Andrew Cole

Andrew Cole

Director, Gauss Seminars in Criticism
Job Search Adviser for Graduate Students

Ph.D. Duke University. Andrew Cole is author of The Birth of Theory (Chicago, 2014), which details Hegel’s discovery of the dialectic in medieval philosophy and canvasses the long history of dialectical thinking from Plotinus to Deleuze in the effort to revitalize dialectics for contemporary critical practice. This book is featured in PMLA’s “Theories and Methodologies” (May 2015), which includes Andrew’s response paper, “The Function of Theory at the Present Time.” It is also the first volume of a three-part study, to be followed by Foundations of the Dialectic and Unmodernism. Andrew’s work on dialectics, idealism, materialism, and the histories of philosophy and theory appears in such venues as Artforum, PMLA, October, Problemi, the minnesota review, Representations, Crisis and Critique; these and other papers are available here.

Andrew also directs the Gauss Seminars in Criticism. Instituted in 1949, the Gauss Seminars are among Princeton’s oldest and most well-known lecture series, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas in the humanities. Past seminar leaders have included Erich Auerbach, Hannah Arendt, W. H. Auden, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paul de Man, Roman Jakobson, Julia Kristeva, Jürgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse, and Elaine Scarry. The seminar for this academic year will be held in late March (2017) and led by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Professor of Anthropology at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

The Middle Ages remains a primary interest for Andrew and indeed a focal point for his work in theory and philosophy. With his departmental colleague, D. Vance Smith, Andrew has edited The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages: On the Unwritten History of Theory, with an Afterword by Fredric Jameson (Duke, 2010). He also authored a major study of late medieval literature entitled, Literature and Heresy in the Age of Chaucer (Cambridge, 2008). His co-edited Cambridge Companion to Piers Plowman (2014) concluded his ten years as an editor at the Yearbook of Langland Studies (vols. 18-25), and his many articles on medieval literature (Chaucer and Langland, above all) appear in such journals as ELH and Speculum, with forthcoming essays on Gower and Chaucer in Chaucer Review (Jan. 2017), and on the manuscripts of Chaucer’s religious tales in the Oxford Handbook on Chaucer.

Andrew has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and a Bloomfield Fellow at Harvard University. At Princeton at large, he sits with the executive committees for the Medieval Studies Program and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities, and is an affiliate in the postclassicisms network.