2018 Residential Fellows
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Edgar Illas has two lines of research: His first field of specialization is modern and contemporary Catalan culture. His first book, Thinking Barcelona: Ideologies of a Global City (2012), examines the symbolic and material transformations that redefined Barcelona during the 1980s in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. Given that the Games were among the first global mega-events that celebrated the neoliberal union of capitalism and democracy, the book explores how the cultural and urban revamping of Barcelona contributed to define the ideologies of the post-1989 world order. His second area of specialization is in political theory, Marxism, global studies, and war theory. His current book project, Global War and the Regime of Survival, theorizes survival as the political logic of the fusion between global war and the world market. His hypothesis is not simply that struggling for life is the new content of politics, but rather that the globalization of war and capital entails a permanent instability that forces political life to struggle for its own existence in the form of constant intervention. The regime of survival no longer corresponds to the biopolitics of the modern state or to the neoliberal survival of the fittest. Instead, it defines a type of degree zero governmentality in which assemblages of bodies engage in conflict while simultaneously producing positive forms of life.
Associate Professor, Department of English
Adrian Matejka is the author of three collections of poetry: The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), Mixology (Penguin, 2009) which was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and a finalist for an NAACP Image Award, and The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013). He is the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and fellowships from Cave Canem and the Lannan Foundation. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, and Poetry among other journals and anthologies. He is the co-director of the River Styx at the Tavern Reading Series in St. Louis.
2018 Spring Residential Fellows
Associate Professor, English
Judith Brown focuses on modernist literature, culture, and aesthetics. Her first book, Glamour in Six Dimensions: Modernism and the Radiance of Form, examines a wide range of cultural productions—from high literary modernism to consumer items like cigarettes and Chanel No. 5—and finds in them a shared aesthetic that bridges high and low, material and ephemeral modernisms. Her current book-project, Passive States: Style and Global Modernism, pursues some of the same questions, but steps away from the Anglo-American context and considers passivity as a central, yet overlooked paradox for the generation of modernists facing the turmoil of the late colonial age. While the historical and political questions that define the early twentieth century seem to foreground artistic agency and activist struggle, a number of modernist writers and artists pursued the aesthetic capacities of the passive. What becomes of the passive in politically charged contexts? Attention to passivity, my book claims, rewrites the history of modernism, a movement conventionally defined by its radical polemics and aggressive activity.