John Paul Ricco

Professor of Comparative Literature and Art History and Visual Culture

RiccoContact Information

Phone: 416 813 4043
Office: #311, third floor, 93 Charles St. West

Research Interests

Areas & Fields

  • Queer Theory
  • 20th-century French Philosophy
  • The work of Jean-Luc Nancy, Roland Barthes, Giorgio Agamben, Leo Bersani, and William Haver
  • Contemporary Art and Film
  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres
  • Sex and Pornography in Contemporary Fiction

Topics & Questions

  • Ethics & Aesthetics
  • Intimacy
  • Anonymity and the Commons
  • Loss and Disappearance
  • AIDS and Queer Politics
  • Extinction and the collective afterlife of things
  • The Deconstruction of Christianity

Graduate Seminars Taught

  • Retreating the Aesthetic: Jean-Luc Nancy
  • Late Barthes: Photography, Neutral, Mourning
  • Queer Ethics and Aesthetics
  • Women and Sex and Talk


  • The Decision Between Us: art and ethics in the time of scenes (Chicago, 2014).
  • The Logic of the Lure (Chicago, 2003).
  • The Intimacy of the Outside (in progress).
  • The Collective Afterlife of Things (in progress).

Recent Articles

The New Centennial Review, Qui Parle, Parallax, Journal of Visual Culture, World Picture, Alienocene, Topia, Open Set, Culture Machine, Keep It Dirty, and Feedback.

Recent Essays

Nancy and the Political; W.J.T. Mitchell’s Image Theory;  Art and the Anthropocene; and Capitalism and the Camera (forthcoming , 2021).

Edited Journal Issues

  • Journal of Visual Culture (Jean-Luc Nancy) vol. 9, no. 1, April 2010.
  • Parallax (“Unbecoming”) vol. 11, no. 2, April-June 2005.