Andrew Cole

Princeton University

Andrew Cole is Professor of English and Director of the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton University. He 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.

Speaking at the conference

Thursday, 22 September, 11am, Kosovel Hall

The World Hysterical Individual

According to Hegel, history ushers onto the world stage a special sort of person who so shakes the status quo that he can be deemed a world historical individual. Hegel forgot to add that when this character returns to the stage of history repeatedly, he appears as the ridiculous world hysterical individual. How might we understand this character as a kind of authoritarian personality today? And what of hysteria?

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