Rei Terada

picture of Rei  Terada

Professor, Comparative Literature
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Boston University, 1990

Phone: n/a

University of California, Irvine
270 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 2651
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
theory; history of philosophy; romanticism; psychoanalysis
Academic Distinctions
René Wellek Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, 2001-2002, for Feeling in Theory; Keats-Shelley Award, 2012
Research Abstract
Harvard University Press's description of Looking Away (2009) is below. An excerpt from the book can be read on the press's website:

In Looking Away, Rei Terada revisits debates about appearance and reality in order to make a startling claim: that the purpose of such debates is to police feelings of dissatisfaction with the given world. Focusing on romantic and post-romantic thought after Kant, Terada argues that acceptance of the world “as is” is coerced by canonical epistemology and aesthetics. In guilty evasions of this coercion, post-Kantian thinkers cultivate fleeting, aberrant appearances, perceptual experiences that do not present themselves as facts to be accepted and therefore become images of freedom. This “phenomenophilia,” she suggests, informs romanticism and subsequent philosophical thought with a nascent queer theory.

Through graceful readings of Coleridge’s obsession with perceptual ephemera, or “spectra,” recorded in his Notebooks; of Kant’s efforts in his First and Third Critiques to come to terms with the given world; of Nietzsche’s responses to Kant and his meditations on ephemeral phenomenal experiences; and of Adorno’s interpretations of both Nietzsche and Kant, Terada proposes that the connection between dissatisfaction and ephemeral phenomenality reveals a hitherto-unknown alternative to aesthetics that expresses our right to desire something other than experience “as is,” even those parts of it that really cannot be otherwise.

Looking Away: Phenomenality and Dissatisfaction, Kant to Adorno (Harvard UP, 2009)

Feeling in Theory: Emotion after the “Death of the Subject” (Harvard UP, 2001)

Derek Walcott's Poetry: American Mimicry (Northeastern UP, 1992)

Work in Progress:

Radical Anxiety

“Damage and Totality.” In Adorno Now, ed. Tania Roy (Cambridge and Oxford: Polity Press, forthcoming).

“Living a Ruined Life: De Quincey’s Damage.” In Romanticism and Emotions, ed. Joel Faflak and Richard Sha (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, forthcoming).

“Pasolini’s Acceptance.” In States of Exception: Sovereignty, Security, Secrecy, ed. George Edmondson and Klaus Mladek (forthcoming).

“Hegel’s Bearings.” Romantic Circles Praxis Series (January 2012), [U of Maryland].

“Looking at the Stars Forever.” Studies in Romanticism 50 (2011), 275-309.

“Out of Place: Free Speech, Disruption, and Student Protest.” Qui Parle 20 (2011), 251-269.

“The Life Process and Forgettable Living” [on Arendt and Agamben]. New Formations 71 (2011), 95-109.

“The Frailty of the Ontic.” SAQ 110 (2011), 37-55.

“Living a Ruined Life: De Quincey Beyond the Worst.” European Romantic Review 20 (2009), 177-186.

"After the Critique of Lyric." PMLA (January 2008).

“Scruples, or, Faith in Derrida.” South Atlantic Quarterly 106 (2007), 237-264.

“Strange Intelligibility: Clarity and Vivacity in Dream Language.” In Dreams of Interpretation, ed. Catherine Liu, John Mowitt, Thomas Pepper, and Jakki Spicer (U of Minnesota P, 2007).

“Writing as a Child: Lowell’s Poetic Penmanship.” In Reading the "Middle Generation" Anew: Culture, Community, and Form in Twentieth-Century American Poetry, ed. Eric Haralson (U of Iowa P, 2006).

“Seeing is Reading.” Romantic Circles (May 2005), http:// [U of Maryland]. Reprinted in Legacies of Paul de Man, ed. Marc Redfield (New York: Fordham UP, 2007.

“Thinking for Oneself: Realism and Defiance in Arendt.” ELH 71 (2004), 839-865. Reprinted with reply by Mary Jacobus in Textual Practice 22 (2008).

“Phenomenality and Dissatisfaction in Coleridge’s Notebooks.” Studies in Romanticism 43 (2004), 257-281.

“Philosophical Self-Denial: Wittgenstein and the Fear of Public Language.” Common Knowledge 8 (2002).

“Pathos (Allegories of Reading).” Studies in Romanticism 39 (2000).

“Imaginary Seductions: Derrida and Emotion Theory." Comparative Literature 51 (1999).

“Psyche, Inc.: Derridean Emotion after de Man.” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 29 (1998).

“De Man and Mallarmé ‘Between the Two Deaths,’” in Meetings with Mallarmé in Contemporary French Culture, ed. Michael Temple (U of Exeter P, 1998).

“De Man, Blanchot, and the Fate of the Past.” Paragraph 19 (1996).

“Austin and Antin about ‘About.’” Substance 24 (1995).

“‘History’s Innocence, or its Remorse’: Walcott, Emerson, Nietzsche.” Verse 11 (1994).

“The New Aestheticism.” Diacritics 23 (1994), 42-61.
Editing Work:

Philosophy and Culture. Special issue of Romantic Circles Praxis Series (June, 2008).

"Ethics and Politics of Proximity" (cluster of articles with preface). Postmodern Culture 15.2 (2005). [Johns Hopkins UP]
Professional Societies
Modern Language Association
American Comparative Literature Association
NASSR (North American Society for the Study of Romanticism)
Other Experience
Professor of English
University of California, Berkeley 2002—2003

Asst. and Assoc. Professor of English and Comparative Literature
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1991—2001

Faculty, School of Criticism and Theory
Cornell University 2012

Graduate Programs
Culture and Theory

Research Centers
University of California Humanities Research Institute, 2004
London Graduate School
Last updated