Rasheed Tazudeen

Rasheed Tazudeen's picture
Lecturer in English

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’s Nonhuman Worlds: Animal Metaphor and the Entanglements of Being, 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, Arnold Schoenberg, and Igor Stravinsky.

My work has appeared in Studies in the Novel, The James Joyce Quarterly, Humanities, and Victorian Literature and Culture, and is forthcoming in Modernism/modernity. I am currently writing a chapter on phenomenology and affect in Woolf’s The Waves and an article on what I am calling “grotesque ecology” in Béla Bartók’s experimental ballet The Wooden Prince. With John Mowitt, I am currently co-editing a special issue of Parallax on “Ecological Soundings.”

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 English 114 courses on “Sound” and “The Grotesque.” 

Selected Publications

- “Béla Bartók’s Dissonant Ecologies: Nonhuman Sound in Bluebeard’s Castle,” forthcoming in Modernism/modernity.

- “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.