Zakir Paul


Lecturer for ILS

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 I received my PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University in June 2015. I hold an MA from the Université Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, and a BA from Northwestern University, also in Comparative Literature. Currently, I am a Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My research interests include 20th & 21st century French literature, modernist studies, narrative and the novel, critical theory, aesthetics, and translation studies. My book manuscript, Disarming Intelligence: On the Emergence of French Modernism, examines the role and limits lent to “intelligence” by French writers and thinkers, especially Proust, Valéry, and Bergson. I argue that we cannot understand how modernism views literary creation and criticism, as well as its own political situation, unless we grasp its conception of intelligence. This project was awarded an Early Career Fellowship from the American Council for Learned Societies and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

My broader research combines the resources of literary theory with the history of ideas. I have introduced and translated Maurice Blanchot’s Political Writings, 1953-1993 (Fordham University Press, 2010) and Jacques Rancière’s Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art (Verso Books, 2013). My articles and reviews have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Journal of Modern Literature, AthenäumEsprit créateur, and Critical Inquiry.