Alexander Gelley

Picture of Alexander Gelley
Professor Emeritus, Comparative Literature
School of Humanities
PH.D., Yale University, 1965
OTH, Harvard
Phone: (949) 824-6406
Fax: (949) 824-6416
University of California, Irvine
273 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 2651
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Eighteenth-Century English and Comparative Literature; Nineteenth-Century English and Comparative Literature; Romanticism; Contemporary Theory; Literature and Philosophy; German-Jewish Literature and Culture
Academic Distinctions
Old Dominion Fellow, Council of the Humanities, Princeton University, fall, 1999-2000; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1993-94; Fulbright Lectureship, The Hebrew University, Israel, 1988-89; Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, Germany, 1975-76

Director of a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar for college and university teachers scheduled for summer, 2001, on "Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, Commodity Fetishism, and the Aesthetics of the City."
Research Abstract
a) The modern novel and theories of narrative (German, French, English, American);

b) Rhetoric and ideology in literary language;

c) The history of literary theory from Romanticism to the present, with special attention to the Frankfurt School in the earlier 20th century;

d) Jewish-German culture and literature;

e) Walter Benjamin: aesthetics, literary theory, and urban culture.
Narrative Crossings: Theory and Pragmatics of Prose Fiction. Johns Hopkins UP, 1987
ed., Unruly Examples: On the Rhetoric of Exemplarity. Stanford UP, 1995
"City Texts: Representation, Semiology, Urbanism." Politics, Theory and Contemporary Culture. Ed., Mark Poster, Columbia UP, 1993

"Melville's Talking-Man: Rhetoric in The Confidence Man." Rereading Texts/Rethinking Critical Presuppositions. Ed. S. Rimmon-Kenan, et al. Frankf/M., 1996

"Exemplarity." The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 4 vols, ed. Michael Kelly. Oxford UP, 1998, v. 4.

"On the Myth of the German-Jewish Dialogue: Scholem and Benjamin." JOUVERT: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies. (, v.3, 1-2 (1999). Special Issue, "Religion Between Culture and Philosophy."

"Contexts of the Aesthetic in Walter Benjamin." MLN. 114.5 (Dec., 1999)

"Idle Talk: Scarcity and Excess of Language in Narrative," in Talk, Talk, Talk: The Cultural Life of Everyday Conversation, ed. Shelley Salamensky, Routledge, 2001.

"On the Line," in Provocations to Reading: J. Hillis Miller and the Democracy to Come, eds. Barbara Cohen and Dragan Kujunzic, Fordham University Press, 2005

"Language of Order(s): Jenny Holzer in the Public Sphere," in Accelerating Possession: Global Futures of Property and Personhood, eds. Gabriele Schwab and William Maurer, Columbia Univ. Press, 2006

"Epigones in the House of Language: Benjamin on Kraus,"
Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas - Volume 5, Number 1, January 2007, pp. 17-32
Research Centers
Critical Theory Institute (an ORU at UCI)
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