Director of American Literature and Cultural-Studies; Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Cultural-Studies and in the Centre for Critical & Cultural Theory. Erik Sherman Roraback was born in Seattle, USA, and teaches critical theory (from Spinoza-Leibniz to Benjamin-Adorno to Bataille-Blanchot and after), theoretical psychoanalysis (from Freud to Lacan to Zizek and after) as well as classes on commodity culture/experience and on the philosophical baroque), international cinema (Griffith, Keaton, German Expressionism, Italian neo-realism, American Film Noir, French New Wave, Das Neue Kino, American Neo-Noir, etc.), Henry James, Shakespeare-Orson Welles, Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Pynchon, and U.S. literature in Charles University (est. 1348) and in FAMU (The Academy of Performing Arts, Film and TV School) at Prague. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford (D.Phil.: thesis readers Terry Eagleton, Oxford and Maud Ellmann, Cambridge) where he first taught, and from Pomona College (B.A., cum laude in English), and has been Visiting Professor in the Université de Provence (2005). Erik Roraback has also been a Visiting Scholar multiple times at the University of Winchester in the UK (from 2012-present) at the University of Constance in Germany (from 2004-14), and in the English Department at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA (2015-present). In December 2014 he was awarded a five-year University Visiting Research Fellowship in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Winchester. As a visiting D.Phil. student, he also studied for six months in the E.N.S. and attended the 1995 Seminar of Jacques Derrida in the E.H.E.S.S at Paris on a French government grant, and spent one academic year in the University of Western Australia on a Rotary Foundation Graduate Ambassadorial Scholarship. Erik Roraback has given 70 conference papers or guest lectures in 15 different countries in Europe (e.g., Aix-en-Provence, Brno, Budapest, Cardiff, Constance, Cork, Dublin, Freiburg, Helsinki, London, Nicosia, Olomouc, Oxford, Paris, Prague, Szeged, Tours, Trieste, Vienna and Winchester), in the Middle East (Tel Aviv), in Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), or in the United States (e.g., Evergreen State College-Olympia, K-State-Manhattan and Newport), has 40 book chapters or scholarly articles published or forthcoming in Europe (Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK) and in the U.S. (Continuum, Pynchon Notes,, etc.), and has published two books, The Dialectics of Late Capital and Power: James, Balzac and Critical Theory (Cambridge Scholars, UK, 2007, 320pp.) and also The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2017, xvi + 295pp, 3 ill.). He has another book under contract and in production that is forthcoming in 2018 on community and the creative life (UK/USA), and is currently working on multiple dialectically and dynamically developing book length projects, including one on forms of international cinematic capital and their relation to movement and to critical thought, and another tome on Shakespeare.
Erik Roraback welcomes thesis proposals in the following areas:
BA, MA, PhD: U.S. fiction, especially Melville, James, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein, Faulkner, and Pynchon; Shakespeare; Joyce; critical theory from post-war French Theory to the Frankfurt School (including Walter Benjamin) to Systems Theory (Niklas Luhmann), to the Italian School (Giorgio Agamben and Roberto Esposito) to philosophic and to psychoanalytic perspectives (Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Zizek), and encounters with cultural-studies and literature; U.S. and international film, particularly American Film Noir, American Neo-Noir, Buster Keaton and Orson Welles. Contemporary TV such as Sons of Anarchy. Erik Roraback has supervised 5 PhD dissertations to the successful accomplishment of the doctoral degree (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017) on subjects ranging from Thomas Pynchon / James Joyce and the puzzle novel, local color fiction and southern US literature, the concept of textual and ideological space in writings by Pynchon, the cultural pair linkage between Orson Welles / William Shakespeare, and Herman Melville and critical theory; he has also supervised to successful completion 16 MA and 13 BA theses.