Haunted Reflections

Walter Benjamin in San Francisco



Finn Brunton

Finn Brunton is Assistant Professor of Information in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet from MIT Press (Infrastructures Series). His research interests include adaptation, privacy, hacking, unintended consequences of design decisions. He teaches a course titled Walter Benjamin and His Milieu.


Joshua Clover

Joshua Clover is an award winning is a poet, critic, journalist and author. His work has appeared in three editions of Best American Poetry. His writing has appeared in the Village Voive, New York Times, and The Nation. He writes a column of film criticism for Film Quarterly. He is a two time winner of the Pushcart Prize and also a winner of the Walt Whitman Award. He is a Professor of English Literature and Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley.


Mary Ann Doane

Mary Ann Doane is the Class of 1937 Professor of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley and was previously the George Hazard Crooker Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She is a pioneer in the study of gender in film. She is the author of Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis and The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive.


Howard Eiland

Howard Eiland teaches literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the 2011 James A. and Ruth Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He is the co-author, with Michael W. Jennings, of the first English-language biography of Walter Benjamin titled Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life. He co-edited three volumes of Benjamin’s Selected Writings and co-translated Benjamin’s massive Arcades Project, and he has also translated Benjamin’s Berlin Childhood around 1900, his On Hashish, and his Early Writings: 1910-1917. His recent publications include work on film and jazz. Current projects are “Walter Benjamin’s Jewishness” and “Education as Awakening.


Karen Feldman

Karen Feldman teaches in the Department of German at the University of Califonia, Berkeley. Her areas of specialization include hermeneutics and phenomenology, the Frankfurt School, German Idealism, literary theory and aesthetics. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago (1989) and her Ph.D. from DePaul University (1998). Her current research concerns aesthetics and historiography from Kant to Benjamin. Prof. Feldman spent 2010-2011 in Berlin on a grant with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She was a Fulbright scholar at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel and in Berlin (1998-2000); and a postdoctoral fellow at the Graduiertenkolleg “Repräsentation, Rhetorik, Wissen.” She is the author of Binding Words: Conscience and Text in Hobbes, Hegel and Heidegger (Northwestern University Press, 2006) and co-editor of Continental Philosophy: An Anthology (Blackwell, 1998). She has published articles on German Romanticism, German Idealism, the history of rhetoric, and literary theory in MLN, the Germanic Review, the Journal of the History of Ideas, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Word and Image, Angelaki, Philosophy Today, and in edited collections.


Catherine Flynn

Catherine Flynn is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley and works on British and Irish modernist literature. Her book project, James Joyce, Walter Benjamin and the Matter of Modernity, reads Ulysses and Finnegans Wake alongside the Arcades Project, considering Joyce and Benjamin’s radical rejections of the conventions of fiction and theory within a context of urban writing that ranges from nineteenth-century realist fiction to twentieth-century surrealist works.



Wlad Godzich

Wlad Godzich is a literary critic, literary theorist, translator, and scholar. He is attributed with influencing the conceptualization of modern literary critical theory. He currently serves as Professor of general and comparative literature, and critical studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Godzich has published and translated several books, edited eight collections of essays, and authored over a hundred scholarly articles, lectures, and papers. Organizer of dozens of international conferences, he also acts as consultant to many university presses and organizers of university programs in the Americas and Europe.


Martin Jay

Martin Jay is the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History at the University of Califonia, Berkeley. His groundbreaking research in connecting history with academic and intellectual activities is world renown. He is well known for his exploration of the Frankfurt School, social theory, cultural criticism, historiography, among other subjects. His research brought him into direct contact with such figures of the Frankfurt School as Leo Lowenthal. He is the author of numerous books including The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-50. His current line of research is nominalism and photography. He is a recipient of the 2010/2011 Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin.


Michael Jennings

Michael W. Jennings is Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages and Professor of German at Princeton University.on European culture in the twentieth century. He is the author of two books on Walter Benjamin: Dialectical Images: Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Literary Criticism (Cornell University Press, 1987) and, with Howard Eiland, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (Harvard University Press, 2013). He also serves as the general editor of the standard English-language edition of Benjamin’s works, Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings (Harvard University Press, four volumes, 1996) and the editor of a series of collections of Benjamin’s essays intended for classroom use, including The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire (2007); with Brigid Doherty and Thomas Levin, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility and other Writings on Media (2008) ; and, with Miriam Bratu Hansen, One Way Street (forthcoming in 2014).


Robert Kaufman

Robert Kaufman  is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California,  Berkeley, where he also, together with the historian Martin Jay, co-directs the Program in Critical Theory.  Professor Kaufman is the author of Negative Romanticism: Adornian Aesthetics in Keats, Shelley, and Modern Poetry (forthcoming from Cornell University Press), and is at work on two related books: Why Poetry Should Matter—to the Left  and Modernism after Postmodernism? Robert Duncan and the Future-Present of American Poetry. His essays have appeared in journals such as Critical Inquiry; October;  American Poetry Review;  PMLA; Hispanic Issues On-Line; New German Critique;  Cultural Critique;  and Modernist Cultures, and in collections and volumes such as Reading for Form; Vicente Huidobro’s FuturityThe Aesthetics of the Modern Gesamtkunstwerk;  The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics;  Walter Benjamin and Art;  The Cambridge Companion to Adorno;  Adorno and Literature; and Art and Aesthetics after Adorno.


Linus Lancaster

Linus Lancaster is an internationally exhibited artist who holds a PhD. in art practice and philosophy from Plymouth University (UK).  His recent work focuses on theories of ecology, soil science, sculpture, and performance art.  Currently he teaches drawing, ceramics, and digital photography at the Healdsburg Unified School District in Northern California.


David Meltzer

David Meltzer is a poet and musician of the BEAT Generation and the San Francisco Renaissance. The author of more than 50 books of poetry and prose, he is a cabalist scholar and the editor of The Secret Garden: An Anthology in the Kabbalah. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has described him as "one of the greats of post-World-War-Two San Francisco poets and musicians." Meltzer came to prominence with inclusion of his work in the anthology, The New American Poetry 1945-1960. Meltzer's most recent collection of poetry is When I Was a Poet, volume 60 in the City Lights Pocket Poet Series. His forthcoming book is Two Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook from City Lights Books. His papers are housed at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.


Victoria Nelson

Victoria Nelson is a writer of fiction, criticism, and memoir. Gothicka, which won the 2012 Association of American Publishers award for scholarly excellence in literature; The Secret Life of Puppets, a study of the supernatural grotesque in Western culture that won the Modern Language Association’s [Scaglione Prize] for Comparative Literary Studies in 2001, and Wild California, a collection of stories. She teaches in Goddard College’s MFA creative writing program.



Lecia Rosenthal

Lecia Rosenthal is the author of Mourning Modernism: Literature, Catastrophe, and the Politics of Consolation and the editor of RADIO BENJAMIN. She has taught at Columbia and Tufts Universities.


Michael Saler

Michael Saler is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches modern European intellectual and cultural history. He is the author of AS IF: MODERN ENCHANTMENT AND THE LITERARY PREHISTORY OF VIRTUAL REALITY (2012); THE AVANT-GARDE IN INTERWAR ENGLAND: 'MEDIEVAL MODERNISM' AND THE LONDON UNDERGROUND (1999); Editor, THE FIN-DE-SIÈCLE WORLD (2014), and co-editor, with Joshua Landy, of THE RE-ENCHANTMENT OF THE WORLD: SECULAR MAGIC IN A RATIONAL AGE.


Uwe Steiner

Uwe Steiner is Department Chair and Professor of German Studies at Rice University. His areas of interest include philosophical thought and poetical representation in German literature since 1700, the German and European Enlightenment, and theories of modernity: Walter Benjamin and early twentieth-century philosophy. Focusing on the problem of theodicy, Professor Steiner examines poetic and philosophical texts ranging from Leibniz to Voltaire as well as visual material. His research on twentieth-century literature and thought is dedicated, albeit not restricted, to Walter Benjamin. He is the author of numerous publications including Walter Benjamin: An Introduction to His Work and Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010). 



Scott Thompson

Scott J Thompson, former instructor in philosophy & history at SanFrancisco’s New College of California, is editor-in-chief & directorof research at the Walter Benjamin Research Syndicate:
<http://www.wbenjamin.org/walterbenjamin.html>, which features his English translation of Benjamin’s On Hashish, translations from the work of Gershom Scholem, Friedrich Hoelderlin, G.W.F. Hegel & others.
Translator of Goethe for City Lights Books' Tales for Transformation (1988), Thompson has published translations from German, French & Hebrew in books, journals, magazines & online. In 2012, he was the
official German translator for the San Francisco International Poetry Festival. He is currently working on a book on experimentalpsychopathology and psychopharmacology during Germany’s Weimar Republic. He has hosted morning news, views & muse-ic on 89.5 FM,KPOO San Francisco, for the past 12 years.


Mark Van Proyen

Mark Van Proyen is Chair of the Painting Department; Associate Professor, School of Studio Practice and Interdisciplinary Studies; Coordinator, Summer Art Criticism Conference and Winifred Johnson Clive fellowship Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute. He is a Corresponding Editor for Art In America; and the author of Administrativism and its Discontents.



Lindsay Waters

Lindsay Waters “is the leading publisher of intellectual books of his generation,” said UCLA historian Perry Anderson. He led the theory revival in America with his "Theory & History of Literature" series  at the University of Minnesota Press that brought the best of European and American literary theorizing together, publishing Paul de Man, Peter Solterdijk, Bruno Latour, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari. He has published Charles Taylor’s "Secular Age", John O’Malley, "What Happened at Vatican II" and Robert Bellah’s "Religion in Human Evolution".  He has published the monograph-length “Paul de Man: Life and Works” in 1989. He continues his work as Executive Editor for the Humanities at the Harvard University Press; publishing some of the best  historians such as Anthony Grafton and John O’Malley and feminist thought from Catharine A. MacKinnon to Patricia Williams to Helene Cixous; the best pop and rock criticism from Greil Marcus to Simon Frith; and turning his attention since 1989 to Asia from whence he has been lucky enough to harvest the writings of Liu Xiao Bo and Wang Hui.  He has published the definitive edition of Walter Benjamin in nearly three thousand pages in English. He has done a series of epochal literary histories – of France in 1989, German in 2004, and America in 2009. A history of modern Chinese literature is forthcoming in 2016.  His book "Against Authoritarian Aesthetics" came out in putonghua from Peking University Press in 2000.  His "Enemies of Promise: Publishing, Perishing, and the Eclipse of Scholarship" came out from Prickly Paradigm Press in 2004 and subsequently in Portuguese, French, Polish, and Putonghua. He has published many essays and is at work on a book on his “aesthetic education.”


Judith Wechsler

Judith Wechsler is an art historian primarily of 19th century French art, who has engaged in interdisciplinary studies: the intersection of art and theater, art and film, caricature and physiognomy, art and science. She is the author of numerous books and has made 26 films on art. In 2010 she was a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and has been the recipient of numerous NEH and NEA grants, and a Mellon faculty fellowship. In addition to teaching seven years at MIT, she has been professor of art history at the Rhode Island School of Design, and was the NEH Professor at Tufts from 1989-2010. She has been visiting professor at Harvard, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, The Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and The University of Paris. In 2012, she is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem and a Fellow at the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy.


Paul Yamazaki

Paul Yamazaki is the Chief Book Buyer at City Lights Booksellers, San Francisco. He has been a bookseller for over 40 years and has been involved with numerous advocacy groups that relate to the booktrade. He has served on numerous boards and has been a consultant to the American Booksellers Association, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, and other national organizations.


Frederick Young

Frederick Young received his PhD in Critical Theory and Media at the University of Florida.  He has taught in Sweden and Nepal and is currently faculty in the Merritt Writing Program at the University of California, Merced. His research interests include philosophically based art-pratice, Digital Humanities and Critical Theory. He has published on Delueze, Animality, Technology, Contemporary French Philosophy, and art based practice.  He is the author of Toward an Ethics of the Politics, and Co-Editor of We Have Never Been Human, forthcoming Routledge 2015.


Presented by City Lights Booksellers & Publishers 
in conjunction with The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Goethe Institut San Francisco, Harvard University Press, Mechanics' Institute Library, San Francisco Art Institute, Program in Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley
with additional funding from Sher Family Hotel Healdsburg Fund, the Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation, and the Healdsburg Education Foundation
Contact : staff@citylights.com