Martin Riker

Martin Riker

Teaching Professor in English
Director of the Publishing Concentration
PhD, University of Denver
research interests:
  • International and experimental fiction
  • The philosophy of style
  • Non-canonical literary traditions
  • Literature in translation
  • Literary criticism
  • Publishing theory and practice

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1122
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Professor Riker teaches a wide range of courses that draw upon and often combine his varied background as a novelist, book critic, and literary publisher. He loves literature of all types and from all eras but has particular fondness for traditions outside the American mainstream, including experimental works and literature in translation.

Riker is author of two novels: The Guest Lecture (2023) and Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return (2018). As a literary critic, he has written on contemporary fiction and literature in translation for such publication as New York Times Book ReviewWall Street JournalLondon Review of BooksTLSParis Review Daily, and The Guardian. Prior to coming to Washington University, he served for almost a decade as Associate Director of the nonprofit publishing house Dalkey Archive Press, and as an editor for the periodicals The Review of Contemporary Fiction and CONTEXT: A Forum for Literary Arts and Culture. In 2010, he and his wife, Danielle Dutton, co-founded the feminist publishing house Dorothy, which offers internships to students at Washington University. In addition to teaching classes, Riker directs the Publishing Concentration to the English Major. 

Courses Taught

  • Publishing History & Contexts
  • The Art of Publishing
  • The Literary Life (freshman seminar)
  • Experimental Traditions
  • Critic as Writer
  • The Writer in the World (on the Philosophy of Style)
  • Fiction 1 & 2
The Guest Lecture

The Guest Lecture