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Robert Lehman

english department

Robert Lehman

Assistant Professor

B.A., Oberlin College
M.A., University of Florida; M.A.
Ph.D., Cornell University

Stokes Hall S411
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467

Academic Profile

Specializes in British and American modernism, continental philosophy, and visual culture. His current project examines the transformation of traditional aesthetic categories—categories such as “beauty,” “genius,” and “pleasure,”— in the context of literary and visual modernism.

Additional Professional Information

Professor Lehman is the co-chair of the Dialectical Thinking seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard.



  • The Impossibility of Being Modern: T. S. Eliot, Walter Benjamin, and the Critique of Historical Reason  (under contract with Stanford University Press).


  • “Letters for the Blind.” SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism (forthcoming Spring 2016).

  • “Abstract Pleasures: Romanticism and Finitism in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens.” Modern Philology 111.2 (November 2013): 308-328.

  • “The Persistence of the Aesthetic.” Frakcija: Performing Arts Magazine 68-69 (2013): 76-83.

  • “Between the Science of the Sensible and the Philosophy of Art: Finitude in Alain Badiou’s Inaesthetics.” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 15.2 (Summer 2010): 171-185.

  • “Finite States: Toward a Kantian Theory of the Event.” diacritics 39.1 (Spring 2009): 61-74.

  • “Eliot’s Last Laugh: The Dissolution of Satire in The Waste Land.” Journal of Modern Literature 32.2 (Winter 2009): 65-79.

  • “Allegories of Rending: Killing Time with Walter Benjamin.” New Literary History 39.2 (Spring 2008): 233-250.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Eli Friedlander, Expressions of Judgment: An Essay on Kant’s Aesthetics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015). Critical Inquiry 42.1 (2015).

  • “Beauty That Must Die.” Review of Martin Hägglund, Dying for Time: Proust, Woolf, Nabokov (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012). Theory & Event 16.1 (2013).

  • Review of Lecia Rosenthal, Mourning Modernism: Literature, Catastrophe, and the Politics of Consolation (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011). Modernist Cultures 7.1 (May 2012): 139-144.

  • “Infinite Conversation.” Review of Peter E. Gordon, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010). Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts. 53.1 (Winter 2011): 152-157.

  • “Toward a Speculative Realism.” Review of Quentin Meillassoux, Après la finitude: Essai sur la nécessité de la contingence. (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2006). Theory & Event 11.1 (2008).