senior Fellow at the the Freie Universität Graduate School, Berlin. She has been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to lead an international summit on the Future Global University in 2018. She is the recipient of additional grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Huntington Library, the Brown Foundation, the Moody Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Science's National Leadership grant.



OP-ED, New York Times:
"Are Hotels Dangerous?"

Hotel Life is a dazzling, carefully crafted, and beautifully written book, full of original insights. In it, Caroline Field Levander and Matthew Pratt Guterl show us new and thought-provoking ways we can look at hotels as a central, undeniable part of modern existence. An agile, imaginative work that will spark debate for years to come."

Review of Hotel Life on Overnight New York blog: "Checking in to Hotel Life"

Excerpt of Hotel Life on Business Insider: "Hotels Are Designed to Put You in the Mood"

Excerpt of Hotel Life on "Hotel Hells: Why Disgusting Hotels are Existentially Upsetting"




"The idea of viewing US literature spatially rather than chronologically or thematically is daringly innovative and utterly convincing." 

Richard Gray, University of Essex