Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Eric Prenowitz


0113 34 35195

Fine Art Building, Room 3.12

BA, Harvard, PhD, Paris 8

Deconstruction, psychoanalysis, sexual difference, poetics, 20th-c. comparative literature, theory and practice of translation.


After a year’s internship in Jerry Lettvin’s lab at MIT, Eric Prenowitz did his BA in physics at Harvard. He then trained and worked as an engineer on fishing vessels from New Bedford to Kodiak before undertaking graduate studies in Paris under the direction of Hélène Cixous.

Research Interests

Eric Prenowitz has practical experience of the moral, cultural, technological complexities of international aid and development work in postcolonial settings. He is interested in radical performativities: writing (broadly speaking) that won’t keep still, and the unstable borders between theory or philosophy, thinking, and its others (art, literature, ‘life’…). He has published widely on (and translated) the work of Cixous and Jacques Derrida.


Deconstruction, psychoanalysis, gender and sexual difference, semiotics, literary theory and beyond.



  • Prenowitz E (eds.) (2007) Before the Book - Hélène Cixous. 44 (13:3). Taylor & Francis.
    DOI: 10.1080/13534640701550197

  • Cixous H, Prenowitz E (2004) Selected Plays of Helene Cixous. Routledge.

Journal articles

  • Prenowitz E (2008) “Crossing Lines: Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous on the Phone”, Discourse, Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Cultur Kujundzic D (eds.). 30.1-2, Winter & Spring: 123-156.

  • Prenowitz E (2007) “The Book, Chasing its own Tale”, Parallax. 13.3: 1-8.

  • Prenowitz E (2006) “Introduction: Cracking the book - Readings of Hélène Cixous”, New Literary History. 37.1
    DOI: 10.1353/nlh.2006.0026

  • Prenowitz E (2006) “Make Believe: Manhattan's Folittérature”, New Literary History. 37.1: 147-167.

  • Prenowitz E (2006) “Cracking the Book—Readings of Hélène Cixous”, New Literary History. 37.1: ix-xxvii.

  • Prenowitz E (2006) “Cracking the book - Readings of Helene Cixous - Introduction”, NEW LITERARY HIST. 37.1: IX-XXVII.

  • Prenowitz E, Ferri L, Dubreuil L (2005) “La lecture à l'oeuvre”, La Quinzaine Littéraire. 905: 7-8.

  • Prenowitz E, Dubreuil L, Ferri L (2005) “La lecture à l'oeuvre (Reading at (the) work)”, QUINZAINE LITTERAIRE. 905: 7-8.

  • Prenowitz E (2002) “Dialectics of Another Litter: Found(er)ing Democracy”, Oxford Literary Review. 24: 113-129.

  • Prenowitz E, Dubreuil L (2000) “Trajets de la différence sexuelle”, Labyrinthe. 7: 89-101.


  • Prenowitz E, Thompson AC (2010) “Cambodia's Trials: Theatre, Justice and History Unfinished”, In: Cohen M; Noszlopy L (eds.) Contemporary Southeast Asian Performance: Transnational Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

  • Prenowitz E (2007) “Je t'”, In: Segarra M (eds.) L’événement comme écriture: Cixous et Derrida se lisant. Campagne Première. 107-131

  • Prenowitz E (2006) “A Biocosmopolitical Note”, In: Levy A; Rabate J-M (eds.) Ex-Cities. Slought Books. 17-25

  • Prenowitz E (2005) “Trahduire Cixous”, In: ATLAS (eds.) ACTES DES VINGT ET UNIEMES ASSISES DE LA TRADUCTION LITTERAIRE. Actes Sud. 89-93

  • Prenowitz E (2004) “Nearly Reading Hélène Cixous: The "Equivocal Vocation" of Translation”, In: Diocartez M; Segarra M (eds.) Joyful Babel: Translating Hélène Cixous. Rodopi. 47-60

  • Prenowitz E (2004) “Modernepic Theatre”, In: Prenowitz E (eds.) Selected Plays of Helene Cixous. Routledge. vii-ix

  • Cixous H, Prenowitz E (2004) “On Theatre”, In: Prenowitz E (eds.) Selected Plays of Helene Cixous. Routledge. 1-24

  • Prenowitz E (2000) “Approches d’un départ (reste)”, In: Calle-Gruber M (eds.) Hélène Cixous, croisées d’une œuvre. Galilée. 215-219


  • Prenowitz E “Who or What is Compared? The Concept of Comparative Literature and the Theoretical Problems of Translation”, Discourse, Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture: Special Issue: "Who" or "What" - Jacques Derrida, edited by D Kujundzic Prenowitz E (eds.). 30.Winter and Spring 2008: 22-53.

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

I am willing to supervise PhDs on the following topics:

Comparative literature and literary theory, continental philosophy and deconstruction, gender theory, psychoanalysis, translation studies – with an accent on textuality or what used to be called ‘the work of the signifier’. Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida.

Current PGRs

Aaron Levy: ‘The protection paper: borders and boundaries’, submission date 2010

Emily Morris: ‘The inhuman and its relation to the feminine’, submission date 2011

Agnieszka Jasnowska: ‘Sustained Discharges: Psychoanalytical Readings of Bodily Fluids in Western Culture’, submission date 2012

Junghua Liu: ‘Colourful life in cyberspace and the real world’, submission date 2011

Dave Ronalds: ‘Showing Hands: The manifesto in the continental avant-garde 1909 – 1938’, submission date 2012

Simon Deakin: ‘Post-structuralist theory and European art of the 1990s’, submission date 2011

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