Georges Seurat, La Grenouillère (ca. 1885)

Opening Remarks

Emily Apter

Emily Apter is Professor of French and Comparative Literature and chair of Comparative Literature at New York University. Her research interests include: philosophizing in languages, political theory, translation theory and praxis, critical theory, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, new French philosophy, history and theory of Comparative Literature. Her most recent books include: Against World Literature: On The Politics of Untranslatability (2013), Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon (co-edited with Barbara Cassin, Jacques Lezra and Michael Wood) (2014);  and The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (2006). Her most recent book project is Unexceptional Politics: A Glossary of Obstruction, Interference and the Impolitic (forthcoming, Verso, 2017). A new project is provisionally titled Translating in-Equality: Equivalence, Justness, Rightness, Equaliberty. She edits the book series Translation/Transnation for Princeton University Press.


Elizabeth Benninger

Elizabeth Benninger is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University. Her research interests include: nineteenth- and twentieth-century literatures and intellectual histories of the Middle East, southern Europe, and Latin America; nationalisms and internationalisms; realism and naturalism; genre theory; feminist theory. She is currently working on a dissertation provisionally titled “Toward an Internationalist Mode of Comparison: Reading Genre and History Across National Literatures, 1880-1914.” She is one of the organizers of the current conference.

Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson is a Postdoctoral lecturer in the French Department at New York University where he obtained his PhD in French and Comparative Literature. His interests include literature, critical social theory, media, history, and the political dimension of art. His is currently completing a book project entitled The Revolutionary Transformation of the Social Sphere: from the Social Question to Social Media, which provides a methodological and political rejoinder to the public sphere model of media and social change. He has written articles and reviews of literary criticism, theory, and history for La Revue Critique de Fixxion Française Contemporaine, Fabula.org, Left Review, and Espace Maurice Blanchot, and is currently translating a debate between Nancy Fraser and Luc Boltansky entitled Domination and Emancipation: For a Revival of Social Critique (forthcoming, Rowman and Littlefield International, 2017). He is one of the organizers of the current conference.

Maggie Clinton

Maggie Clinton is Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College, where she has taught since finishing her PhD (NYU, History) in 2009. Her first book, Revolutionary Nativism: Fascism and Culture in China, 1925-1937 will be published by Duke University Press in March 2017. She is currently working on a new book project addressing environmental and cultural aspects of oil marketing and prospecting in China and the Western Pacific from the late nineteenth century through the present.

Rebecca Comay

Rebecca Comay is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include: Hegel and 19th century German philosophy; Marx and Marxism; Benjamin and Adorno; political theology; psychoanalysis; contemporary French philosophy; trauma and memory; iconoclasm and destruction of art; contemporary art and art criticism; Proust. She is the author of Mourning Sickness: Hegel and the French Revolution (Stanford 2011), editor of Lost in the Archives (Alphabet City, 2002) and co-editor [with John McCumber] of Endings: Questions of Memory in Hegel and Heidegger (Northwestern University Press, 1999). She is currently working on a book on deadlines.

Roberto Dainotto

Roberto Dainotto is Professor of Italian and of Literature at Duke University. He teaches courses on modern and contemporary Italian culture. He is the author of Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000); Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007); The Mafia: A Cultural History (Reaction Books, 2015);  and the edited volume Racconti Americani del ‘900 (Einaudi, 1999). He is currently working on a monograph on Antonio Labriola.

Ana Dopico

Ana Dopico is Director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. She teaches comparative cultures of the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Global South and the politics and theory of uneven development. Her more recent work is on Cuban cultural history, journalism and literature; she writes on photography and visual culture and the politics of emotion and national memory. She has published essays on Latin American literature, comparative intellectual history, Cuban Studies, and psychoanalytic readings of Latino culture. Her work on Cuba has appeared in The New York Times, NACLA, Al-Adab, Avenç, and other publications. She is completing a book titled Cubanologies: Altered States in Cuban Cultural History and researching a project on race, civil rights, and Miami titled “Cold Civil Wars: Race Politics in Black and Cuban Miami 1960-1990.” She is the author of the blog and book project, CubaCargo/Cult, cubacargocult.blog.

Manu Goswami

Manu Goswami is Associate Professor of History at New York University. Her research and teaching center on nationalism and internationalism, political economy and the history of economic thought, social theory and historical methods. She is the author of Producing India: From Colonial Economy to National Space (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).

Hala Halim

Hala Halim is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies. Her research interests include: modern Arabic, English and Anglophone literatures; postcolonial theory; cosmopolitanism; Mediterraneanism and Levantinism, South-South comparatism; Nahda and comparative modernities; translation studies; travel literature; globalization; urban cultures. She is the author of Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism: An Archive (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013). Her current project, on postcolonial cosmopolitanism, builds on her article “Lotus, the Afro-Asian Nexus, and Global South Comparatism.” The article addresses the journal Lotus: Afro-Asian Writings once published by the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association that she has been researching for many years in relation to post-Bandung Third Worldism. 

Harry Harootunian

Harry Harootunian spent most of his career teaching history and East Asian studies at the University of Chicago, where he is Max Palevsky Professor of History Emeritus. He is now adjunct senior research scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. He has published on various periods of Japan’s intellectual and cultural history and on questions of Marxism and historical writing. He is the author of Marx After Marx: History and Time in the Expansion of Capitalism (Columbia University Press, 2015), History’s Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life (Columbia University Press, 2000) and Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture, and Community in Interwar Japan (Princeton University Press, 2000) and Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tokugawa Nativism (University of Chicago Press, 1988).

Erica Moiah James

Erica Moiah James is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the Departments of the History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. Before arriving at Yale she was the founding Director and Chief Curator of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Recent publications include “Speaking In Tongues: Metapictures and the Discourse of Violence in Caribbean Art” (Small Axe, 2012); “Blue Curry: Art, Image and Objecthood” (ARC, 2012); “Dreams of Utopia: The Postcolonial Art Institution” (Open Arts Journal, 2016), “Every Nigger Is a Star: Reimagining Blackness from Post–Civil Rights America to the Postindependence Caribbean” (Black Camera, 2016);  Charles White’s J’accuse and the Limits of Universal Blackness (Archives of American Art, 2016) and a special co-edited issue of Small Axe (March 2017) focused on the work of contemporary female artists from the global Caribbean. Her first academic book After Caliban: Caribbean Art in The Global Imaginary is under review and she has begun work on a second manuscript that historicizes the concept of the global in the Caribbean art and visual culture. She serves on the editorial board of Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism.

Rebecca Lossin

R.H. Lossin is a PhD Candidate in Communications at Columbia University.  She has written for The Nation, Jacobin, Jstor Daily, and The Huffington Post and is a regular contributor to The Brooklyn Rail. She is writing a dissertation on the role of sabotage in the American labor movement.

Erag Ramizi

Erag Ramizi is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute of the University of Toronto and lecturer in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University. His research interests include: time and temporality, anachronism, realism, theories of the novel, genre criticism, history and historiography, peasant studies, urban studies, theories of revolt and revolution, aesthetics and politics, Balkan literature and cinema. He is currently working on a book project, tentatively entitled Reading the Peasant Question, which looks at literary contributions to agrarian debates across Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is one of the organizers of the current conference.

Gabriel Rockhill

Gabriel Rockhill is Associate Professor at Villanova University and the Founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. He is a philosopher, cultural critic, political theorist, and the author of Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy (Duke UP, 2017), Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics (Edinburgh UP, 2016), Radical History & the Politics of Art  (Columbia UP, 2014) and Logique de l’histoire: Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques (Éditions Hermann, 2010), among others. In addition to his scholarly work, he has been actively engaged in extra-academic activities in the art and activist worlds, as well as a regular contributor to public intellectual debate.

Kristin Ross

Kristin Ross is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University. She is the author of The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune (Minnesota University Press, 1988; Verso 2008), Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture (The MIT Press, 1994), May ’68 and Its Afterlives (University of Chicago Press, 2002) and Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune (Verso, 2015; La Fabrique, 2015). She is co-editor of a special issue of Yale French Studies on “everyday life” [with Alice Kaplan] (1987) and of Anti-Americanism [with Andrew Ross] (NYU Press, 2004). She is the translator of Jacques Rancière’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (Stanford University Press, 1991).

Massimiliano Tomba

Massimiliano Tomba is Professor in the Department of Political and Juridical Sciences and International Studies at the University of Padova. His research interests include modern political philosophy, with a particular emphasis on German classical philosophy, modern and contemporary political thought, critical theory (especially the Frankfurt School), and theories of the modern state. His work has involved theorists such as Kant, Hegel and post-Hegelian thought, Marx, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor Adorno. He is the author of Marx’s Temporalities (Brill, 2013), “Clash of Temporalities: Capital, Democracy, and Squares,” South Atlantic Quarterly (2014), “Accumulation and Time. Marx’s Historiography from the Grundrisse to Capital,” Capital & Class (2013), “Marx as the Historical Materialist. Re-reading The Eighteenth Brumaire,” Historical Materialism (2013), “Historical Temporalities of Capital: An Anti-Historicist Perspective,” Historical Materialism (2009), “Another kind of Gewalt: Beyond Law. Re-Reading Walter Benjamin,” Historical Materialism (2009). 

Sonia Werner

Sonia Werner received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at NYU. She currently teaches at NYU’s Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program and the Gallatin School for Individualized Studies. Her current book project, “Fringe Realisms: Belated Nations and the Invention of a Useable Present” examines the category of literary realism and its relationship to nation-formation in regions characterized by national and industrial belatedness. Her second project, “The Aesthetics of Evidence: Proof, Positivism, and Persuasion” considers literature’s epistemological dimensions by examining its relationship to evidence in antiquity and the nineteenth century. She is one of the organizers of the current conference.

Christopher Wood

Christopher Wood is Professor of German at New York University. His research interests include: temporalities of art – anachronism, archaism, typology, primitivisms; history of scholarship, esp. the disciplines of art history and archeology; folk art and folk literature; Märchen and Sagen; portraiture and especially “embedded” portraits (donors, votaries); votive objects and images, pilgrimages, relics; drawing and studio practice in the Renaissance; European art and the New World; art and replication technologies; magic and witchcraft in early modern Europe; art and the Protestant Reformation; iconoclasm; German art and culture in the 19th century; art and poetry of Romanticism. He is the author of Anachronic Renaissance [with Alexander Nagel] (The MIT Press, 2010); Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (Chicago University Press, 2008); Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape (Chicago, 1993); and the editor of The Vienna School Reader:  Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s (ZONE Books, 2000).

Andrew Zimmerman

Andrew Zimmerman is Professor of history at the George Washington University. His research focuses on empires and revolutions in Europe, the United States, and West Africa and seeks to create dialogues between theory, especially Marxism and Psychoanalysis, and transnational archival research. He is the author of Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany (Chicago, 2001) and Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton, 2010). He has also edited Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Civil War in the United States (International Publishers, 2016). He is currently writing a history of the American Civil War as a transnational revolution against slave labor and wage labor. His next project will be an intellectual history of rural insurgency from the global French Revolution to global Maoism. In the 2017-18 academic year he will be a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.


Juan Carlos Aguirre

Juan Carlos Aguirre is an advanced doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University, where he received the 2014-2015 Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities. His research centers on the Latin American journalistic chronicle, through which he examines the intersections between popular culture, migration, and illicit economies, and globalization. His broader research engages with 20th- and 21st-century Latin American and Latino literatures; media and democracy; testimonial and nonfiction literatures; social space; and decolonial aesthetics. He has published on the representation, in contemporary nonfiction narrative, of violence related to the drug wars in the Americas.

Ziad Dallal

Ziad Dallal is a PhD Candidate in the Comparative Literature Department at New York University. His dissertation traces the literary politics of 19th Century Egypt and the Levant through a comparative philology. His research areas include, but are not limited to, Arabic Intellectual History; Arabic Literature, Theater and Film; Philosophy; Marxism and Finance.

Charles Gelman

Charles Gelman is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, New York University, currently completing a dissertation on Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin. He received his B.A. from the Gallatin School, New York University, in 2009. His research and teaching interests include historical materialism; psychoanalysis; literary criticism and theory; the intersections of philosophical aesthetics and epistemology from Kant to Benjamin and Adorno; and the cultural, intellectual, and socioeconomic history of modern Europe, with a particular focus on nineteenth-century France. His work has appeared in Law & Literature.

Daniel Howell

Daniel Howell is a Ph.D. candidate at NYU in the department of Comparative Literature. His research interests include war propaganda, the representation of corpses in poetry, Brazilian cowboy literature, and economic theories of sexuality. His dissertation looks at labor and literary culture in late colonial Havana.

Amy Obermeyer

Amy Obermeyer‘s research focuses on literary subjectivity in Japanese and Latin American literature from the late-nineteenth through early-twentieth centuries, particularly as manifest in the Japanese shishousetsu and modernismo in Latin America. Drawing from a main corpus consisting of authors such as José Asunción Silva, Tayama Katai, Aurora Cáceres, Tamura Toshiko, Roberto Arlt, and Shiga Naoya, her work seeks to interrogate at once the notion of the world (and world literature) and the subject within. Her principle theoretical interests include Marxist theory, feminism, and phenomenology. She is also a co-organizer of NYU’s Feminist Reading Group, and the founding editor of the forthcoming Barricade: A Journal of Antifascism and Translation.

Anastasiya Osipova

Anastasiya Osipova is completing her Ph.D. dissertation about the notion of life in Soviet literary theory and in the novels of production of the 1920s and 1930s in the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University. Her research and teaching interests include Soviet aesthetics, literary theory and cinema, their connection to nineteenth-century European philosophy, and their afterlives in contemporary art and culture.  Her most recent article “The End of the Soviet Baroque: Historical Poetics in Olesha’s Envy and Tynianov’s The Wax Person” is forthcoming in the special issue of Transcultural Studies: A Journal in Interdisciplinary Research (Volume 13, No. 2 (2017)). She is a co-founder and an editor of Cicada Press, an imprint that pursues politically engaged poetic texts. Her writing on Eastern European art and cinema has appeared in publications such as n+1, The Brooklyn Rail, Artforum, and Texte Zur Kunst.