Andrew Cole

Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature
Office Phone
31 McCosh Hall
Office Hours

Fall 2023: Tuesdays from 2:00pm - 4:00pm, and by appointment (by email)
Spring 2024: On Leave


Andrew Cole (Ph.D., Duke) is a critical theorist and the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature. He was a Guggenheim Fellow (2014), a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford (2010), a Bloomfield Fellow at Harvard University (2006), the Clark Lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge University (2019), and a visiting professor at the Society for Criticism and Theory at Cornell University (2022). Appearances this academic year include a talk at the Frantz Fanon conference organized by Ray Brassier (Beirut, November 22-24); a discussion of Hegel’s “Revealed Religion” with members of The Center for Theoretical Inquiry at Indiana University (April 5); and a presentation in the spring at a gathering celebrating the work of his teacher, Fredric Jameson.


In the fall of 2023, Andrew is teaching an undergraduate course on political theory and a graduate seminar on Fanon, and will be on leave for spring 2024.


Within the critical theoretical frame, Andrew writes on subjects spanning antiquity to modernity. For example, his book, The Birth of Theory (2014), ranges from Plato and Plotinus to Deleuze and Jameson in its proposal that Hegel is the founder of modern theory. This title was reviewed by a variety of specialists in PMLA’s “Theories and Methodologies” (May 2015), and is available in a German translation by Eva Heubach, with a preface by Mladen Dolar (Turia+Kant, 2023). This book is the first of a three-part study, followed by Unmodernism to be finished in early 2024 and Being and Space to be finished in early 2025. Work on this latter topic includes the essay “The Dialectic of Space: An Untimely Proposal” and a conversation between Andrew and the architect Julian Rose in deem, a journal of architectural design and social practice. Andrew is also coauthoring a work on dialectics in Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire, with Rebecca Comay and Frank Ruda.


Andrew has edited a volume of South Atlantic Quarterly called “The Ideology Issue” (October 2020) and co-edited a cluster of essays for PMLA’s “Theories and Methodologies” (May 2022) on Fredric Jameson’s Political Unconscious. His writings in theory and philosophy appear in Artforum, PMLA, October, Problemi, the minnesota review, Representations, Crisis and Critique, Critical Inquiry, The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx, and Subject Lessons, ed. Sbriglia and Žižek; some of these papers are available here. Andrew also serves on the advisory boards of symplokē studies in theory; the Hegelian association in Ljubljana, Združenje Aufhebung; CT&T: Continental Thought and Theory; and The Johns Hopkins Guide to Critical and Cultural Theory.


From 2015-23, Andrew directed the Gauss Seminars in Criticism, hosting across the years two-day events featuring Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Catherine Malabou, Wendy Brown, Fred Moten, Naomi Klein, Keeanga-Yamahhta Taylor, Michael Hardt, Alenka Zupančič, Hortense J. Spillers, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. He also co-sponsored the visit of avant-garde filmmaker Robert Beavers at the Institute for Advanced Study, co-organized a symposium on Hegel & the Humanities, and sponsored a major memorial gathering in NYC for Werner Hamacher. Andrew now serves on the Executive Committee for the Gauss Seminars.


Other scholarship by Andrew includes a highly praised study entitled, Literature and Heresy in the Age of Chaucer (2008), and a co-edited collection entitled The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages: On the Unwritten History of Theory, with an Afterword by Fredric Jameson (2010). His co-edited Cambridge Companion to Piers Plowman (2014) capped off 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, the Chaucer Review, and A New Companion to Critical Thinking on Chaucer (2021). Andrew serves on the advisory board for the Yearbook of Langland Studies.




† On Woodrow Wilson’s racism, see an unvarnished account here, and review the decision by the Trustees to remove Wilson’s name from the School of Politics. Like Wilson, Andrew is from Georgia, but unlike Wilson, he works against these pernicious legacies of racism in his teaching, writing, and activism. 

Teaching and Research Interests