Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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John Mowitt

Leadership Chair in Critical Humanities

0113 343 5269

Fine Art Room G.08

Office hours: W 11.00-12.00; TH 15.00-16.00

Phd in Comparative Literature

Western Philosophy, the history of Critical Theory (French, German and Italian), Comparative Literature, Critical Media Studies (emphasis on Cinema and Sound), Postcolonial Studies.


I received my doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982 and taught in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cites from 1985 until 2013.  I have published numerous books and articles on the broad areas of theory, culture and politics, and serve as a senior coeditor of the academic journal, Cultural Critique.

Research Interests

See biographical summary supra.


Modules I regularly offer at Leeds include: ARTF 1026, “Cinema and Media History”; ARTF 2127 “Keywords”; ARTF 2065 “Postcolonial Feminisms”; and ARTF 3014/5009 “Making Sense of Sound.”


Member of the Research and Innovation Committee in FAHACS.



  • Mowitt J (2015) Sounds The Ambient Humanities. Univ of California Press.

  • Mowitt JW (2012) Radio: Essays in Bad Reception. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Journal articles


  • Mowitt J (2015) “Was of the Worlds”, In: Küchler U; Maehl S; Stout G (eds.) Alien Imaginations: Science Fiction and Tales of Transnationalism. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/121501/

  • Mowitt JW (2013) “(I Can't Get No) Affect”, In: Biddle I; Thompson N (eds.) Sound, Music, Affect: Theorizing Sonic Experience. 91-100

  • Mowitt JW (2012) “Fanon's "Guerre des Ondes": Resisting the Call of Orientalism”, In: Barkawi T; Stanski K (eds.) Orientalism and War. New York: Columbia University Press. 217-95

  • Mowitt JW (2011) “Kafka's Cage”, In: Kordela AK; Vardoulakis D (eds.) Freedom and Confinement in Modernity: Kafka's Cages. Studies in European Culture and History. New York: Palgrave. 63-86

Research Projects & Grants

I am applying for a standard Leadership Fellowship from the AHRC on “Music Essays.”

Research Centres & Groups

I co-convene three research seminars: “Futures of the University” (with Profs Karkov and Jackson), “Studies in Critical Materialities” (with Drs Day and Checketts) and the “Centre for Audio-Visual Experimentation” (with Dr. Belinfante).  At the University of the Western Cape, South Africa I convene a yearly seminar under the rubric of the “Winter School.”

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

I am supervising or co-supervising four doctoral dissertations in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota.  In addition, I am co-supervising a doctoral dissertation in English at Leeds.  The topics vary.  I have served as the external examiner on four doctoral dissertations in FAHACS also on varied topics.

PhD Thesis

“From Montaigne to Nietzsche: Toward a Theory of the Essay.”  A theoretically driven analysis of the para-literary genre of the essay, that plots its emergence and disintegration in relation to the status of the subject in public life.

Professional Practice

Fernstock X, November 2011.

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