Chair of Comparative Literature
Areas of Research/Interest
Comparative literature and literary theory; Shakespeare; the literary and visual culture of Early Modern Europe.
Jacques Lezra joined the faculty at NYU in 2005. He is Professor of Comparative Literature, English, German, and Spanish and Portuguese, and Chair of the Comparative Literature Department. Born in Madrid of a Moroccan-Spanish-West Virginian family, professor Lezra received his PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 1990, and before coming to NYU taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, at Yale, Harvard, and at the Bread Loaf School of English. Lezra is a specialist in the literature of the Renaissance and Early Modern period, Cervantes and Shakespeare in particular, and in contemporary political philosophy. His most recent book is Wild Materialism: The Ethic of Terror and the Modern Republic. Published in the United States in 2010, it has just appeared in a Spanish translation, and is scheduled to appear in Chinese in spring of 2013. Professor Lezra has also published the book Unspeakable Subjects: The Genealogy of the Event in Early Modern Europe (1997) and edited Spanish Republic (2005) and Depositions: Althusser, Balibar, Macherey and the Labor of Reading (1988). With Georgina Dopico (NYU), he co-edited Sebastian de Covarrubias's 1613 Suplemento al 'Tesoro de la lengua', a previously-unpublished manuscript of the first dictionary in a European language. The edition appeared in Madrid in 2001. Jacques Lezra’s 1992 translation into Spanish of Paul de Man's Blindness and Insight won the PEN Critical Editions Award. His forthcoming book Principles of Insufficient Reason: Mediation and Translation After Marx, will appear from Fordham University Press. His Accidental Modernity: The Drama of Translation Between Spain and England, 1499-1625 is under review as well, and should appear in 2013.