Rasheed Tazudeen

Rasheed Tazudeen's picture
Lecturer in English
63 High St, New Haven, CT 06511-6642

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2015

My work is focused broadly on the intersections between ecology, posthumanism, and sound in 19th- and 20th-century literature and music. I am at work on two book projects. My first, Modernism and the Unmaking of the Human: Language, Metaphor, Ethics, explores the linguistic innovations devised to reimagine the human/animal divide in the aftermath of the “Darwinian trauma” of 1859, with an emphasis on new uses of metaphor in the period. I analyze a strain of literary works that trouble ideas of “form” in two different but intimately connected ways: a critique of literary form that rejects linear narratives, centralized human characters, and stable referential frameworks; and a critique of bodily form that undermines the ontological grounds of species difference. The animal metaphor, in my analysis, becomes a key locus for bringing into relation human and animal bodies stripped of the logic undergirding the formal consistency of each. I focus on texts from Darwin’s The Origin of Species and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books to Gustave Flaubert’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Franz Kafka’s short fiction, and Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts. My second project, Object Ecologies: Modernism’s Material Aesthetics, discusses shifting aesthetic and ecological reconfigurations of the object in Modernist literature and music, with an emphasis on the work of Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Rainer Maria Rilke, and the composers Béla Bartók, Anton Webern, and Arnold Schoenberg. 

My work has appeared in Studies in the Novel, The James Joyce Quarterly, Humanities, and Victorian Literature and Culture. I am currently writing an article on Woolf’s The Waves and queer phenomenology, and a chapter on what I am calling “dissonant ecology” in Béla Bartók’s operas Bluebeard’s Castle and The Wooden Prince. Before coming to Yale, I was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Center at the University of Toronto. This fall, I am teaching two first-year writing seminars, one on Sound Studies and Music and another on Life-Philosophy and Biopolitics.

Research Interests:

Modernism, Victorian Literature, Posthumanism, Ecology, Sound Studies, Music, Animal Studies, New Materialism, Critical Theory


“Sounding the Nonhuman in Joyce’s ‘Sirens’ ” Humanities 2017, 6, 64 (special issue on “James Joyce, Animals, and the Nonhuman”)

“ ‘Discordant Syllabling’: The Language of the Living World in Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts,” Studies in the Novel, 47.4 (Winter 2015): 491-513.

“Immanent Metaphor, Branching Form(s), and the Unmaking of the Human in Alice and The Origin of Species,” Victorian Literature and Culture 45.3 (Fall 2015): 533-558.

“The Spinozist Body and Contagious Metaphor in ‘Circe,’ ” The James Joyce Quarterly 51.2-3 (Winter-Spring 2014): 371-393.