Leverhulme Lectures: Why Compare? Literary Study and the New Humanities

Three public lectures accompanied by an eight-week seminar series on key historical and theoretical moments that have both formed, and may in future form, the comparative study of literature.
Leverhulme Visiting Professor News Release

Upcoming Lectures and Seminars:

  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. November, 2016.
  • Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. November, 2016. 
  • Oxford University. November, 2016
  • Emory University, October, 2016.

Recent Lectures:

“The New Humanities?”
         Humanities/Futures, Mellon Seminars on the Future of the Humanities, John Hopoe Franklin Humanities Center, Duke University, December 2015.

“Elegy and Modernity: Benjamin, Keats, Rilke.”
         Centre for Criticism and Theory, University of Western Ontario, March 2015.

“The Politics of the Useless: The Question of Art in Benjamin and Heidegger.”
         Centre for Criticism and Theory, University of Western Ontario, March 2015.

“The Intransigent Image: Painting, Photography, and the Fact of Appearance.”  Keynote Address.  "Trans- & Trance."
         17th Annual Graduate Student Conference.  Modern Languages and Literatures, Centre for Criticism and Theory, 
              University of Western Ontario, March 2015.

“Irreducible Causes: The Future of the Monad/Leibniz with Benjamin.”
         MLA Special Session, Vancouver, January 2015.

Walter Benjamin: Critique and Politics.” 
          Five Seminars presented at the School of Communications, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  November 3-7, 2014.

              Seminar 1: Esoteric Criticism: Benjamin and German Romanticism.  Monday, November 3, 2014.
              Seminar 2: Violence and Critique.   Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
              Seminar 3: Critique in a Mournful World.  Wednesday, November 5, 2014
              Seminar 4: Critical Distraction and Political Art.  Thursday, November 6, 2014.
              Seminar 5: Marxism and the Messianic.  Friday, November 7, 2014.

Leverhulme Seminars: “The Task of Comparison.”  Eight seminars on the history of comparison in the Humanities 
   and its relation to the "New Humanities."
         School of Literature, Creative Writing, and Drama, University of East Anglia.  Spring 2014.   Seminar Website

“The New Humanities: Tradition Anew?
          School of Literature, Creative Writing, and Drama, University of East Anglia.  May 7, 2014.

“Comparative Places: Translating Istanbul/Tasking Translation”  
          School of Literature, Creative Writing, and Drama, University of East Anglia.  March 19, 2014.

“Postmodern Mimesis: Distortions of Figure in Francis Bacon.”  
          School of Literature, Creative Writing, and Drama, University of East Anglia.  February 12, 2014.

Gerhard Richter and Francis Bacon: Painting, Photography and the Fact of Appearance
          Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Yale University.  November 2013.

Icon and Index: 9/11 The Image in Itself, One More Time? Gerhard Richter's September"
          "Itinerant Languages of Photography" Research Project, Princeton University.  Princeton University, November 2013.

“Hölderlin's Oedipus: Tragic Time, Tragic Affect”
         Dept. of German.  Northwestern University.  April 2013.

“Postcards from the Archive: Walker Evans and Walter Benjamin”
        "The Itinerant Languages of Photography" Research Project.  Princeton University/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, Mexico City.  Mexico City, March 2013.

Why Painting Matters
         Forum for European Philosophy.  London School of Economics.  University of London.  March 2013.

“The Appearance of Fact: Francis Bacon and Photography”
        "The Itinerant Languages of Photography" Research Project.  Princeton University/Di Tella University/Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA).  Buenos Aires, November 2012.

“Time to Compare”
        Keynote.   Coordinates of Comparison Conference.  Program in Comparative Literature.  University of Alberta, Edmonton.  March 2012.

“The Curse of Mythic Memory: Sebald and Rilke”
         MLA, Seattle, January 2012.  Special Session: “Tragedy, Translation and Theory:  A Tribute to the Work of Thomas J. McCall.”

“Essence and Gesichtspunkt: Benjamin's Incompletion of Romanticism”
         International Walter Benjamin Society, Princeton University, November 2011.

“Elegy in Exile: Geoffrey Hill, Rilke, and Adonis”
         School of Literarature, Drama and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, October 2011.

“Morality without Intention: Hawthorne's Parable of the Veil”
         Workshop on “Persuasive Force,” Australian Research Council/Monash University, Paris, October 2011.

“The Ornaments of Forgetting: Benjamin on Proust/Sebald's Austerlitz”  
        Dept. of German, Northwestern University, April 2011.

“Elegy in Exile: The Poetics of Modernism”  
        Dept. of Comparative Literature, Princeton University, April 2011.

“Sebald’s Austerlitz: The Ornaments of Time and the Place of Memory”  
        Dept. of German, Faculty of Modern Languages, Cambridge University, March 2011.

“Spaces of Memory”
         Memory at War seminar, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Cambridge University, March 2011.

“When Art goes to Work: The Politics of the Useless”  
        Forum for European Philosophy, London School of Economics, University of London, March 2011.

“Gesturing for the Sovereign: Agamben and the Politics of Limit”  
        Program in Comparative Literature, SUNY-Buffalo.  December, 2010.

Plenary Panel Speaker: “Benjamin and Sebald: The Ornaments of Forgetting,”
         III Seminario Políticas de la Memoria: “Recordando a Walter Benjamin: Justicia, Historia y Verdad. Escrituras de la Memoria.”  
         Centro Cultural de la memoria Haroldo Conti, Buenos Aires.  October 2010.

Plenary Panel Speaker: “Politics of the Useless: Benjamin Between Purpose and Demand.”
         Conference: “Walter Benjamin: Convergences of Aesthetics and Political Theology,” 
         Universidad de Chile, Instituto de Humanidades/Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile, October 2010.

“Agamben and the Messianic: Between Benjamin and Derrida.”
         Dept. of Comparative Literature, Princeton University, March 2010.
         Dept. of Comparative Literature, Cornell University, March 2010.
         The Literary and Critical Theory Seminar, Institute of English Studies, University of London, March 2009.

“Politics After Aesthetics: Disagreeing with Rancière.”
         Faculty of English, Cambridge University, March 2009.
         Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University, November 2008.

“The Gift of the Political: Schiller and the Greeks.”
         Dept. of German/Deutsches Haus, New York University, November, 2008.

“Postmodern Obstructions: Dogma and Obstruction in Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions.”
         Dept. of Romance Languages, Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, April 2008.

“L'Esitazione di Vattimo.”
         Dept. of Philosophy, University of Turin, April 2006.

“Celebrating Schiller Celebrating Greeks: The Return of the Political.”
         Schiller Bicentennial, University of Erfurt, October 2005.

“From Interruption to Obstruction: Modernity and the Postmodern in Heinrich Böll and Lars von Trier.”
         Dept. of German, The Johns Hopkins University, September 2005.