Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
Office: LT 1505
My most constant intellectual and political preoccupation for the past twenty-five years has been to produce a concept of the common, to think the possibility, vicissitudes, and limits of the concept. In recent years I have turned to an attempt to articulate this preoccupation as a concept of the communist mode of production; I am therefore concerned with questions of production, technics, the logos, and the machine. In this work, I have found it useful most often to consult the work of Marx, Spinoza, Nishida Kitarō, Deleuze, and Bernard Stiegler. In order to pursue these questions, I am currently preparing for publication my own translations, with extensive commentary, of several late essays by Nishida that address precisely these questions in a profoundly philosophical engagement with the work of Marx.
At the same time, I am interested in questions of praxis. Here I find what is called political philosophy to be of very limited interest; indeed, I have found my surest guide in such matters to be the later work of Jean Genet, who was perhaps among the least dishonest of political thinkers.
The courses I offer, graduate and undergraduate alike, are attempts to work through and present my current work; for me, therefore, they are always exploratory, perhaps even experimental. They might be considered successful precisely to the extent that students situate their own work somewhere other than in the refuge of my teaching.