Kaufman, Eleanor


Kaplan 334
Tel: 310.206.8155 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail


Eleanor Kaufman is professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French and Francophone Studies, and affiliate of the Center for the Study of Religion, the Center for the Study of Women, and the Center for Jewish Studies. She is currently the Vice Chair of the University of California Systemwide Committee on Planning and Budget and Chair of its Task Force on Agriculture and Natural Resources. She received an A.B. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Duke University and has taught at Cornell University and the University of Virginia. Her primary research is on twentieth-century French philosophy, with secondary interests in Medieval philosophy and theology (Christian and Islamic), psychoanalysis, and Medical humanities. In addition, she teaches and advises on topics in critical theory, nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Maghrebian literature, and literature and philosophy of the Jewish diaspora.

She is the co-editor of Deleuze and Guattari: New Mappings in Politics, Philosophy and Culture (Minnesota, 1998) and the author of The Delirium of Praise: Bataille, Blanchot, Deleuze, Foucault, Klossowski (Johns Hopkins, 2001), Deleuze, the Dark Precursor: Dialectic, Structure, Being (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), and At Odds with Badiou: Politics, Dialectics, and Religion from Sartre and Deleuze to Lacan and Agamben (forthcoming, Columbia University Press).  She is working on three additional book-length projects: “Structure:  A Counterhistory of Twentieth-Century French Philosophy,” currently supported by UC President’s and Guggenheim Fellowships; “Rocks, Plants, Objects, and Stars:  Classification in French Phenomenology”; and “The Jewry of the Plain,” on the archives and cemeteries that commemorate Jewish settlement in remote regions of the American West at the end of the nineteenth century, and simultaneously a meditation on the work of Jacques Derrida. She began studies of Medieval and Late Antique philosophy a decade ago under the auspices of a Mellon New Directions fellowship.


At Odds with Badiou: Politics, Dialectics, and Religion from Sartre and Deleuze to Lacan and Agamben.  Forthcoming, Columbia University Press.

Deleuze, the Dark Precursor: Dialectic, Structure, Being.  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

The Delirium of Praise:  Bataille, Blanchot, Deleuze, Foucault, Klossowski.  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Deleuze and Guattari:  New Mappings in Politics, Philosophy, and Culture.  Co-edited with Kevin Jon Heller.  Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 1998.

Selected Articles:

“Nancy, Agamben, and the Weakness of the World,” Diacritics 43:4 (special issue on Jean-Luc Nancy, 2015), 28-50.

“The Minerology of Being,” in Architecture in the Anthropocene:  Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, ed. Etienne Turpin.  Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, 2013 (153-166).

“Do Dual Structures Exist?  Deleuze and Lacan in the Wake of Lévi-Strauss,” Yale French Studies 123 (special issue on Claude Lévi-Strauss, 2013), 83-99.

“On Not Knowing the Original Language:  French Philosophy Against Comparative Literature,” Comparative Literature 65:1 (winter 2013), 36-45.

“The Inexistence of the Western Jewish Archive,” PMLA 127:2 (March 2012), 375-79.

“Ethics and the World without Others” in Deleuze and Ethics, edited by Nathan Jun and Daniel W. Smith.  Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

“Lévi-Strauss, Deleuze, and the Joy of Abstraction,” Criticism 49:4 (fall 2007) [published 2008], 429-45.

“The Desire Called Mao:  Badiou and the Legacy of Libidinal Economy,” Postmodern Culture 18.1 September 2007) [published 2008].

“The Saturday of Messianic Time (Agamben and Badiou on the Apostle Paul),” South Atlantic Quarterly 107:1 (2008), 37-54.

“Klossowski, Deleuze, and Orthodoxy,” Diacritics 35:1 (2005) [published 2007], 47-59.

“Midnight, or the Inertia of Being,” parallax 12:2 (2006), 98-111, special issue on Maurice Blanchot.

“Betraying Well” [extended review of Žižek’s Organs Without Bodies:  Deleuze and Consequences], Criticism 46:4 (2005), 651-59.

“‘To Cut Too Deeply and Not Enough’:  Violence and the Incorporeal,” in Theology and the Political:  The New Debate, edited by Creston Davis, John Milbank, and Slavoj Zizek.  Durham:  Duke University Press, 2005.

“Why the Family is Beautiful (Lacan against Badiou),” Diacritics 32:3-4 (2002) [published 2005], 135-51.

“Fargo Jewish Archive Malady,” Oxford Literary Review 25 (2003) [published 2005], 261-80.

“Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and the Phenomenology of Relation,” Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française 13:1 (Spring 2003), 68-77.

“Solid Dialectic in Sartre and Deleuze” Polygraph 14 (2003), 115-28.

“Living Virtually in a Cluttered House,” Angelaki 7:3 (December 2002), 159-69.

“Deleuze, Klossowski, Cinema, Immobility:  A Response to Stephen Arnott,” Film-Philosophy 5:33 (November 2001).

“Towards a Feminist Philosophy of Mind,” in Deleuze and Feminist Theory, eds. Ian Buchanan and Claire Colebrook.  Edinburgh:  Edinburgh University Press, 2000.

“Klossowski or Thoughts-Becoming” in Becomings:  Time, Memory, and Futures, edited by Elizabeth Grosz.  Ithaca:  Cornell University Press, 1999.

“Falling From the Sky:  Trauma in Perec’s W and Caruth’s Unclaimed Experience,” Diacritics 28:4 (Winter 1998), 44-53.

Interest Areas
• Critical Theory