The Enormous Room

Daniel Listoe
Senior Lecturer

Department of English
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Ph.D. University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
English (Modern Studies)
Dissertation Chair: Herbert Blau

M.A. Pennsylvania State University
B.A. San Francisco State University

Book project: Translating Catastrophe: Aesthetics, Performance, History

The project investigates the aesthetic dimensions of calling forth the past, in particular of conjuring a history that in its catastrophic
force has changed the very conditions through which it might be apprehended. Building on the thought of critical thinkers such as
Theodor Adorno, Jacques Ranciere and Herbert Blau, each chapter of the book pairs two authors where one has figuratively, and sometimes
literally, translated a predecessor, often intensifying or challenging the possibilities of the historical imagination at work in the "original," fulfilling, perhaps, the implications discovered in the founding thought.

Authors placed in relation are: James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Mueller,
Hannah Arendt and C.L.R. James, Edmond Jabes and Paul Auster, and finally, J.M. Coetzee considered in light of Beckett.

Recent Papers and Articles

"Rehearsing the Promised End." In The Very Thought of Herbert Blau. Eds. Clark Lunberry and Joseph Roach. University of Michigan Press. Under contract.

"Trials of History, Scenes of Judgment." Law and Literature 27:1 (2015): 125-135.

"Reading the Scene: Discourse, Literacy, and Pedagogy Through The Wire". In The Wire in the College Classroom: Pedagogical Approaches in the Humanities. Eds. Karen Dillon and Naomi Crummey. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland (2015). 179-195.

"'With All Malice':The Testimonial Objectives of Charles Reznikoff." American Literary History 26.1 (2014): 110-131.

"A Double-Negation: Allegory and the Re-inscription of Human Rights." Tijdschrift Frame 27.1 (2014) 27-45.

"Writing toward Death."
In Death in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Greenhaven, 2014.

Review of After Representation? The Holocaust, Literature, and Culture. Edited by R. Clifton Spargo and Robert M. Ehrenreich
(New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2010). JMMLA Fall (2012).

"Rhetoric, Rights, and the Boundaries of Recognition: Making Darfur Public." The World and Darfur: International Responses
to Crimes Against Humanity in Western Sudan
Ed. Amanda Grzyb. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009. 254-79.

Review of That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity by James Dawes (Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 2007)
in the special issue ("Human Rights and Literary Forms") of Comparative Literature Studies 46:1 (2009) 196-99.

Review of Teaching Holocaust Literature and Film, eds. Robert Eaglestone and Barry Langford (Hampshire, UK: Palgrave, 2008)
Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History 14:2 (2009) 132-34.

"Testimonial Objectives: History, Language, and the Ends of Poetry."
The American Literature Association Annual Meeting,
San Francisco, CA. May 2008.

"Erosions of Mourning: Daniel Libeskind's Memorial Architecture." (Im)permanence: Cultures In/Out of Time.
Eds. Judith Schachter and Stephen Brockmann. Carnegie Mellon University Center for Art in Society.
State College, PA:
Penn State UP (2008) 98-108.

Review, with E. Summerson Carr, of Accelerating Possession: Global Futures of Property and Personhood.
Eds. Bill Maurer and Gabrielle Schwab (Columbia UP, 2006) in American Anthropologist 109:2 (2007) 400-01.

"Signs of Catastrophe: Remnants of Writing in Auster's Holocaust," The American Literature Association
Annual Meeting,
San Francisco, CA. 2006.

Review of Dissonance (if you are interested) by Rosmarie Waldrop (U of Alabama P, 2005), M/MLA Journal 39:2 (2006) 180-81.

"Seeing Nothing: Allegory and the Holocaust's Absent Dead," SubStance 35.2 (2006) 51-70.

"Translations of Solitude: Auster, Mallarme, and the Poetic Tomb." The American Literature Association Annual Meeting,
Boston, MA. 2005.

"Terror at the Edge of History: Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Muller." The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 18:2 (2004) 95-114.


Hebrew Studies: The Holocaust and the Politics of Memory
Readings include Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem and Sarah Kofman's Rue Ordener, Rue Labat.
Further critical readings from Sigmund Freud, Geoffrey Hartman, Alice Y Kaplan, Saul Friedlander, Joan Wolf, Theodor Adorno,
Jurgen Habermas, Timothy Snyder, Konrad Jarusch and Michael Geyer, Primo Levi, Daniel Libeskind, as well as from W. G. Sebald
and films by Claude Lanzmann, Alain Resnais, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Rony Brauman and Eyal Sivan.

Literacy Studies
Readings from Plato, Jack Goody and Ian Watt, Walter Ong, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Jan Assmann, Don Kulick, James Paul Gee,
Mary Louise Pratt, James Baldwin, Jacques Ranciere, Don H. Bialostosky, and Paulo Freire.

Freshman Seminar, English: "Clues"

Man has been a hunter for thousands of years. In the course of countless chases he learned to
reconstruct the shapes movements of his invisible prey from tracks on the ground, broken branches,
excrement, tufts of hair, entangled feathers, stagnating odors. He learned to sniff out, record,
interpret, and classify such infinitesimal traces as trails of spittle. He learned how to execute
complex mental operations with lightning speed, in the depth of a forest or in a prairie with its
hidden dangers.
--Carlo Ginzburg, "Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm"

Readings from Sigmund Freud, Louis Marin, E. A. Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dashiell
Hammett, and Paul Auster. Films: The Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, Memento,
Who the *$&%
is Jackson Pollock?
and selections from The Wire.

Introduction to English Studies

Readings from James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, J. M. Coetzee, Edwidge Danticat, Zora Neale Hurston,
C. L. R. James, Michael Ondaatje, Joe Sacco, and Anna Deavere Smith. Critical readings from: Linda Alcoff,
Stuart Hall, Henry Giroux, Edward Said, and Raymond Williams.

Studies in Theory and Criticism: Performance Theory

Readings from J. L. Austin, Herbert Blau, Bertolt Brecht, Judith Butler, Michel de Certeau, Paul
Connerton, Jacques Derrida, Sue Ellen-Case, Erving Goffman, Shannon Jackson, and Pierre
Nora, and Joseph Roach.

Freshman Seminar, English: "Secrets and Lies"

Readings from Joseph Conrad, Paul Auster, Sam Shepard, Annette Kuhn, Susan Griffin, as well as the films,
The Fog of War, Smoke, and Paris, Texas


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