Graduate Students

Matías Bascuñán

M.A. (Magíster) Contemporary Thought: Philosophy and Political Thought. Universidad Diego Portales (Santiago, Chile)
B.A. (Licenciatura) Political Science. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago, Chile).

Major Interests:
Deconstruction, Political Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Literary Theory, Spanish Golden Age Literature, contemporary Latin American Literature.

Thesis Project & Title: 
“The Sovereign in Fiction: Unraveling Self-Reference in Bolaño, Cervantes, and Derrida”

My dissertation argues that the structural failure of self-reference in the concept of sovereignty reveals an inner relation between the latter and fiction. Through readings of Cervantes, Bolaño, and Derrida, I show how the motifs of “force,” “delay,” and “secrecy” disclose fiction as a key category to parse both the self-referential logic that informs the concept of sovereignty and the upshot of the textual strategies of the philosophers who aim at silencing sovereignty’s failure at all costs. I therefore suggest that “literature” should not be dismissed as a purely aestheticizing device, external to philosophy and its concepts: besides standing as a plausible name for the unspeakable strategy of the philosophers of sovereignty, literature is also the register that unravels sovereignty’s fictional core. Thus, in “The Sovereign in Fiction” I argue (1) that fiction is unstable, for while at the service of political philosophy, it is also a disease at the heart of sovereignty—or a sovereign infection, as it were; (2) that literature is the register that expounds this situation most clearly; and (3) that in so doing literature fully discloses its ethico-political inscription, as well as that of self-reference, beyond the limits of a traditional conception of language and textuality. “The Sovereign in Fiction” thus strives to show that literature provides us with a chance to experience the collapse of one of our world’s most unsettling facts: the vertiginous intensification of sovereignty’s unwavering self-reference.

Working Languages: Spanish, English, French, German.


I. Articles and book chapters (selection):
-“Scatter—Freedom!” diacritics, volume 45,  number 2, 2017, pp. 4-31
- “Ewiger Vergängnis: alegoría y mesianismo en Walter Benjamin” in Messina, Aïcha; Taub, Emmanuel (Eds.). Filosofía y mesianismo. Santiago: Metales Pesados, 2016.

II. In preparation:
-  Edited volume on the status of reading in Derrida’s engagement with political philosophy. Under contract. (Co-edited with Diego Rossello)
- “‘Da-sein, first letter to Being;’ or, Heidegger's Decree of Ipseity” (forthcoming in Política común)

III. Translations (into Spanish, selection):
- Balibar, Étienne. “Extranjeros como enemigos. Reflexiones adicionales sobre las aporías de la ciudadanía transnacional” in Ajens, Andrés; Fielbaum, Alejandro; Zuchel, Lorena (Eds.), Contrabandos. Escrituras y políticas en la frontera entre Bolivia y Chile, Viña del Mar: Communes, 2016.
- Bennington, Geoffrey. “El consejo de Hobbes”. Revista Pléyade, Vol.19 (2017), pp. 67-89
- Lemm, Vanessa. Nietzsche y el pensamiento político contemporáneo. Santiago: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2013. (with Diego Rossello).
- Butler, Judith. “Máquinas teatrales” (in preparation).

Jonathan Basile

Education: BA, English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Major Interests: Derrida, Deconstruction, 20th-century Literary Theory, Comedy, Irony, Ethics of Aesthetics

Working Languages: French, German, Spanish, Ancient Greek

Publications: Tar for Mortar: "The Library of Babel" and the Dream of Totality (book), "Misreading Generalised Writing: From Foucault to Speculative Realism and New Materialism", Oxford Literary Review, 40(1), pp. 20–37

Natalie Catasus


M.A. Visual & Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, 2015
M.F.A. Writing (Poetry), California College of the Arts, 2015
B.A. (Hons.) Literature / Spanish Language & Culture, New College of Florida, 2011

Major Interests: Cuban and Caribbean literature and visual culture; postcolonial theory; poetry and poetics; oral history; migration studies; trauma and memory studies; pedagogy

Working Languages: English, Spanish, French

Select Publications: Flight, Volumes Volumes Press (2017); Poems in Tupelo Quarterly (2017), VOLT (2016), Denver Quarterly (2015), and Jai-Alai Magazine (2013)

Ryan Fics

Education: B.A. (Hons.) Religion, University of Manitoba (2012), M.A. Religion, University of Manitoba (2014)

Major Interests: Psychoanalysis and Deconstruction, Political Philosophy, Mid 19th and early 20th century American literature, and Critical Animal Studies

Working Languages: French, German

Rachel Gardner

Education: B.A. (Hons.) English Literature, Reed College

Major Interests: 20th-century American poetry; literature and philosophy; literary theory; phenomenology; deconstruction

Title: American Verse and the Quasi-transcendental Poetics of Jacques Derrida

Working Languages: English, Spanish, French

Amir Hussain


M.F.A. Creative Writing, Related Area in Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota

B.A. Environmental Studies and English Writing, Minor in Geology, University of Pittsburgh

German language training, Universität Leipzig

Major Interests: Nineteenth century Romantic and Victorian poetry and culture; twentieth century world poetry; historical poetry; cultural theory

Working Languages: German, Russian

Select Poetry Publications:
  • “Seagulls,” Grist, 2017
  • “Meditation on Amber,” “Nighttime in South Florida,” “The Wharf Boy,” Mizna, 2015
  • “After Hours,” Fugue, 2013
  • “Like Small Men Carry Children,” “Awful That I Saw Her,” and “Ice Carver,” Mizna, 2013
  • “Toasts,” Water~Stone Review, 2012
  • “Hour Poem,” Faultline: Journal of Arts and Letters, 2011
  • “Dark Poem,” “When Have You Known Happiness,” Midway Journal, 2011
  • “Night Poem,” Beloit Poetry Journal, 2010

Tiara Jackson

Education: B.A. Psychology and Multicultural Trauma, Mills College '15

Major Interests: Psychoanalysis and Francophone African Diaspora Studies. Black Literary and Cultural Production as modes of resistance and explorations of the sacred.

Working Languages: French, Spanish

Andrew Kingston


MA, Theory and Criticism, University of Western Ontario

BA (Hons.), Philosophy, Florida Gulf Coast University

Major Interests: Modernist and fin de siècle literature and opera, deconstruction, aesthetics and politics, decadence, queerness, sound studies

Working Languages: English, French, German

Joe Larios

M.A. Philosophy, Louisiana State University
A.B. Modern Culture & Media, Brown University

Major Interests:
Environmental ethics and politics, eco-phenomenology, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism

Working Languages:
French, German

"Bringing Levinas Down to Earth: A Jonasian Reading of the Face," Environmental Philosophy 15.2 (2018)

Judith Levy

Education: B.A. in English & Minor in Philosophy at Cal State University, Fullerton (2011). M.A. in English at Cal State University, Fullerton (2013).

Major Interests: Literature of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, focusing on approaches to time, memory, and narrative building in postcolonial and migrant experiences.

Working Languages: English, French, Spanish

Francisco (Cisco) Lopez

Education: B.A. in Philosophy and English, Florida International University (2018). Certificate in Exile Studies, Florida International University (2018).

Major Interests: deconstruction, cultural studies, phenomenology, embodiment, postcolonial theory, affect theory

Working Languages: English, Spanish, French

Kevin Lucas

Education: B.A. English and Russian, Colby College

Major Interests:
Theatre History (19th-20th Century), Theories of Political Art, Sociology of Art and Religion, Early-Soviet Thought and Culture, Literary and Performance Theory

Working Languages:
English, Russian, French

Dissertation Title:
The Hazards of Socialism: Recovering the Twentieth Century's Left Tragic Theatre

Brendan Moore

Education: B.A. (Hons.), French and English, Coe College

Major Interests: Psychoanalysis, feminist theory, queer theory, Francophone literature, 19th and 20th century French literature, literatures of the Americas, HIV/AIDS and literatures of disease and contamination.

Working Languages: French, Spanish

Eric Flohr Reynolds


M.A. Philosophy, New School for Social Research, 2014
B.A. Philosophy, George Mason University, 2012

Major Interests: 19th and 20th Century Continental Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Critical Theory, Psychoanalysis, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism, Technology and Media Theory, the Ethics of Aesthetics and the Aesthetics of Ethics

Working Languages: English, German

Melinda Robb

Education: BA (Hons.) English and Contemporary Studies, University of King’s College (2010); Certificate from Psychoanalytic Core Program, Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute (2018)

Major Interests: 20th and 21st century theory and literature; queer theory; queer/women’s memoir; autotheory; psychoanalysis (clinical and theoretical); literatures of the Americas; world literatures; modernism; feminist theory

Thesis Project & Title: “Because I Said So: Idiomatic Insistence and Queer, Feminist Refusal in Woolf, Philip, Nelson, and Lispector”

Working Languages: French, Spanish, German

Violeta Ruiz Espigares

Education: B.A. Philosophy/German, Grinnell College, 2015.

Major Interests: Psychoanalysis and deconstruction; Early Modern Spanish literature, religion, and surveillance, especially the figure of the marrano and secrets; and the element of blood and its effects in law, philosophy, and literature. 

Working Languages: Spanish, French, German, Latin

Abigail (Abby) Scribner

Education: BA, English and Modern Languages, Kenyon College, 2013

Major Interests: Victorian literature, Foucault, Benjamin, feminist theory, spatial studies and human geography, domesticity, Marxism, anti-capitalist thought

Working Languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian

Federica Signorini

Education: B.A.(Hons) English Literature and American Studies, University of Manchester (UK), 2014 M.A. Post-1900 Literature, Theory and Culture, University of Manchester (UK), 2015.

Major Interests: Modernism and 20th century avant-garde poetry & poetics; visual art and photography; psychoanalysis; deconstruction; political philosophy and the modern subject.

Working Languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian