Director, Gauss Seminars in Criticism
Andrew Cole studied in the English Department and Literature Program at Duke University, earning his Ph.D. in English in 2000. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow (2014), a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford (2010), a Bloomfield Fellow at Harvard University (2006), and the Clark Lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge University (2019). He will teach at the Society for Criticism and Theory at Cornell University in 2022 (postponed from 2021). In the fall of 2020, Andrew will run a graduate seminar on spatial theory cross-listed with the School of Architecture, the Departments of English, Comparative Literature, and Art & Archeology, and the Program in Media/Modernity. This course pursues lines of thought laid out in his paper, “The Dialectic of Space: An Untimely Proposal,” to appear in South Atlantic Quarterly in October 2020.
Andrew has interests in literature, philosophy, and history from antiquity to the medieval period to modernity, centering each in critical theory. His book, The Birth of Theory (University of Chicago Press, 2014), typifies these concerns, reading Hegel within a frame of reference ranging from Plato and Plotinus to Deleuze and Jameson. Featured in PMLA’s “Theories and Methodologies” (May 2015), The Birth of Theory is the first volume of a three-part study to be followed by The Dialectic of Space and Unmodernism. Andrew is also writing, with Rebecca Comay and Frank Ruda, a book on Marx’s Dialectic for Duke University Press, focusing on The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. His writings in theory and philosophy have appeared 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 and the Hegelian association in Ljubljana, Združenje Aufhebung.
Since 2015, Andrew has directed the Gauss Seminars in Criticism. Instituted in 1949, the Gauss Seminars are among the university’s oldest and most internationally known lecture series. Past speakers have included Erich Auerbach, Hannah Arendt, W. H. Auden, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paul de Man, Roman Jakobson, Jürgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse, and Elaine Scarry. Under Andrew’s directorship, the Gauss series in 2016-17 hosted Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and co-sponsored with the Institute for Advanced Study the avant-garde filmmaker Robert Beavers. For 2017-18, the Gauss seminars held a symposium on Hegel & the Humanities, sponsored a major memorial gathering in NYC for Werner Hamacher, as well as a two-day visit by the philosopher Catherine Malabou. In 2018-19, Wendy Brown and Fred Moten spoke in the Gauss series; and in 2019-20, Naomi Klein and Michael Hardt.
The Middle Ages in its own right are a major interest for Andrew. With D. Vance Smith, he has edited The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages: On the Unwritten History of Theory, with an Afterword by Fredric Jameson (Duke University Press, 2010). He also authored an important study of late medieval literature entitled, Literature and Heresy in the Age of Chaucer (Cambridge University Press, 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, Speculum, and Chaucer Review, with a forthcoming response essay on time, experience, and narrative in a companion on Chaucer. Andrew serves on the advisory board for the Yearbook of Langland Studies.