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Faculty Bookshelf

This list is chronological, then alphabetical by author within the year.
Emily Apter (forward), 2016
Citizen Subject: Foundations for Philosophical Anthropology (Fordham University Press, 2016)

What can the universals of political philosophy offer to those who experience "the living paradox of an inegalitarian construction of egalitarian citizenship"? Citizen Subject is the summation of Étienne Balibar's career-long project to think the necessary and necessarily antagonistic relation between the categories of citizen and subject. In this magnum opus, the question of modernity is framed anew with special attention to the self-enunciation of the subject (in Descartes, Locke, Rousseau, and Derrida), the constitution of the community as "we" (in Hegel, Marx, and Tolstoy), and the aporia of the judgment of self and others (in Foucualt, Freud, Kelsen, and Blanchot). After the "humanist controversy" that preoccupied twentieth-century philosophy, Citizen Subject proposes foundations for philosophical anthropology today, in terms of two contrary movements: the becoming-citizen of the subject and the becoming-subject of the citizen. The citizen-subject who is constituted in the claim to a "right to have rights" (Arendt) cannot exist without an underside that contests and defies it. He-or she, because Balibar is concerned throughout this volume with questions of sexual difference-figures not only the social relation but also the discontent or the uneasiness at the heart of this relation. The human can be instituted only if it betrays itself by upholding "anthropological differences" that impose normality and identity as conditions of belonging to the community. The violence of "civil" bourgeois universality, Balibar argues, is greater (and less legitimate, therefore less stable) than that of theological or cosmological universality. Right is thus founded on insubordination, and emancipation derives its force from otherness. Ultimately, Citizen Subject offers a revolutionary rewriting of the dialectic of universality and differences in the bourgeois epoch, revealing in the relationship between the common and the universal a political gap at the heart of the universal itself.
Gabriela Basterra, 2015
The Subject of Freedom: Kant, Levinas (Fordham University Press, 2015)

Is freedom our most essential belonging, the intimate source of self-mastery, an inalienable right? Or is it something foreign, an other that constitutes subjectivity, a challenge to our notion of autonomy? To Basterra, the subjectivity we call free embodies a relationship with an irreducible otherness that at once exceeds it and animates its core. Tracing Kant’s concept of freedom from the Critique of Pure Reason to his practical works, Basterra elaborates his most revolutionary insights by setting them in dialogue with Levinas’s Otherwise than Being. Levinas’s text, she argues, offers a deep critique of Kant that follows the impulse of his thinking to its most promising consequences. The complex concepts of freedom, autonomy, and subjectivity that emerge from this dialogue have the potential to energize today’s ethical and political thinking.
Jacques Lezra (Idiom Series Editor), 2015
Edited by Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Barbara Natalie Nagel, and Lauren Shizuko Stone

Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction (Fordham University Press, 2015)

What is flirtation, and how does it differ from seduction? In historical terms, the particular question of flirtation has tended to be obscured by that of seduction, which has understandably been a major preoccupation for twentieth-century thought and critical theory. Both the discourse and the critique of seduction are unified by their shared obsession with a very determinate end: power. In contrast, flirtation is the game in which no one seems to gain the upper hand and no one seems to surrender. The counter-concept of flirtation has thus stood quietly to the side, never quite achieving the same prominence as that of seduction. It is this elusive (and largely ignored) territory of playing for play’s sake that is the subject of this anthology. The essays in this volume address the under-theorized terrain of flirtation not as a subgenre of seduction but rather as a phenomenon in its own right. Drawing on the interdisciplinary history of scholarship on flirtation even as it re-approaches the question from a distinctly aesthetic and literary-theoretical point of view, the contributors to Flirtations thus give an account of the practice of flirtation and of the figure of the flirt, taking up the act’s relationship to issues of mimesis, poetic ambiguity, and aesthetic pleasure. The art of this poetic playfulness—often read or misread as flirtation’s “empty gesture”—becomes suddenly legible as the wielding of a particular and subtle form of nonteleological power.
Kristin Ross, 2015
Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune (Verso Books, 2015)

Kristin Ross’s new work on the thought and culture of the Communard uprising of 1871 resonates with the motivations and actions of contemporary protest, which has found its most powerful expression in the reclamation of public space. Today’s concerns—internationalism, education, the future of labor, the status of art, and ecological theory and practice—frame and inform her carefully researched restaging of the words and actions of individual Communards. This original analysis of an event and its centrifugal effects brings to life the workers in Paris who became revolutionaries, the significance they attributed to their struggle, and the elaboration and continuation of their thought in the encounters that transpired between the insurrection’s survivors and supporters like Marx, Kropotkin, and William Morris. The Paris Commune was a laboratory of political invention, important simply and above all for, as Marx reminds us, its own ‘working existence.’ Communal Luxury allows readers to revisit the intricate workings of an extraordinary experiment.
Emily Apter (tr), 2014
The Age of the Poets: And Other Writings on Twentieth-Century Poetry and Prose (Verso, 2014)

The Age of the Poets revisits the age-old problem of the relation between literature and philosophy, arguing against both Plato and Heidegger’s famous arguments. Philosophy neither has to ban the poets from the republic nor abdicate its own powers to the sole benefit of poetry or art. Instead, it must declare the end of what Badiou names the “age of the poets,” which stretches from Hölderlin to Celan. Drawing on ideas from his first publication on the subject, “The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process,” Badiou offers an illuminating set of readings of contemporary French prose writers, giving us fascinating insights into the theory of the novel while also accounting for the specific position of literature between science and ideology.
Emanuela Bianchi, 2014
The Feminine Symptom: Aleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos(Fordham University Press, 2014)

The Feminine Symptom takes as its starting point the problem of female offspring for Aristotle: If form is transmitted by the male and the female provides only matter, how is a female child produced? Aristotle answers that there must be some fault or misstep in the process. This inexplicable but necessary coincidence--sumptoma in Greek--defines the feminine symptom. Departing from the standard associations of male-activity-form and female-passivity-matter, Bianchi traces the operation of chance and spontaneity throughout Aristotle's biology, physics, cosmology, and metaphysics and argues that it is not passive but aleatory matter--unpredictable, ungovernable, and acting against nature and teleology--that he continually allies with the feminine. Aristotle's pervasive disparagement of the female as a mild form of monstrosity thus works to shore up his polemic against the aleatory and to consolidate patriarchal teleology in the face of atomism and Empedocleanism. Bianchi concludes by connecting her analysis to recent biological and materialist political thinking, and makes the case for a new, antiessentialist politics of aleatory feminism.
Jacques Lezra (ed) and Emily Apter (ed), 2014
Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon(Princeton University Press, 2014)
This is an encyclopedic dictionary of close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms and concepts that defy easy--or any--translation from one language and culture to another. Drawn from more than a dozen languages, terms such as Dasein (German), pravda (Russian), saudade (Portuguese), and stato (Italian) are thoroughly examined in all their cross-linguistic and cross-cultural complexities. Spanning the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods, these are terms that influence thinking across the humanities. The entries, written by more than 150 distinguished scholars, describe the origins and meanings of each term, the history and context of its usage, its translations into other languages, and its use in notable texts. The dictionary also includes essays on the special characteristics of particular languages--English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Originally published in French, this one-of-a-kind reference work is now available in English for the first time, with new contributions from Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more.The result is an invaluable reference for students, scholars, and general readers interested in the multilingual lives of some of our most influential words and ideas.
Richard Sieburth (tr, ed), 2014
Translation of Louise Labé, Love Sonnets & Elegies (NYRB/Poets, 2014)
Louise Labé, one of the most original poets of the French Renaissance, published her complete Works around the age of thirty and then disappeared from history. Rediscovered in the nineteenth century, her incandescent love sonnets were later translated into German by Rilke and appear here in a revelatory new English version by the award-winning translator Richard Sieburth.
Emily Apter, 2013
Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability (Verso, 2013)

Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability argues for a rethinking of comparative literature focusing on the problems that emerge when large-scale paradigms of literary studies ignore the politics of the “Untranslatable”—the realm of those words that are continually retranslated, mistranslated, transferred from language to language, or especially resistant to substitution.

In the place of “World Literature”—a dominant paradigm in the humanities, one grounded in market-driven notions of readability and universal appeal—Apter proposes a plurality of “world literatures” oriented around philosophical concepts and geopolitical pressure points. The history and theory of the language that constructs World Literature is critically examined with a special focus on Weltliteratur, literary world systems, narrative ecosystems, language borders and checkpoints, theologies of translation, and planetary devolution in a book set to revolutionize the discipline of comparative literature.

Hala Halim, 2013
Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism: An Archive (Fordham University Press, 2013)
Interrogating how Alexandria became enshrined as the exemplary cosmopolitan space in the Middle East, this book mounts a radical critique of Eurocentric conceptions of cosmopolitanism. The dominant account of Alexandrian cosmopolitanism elevates things European in the city's culture and simultaneously places things Egyptian under the sign of decline. The book goes beyond this civilization/barbarism binary to trace other modes of intercultural solidarity.

Halim presents a comparative study of literary representations, addressing poetry, fiction, guidebooks, and operettas, among other genres. She reappraises three writers--C. P. Cavafy, E. M. Forster, and Lawrence Durrell--whom she maintains have been cast as the canon of Alexandria. Attending to issues of genre, gender, ethnicity, and class, she refutes the view that these writers' representations are largely congruent and uncovers a variety of positions ranging from Orientalist to anti-colonial. The book then turns to Bernard de Zogheb, a virtually unpublished writer, and elicits his Camp parodies of elite Levantine mores in operettas one of which centers on Cavafy. Drawing on Arabic critical and historical texts, as well as contemporary writers' and filmmakers' engagement with the canonical triumvirate, Halim orchestrates an Egyptian dialogue with the European representations.
Richard Sieburth (tr), 2013
Translator, The Prophecies by Nostradamus (Penguin, 2013)

The mysterious quatrains of the sixteenth-century French astrologer Nostradamus have long proved captivating for their predictions. Nostradamus has been credited with anticipating the Great Fire of London, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the September 11 terrorist attacks. Today, as the world grapples with financial meltdowns, global terrorism, and environmental disasters—as well as the Mayan prediction of the apocalypse on December 21, 2012—his prophecies of doom have assumed heightened relevance.

How has The Prophecies outlasted most books from the Renaissance? This edition considers its legacy in terms of the poetics of the quatrains, published here in a brilliant new translation and with introductory material and notes mapping the cultural, political, and historical forces that resonate throughout Nostradamus's epic, giving it its visionary power.
Avital Ronell, 2012
Loser Songs (University of Illinois Press, 2012)
There are sons who grow up unhappily believing that no matter what they do, they cannot please their fathers. Often unable to shed their sense of lifelong failure, either they give up and suffer in a permanent sulk, or they try with all their might to prove they are worth something after all. These are the "loser sons," a group of historical men as varied as President George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Mohammed Atta. Their names quickly illustrate that not only are their problems serious, but they also make serious problems for others, expanding to whole nations. When God is conceived and inculcated as an angry and impossible-to-please father, the problems can last for generations.

In Loser Sons, Avital Ronell draws on current philosophy, literary history, and political events to confront the grim fact that divested boys become terrifying men. This would be old news if the problem didn't recur so often with such disastrous consequences. Looking beyond our current moment, she interrogates the problems of authority, paternal fantasy, and childhood as they have been explored and exemplified by Franz Kafka, Goethe's Faust, Benjamin Franklin, Jean-François Lyotard, Hannah Arendt, Alexandre Kojève, and Immanuel Kant.

Brilliantly weaving these threads into a polyvocal discourse, Ronell shows how, with their arrays of powerful symbols, ideologies of all sorts perpetuate the theme that while childhood represents innocence, adulthood entails responsible cruelty. The need for suffering--preferably somebody else's--has become a widespread assumption, not only justifying abuses of authority, but justifying authority itself.

Shockingly honest, Loser Sons recognizes that focusing on the spectacular catastrophes of modernity might make writer and reader feel they're engaged in something important, while in fact what they are engaged in is still only spectacle. To understand the implications of her insights, Ronell addresses them directly to her readers, challenging them to think through their own notions of authority and their responses to it.
Kamau Brathwaite, 2010
Elegguas (Wesleyan University Press, 2010)
Eleggua, a word for “the Yoruba deity of the threshold, doorway, and crossroad,” coincidentally resembles “elegy,” a poem for the dead. “Elegguas” weaves epic and elegy, lyric and polemic, to celebrate and mourn the dead of Brathwaite’s extended family, from “Ivie Andersonnng” to Mikey Smith, “stone to death on Stony Hill Kingston Jamaica on Marcus Garvey birthday 17 August 1983″ (“Stone”). Homeric and Joycean allusions harmonize with Caribbean dialect and Brathwaite’s own fine lyric idiolect.
John Chioles (tr), 2010
Translator, C.P. Cavafy, Poems- The Canon (Early Modern and Modern Greek Studies) (Hardcover-Harvard UP, 2010)
C.P. Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis) is one of the most important Greek poets since antiquity. He was born, lived, and died in Alexandria (1863-1933), with brief periods spent in England, Constantinople, and Athens. Cavafy set in motion the most powerful modernism in early twentieth-century European poetry, exhibiting simple truths about eroticism, history, and philosophy-an inscrutable triumvirate that informs the Greek language and culture in all their diachrony. The Cavafy Canon plays with the complexities of ironic Socratic thought, suffused with the honesty of unadorned iambic verse
Manthia Diawara, 2010
African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics (Prestel USA, 2010)
Contemporary African filmmaking is the subject of this insightful and exciting look at every aspect of the art form on the African continent. Focusing on new trends in African cinema from the 1990s to today, this book explores new cinematic languages and modes of production, films departure from nationalism and social realism, and the Nollywood film industry, among other topics.
Mikhail Iampolski, 2010
Through the Glass Darkly: 20 Chapters on Undeterminacy (New Literary Review, Moscow, 2010)
Jaques Lezra, 2010
Wild Materialism: The Ethic of Terror and the Modern Republic,(Fordham University Press, 2010)
Wild Materialism speaks to three related questions in contemporary political philosophy. How, if different social interests and demands are so constitutively antagonistic, can social unity emerge out of heterogeneity? Does such unity require corresponding universals, and, if so, what are they, where are they found, or how are they built? Finally, how must the concept of democracy be revised in response to economic globalization, state and nonstate terrorism, and religious, ethnic, or national fundamentalism? Polemically rehabilitating the term terror, Lezra argues that it can and should operate as a social universal. Social terror, he dramatically proposes, is the foundation on which critiques of terrorist fundamentalisms must be constructed. Opening a groundbreaking methodological dialogue between Freud's work and Althusser's late understanding of aleatory materialism, Lezra shows how an ethic of terror, and in the political sphere a radically democratic republic, can be built on what he calls "wild materialism."
Avital Ronell, 2010
Fighting Theory (University of Illinois Press, 2010), Lignes de Front (Paris)
For Fighting Theory, psychoanalyst and philosopher Anne Dufourmantelle conducted twelve interviews with Ronell, each focused on a key topic in one of Ronell's books or on a set of issues that run throughout her work. Ronell's discussions of such issues are candid, thoughtful, and often personal, bringing together elements from several texts, illuminating hints about them, and providing her up-to-date reflections on what she had written earlier. Intense and often ironic, Fighting Theory is a poignant self-reflection of the worlds and walls against which Avital Ronell crashed.
Richard Sieburth (ed), 2010
Editor, New Selected Poems and Translations of Ezra Pound (New Directions, October 30, 2010
The essential collection of Ezra Pound’s poetry—newly expanded and annotated with essays by Richard Sieburth, T. S. Eliot, and John Berryman. This newly revised and greatly expanded edition of Ezra Pound’s Selected Poems is intended to articulate Pound for the twenty-first century. Gone are many of the “stale creampuffs” (as Pound called them) of the 1949 edition. Instead, new emphasis has been laid on the interpenetration of original composition and translation within Pound’s career. New features of this edition include the complete “Homage to Sextus Propertius” in its original lineation, early translations from Cavalcanti, Heine, and the troubadours, as well as late translations of Sophocles, and the Confucian Odes. Unlike all previous selections, this volume provides annotation to all the early poems as well as a running commentary on the later Cantos — indispensable to any reader wanting to follow Pound on his epic odyssey through ancient China, medieval Provence, the Italian Renaissance, the early American Republic, and the darkness of the twentieth century. The editor, Richard Sieburth, provides a chronology of Pound’s life, a new preface, and an informative afterword, “Selecting Pound.” Also included in the appendix are T. S. Eliot’s and John Berryman’s original introductions to Pound’s Selected Poems.
Richard Sieburth (tr), 2010
Translator, Geometries by Guillevic (Ugly Duckling Press, 2010)
Guillevic wrote Geometries ( Euclidiennes in French) in the early sixties, after his friend, the poet André Frenaud, recognizing in his poetry an inclination toward mathematics, and more specifically geometry, encouraged him to pursue this direction. Guillevic places a series of geometrical figures before our eyes, as they might appear in a schoolchild's primer, paired with poems that let us hear how these forms might speak. These talking circles, squares and angles—these articulations of space—are in turn meant to remind us of our own figures of speech. Guillevic's Geometries fits into the 1960s return to emblems, signs, and playful constraints both in art (Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and even Andy Warhol) and in writing (the Noigandres poets, Oulipo, Eugen Gomringer, the Robert Creeley of Pieces). But at the same time, the Euclidean world of forms here explored remains as timeless as the stones of Guillevic's own Carnac.
Cristina Vatulescu, 2010
Police Aesthetics: Literature, Film, and the Secret Police in Soviet Times (Stanford University Press, November 1, 2010)
Winner of the 2011 Heldt Prize for the best book by a woman in area of Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian studies.
In Police Aesthetics, Vatulescu examines the most infamous holdings—the personal files— within the secret police archives of Russia and Romania, as well as on movies the police sponsored, scripted, or authored. Through the archives, she gains new insights into the writing of literature and raises new questions about the ethics of reading. Her work opens a fresh chapter in the heated debate about the relationship between culture and politics in twentieth-century police states.
Hala Halim (tr), 2009
Translator, Clamor of the Lake: A Modern Arabic Novel by Mohamed El Bisatie (American University in Cairo Press, 2009)
An old fisherman of unknown origin arrives in a black boat. Taciturn and enigmatic, he takes on a woman and her twin boys. While he gives away nothing about his past, his undemanding companionship prompts the woman to narrate her turbulent life. Meanwhile, in a nearby village by the lake, Gomaa and his wife have found respite from the dreariness of their existence in the fantastic objects the sea churns up during gales. But when the waves cast up a chest that speaks in a language no one can comprehend, Gomaa is haunted by its voice. As the tumult of the lake drives a wedge between the couple, it turns two neighbors into close allies. But Karawia and Afifi too will be haunted by the siren song of the lake. In this lyrical novel, the stories of these various figures converge on the mercurial presence of the lake, which in the end proves the narrative's true hero.
Mikhail Iampolski, 2009
Muratova: Essays in Film Phenomenology (Saint Petersburg, Seans, 2009)
Avital Ronell, 2009
Addict: Fixions et narcotextes (Bayard, 2009)
Hala Halim (tr), 2008
Translator, Heads Ripe for Plucking by Mahmoud Al-Wardani's novel Awan al-Qitaf with a translator’s afterword, (New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2008)
An Arab tyrant once infamously declared, 'I see heads that are ripe for plucking.' Mahmoud Al-Wardani's novel turns the statement on its head, using it as a point of departure to delineate a whole history of Arab tyranny and oppression. In Heads Ripe for Plucking, an impaled head seeks solace in narrating to itself stories of others who have sustained a similar fate. Beheadings, both literal and metaphorical - torture, murder, decapitation, brainwashing, losing one's head - are the subject of the six stories that unfold over the three sections of this novel. The narrative takes us from the most archetypal beheading in Arabo-Islamic history, that of al-Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, via the torture of communists in Nasser's detention camps, the meanderings of a Cairene teenager unwittingly caught in the 'bread riots' of 1977, a crime passionnel in a family alienated by petrodollars, the remembering of a father killed in the 1991 Gulf War and recovery of his lost manuscript on the eve of the millennium, into a dystopic future where heads are periodically severed to undergo maintenance and reloading of programs. The novel garnered critical acclaim for its experimentation with language and form as much as for its excavation of alternative histories.
Kristin Ross (tr), 2008
Translator, La nouvelle vague; un cinema a la premiere personne masculine singuliere (Masculine Singular; French New Wave Cinema) by Geneviève Sellier's (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)
Masculine Singular is an original interpretation of French New Wave cinema by one of France's leading feminist film scholars. While most criticism of New Wave has concentrated on the filmmakers and their films, Geneviève Sellier focuses on the social and cultural turbulence of the cinema's formative years, from 1957 to 1962.
Kristin Ross, 2008
Mayo del 68 y sus vidas posteriores (spanish translation) (Madrid: Acuarela Libros, 2008)
Mai 68 et ses vies ultérieures (French translation) (Le Monde Diplomatique and Editions Complexe, 2005)
May ‘68 and its Afterlives (University Of Chicago Press, 2002)

During May 1968, students and workers in France united in the biggest strike and the largest mass movement in French history. Protesting capitalism, American imperialism, and Gaullism, 9 million people from all walks of life, from shipbuilders to department store clerks, stopped working. The nation was paralyzed—no sector of the workplace was untouched. Yet, just thirty years later, the mainstream image of May '68 in France has become that of a mellow youth revolt, a cultural transformation stripped of its violence and profound sociopolitical implications. Kristin Ross shows how the current official memory of May '68 came to serve a political agenda antithetical to the movement's aspirations. She examines the roles played by sociologists, repentant ex-student leaders, and the mainstream media in giving what was a political event a predominantly cultural and ethical meaning. Recovering the political language of May '68 through the tracts, pamphlets, and documentary film footage of the era, Ross reveals how the original movement, concerned above all with the question of equality, gained a new and counterfeit history, one that erased police violence and the deaths of participants, removed workers from the picture, and eliminated all traces of anti-Americanism, anti-imperialism, and the influences of Algeria and Vietnam.
Xudong Zhang, 2008
Duihua qimeng shidai (A Discourse on The Age of Enlightenment) (Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2008)
Xudong Zhang, 2008
Qidi (Illuminations: Essays and Reflections by Walter Benjamin) (Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 2008)
Kamau Braithwaite, 2007
DS (2)/dreamstories (New York: New Directions, 2007)
In DS (2)/dreamstories—Kamau Brathwaite continues his ongoing collection of prose poems, comprised of the broken images, flow, and half-told stories of dreams. The poetic stories in DS (2) use Brathwaite's trademark sycorax video style, offering personal revelations mixed with political and historical fables occurring around the globe. Brathwaite's prose poems relate with ardency and pathos the Caribbean experience and are a potent voice of the African diaspora.
Mark Sanders, 2007
Ambiguities of Witnessing: Law and Literature in the Time of the Truth Commission (Stanford: Stanford University Press/Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2007)
The first book to explore the complex relationship between law and literature in testimony to crimes of apartheid before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Ambiguities of Witnessing closely analyzes key individual testimonies. Whereas most existing books on this and other truth commissions are weighed down by abstract legal and philosophical discussion, this book does justice to witnesses’ public testimony in a fascinating and theoretically sophisticated investigation of questions of human rights, mourning, forgiveness, and reparation. Framed by the personal, Ambiguities of Witnessing also meditates on what it means for the writer to respond to this epochal event in the history of post-apartheid South Africa.
Richard Sieburth (ed, tr), 2007
Editor and Translator, Emblems of Desire by Maurice Scève with introduction (New York: Archipelago Books, 2007)
A forgotten masterpiece of French poetry, Emblems of Desire is a selection of 449 love poems first published in Lyons in 1544. Full of passionate ironies and charged obscurity, Maurice Scéve is considered a sixteenth-century Stéphane Mallarmé. His oblique self-portraiture laid the groundwork for many contemporary poets.
Ulrich Baer (ed), 2006
Editor, Das Rilke-Alphabet (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2006)
Daniel Javitch (ed), 2006
Editor, The Way It Wasn’t. From the files of James Laughlin (New York: New Directions, 2006)
James Laughlin—poet, ladies' man, heir to a steel fortune, and the founder of New Directions—was still at work on his autobiography when he died at 83. He left behind personal files crammed with memories and memorabilia: in "M" he is taking Marianne Moore to Yankee games (outings captured here in charming snapshots) to discuss "arcane mammals," and in "N" nearly plunging off a mountain, hunting butterflies with Nabokov ("Volya was a doll in a very severe upper-crust Russian way").With an accent on humor, The Way It Wasn't is a scrapbook loaded with ephemera—letters and memories, clippings and photographs. This richly illustrated album glitters like a magpie's nest, if a magpie could have known Tennessee Williams, W.C. Williams, Merton, Miller, Stein, and Pound.
Avital Ronell (ed), 2006
ed. & contributor, Kathy Acker: Lust for Life (Verso Books, 2006)
Avital Ronell, 2006
American Philo: Entretiens Avec Anne Dufourmantelle (Paris: Editions Stock, 2006)
Kristin Ross, 2006
Rouler Plus Vite, Laver Plus Blanc (Paris: Flammarion, 2006)
Mark Sanders, 2006
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Live Theory (London: Continuum, 2006)
Live Theory offers a concise, comprehensive and accessible introduction to the themes central to the thought of one of the world’s most provocative and original theorists. The book concentrates on Spivak’s engagement, in theory and practice, with deconstruction, Marxism, feminism, and issues of postcoloniality and globalization, and makes clear the extent of her impact in the fields of postcolonial and literary theory.
Richard Sieburth (tr), 2006
Translator, Stroke by Stroke by Henri Michaux (Archipelago Books, 2006)
A pairing of two of Henri Michaux's most suggestive texts, Stroke by Stroke ( Par des traits, 1984) and Grasp (Saisir, 1979), written towards the end of his life. Michaux's ideogrammic ink drawings accompany his poetic explorations of animals, humans, and the origins of language. This series of verbal and pictorial gestures is at once explosive and contemplative. Michaux emerges at his most Zen.
Richard Sieburth (tr), 2006
Translator, The Salt Smugglers by Gérard de Nerval (Archipelago Books, 2009)
First published as a sprawling feuilleton in the newspaper Le National in 1850, Les Faux Saulniers was political and topical. With nods to Diderot and Sterne, this protean digressive satire deals less with contraband salt smugglers and more with questions of subversion, transgression, censorship, and marginality. The Salt Smugglers is an unearthed pre-postmodern gem. By writing a first-person narrative detailing his dizzying quest for a elusive book holding the history of the Abbé de Bucquoy, Nerval was able dance with the censors of the day who forbid fiction to appear in newspaper serials while questioning and opening the borders between fact and fiction.
Emily Apter, 2005
The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (Princeton University Press, 2005)
Translation, before 9/11, was deemed primarily an instrument of international relations, business, education, and culture. Today it seems, more than ever, a matter of war and peace. In The Translation Zone, Emily Apter argues that the field of translation studies, habitually confined to a framework of linguistic fidelity to an original, is ripe for expansion as the basis for a new comparative literature. Organized around a series of propositions that range from the idea that nothing is translatable to the idea that everything is translatable, The Translation Zone examines the vital role of translation studies in the "invention" of comparative literature as a discipline. Ultimately, The Translation Zone maintains that a new comparative literature must take stock of the political impact of translation technologies on the definition of foreign or symbolic languages in the humanities, while recognizing the complexity of language politics in a world at once more monolingual and more multilingual.
Ulrich Baer (ed, tr), 2005
Editor and Translator, The Poet’s Guide to Life: The Wisdom of Rainer Maria Rilke (Random House/Modern Library, 2005)
Gleaned from Rainer Maria Rilke’s voluminous, never-before-translated correspondence, this volume offers the best writings and personal philosophy of one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets. The result is a profound vision of how the human drive to create and understand can guide us in every facet of life. Arranged by theme–from everyday existence with others to the exhilarations of love and the experience of loss, from dealing with adversity to the nature of inspiration–here are Rilke’s thoughts on how to infuse everyday life with beauty, wonder, and meaning. Intimate, stylistically masterful, brilliantly translated and assembled, and brimming with the passion of Rilke, Letters on Life is a font of wisdom and a perfect book for all occasions.
Ulrich Baer, 2005
Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma (MIT Press, 2005)
In this remarkable contribution to photographic criticism and psychoanalytic literature, Ulrich Baer traces the hitherto overlooked connection between the experience of trauma and the photographic image. Instead of treating trauma as a photographic "theme," Baer examines the striking parallel between those moments arrested mechanically by photography and those arrested experientially by the traumatized psyche - moments that bypass normal cognition and memory. Taking as points of departure Charcot's images of hysteria and Freud's suggestion that the unconscious is structured like a camera, Baer shows how the invention of photography and the emergence of the modern category of "trauma" intersect.
Gabriela Basterra, 2005
Seductions of Fate: Tragic Subjectivity, Ethics, Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)
Engaging with a wide variety of literary, philosophical and psychoanalytic texts (from Aeschylus to Lorca, from Aristotle to Kant, from Hegel and Freud to Lacan and Levinas), Seductions of Fate argues that tragedy shapes our subjectivity. We, modern subjects, constitute ourselves on new versions of destiny, such as "power", the law or the past. Though this tragic self-representation seems to contradict the modern rationality, it allows the self to protect its freedom from the ethical experience that would put it into question. This radical ethical experience constitutes the subject as other than itself. Focusing primarily on this gap within the self, which compels the self to act on an unconditional but but impossible address, this book opens a new perspective on the rapport between ethics and politics.
Kamau Braithwaite, 2005
Born to Slow Horses (Wesleyan University Press, 2005)
Ana Maria Dopico (ed), 2005
ed, Jose Marti: Revolution, Politics, and Letters (Oxford University Press, November 2005)
This ground-breaking two-volume work offers the most comprehensive collection of Marti's prose work available in English. Where recent translations have offered selective anthologies of Marti's writing, this edition offers a key archive of essays, journalism, speeches, political documents, and historic correspondence, many translated for the first time. The first volume gathers essential texts and letters that have shaped Cuban history, nationalism, and political ideology, and which challenged and defined the course of revolutionary struggle. The second volume offers a comprehensive selection of Marti's vision of the Americas, combining his reflections on Latin American history, culture and political economy, and his critical observations on the modernity and upheavals of the United States in the late nineteenth century.
Avital Ronell, 2005
The Test Drive (On Nietzsche, Technology, & the Experimental Disposition) (University of Illinois Press, 2005)
Beginning with Nietzsche's discovery of the "experimental disposition," Ronell explores testing's ascension to truth in modern practice. To know something, and to know that it is true, has never been a simple matter of recognition and assent. Instead, increasing numbers of tests of ever increasing complexity have been established to determine and constitute what is true, probable, or verifiable. In The Test Drive, Ronell explores vast areas of testing in the works of Husserl, Popper, Freud, Lyotard, Derrida, and others, including Zen philosophies.
Kamau Braithwaite, 2004
Words Need Love Too. (New York: Savacou North, 2004)
Timothy Reiss (ed), 2004
Editor, Music, Writing, and Cultural Unity in the Caribbean (New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2004)
Music, Writing, and Cultural Unity in the Caribbean brings together performers, writers, critics, and musicologists from the Dutch-, English-, French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, as well as Britain and the United States. The collection explores the history of the circulation of music and writing in trans-Atlantic, intra-Caribbean, and finally global perspectives.
Kristin Ross, 2004
Anti-Americanism (New York: New York University Press, 2004)
In this multidisciplinary collection, seventeen leading thinkers provide substance and depth to the recent outburst of fast talk on the topic of anti-Americanism by analyzing its history and currency in five key global regions: the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, and the United States. The commentary draws from social science as well as the humanities for an in-depth study of anti-American opinion and sentiment in different cultures.The questions raised by these essays force us to explore the new ways America must interact with the world after 9/11 and the war against Iraq.
Richard Sieburth (tr), 2004
Translator, Lenz by Georg Büchner (New York: Archipelago Books, 2004)
Lenz, Georg Buchner's visionary exploration of an 18th century playwright's descent into madness, grew in part out of Alsatian pastor Oberlin's journal, which is translated here in its entirety for the first time. Lenz is a dispassionate account on the nervous system of a schizophrenic, perhaps the first third-person text ever written from the "inside" of insanity. Richard Sieburth's translations include Friedrich Holderlin's Hymns and Fragments, Walter Benjamin's Moscow Diary, Gerard de Nerval's Selected Writings and Henri Michaux's Emergences/Resurgences.
Manthia Diawara, 2003
We Won't Budge: An African Exile in the World (Basic Civitas Books, 2003)
Diawara’s provocative, highly readable memoir draws on his personal journeys, as well as those of friends and relatives in Africa, Europe, and the U. S., to open up the contemporary arguments about identity and politics. In the first chapter, he's visiting his Mali hometown, and he can't wait to leave. In New York, he misses "home." On sabbatical in Paris, he's furious at the racism that makes him a marginalized exotic, even as he separates himself from the tradition that includes polygamy and female circumcision. Far from self-importance and didacticism, he keeps switching sides to reveal the good and bad of assimilation versus cultural roots. Like Ariel Dorfman and other fine immigrant writers, Diawara shows that loss is necessary and that you can't go home again.
Timothy Reiss, 2003
Mirages of the Self: Patterns of Personhood in Ancient and Early Modern Europe (Stanford University Press, 2003)
Mirages of the Self argues that in ancient and early modern Europe individual subjects were defined by the social and biological spheres in which they were embedded, not by an independent free will. Timothy Reiss uses the idea of passibility (from patior, to endure) to sum up this idea of being acted upon. He also argues that before and through Rene Descartes the "selfe" (so spelled to distinguish the earlier sense) never had the modern meaning of independent agency. For Reiss, the modern understanding of the self derived not exactly from Descartes but strong misreadings of his work.
Avital Ronell, 2003
Stupidity (University of Illinois Press, 2003)
In "Stupidity" Avital Ronell explores the fading empire of cognition, modulating stupidity into idiocy, puerility, and the figure of the ridiculous philosopher instituted by Kant. Drawing on a range of writers including Dostoevsky, Schlegel, Musil, and Wordsworth, "Stupidity" investigates ignorance, dumbfounded-ness, and the limits of reason.
Richard Sieburth (ed), 2003
Editor, Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations (New York: Library of America, 2003)
For decades, readers have patched together the portions of Pound's oeuvre that interested them via the myriad New Directions editions, some of which are now out of print. Poems and Translations, is a collection of nearly everything that Pound wrote that could be called a poem or translation.
Richard Sieburth (ed), 2003
Editor, The Pisan Cantos by Ezra Pound (New York: New Directions, 2003)
Pound wrote these poems in 1945 while incarcerated by the occupying U.S. Army near Pisa, Italy, and awaiting transport back to the United States to stand trial for treason. Despite Pound's political stature, the Library of Congress awarded the 11 pieces the 1948 Bollingen Prize. These poems generally are included in Pound's overall epic The Cantos but here are broken out and annotated by scholar Sieburth, who also provides an introduction to the work and to Pound.
Richard Sieburth (tr), 2003
Translator, The Fullness of Time: Poems by Gershom Scholem (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2003)
One of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century, Gershom Scholem virtually created the subject of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism is it serious area Of Study. His influence has been felt far beyond the confines of the academy, and extends into the realm of the arts. Literature played a critical part in Scholem's own life. This bilingual volume in English and German gathers together the best of his poems for the first time. It contains dark, shockingly prescient poems about Zionism, parodies of German and Jewish philosophers, and poems to other writers, including a series of powerful lyrics to his close friend Walter Benjamin.
Ulrich Baer (ed), 2002
Editor, 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11 (New York University Press, 2002)
In 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11 , Ulrich Baer gathers a multi-hued range of voices that chronicle, with vivid immediacy and heightened imagination, the shock and loss suffered in September 2001. From a stunning lineup of 110 writers who represent New York at its most imaginative, these stories give readers the very shape and texture of a city in crisis, a glimpse of how things would develop in the aftermath, and the external and internal damage that the city and its inhabitants absorbed in a few unforgettable hours that would set the world's course for years to come.
Daniel Javitch (ed), 2002
Editor, Baldesar Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier (New York: Norton and Company, 2002)
The Book of the Courtier (1528) is a series of fictional conversations by courtiers of the Duke of Urbino that take place in 1507, when Baldesar Castiglione was himself attaché to the Duke. Today, The Book of the Courtier remains the most illuminating account of court life and its culture in the Renaissance and of what it took to be the “Perfect Courtier” and “Court Lady.” The text of this edition is Charles Singletons’ translation. It is accompanied by the detailed annotations of both translator and editor.
Timothy Reiss (ed), 2002
Editor, Sisyphus and Eldorado: Magical and Other Realisms in Caribbean Literature (Africa World Press, 2nd edition, 2002)
This book investigates “cultural instruments,” meaning normative forms of analysis and practice that are central to Western culture. It explores their history from antiquity to the early Enlightenment and their use and reworking by different cultures, moving from Europe to Africa and the Americas, especially the Caribbean, in the process giving close readings of a wide range of authors.
Timothy Reiss, 2002
Against Autonomy: Global Dialectics of Cultural Exchange (Stanford University Press, 2002)
This book investigates “cultural instruments,” meaning normative forms of analysis and practice that are central to Western culture. It explores their history from antiquity to the early Enlightenment and their use and reworking by different cultures, moving from Europe to Africa and the Americas, especially the Caribbean, in the process giving close readings of a wide range of authors.
Mark Sanders, 2002
Complicities: The Intellectual and Apartheid (Duke University Press, 2002)
Complicities explores the complicated – even contradictory – position of the intellectual who takes a stand against political policies and ideologies. Sanders argues that intellectuals cannot avoid some degree of complicity in what they oppose and that responsibility can only be achieved with their acknowledgment of this complicity. He examines the roles of South African intellectuals by looking at the works of a number of key figures – both supporters and opponents of apartheid.
Kamau Braithwaite, 2001
Ancestors (New York: New Directions, 2001)
Ancestors recasts three of Brathwaite’s previous works --Mother Poem, Sun Poem and X/Self-- by stressing as strongly as possible the spoken aspects of the text (thereby allowing regional and local dialects to threaten the homogenizing tendencies of "proper" English), cladding them in jagged breaks, computerized glyphs, "Sycorax video style" type, extended puns and unorthodox spellings: "cause no bright/ man cyaaan be// faddah to faddah to faddah/ to sun// if e nevvah get chance/ to the son// light." Extensive passages describe boys fighting, men fishing, women cleaning and adolescents flirting, but at the same time Brathwaite sketches a vast, economically determined history encompassing the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East--as if the shadows of Prospero, Caliban and Miranda extended from the plantation (a frequent setting) across the globe, fiercely throwing exploitation, misery, loneliness, joy, celebration, dignity and humanity into bold, intensely detailed relief.
Jacques Lezra (ed), 2001
Editor, Suplemento al Tesoro de la Lengua Espanola Castellana (Madrid: Ediciones Polifemo, 2001)
Timothy Reiss (ed), 2001
Editor, For the Geography of a Soul: Emerging Perspectives on Kamau Brathwaite (Africa World Press, Inc., 2001)
This important new work on Kamau Brathwaite includes work on and inspired by his writing, recognizing the power and influence of his poetry and other creative work, historical research and cultural and literary criticism. The collection includes major new essays on Brathwaite's creative writing, new poetry and fiction by writers reflecting on his influential importance in their work, new historiographical research and commentary echoing his preoccupations and setting Brathwaite himself in this context, and three memoirs by major Caribbean figures close to him. Also included is the fullest bibliography to date of Brathwaite's work and the increasing writing on it.
Ulrich Baer, 2000
Remnants of Song: Trauma and the Experience of Modernity in Charles Baudelaire and Paul Celan (Stanford University Press, 2000)
Drawing on trauma studies and Holocaust research, Remnants of Song demonstrates that the act of engaging with a poem on its own terms may serve as an important model for an ethical response to the radical experiences of trauma.
Emily Apter, 1999
Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (Chicago University Press, 1999)
From xenophobic appropriations of Joan of Arc to Afro-futurism and cyberpunk, the "national" characters of the colonial era often seem to be dissolving into postnational and virtual subjects. In Continental Drift, Emily Apter deftly analyzes the French colonial and postcolonial experience as a case study in the erosion of belief in national destiny and the emergence of technologically mediated citizenship.Among the many topics Apter explores are the fate of national literatures in an increasingly transnational literary climate; the volatile stakes of Albert Camus's life and reputation against the backdrop of Algerian civil strife; the use of literary and theatrical productions to "script" national character for the colonies; belly-dancing and aesthetic theory; and the impact of new media on colonial and postcolonial representation, from tourist photography to the videos of Digital Diaspora. Continental Drift advances debates not just in postcolonial studies, but also in gender, identity, and cultural studies; ethnography; psychoanalysis; and performance studies.
Richard Sieburth (ed), 1999
Editor, Gerard de Nerval – Selected Writings with introduction (New York: Penguin Books, 1999)
This selection of writings – the first such comprehensive gathering to appear in English – provides an overview of Nerval’s work as a poet, belletrist, short-story writer and autobiographer.
Manthia Diawara, 1998
In Search of Africa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998)
Diawara traveled to his native land in 1996 on a double mission: while making a documentary on the life of the Guinean freedom fighter and dictator Sekou Toure, he also set out to find a childhood friend. He is able to see Guinea with a nostalgia that doesn't turn a blind eye to the nation's faults, pointing out what needs to be done without falling prey to "Afro-pessimism." He painfully recounts how he and his family were forced to leave Guinea and how the country sank into a Marxist-oriented dictatorial nightmare. While not overlooking the horrible historical impact of the slave trade and European colonialism, Diawara also blames internal corruption and dangerous African ethnic customs, like female genital mutilation, for his country's underdevelopment. Ultimately, however, he remains confident that this people will one day ascend to their full political, economic, and cultural potential.
Jacques Lezra, 1997
Unspeakable Subjects: The Genealogy of the Event in Early Modern Europe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997)
In Unspeakable Subjects, Jacques Lezra explores the origins, the nature, and the “consequences” of an essential theme in post-modern critical discourse: the “incommensurability” between materiality and the aesthetic principles that inform history, between accidents of nature and their “sublimation” in language as “events.” Lezra's central chapters focus on Descartes's Second Meditation (chapter 2), Cervantes's Don Quixote (chapters 3 and 4), and Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (chapter 5). In these and other texts contemporary to them, Lezra explores the divergence between language as rhetorical strategy and truth. The scope of the book, however, reaches much farther, from Lucretius, Aristotle, and Plato to Freud, Derrida, Foucault and Lacan, embracing in-between writings by a host of the main figures of the Western intellectual tradition.
Kristin Ross, 1996
Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996)
Fast Cars, Clean Bodies examines the crucial decade from Dien Bien Phu to the mid-1960s when France shifted rapidly from an agrarian, insular, and empire-oriented society to a decolonized, Americanized, and fully industrial one. In this analysis of a startling cultural transformation Ross finds the contradictions of the period embedded in its various commodities and cultural artifacts - automobiles, washing machines, women's magazines, film, popular fiction, even structuralism - as well as in the practices that shape, determine, and delimit their uses.
Manthia Diawara, 1992
African Cinema: Politics and Culture (Indiana University Press, 1992)
Drawing on political science, economics, history, and cultural studies, Diawara provides an insider's account of the development and current status of African cinema. He discusses such issues as film production and distribution, and film aesthetics from the colonial period to the present.
Daniel Javitch, 1991
Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of Orlando Furioso (Princeton University Press, 1991)
In this original scholarly study, Daniel Javitch isolates the forces of the Renaissance cultural marketplace – the printing house, humanist education, neo-Aristotelian critical orthodoxy – that led to the canonization of the bestselling Orlando Furisoso the first modern “classic.”
Kristin Ross (tr), 1991
Translator,The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation by Jacquse Rancière (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991)
This book examines the historical development of English in the United States, in how it became a central discipline in the humanities, and in what the ideological affiliations of literature and literary study might be. It is strikingly original, however, in that instead of focusing on the subject matter of English (e.g., the canon or critical positions), it examines precisely how work time is spent within English departments, as well as what circulates through them, and to where.
Emily Apter, 1990
Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the Century France (Cornell University Press, 1990)
This interdisciplinary study of turn-of-the-century French authors who have combined medical observation with an interest in writing literary chronicles of deviant behavior—what Apter, borrowing from Freud, calls "pathography"—resists simple classification. Apter's inquiry into the ideological underpinnings of the fetishistic "sensibility" leads her into the fields of cultural history, psychoanalysis, the history of science, economic theory, feminism, and anthropology. The result is a theory of feminine fetishism designed to mobilize the critical potential dormant in the concept of fetishism but hitherto impeded by its customary assimilation to a logic of phallocentrism.
Kristin Ross, 2008
The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (Reissue, London and New York: Verso Radical Thinkers, 2008)