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Meet the Cogut Center's 2009-10
Visiting Professor in the Humanities


Denise Riley
Visiting Professor in the Humanities, Fall 2009

Denise Riley, once a post-doc at Brown’s Pembroke Center, is now Professor of Literature with Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, Ithaca. Her recent writing is concerned with the immediate emotionality of language, and has included investigations in the philosophy of language, in social philosophy, and the nature of self-description and irony.

Her main books are War in the Nursery: Theories of Child and Mother [1983]; ‘Am I that Name?’ Feminism and the Category of Women in History [1988]; The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony [2000]; The Force of Language, with Jean-Jacques Lecercle [2004]; and Impersonal Passion: Language As Affect [2005]. She has also published many collections of poetry, including Penguin Modern Poets 10, with Douglas Oliver and Ian Sinclair, [1996], and Denise Riley: Selected Poems [2000] and edited Poets on Writing; Britain 1970-1991[1992] and co-edited the Language, Discourse, Society Reader [2004]. She was formerly Writer in Residence at the Tate Gallery, London. Her teaching includes European modernism and art movements, European philosophy and cultural theory, and poetry and poetics. She has also taught on stoicism, for the London Consortium. She is to give the next William Empson public lecture series at Cambridge.

Currently she hopes to extend her work on the nature and history of understandings of the inner voice and inner speech, and how they enter into our ideas of what’s interior and what’s outside. Drawing on material from recent neurology and philosophies of affectivity, her latest project will study philosophies of self presence, and the new neurophenomenology of self-awareness while still considering the traditional spectrum from hallucination to revelation and conscience.

Click here to view Prof. Riley's fall course, Some Versions of Interiority.