Amanda Anderson is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English at Brown University, and the Director of the School of Criticism and Theory since 2009. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University and taught at Johns Hopkins University before moving to Brown in 2012. She specializes in critical theory and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture.
Her work has focused on questions of modern self-understanding, disciplinary methodology, and the place of critique and argumentation across philosophy and literature (with a special emphasis on liberalism and political philosophy). She is particularly interested in the legacies of philosophical modernity, the normative bases of contemporary theories, and the relation between formal argument and informing ethos (style, character, method).
She is the author of The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory (Princeton, 2006); The Powers of Distance: Cosmopolitanism and the Cultivation of Detachment (Princeton, 2001); and Tainted Souls and Painted Faces: The Rhetoric of Fallenness in Victorian Culture (Cornell, 1993). She has also co-edited, with Joseph Valente, Disciplinarity at the Fin de Siècle (Princeton, 2002). Her current project, tentatively titled Bleak Liberalism, focuses on the relation between the liberal aesthetic and liberalism as a political philosophy, paying special attention to the dialectic of hope and skepticism animating many forms of liberal thought.
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