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Emily Apter

Professor of French, Comparative Literature
Ph.D., Princeton.
Office Address: 13 University Place, 610 New York, New York (US) 10003
Phone: (212) 998-8702
Fax: (212) 995-4187

Curriculum Vitae

Emily Apter is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University.  Her books include: Against World Literature.  On The Politics of Untranslatability (2013), The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (2006), Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (1999), Fetishism as Cultural Discourse, (co-edited with William Pietz in 1993), Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France (1991), and André Gide and the Codes of Homotextuality (1987).    Articles have appeared in Third Text, boundary 2, New Literary History,  Littérature, Artforum, Critical Inquiry,  October, Translation Studies, PMLA, Cabinet, Romanic Review, The Global South, Comparative Literary Studies, Grey Room, The Boston Review, SITES,  Angelaki, American Literary History, Parallax, Modern Language Notes, Esprit Créateur, Critique, differences and Public Culture. Since 1998 she has edited the book series, Translation/Transnation  for Princeton University Press.  In progress: co-editing with Jacques Lezra and Michael Wood the English edition of the Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles [Dictionary of Untranslatables:  A Philosophical Lexicon], forthcoming with Princeton University Press in 2014.  She is currently working on a theory of “unexceptional politics,” with the working title “Politics small p:” Essays on the Society of Calculation. Recent articles include “Occupy Derivatives!” in October, “Planetary Dysphoria” in Third Text, “Philosophizing World Literature” in SITES,  “O seminar!” in Cabinet, “Women’s Time (Again)” in differences, and "Philosophical Translation" (in MLA’s Profession).  In 2003-2004 she was a Guggenheim recipient, in 2011 she was awarded a Mellon Grant (with Jacques Lezra) for a seminar on “The Problem of Translation” and in 2012 she was appointed Remarque-Ecole Normale Supérieure Visiting Professor in Paris.  A French translation of The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature will be published by Fayard in the series “Ouvertures” edited by Barbara Cassin and Alain Badiou in 2014.  Together with Bruno Bosteels she is working on an edition of Alain Badiou’s writings on literature and politics.

Teaching specializations: Translation theory, literature, philosophy, politics, sexuality and gender, critical theory, psychoanalytic approaches, French and Francophone nineteenth and twentieth century literatures, the critique of world literature, literary world-systems, history and theory of comparative literature, forms of the novel.

Select Publications


Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, (Princeton UP, 2014)

Against World Literature.  On the Politics of Untranslatability (Verso, 2013)

The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (Princeton University Press, 2006)

Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (University of Chicago Press, 1999).

Fetishism as Cultural Discourse.  Edited by Emily Apter and William Pietz (a collection of interdisciplinary essays on fetishism:  medical history, anthropology, literary criticism, art and film theory).  (Cornell University Press, 1993). 

Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France.  (Cornell University Press, 1991)

La fiction politique (XIXe-XXIe siècles)

Proceedings of the journée d'étude held at NYUParis in collaboration with the Groupe phi (CELLAM, Université Rennes 2) and the AND « Pouvoir des arts » on 9 November 2012, are now accessible online.


“Politics ‘small p’: Second Empire Machiavellianism in Zola’s Son Excellence Eugène Rougon in Romanic Review Vol. 102 Nos. 3-4  May-Nov. 2011 (published in 2013): 411-426.

“Planet Dysphoria,” for special issue of Third Text on “Art and Ecology,” No. 120 (Jan. 2013): 131-140. 

“Occupy Derivatives!/Politics ‘smallest p’”  October 142 (Fall 2012): 86-106.

“Translatlantic Feminism in the Wake of the DSK Affair” Public Culture (Fall 2012)

“Pour une politique de la traduction.  Entretien avec Emily Apter” with Kate Briggs and Hélène Quiniou in Revue Internationale des Livres et des Idées No. 2 (Nov-Dec. 2011): 44-51.

“The Right to Translation: Deconstructive Pedagogies, 1979/2009,” boundary 2  Vol. 37, 3 (Fall 2010): 29-56.

Afterword (co-authored with Elaine Freedgood)  to a special issue “The Way We Read Now:  On Symptomatic Reading and its Aftermath,” Representations 108 (Fall, 2009): 139-146.

“What is Yours, Ours and Mine: On the Limits of Ownership and the Creative Commons,” in Angelaki Vol. 14 No. 1 (April 2009): 87-199.

Introduction: “Untiming the Nineteenth-Century” Forum of Panel Papers from MLA 2007, in PMLA Vol. 124, No. 1 (Jan 2009): 273-288.

“Untranslatables: A World System” in New Literary History Vol. 39 (Summer 2008), No. 3: 581-598.  (Translated into Japanese by Sachi Nakachi, 2011).

“Technics of the Subject: The Avatar-Drive” in Postmodern Culture Vol 18, No. 2 (Jan. 2008).

“Biography of A Translation: Madame Bovary between Eleanor Marx and Paul de Man”
in Translation Studies  Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 2008): 73-89.

Book Series Translation/Transnation (Princeton University Press)
Published in series:
Azade Seyhan,  Writing Outside the Nation
Margaret Cohen and Carolyn Dever, eds.  The Literary Channel: The Inter-national Invention of the Novel
Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Writing
David Damrosch, What is World Literature?
Reda Bensmaïa, Experimental Nations, or the Invention of the Maghreb
Isabel Hofmayr, The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of the Pilgrim’s Progress
Etienne Balibar, We the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship
Sandra Bermann and Michael Wood, eds. Nation, Language and the Ethics of Translation
Srinivas Aravamudan, Guru English: South Asian Religion in a Cosmopolitan Language
Nicholas Brown, Utopian Generations: The Political Horizon of Twentieth-Century Literature
Martin Puchner, Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos and Avant-Gardes
Emily Apter, The Translation Zone.  A New Comparative Literature
Gil Hochberg, In Spite of Partition: Arabs, Jews, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination
The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature: From the European Enlightenment to the Global Present eds. David Damrosch et al. 
Mary Helen McMurran, The Spread of Novels
Timothy Bewes, The Event of Postcolonial Shame
Margaret Cohen, The Novel and the Sea
Margaret Litvin, Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost
Andrew Rubin, Archives of Authority: Empire, Culture and the Cold War
John Hamilton, Security: Politics, Humanity, and the Philology of Care

Curriculum Vitae

Download full syllabus for Fall 2013 graduate seminar, Very Recent French Theory: Modes of Existence, Measured Worlds.

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