- Guggenheim Fellow (1975)
Matei A. Calinescu received a license in English from the University of Bucharest in 1957. In his native Romania, he had already published six books, a novel, and three poetry volumes. His first academic position was in 1960 as an assistant professor and then lecturer in the Department of World Literature at the University of Bucharest. He received his Ph.D. in comparative literature in 1972 from the University of Cluj. He left Romania for the United States in 1973. At IU Bloomington, he was a visiting associate professor of French and Italian and the National Defense Education Act Slavic Languages and Area Center (second semester 1972-1973), part-time visiting associate professor of comparative literature (academic year 1973-1974), visiting associate professor of comparative literature (first semester 1974-1975), visiting associate professor of comparative literature and the Russian and East European Institute (second semester 1974-1975), associate professor of comparative literature and of West European studies (August 1976-May 1979). Calinescu became a U.S. citizen in 1979 as well as professor of comparative literature and West European studies. He received tenure in 1980. He received the additional title of adjunct professor of English in 1986. He was the department chair of comparative literature (1996-1998) before retiring on June 15, 1999 as professor emeritus of comparative literature and West European studies, and adjunct professor of English.
By 1990, Calinescu had written over 150 articles and 14 books, including Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism, which became "a standard text on numerous classroom reading lists. Translated into many languages, this highly regarded work of his American period has achieved international standing."
Calinescu received a Guggenheim Fellowship in literary criticism (1975-1976), was a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow (1991), and a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow (1994-1995).
Calinescu passed away at his home on June 24, 2009.