Erik Sherman Roraback

Erik Sherman Roraback

Director and faculty in the American Literature & Cultural Studies section and faculty in the Centre for Critical & Cultural Theory; Erik Sherman Roraback was born in Seattle, USA, and teaches critical theory (from Spinoza-Leibniz-Schelling-Kant-Hegel to Benjamin-Adorno-Luhmann to Bataille-Blanchot and after), theoretical psychoanalysis (from Freud-Lacan-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 and in FAMU (The Academy of Performing Arts, Film and TV School) at Prague. He holds a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford (thesis examiners Terry Eagleton, Oxford and Maud Ellmann, Cambridge) where he first taught tutorials for Magdalen College and for Mansfield College, and a B.A. from Pomona College (Cum Laude in English); he has also been Visiting Professor in the Université de Provence (2005). Erik Roraback has also been a Visiting Erasmus Scholar multiple times at the University of Winchester, UK (2012–present) a Visiting Researcher at the University of Constance in Germany (2004–14), and a Visiting Scholar in the English Department at the University of Washington-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 is the author of 70 conference papers or guest lectures in 15 countries worldwide in Europe (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) and in the United States (Evergreen State College-Olympia, K-State-Manhattan and Newport); In addition, Erik Roraback has published or forthcoming in print 40 book chapters in scholarly monographs or articles in scholarly journals or volumes in Europe (Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK) and in the United States (Continuum Publishing Company, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Theory and Criticism, Pynchon Notes,, etc.); he has also published three books: The Dialectics of Late Capital and Power: James, Balzac and Critical Theory (Cambridge Scholars, UK, 2007, xviii + 312pp., 1 ill.), The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2017, xvi + 295pp, 3 ill.) and The Power of the Impossible: On Community and the Creative Life (Winchester/Washington DC: Iff, 2018, x + 384pp, 3 ill.). Erik Roraback is currently preparing for publication a book length monograph on forms of cinematic capital and their relation to forms of movement, circulation and thought in narrative cinema of the C20, and has another incubating treatise on self-identity, the unconscious, Shakespeare and modernity.

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 14 BA theses.



Office hours for the Summer
semester 2019 exam period 
in room 219c:
27  May 11–12
3  June 11–12
6  June 12–13
6  September 11–12
11  September 11–12