Robert Harvey (literary theorist)

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Robert Harvey (born Robert James Harvey in Oakland, California in 1951) is a literary scholar and academic. He is Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he teaches comparative literature, literatures written in French, and theory. His research and publications are mostly concerned with the interpenetrations of literary and philosophical discourses.

He has written on Samuel Beckett, Primo Levi, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras, Marcel Duchamp and Michel Deguy and has translated Lyotard, Deguy, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricœur, and other French thinkers. His most recent books are De l’exception à la règle (on USA PATRIOT Act) and Les Écrits de Marguerite Duras (Éditions de l’Imec, 2009), and Witnessness: Beckett, Levi, Dante and the Foundations of Ethics (Continuum, 2010). Harvey is one of several scholars preparing the Pléiade edition of the complete works of Marguerite Duras (volumes I and II were published in October 2011 and volumes III and IV are due out in 2014).

Harvey is chair of the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory[1] at Stony Brook and was a Program Director at the Collège International de Philosophie[2] in Paris, from 2001 until 2007.

Harvey completed his B.A in French Literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, and an M.A. at San Francisco State University in 1975. He returned to academia in 1980 and completed his doctoral dissertation on Jean-Paul Sartre in 1988. During that period he also studied at the École Normale Supérieure and the Université de Paris VII (Jussieu). Harvey obtained an Habilitation à diriger des recherches (H.D.R.) degree in 2001 with a thesis entitled "Les Styles de l'éthique".


  • (2010) Witnessness: Beckett, Levi, Dante and the Foundations of Ethics. New York & London: Continuum
  • (2009) Les Écrits de Marguerite Duras. Bibliographie des œuvres et de la critique, 1940-2006 (with Bernard Alazet and Hélène Volat). Paris: Éditions de l'Imec
  • (2006) De l'exception à la règle. USA PATRIOT Act (with Hélène Volat). Paris: Lignes & Manifestes
  • (2003) Témoins d'artifice. Paris: L'Harmattan
  • (2002) Les Écrits de Michel Deguy: Bibliographie des œuvres et de la critique, 1960-2000. Paris: Éditions de l'Imec
  • (1997) Marguerite Duras: A Bio-Bibliography (with Hélène Volat). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
  • (1991) Search for a Father: Sartre, Paternity and the Question of Ethics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

Edited Volumes[edit]

  • (2004) Politique et filiation (with E. Ann Kaplan and François Noudelmann)
  • (2003) Queer: Repenser les identités / Rue Descartes 40 (with Pascal Le Brun-Cordier). Paris: PUF
  • (2002) Marguerite Duras: la tentation du poétique (with Bernard Alazet and Christiane Blot-Labarrère). Paris:
  • (2001) Jean-François Lyotard: Time and Judgment Yale French Studies 99 (with Lawrence R. Schehr). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
  • (2001) Joyous Wakes, Dignified Deaths: Reflections on Death and Dignity. Stony Brook: The Humanities Institute (Occasional Papers, 2)
  • (2000) Afterwords: Essays in Memory of Jean-François Lyotard. Stony Brook: The Humanities Institute (Occasional Papers, 1)