Rebecca Comay

Professor of Comparative Literature, Philosophy
Literature and Critical Theory

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Bio & Research

I work at the intersection of philosophy, art, and psychoanalysis, with a special focus on post-Hegelian political philosophy (including Marx, Benjamin and the Frankfurt School) and contemporary continental philosophy. I’m interested in questions of memory, trauma and the archive, and in particular in exploring the resources of psychoanalysis for social and cultural analysis.  I also write on art and architecture, and am engaged in a longstanding project on iconoclasm, ruins, and the destruction of images.  During 2016-17 I will be a Chancellor Jackman Research Fellow in the Jackman Humanities Institute, working on a research project on time and the unconscious, called “Arrhythmia of Spirit: Hegel and Interminable Analysis.”  This research forms part of a larger project called Deadlines, in which I’m trying to think about the strange temporality of the deadline — political, theological, psychoanalytic, literary, legal, biological, environmental and other sorts.


Recent Publications

Mourning Sickness: Hegel and the French Revolution (Stanford UP, 2011)

The Dash – the Other Side of Absolute Knowing, co-authored with Frank Ruda (forthcoming MIT Press 2017)

Hegel and Resistance, essay collection co-edited with Bart Zantvoort (forthcoming Bloomsbury Press 2017

“Hypochondria and its Discontents: The Geriatric Sublime,” in Critique and Crisis 3.2 (2016), special issue on Politics and Melancholia, edited by Justin Clemens (2016)

“Resistance and Repetition: Hegel and Freud,” in Research in Phenomenology (Fall, 2015)

“Defaced Statues: Iconoclasm and Idealism in Hegel’s Aesthetics,” October 149 (2014)

“Proust’s Remains,” in October 144 (2013)

Various publications of mine can be found posted online at


Updated: September 2016