Felski

Rita Felski

William R Kenan, Jr. Professor

232 Bryan Hall

Office Hours: MW 1:30-3:00
Class Schedule: MW 3:30-4:45, M 6:30-9:00pm
Specialties:

Aesthetics, Interpretation, Literary Theory, Methodology

My current research centers on aesthetics, method, and interpretation.   The Limits of Critique (Chicago UP, 2015), on the role of suspicion in literary criticism, was widely reviewed and the subject of forums in PMLA, Religion and Literature, and the American Book Review.  Similar issues are explored in an edited collection, Critique and Postcritique, co-edited with Elizabeth Anker (Duke University Press, 2017).  Hooked: Art and Attachment, which asks how and why we get stuck to works of art, will be published by Chicago UP in fall 2020. I am starting a new book on the contemporary Frankfurt School and its relevance for literary studies.   I also have longstanding interests in feminist theory, modernity and postmodernity, genre (especially tragedy), comparative literature, and cultural studies.  At Virginia, I regularly teach the following courses: Critical Methods; Aesthetics and Politics; Comparative and Transnational Studies; Theories of Reading.
 
In 2016 I was awarded a Niels Bohr Professorship by the Danish National Research Foundation to lead a large research project on "Uses of Literature: The Social Dimensions of Literature," and I am spending fall semesters at the University of Southern Denmark for five years.

Degrees

  • Ph.D. Monash University, 1987
  • M.A. Monash University, 1982
  • B.A. Cambridge University, 1979

Books

Recent Special Issues of New Literary History

  • Recomposing the Humanities--with Bruno Latour (2016)
  • Song (2015)
  • Beyond Bourdieu (2015)
  • Feminist Investigations and Other Essays (2015)
  • Political Theory (2014)
  • "Interpretation and its Rivals" (2014)
  • "Use" (2014)
  • "The French Issue: New Perspectives on Reading from France" (2013)
  • "A New Europe?" 43, 4 (2012)
  • "In the Mood," 43, 4 (2012)
  • “Context?” 42, 4 (2011)
  • “Character,”  42, 2 (2011)
  • “What is an Avant-Garde? “41, 4 (2010)
  • “New Sociologies of Literature,”  41, 2 (2010)
  • “Tribute to Ralph Cohen,” 40, 4 (2009)

Recent Articles

  • “Latour and Literary Studies,” PMLA (2015)
  • “Fear of Being Ordinary,” Norwegian Journal for Gender Studies, 3-4 (2014).
  • “Digging Down and Standing Back,” English Language Notes, Special Issue “After Critique” (2013).
  • “Charmy: A Problem for Art Theory?” in Emilie Charmy, ed. Matthew Affron (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2013)
  • “’Context Stinks," New Literary History (2011).
  • “Suspicious Minds, ” Poetics Today (2010).
  • "After Suspicion,” Profession (2009).
  • "Everyday Aesthetics," minnesota review, 71-72 (2009).
  • "Remember the Reader," The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17 2008.
  • “From Literary Theory to Critical Method,” Profession, 2008, pp. 108-116.
  • “Cultural Studies,” The Routledge Social Science Encyclopedia, 2008.
  • “Tragic Women,” in Moderne Begreifen: Zur Paradoxie eines sozio-aesthetischen Deutungsmusters, ed. Christine Magerski et al  (Deutsche Universitätsverlag, 2007).
  • “Object Relations,” Contemporary Women’s Writing, 2007
  • “‘Because it is Beautiful’: New Feminist Perspectives on Beauty,” Feminist Theory, 7, 2 (2006)
  • "Redescriptions of Female Masochism," Minnesota Review, 2005.
  • "Modernist Studies and Cultural Studies," Modernism/Modernity, 2004.
  • "Introduction," New Literary History, special issue on tragedy, 2004.
  • "The Role of Aesthetics in Cultural Studies," Aesthetics and Cultural Studies, ed. Michael Bérubé, Blackwell's, 2004.
  • "Introduction," New Literary History, special issue on "Everyday Life," 2002.
  • "Afterword," Women and Modernity: Renegotiating the Public Sphere 1880-1930, ed. Ann Ardis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002).
  • "Telling Time in Feminist Theory," Tulsa Journal of Women's Studies, 21, 1 (2002): 21-27.
  • "Why Academics Don't Study the Lower Middle Class," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2002.
  • "Med Ratt Att Grata" (Tragic Women), Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), March 21, 2001.
  • "Von der Postmoderne zur Moderne," (From the Postmodern to the Modern) Transit (Vienna), 19 (2000): 44-62.
  • "Feminist Futures," International Journal of Cultural Studies, 3 (2000): 238-245.
  • "Being Rational, Telling Stories," Feminist Theory, 2 (2000): 225-229.
  • "Nothing to Declare: Identity, Shame and the Lower Middle Class," PMLA, 115, 1 (2000): 1-25.
  • "The Invention of Everyday Life," New Formations, 39 (1999/2000), . 15-31.
  • "Why Those Who Dismiss Cultural Studies Don't Know What They're Talking About," The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 1999.
  • "Images of the Intellectual: From Philosophy to Cultural Studies," Continuum 12, 2 (1998): 157-171.
  • Introduction to Sexology and Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires, 1890-1940, ed. Lucy Bland and Laura Doan, University of Chicago Press and Polity Press, 1998.
  • "Feminist Aesthetics," in The International Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
  • "The Doxa of Difference," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 23, 1 (Fall 1997): 1-23.
  • Judith Krantz, Author of 'The Cultural Logics of Late Capitalism'," Woman: A Cultural Review, vol 8, no. 2 (1997): 129-142.

Honors

  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Southern Denmark, 2017
  • Hurst Visiting Professor, University of Washington, St Louis 2015
  • Visiting Professor, Free University Berlin 2015
  • Honorable Mention, Council of Editors of Learned Journals, for NLH Special Issue "A New Europe" 2013
  • Guggenheim Fellowship  2010
  • SW Brooks Visiting Lecturer in English, University of Queensland 2010
  • Harry Lyman Hooker Distinguished Professor, McMaster University 2005
  • Research Fellow, Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna 2000
  • George A. Miller Visiting Professor, University of Illinois, 1998
  • Australian Research Council Major Grant 1993
  • Fellowship, Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change, University of Virginia. 1991
  • Fellowship, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University 1989-1990
  • William Parker Riley Prize, best article in PMLA