David Kaufmann

English Department

George Mason University

Fairfax VA 22030-4444




1976-80 Princeton University, Comparative LiteratureA.B., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.

1983-89 Yale University, Comparative Literature, M.Phil., 1986; Ph.D. 1989.


Professional Experience

1989-  English Department, George Mason University; Associate Professor, 1995.

1999-2006 Chair, Philosophy and Religious Studies Department, George Mason University. 




“In Light of ‘The Light of Transcendence’: Redemption in Adorno,” Messianism, Apocalypse and Redemption in 20th Century German Thought, ed Wayne Cristaudo and Wendy Baker, ATF.


 “Beyond Icons and Idols,” Faith, ed James Hyde,  Real Art Ways.



"Archie Rand's The Eighteen and Postmodern (Mis)Recognition,"

Shofar 21:2.



"Harold's Complaint, or Assimilation in Full Bloom," British Romanticism and the Jews, ed Sheila Spector, Palgrave Macmillan.

“Matters of Taste,” Monatshefte



“Beyond Use, Within Reason: Adorno, Benjamin and the Question of Theology,” New German Critique 83.


“’A Vast Precaution to Avoid Immobility’: Philip Guston’s To I.B. (1977),” The Burlington Magazine  (May).



"Two Cheers for Abstraction: Rivers of Sound in Prometheus Unbound,” Symbolism 1.

"Correlations, Constellations and the Truth: Adorno’s Ontology of Redemption," Philosophy and Social Criticism 26:5; reprinted in T.W. Adorno, ed. Gerard Delanty, Sage Publications, 2005.

" Imageless Refuge for All Images: Scholem in the Wake of Philosophy," Modern Judaism 20.2.



“Desperate Seriousness, Command Performances and Misrecognition in Some of Stein's Sentences," Modern Philology 97:2.



"Redeeming Mimesis: Critical Theory, Cultural Theory," Why Literature Matters, ed Ruediger Ahrens and Laurenz Volkmann, Carl Winter Verlag.


"Adorno and the Name of God," Flashpoint I:1.



The Business of Common Life: Novels and Classical Economics Between Revolution and Reform, Johns Hopkins University Press.



"Aesthetics for the Birds and Magic for Those Who Actually Look: The Recent Work of James Hyde," James Hyde, Galerie Art In, Nüremburg, FRG.


"Going Public: Habermas, Butler and Discursive Action," Anglistik 5:2.



"Thanks for the Memory: Bloch, Benjamin and Philosophy of History," Yale Journal of Criticism 6:1 ; revised version published in Not Yet, ed Tom Moylan and Jamie Owen Daniel, Verso Press, 1997.



"Kunst als Gegenständlichkeit," Galerie Art In, Nuremberg.


"Law and Propriety, Sense and Sensibility: Jane Austen on the Cusp of Modernity," ELH 59(2).



"Subjectivity and Disappointment in Contemporary American Poetry," Ploughshares 17(4).


 "Yuppie Postmodernism," Arizona Quarterly 47(2); reprinted in Critical Essays on American Postmodernism,  ed. Stanley Trachtenberg, Hall-Macmillan, 1995.



"The Profession of Theory," PMLA 106(2)


Work Accepted or In Press

“’Angels Visit the Scene of Disgrace’:  Melancholy and Trauma from Sebald to Benjamin and Back”  forthcoming in Cultural Critique.


Work under Consideration

Telling Stories: Philip Guston and the New York Artworld at Modernism’s End  (book-length manuscript).



“Thinking Past the Nazis,” review of Berlin Childhood Around 1900 by Walter Benjamin, Forward, August 4, 2006.


“The Least Known Modern Artist,” review of Reading Charlotte Salomon edited by Michael P. Steinberg and  Monica Bohm-Duche, Forward, July 7, 2006.


“This Magic Moment,” review of  Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era by Ken Emerson, Forward, June 16, 2006.


“A Bohemian Poet Seen in Rare Spotlight,” review of New and Selected Poems by Samuel Menashe, Forward,  May 12, 2006.


“The Essential Louis Zukovsky,” review of Selected Poems by Louis Zukovsky, Forward, April 7, 2006.


 “Understanding the Philosopher of Auschwitz, “review of Adorno by Stefan Müller-Doohm and Adorno: A Political Biography by Lorenz Jäger,  Forward,  March 24, 2006.


 “Suffering the Peculiar Fate of Being a Poet’s Poet,” review of The Poems of Charles Reznikoff by Charles Reznikoff, Forward,  February 17, 2006.


 “Not Your Mother’s Neil Diamond,” review of 12 Songs by Neil Diamond, Forward,  January 20, 2006.


 “Narrative History in the Grand Tradition, “ review of A History of the Jews in the Modern World by Howard Sachar, Forward, December 16, 2005.

 “Inward Bound: State, Faith and the Jews,” review of The Jewish Prison by Jean Daniel, Forward, November 25, 2005.


 “Food Fight,” review of The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate, edited by Ruth Fredman Cernea, Forward, November 4, 2005.


“Whither Utopia,” review of Picture Imperfect:  Utopian Thought  For an Anti-Utopian Age by Russell Jacoby, Forward, September 23, 2005.


“Wild At Heart,” review of Maurice Sendak Retrospective, Jewish Museum, Forward, August 5, 2005.


“Untranslatable Sentiments,” review of Paul Celan: Selections, edited by Pierre Joris, Forward,  July 22, 2005.


“The Recklessly Relevant Poet,” review of  Muriel Rukeyser: Selected Poems, Forward April 29, 2005.


“The Praying Atheist,” review of Karl Shapiro: Selected Poems, Forward,  April 22, 2005.


“Every Jew a Canny Yankee,” review of  Emma Lazarus: Selected Poems,  Forward, April 15, 2005.


“The Real Lives Behind the Superheroes,” Forward, March 11, 2005.


“Gazing at the Guggenheims,” review of The Guggenheims: A Family History by Irwin Unger and Debi Unger, Forward,  December 17, 2004.


“The Man Who Couldn't Escape Being Jewish,” review of Raphael Soyer and the Search For Modern Jewish Art by Samantha Baskin, Forward, May 28, 2004.


Chagall's Complicated Simplicity,” review of Marc Chagall and His Times: A Documentary Narrative by Benjamin Harshav and Marc Chagall on Art and Culture edited by Benjamin Harshav, Forward, April 2, 2004.


“The Double Mystery of Creativity and Personality,” review of Guston In Time by Ross Feld, Forward, February 27, 2004.



Lectures and Papers


“Perversity and Sublime Materialism: Jewish Cultural Studies and Religion,” “Jewish Cultural Studies and Religion?” Panel sponsored by the Discussion Group on Jewish Cultural Studies, MLA Annual Convention, December.



“Starting Over: The Case of Philip Guston,” IAPL Annual Meeting, May.



“Can Adorno Survive Bourdieu? (Can We Survive Adorno?),"  MLA Annual Convention, December.



“Bundists without the Bund, Zionists without the Land: Some Suggestions for Jewish Cultural Studies,” Jewish Cultural Studies Discussion Group Meeting, MLA Annual Convention, December.


“Recognizing Archie Rand” IAPL Annual Meeting, May.



“Mystical Materialists with a Dialectical Bent: Kabbala vs Hegel (and Kant),”  MLA Annual Convention, December.


“Two Cheers for Abstraction: Rivers of Sound in Prometheus Unbound, ” North American Society for the  Study of Romanticism Annual Convention, November.


Moderator, “Politics after Marx,” IAPL  Annual Meeting, May.



After the Last Augustan: Cowper’s Task as Counter-Depressant,” “Post-Modernist Jacobins,” MLA Annual Convention, December.


“The Case of Cowper,” ASECS Annual Convention, April.



"Scott Poses the Jewish Question,” MLA Divisional Panel on Romanticism and Anti-Semitism, MLA Annual Convention, December.



“Burke and Paine Meet Frankenstein, ” Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change, University of Virginia, March.



“Thanks for the Memory,” MLA Special Session on Ernst Bloch, MLA Annual Convention, December.


“Good Investments/Done Deals: Response,” MLA Special Session entitled “Harrowing the Fixities: Post-Lyricism in Contemporary American Poetry,” MLA Convention, December.



“The Political Economics of Regionalism,”  MLA Annual Convention, December.


“The Sense of Sensibility,” North American Jane Austen Society Annual Convention, October.



“Marketing Alienation,” (also Chair),  “The Politics of Parataxis,” MLA Annual Convention, December.



Chair and Moderator, “Rereading Sentimentalism,” MLA Annual Convention, December.


“The Sentimental Novel Creates a Useable Past: Disraeli’s Sybil ,” Northeast MLA Convention, March.



“Subjectivity and the Historical Novel: Absalom, Absalom ! at the End,” ” New Perspectives on the Historical Novel,” MLA Annual Convention, December.