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James Swenson

Area Dean
Associate Professor of French

Office: SAS Dean's Office 77 Hamilton Street
Phone: (848) 932-2699 ext. 111

Office Hours:


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Office: AB 4186, CAC
james swenson1

Education:

A.B., Brown
M. Phil., Ph.D., Yale

Fields of Research:

My primary specialties are eighteenth-century literature and intellectual history, and twentieth-century criticism and theory.

In the eighteenth-century domain, I recently published On Jean-Jacques Rousseau Considered as One of the First Authors of the Revolution with Stanford University Press. I continue to work extensively on Rousseau and the varieties of Rousseauism in France at the time of the Revolution. I am pursuing a long-standing project on Revolutionary cultural policies and initiatives and the conception of the domain of culture during the Revolution, focusing in particular on Saint-Just’s project for “revolutionary institutions.” I have also begun work on economic theorization in eighteenth-century France in the context of a comparative study of forms of rationality in the period.

In the field of critical theory, my published work has consisted primarily of translations (the highlights include Jacques Lacan’s “Kant with Sade” and books by Etienne Balibar and Jacques Rancière). I am currently working on a project about the relation between structuralism and historicism, focusing on shared roots in the traditions of historical epistemology and histoire des mentalités.

Books (click on image for details):

swenson

 

Other Publications:

On Jean-Jacques Rousseau Considered as One of the First Authors of the Revolution. (Stanford University Press, December 1999).

"Revolutionary Sentences" in The Place of Maurice Blanchot. (Yale French Studies 93, 1998).

"A Small Change in Terminology or A Great Leap Forward? Culture and Civilization in Revolution," in MLN 112 (1997)

"Annotations to 'Kant with Sade'" in October 51 (Winter 1989)

Translator of Masses, Classes, Ideasby Etienne Balibar (New York; Routledge, 1994).

Graduate Courses:

  • Introduction to Literary Theory (CLL)
  • Revolutionary Culture
  • The Discourse of Sensibility in the Eighteenth Century
  • Rousseau and Rousseauism

 

Undergraduate Courses:

  • "Souvenirs d'enfance" (Senior Seminar in French Literature)
  • Major Currents of French Thought
  • Age of Enlightenment
  • Translation
  • French Civilization, Middle Ages to the 18th Century
  • French Film
  • Approaches to French Literature (Honors)
  • Aspects of French Literature

Program Connections:

Comparative Literature
History/French Joint Major (Coordinator)

Contact Us

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Academic Building, 4th floor
15 Seminary Place
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
french1@rci.rutgers.edu