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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Frances Restuccia

english department

Francis Restuccia


B.A., Occidental College
M.A., Occidental College
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley                           

Stokes Hall S379
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467

Phone: 617-552-8277
Fax: 617-552-4220

Academic Profile

Professor Restuccia regularly teaches a “Contemporary Theory” (undergrad/grad) course, “Studies in Narrative” (with an emphasis on critical theory), and “Literary Themes” (with an emphasis on philosophy and art).  She has also taught courses titled: “Resisting the Society of the Spectacle,” “Film and Psychoanalysis,” “Milan Kundera,” “The World Novel,” “Agamben and His Universe” (grad seminar), and “Kristeva, Deleuze, Agamben” (grad seminar). 

Additional Professional Information

She is a co-chair of the Psychoanalytic Practices seminar at The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard and a member of the MLA executive committee of the Division on Psychological Approaches to Literature.

Publications (selected)


  • James Joyce and the Law of the Father, Yale UP, 1989.
  • Melancholics in Love: Representations of Women's Depression and Domestic Abuse, Rowan and Littlefield,  February 2000.
  • Amorous Acts: Lacanian Ethics in Modernism, Film, and Queer Theory, Stanford UP, 2006.
  • The Blue Box, Continuum, 2012.

Articles and Essays in Collections

  • "'A Cave of My Own':  The Sexual Politics of Indeterminacy," Raritan, vol. 9, no. 2 (fall 1989), pp. 110-128.
  • “Homo Homini Lupus:  Milan Kundera's The Joke,"  Contemporary Literature, vol. 31, no. 3 (fall 1990), pp. 281-299.  (Reprinted in Garland Press 1992 edition of critical essays on Kundera.)
  • "'A Black Morning':  Kristevan Melancholia in Jane Austen's Emma,"  American Imago, vol. 51, no. 4  (winter 1994), pp. 447-469.
  • "Literary Representations of Battered Women: Spectacular Domestic Punishment," Genders, vol. 23 (spring 1996), pp. 42-71. (Reprinted in Bodies of Writing, Bodies in Performance, ed. Foster, Siegel, and Berry, NYU Press, 1996.)
  • "Tales of Beauty:   Aestheticizing Female Melancholia,"  American Imago, vol. 53, no. 4 (winter 1996), pp. 353-83.
  • "Conjurings:  Mourning and Abjection in Story of O and Return to the Château,” Gender and Psychoanalysis,  vol. 3, no. 2 (April 1998), pp. 123-153.  (This publication includes a response to a respondent:  pp. 171-174.)
  • "Ethical Erogenous Zones," Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, vol. 3, no. 2 (fall 1998), pp. 109-21.
  • Foreword to Serge André's What Does A Woman Want? - translated into English, New York: Other Press, July 1999, pp. xvii-xxvi.
  • “The Subject of Homosexuality:  Butler’s Elision” (long article version), Clinical Studies:  International Journal of Psychoanalysis, vol. 5, no. 1, 1999, pp. 19-38.
  • (This essay was also published in Lacan in America, ed. Jean-Michel Rabaté - Philadelphia Lacan Conference proceedings, Other Press, pp. 349-60.)
  • "Molly in Furs:  Deleuzean/Masochian Masochism in the Writing of James Joyce" reprinted in Deleuze and Guattari: Critical Assessments, Routledge, spring, 2000.
  • "Impossible Love in Breaking the Waves:  Mystifying Hysteria," literature and psychology, vol. 47, numbers 1 & 2, 2001. This essay has been reprinted in Lacan and Contemporary Film, ed. Todd McGowan and Sheila Kunkle, Other Press, 2004.
  • “Queer Love,” in Between the Psyche and the Social:  Psychoanalytic Social Theory
    Ed. Kelly Oliver Steve Edwin. Lanham, Maryland:  Rowman & Littlefield Press, 2002, pp. 83-95.
  • “Taming the Real:  Zizek’s Missed Encounter with Kieslowski’s Insight.”  Lacanian Ink (internet pub.), spring 2002.
  • “Graham Greene’s Lacanian Encore: The End of the Affair.” Religion and the Arts, vol. 7-4, 2003, pp. 369-87.
  • “The Use of Perversion:  Secretary or The Piano Teacher?”  Lacanian Ink (internet pub.), spring 2004.
  • "Black and Blue:  Kieslowski's Melancholia," in Revolt, Affect, Collectivity: The Unstable Boundaries of Kristeva’s Polis, ed. Tina Chanter and Ewa Ziarek, SUNY Press, 2005,
    pp. 193-207.
  • “Sebald’s Punctum:  Awakening to Holocaust Trauma in Austerlitz” in European Journal of English Studies, vol. 9, no. 3, Dec. 2005, pp. 301-22  Routledge. Special issue, titled Intimate Transfers, edited by Maria Margaroni.
  • “A Radical Ethical Imperative:  Sublimation Love.”  Journal of Lacanian Studies, vol. 4,
     no. 1, summer 2006, pp. 159-77.  (Review-article on Joan Copjec’s Imagine There’s
    No Woman.)
  • “Kristeva’s Intimate Revolt and the Thought Specular:  Encountering the (Mulholland) Drive” in Psychoanalysis, Aesthetics, and Politics in the Work of Kristeva, ed. Kelly Oliver, SUNY Press, 2009.
  • “The Thought Specular:  Kieslowski’s White and Streitfeld’s Female Perversions,” Film/Philosophy, spring 2010.
  • “The Virtue of Blushing:  Assimilating Anxiety into Shame in Haneke’s Caché,” Symplokē, vol. 18, nos. 1-2, 2010.
  • “Why Can’t Dulcinea Love Us?” Philosophy Today, special issue titled “Violence and the Sacred,” Vol. 56:2, summer 2012.
  • “Sebastian’s Skull:  Establishing the ‘Society of the Icon,’” a chapter in Kristeva’s Fiction, Ed. Benigno Trigo, SUNY Press, September 2013.
  • “A Messianic Aesthetic: Lily Briscoe’s Vision,” Genre, Vol. 49, spring 2016.
  • “The Melancholic and Messianic Allure of Venice or How Best to Access the Inaccessible,” Philosophy Today, Vol. 60, spring 2016.
  • “’A Black Passion’: Voiding Melancholic Obsession in Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence,” American Imago, Vol. 73, spring 2016.