Arnold Weinstein received his B.A. in Romance Languages from Princeton University (1962), and both his M.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1968) in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. He studied at the Université de Paris (1960-61), the Freie Universität Berlin (1962-63) and the Université de Lyon (1966-67). His doctoral thesis dealt with the impact of William Faulkner's novels on the French nouveau roman . Professor Weinstein came to Brown University in 1968: his initial appointment was in the French Department, but soon his full-time appointment was in the Department of Comparative Literature. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1973, to Full Professor in 1978, He was named to the Henry Merritt Wriston Chair in 1990, and he became the Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature in 1995.
Professor Weinstein's books include Vision and Response in Modern Fiction (Cornell UP, 1974), Fictions of the Self: 1550-1800 (Princeton UP, 1981), The Fiction of Relationship (Princeton UP, 1988), Nobody's Home: Speech, Self and Place in American Fiction from Hawthorne to DeLillo (Oxford UP, 1993), A Scream Goes Through the House: What Literature Teaches Us About Life (Random House, 2003), Recovering Your Story: Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison (Random House, 2006), Northern Arts: The Breakthrough of Scandinavian Literature and Art from Ibsen to Bergman (Princeton UP, 2008), and Morning, Noon and Night: Finding the Meaning of Life's Stages Through Books (Random House, 2011). He has published articles on American, French, German and Scandinavian literature. He was Associate Editor of the journal, Literature and Medicine , from 1998 to 2003, and he edited a Special Volume of Literature and Medicine: Infection and Contagion in 2003.
Professor Weinstein's honors include a Special Fellowship to the Freie Universität Berlin (1962-63), a Woodrow Wilson National Teaching Fellowship (1963-64), a Fulbright Grant (1966-67), a research Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1971-72, a Fulbright Professorship in Stockholm, Sweden in 1982-83, a stint as Professeur Invité in American Literature at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1996, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship in 1997-98. He received the John Rowe Workman Award for Best Teacher in the Humanities in 1995. In 2005 Oprah Winfrey asked him to give four lectures on William Faulkner, to be produced online in her Summer Book Club. He also received the Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning in 2012. His two most recent books were awarded special recognitions: Northern Arts was named runner-up for Book of the Year by The Atlantic, and Morning, Noon and Night was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction.
Professor Weinstein has given eight courses for The Teaching Company: 'The Soul and the City: Art, Literature and Urban Life' (8 lectures, 1991), a segment of 'Great Authors of Western Literature' (21 lectures, 1993), 'Drama, Poetry and Narrative: Understanding Literature and Life' (64 lectures, 1995), 'Death and Disease: Using Literature to Understand the Human Side of Medicine' (10 lectures, 1995), '20th Century American Fiction' (32 lectures, 1997), 'American Literary Classics' (84 lectures, 1997), 'Classic Novels: The Challenge of Great Literature' (36 lectures, 2008), and a segment of "A Day's Read" (12 lectures, 2012). These lectures have been produced in audio, video and DVD format.
Professor Weinstein has been Director of 'Texts & Teachers' from its inception in 1998 to 2006. 'Texts & Teachers' is an NEH-funded and Brown University-funded collaborative program in educational reform (nationally and regionally), designed to create a partnership between the university professoriate, high school English teachers, and their respective students.
In 2013 Professor Weinstein was asked by Brown University to contribute one of its three initial MOOCs (Massive Online Open-enrollment Courses) for Coursera. His course, given in summer 2013, "The Fiction of Relationship," had a registration of more than 65,000 students, and it was given a 2nd iteration in fall 2014 as a 'live' course at Brown, while simultaneously being offered as online Coursera venture for almost 30,000 students.