Skip to main content

Rita Felski

Niels Bohr Professor, Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark, 2016-
John Stewart Bryan Professor of English, University of Virginia

Ph.D. Monash University, 1987
M.A. Monash University, 1982
B.A. Cambridge University, 1979

My most recent book, Hooked: Art and Attachment, was published by the University of Chicago Press in November 2020. The book asks why and how we become attached to works of art and strives to do justice to the varieties of aesthetic experience.  It continues a line of thought that I’ve developed in two previous books, Uses of Literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008) and The Limits of Critique (University of Chicago Press, 2015). I’ve also recently published the co-edited collection Latour and the Humanities (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020).
I’m now working on a new book that’s called Remix: On Literature and Theory that was prompted by the invitation to give the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge in the spring of 2021. In this book I bring literary studies into conversation with contemporary theory in the Frankfurt School tradition. 
In 2016 I was awarded a Niels Bohr Professorship (Danish National Research Foundation and University of Southern Denmark) to lead a research project on "Uses of Literature: The Social Dimensions of Literature".

Aesthetics, Interpretation, Literary Theory, Methodology 

Hooked: Art and Attachment, The University of Chicago Press 2020 
Latour and the Humanities, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020 (co-edited with Stephen Muecke)
Character. Three Inquiries in Literary Studies, The University of Chicago Press 2019 (with Toril Moi and Amanda Anderson)
Critique and Postcritique, Duke University Press, 2017 (co-edited with Elizabeth Anker)
The Limits of Critique, The University of Chicago Press, 2015 
Comparison: Theories, Approaches, Uses, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008 (co-edited with Susan Stanford Friedman)
Rethinking Tragedy, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008 
Uses of Literature, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Turkish translation 2010; Polish translation 2016; Chinese translation 2019
Literature after Feminism, The University of Chicago Press, 2003. Korean translation 2010
Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture, NYU Press, 2000 
The Gender of Modernity, Harvard University Press, 1995. Korean translation 1998; Chinese translation 2017 and 2020
Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Changes, Harvard University Press, 1989 

Special Issues of New Literary History
"Recomposing the Humanities - with Bruno Latour" 47, 2-3, 2016
"Song" 46, 4, 2015
"Beyond Bourdieu and other Essays" 46, 3, 2015
"Feminist Investigations and Other Essays" 46, 2, 2015
"Political Theory" 45, 4, 2014
"Interpretation and its Rivals" 45, 2, 2014
"Use" 44, 4, 2014
"The French Issue: New Perspectives on Reading from France" 44, 2, 2013
"A New Europe?" 43, 4, 2012
"In the Mood" 43, 4 , 2012
"Context?" 42, 4, 2011
"Character" 42, 2, 2011
"What Is an Avant-Garde?" 41, 4, 2010
"New Sociologies of Literature" 41, 2, 2010
"Tribute to Ralph Cohen" 40, 4, 2009

Recent Book chapters and Articles
"Postcritical Reading", in Further Reading, eds.  M. Rubery and L. Price  (Oxford University Press, 2020)
"The Ambiguities of Modern", in Nonmodern Practices, eds. C. Lyu and E. Arnould-Bloomfield (Bloomsbury, 2020)
"Interview", in The Rebirth of American Literary Theory and Criticism. Scholars Discuss Intellectual Origins and Turning Points, ed. H.A. Veeser (Anthem Press, 2020)
"Good Vibrations", in American Literary History 32,3, 2020(Oxford Academics)
"Resonance and Education", in Education. Journal for Research and Debate 3, 9, 2020  
"My Sociology Envy", in Theory, Culture and Society, 2019
"Identification and Critique", in Projecting American Studies: Essays on Theory. Method and Practice, eds. F Kelleter and A Starre (Heidelberg Universitätsverlag, 2019)
"Latour and Literary Studies" in PMLA, 2015
"Fear of Being Ordinary" in Norwegian Journal for Gender Studies, 3-4, 2014
"Digging Down and Standing Back" in English Language Notes, special issue “After Critique”, 2013
"Charmy: A Problem for Art Theory?" in Emilie Charmy, ed. Matthew Affron (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2013)
"Context Stinks" in New Literary History, 2011
"Suspicious Minds" in Poetics Today, 2010
"After Suspicion" in Profession, 2009
"Everyday Aesthetics" in The Minnesota Review, 2009
"Remember the Reader" in The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 17 2008
"From Literary Theory to Critical Method" in Profession, 2008
"Cultural Studies" in The Routledge Social Science Encyclopedia, 2008
"Tragic Women" in Moderne Begreifen: Zur Paradoxie eines sozio-aesthetischen Deutungsmusters, ed. Christine Magerski et al. (Deutsche Universitätsverlag, 2007)
"Object Relations" in Contemporary Women’s Writing, 2007
"‘Because it is Beautiful’: New Feminist Perspectives on Beauty" in Feminist Theory, 7, 2, 2006
"Redescriptions of Female Masochism" in Minnesota Review, 2005
"Modernist Studies and Cultural Studies" in Modernism/Modernity, 2004
"Introduction" in New Literary History, special issue “Rethinking Tragedy”, 35, 1, 2004
"The Role of Aesthetics in Cultural Studies" in Aesthetics and Cultural Studies, ed. Michael Bérubé, Blackwell's, 2004
"Introduction" in New Literary History, special issue on "Everyday Life," 2002
"Afterword" in Women and Modernity: Renegotiating the Public Sphere 1880-1930, ed. Ann Ardis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002)
"Telling Time in Feminist Theory" in Tulsa Journal of Women's Studies, 21, 1, 2002
"Why Academics Don't Study the Lower Middle Class" in Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2002
"Med Ratt Att Grata" (Tragic Women) in Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), March 21, 2001
"Von der Postmoderne zur Moderne" (From the Postmodern to the Modern) in Transit (Vienna), 19, 2000
"Feminist Futures" in International Journal of Cultural Studies, 3 , 2000
"Being Rational, Telling Stories" in Feminist Theory, 2, 2000
"Nothing to Declare: Identity, Shame and the Lower Middle Class" in PMLA, 115, 1 , 2000
"The Invention of Everyday Life" in New Formations, 39, 1999/2000
"Why Those Who Dismiss Cultural Studies Don't Know What They're Talking About" in The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 1999
"Images of the Intellectual: From Philosophy to Cultural Studies" in Continuum 12, 2, 1998
"Introduction" in Sexology and Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires, 1890-1940, ed. Lucy Bland and Laura Doan, University of Chicago Press and Polity Press, 1998
"Feminist Aesthetics" in The International Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
"The Doxa of Difference" in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 23, 1 (Fall 1997)
"Judith Krantz, Author of 'The Cultural Logics of Late Capitalism'" in Woman: A Cultural Review, vol 8, no. 2, 1997

Honorary Doctorate, University of Southern Denmark, 2016
Guggenheim Fellowship, 2010
SW Brooks Visiting Lecturer in English, University of Queensland, 2010
Harry Lyman Hooker Distinguished Professor, McMaster University, 2005
Research Fellow, Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, Vienna, 2000
George A. Miller Visiting Professor, University of Illinois, 1998
Australian Research Council Major Grant, 1993
Fellowship, Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change, University of Virginia, 1991
Fellowship, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, 1989-1990
William Parker Riley Prize, best article in PMLA

Articles about Rita Felski
"Rita Felski" by Jes Stein Pedersen in Politiken , Oct 19 2019
"Når bogen tryllebinder og forandre os" by Bjørg Tulinus in Kristeligt Dagblad, Oct 7 2016
"Litteratur er en pokkers effektiv social aktør" by Anna Raaby Ravn in Information, June  4 2016
Rita Felski was the main subject of a long article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which referenced her Niels Bohr Professorship and identified her as the leader of a new movement in literary criticism: Marc Parry, "What's Wrong with Literary Studies",  Chronicle of Higher Education, November 27 2016.

Follow Rita Felski


University of Virginia

Department of English

See more

Last Updated 01.03.2021