William Egginton

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William Egginton
Syracuse, New York
OccupationLiterary Critic, Literary Theorist, Philosopher, Professor at The Johns Hopkins University
LanguageEnglish, Spanish, German, Italian, French
Alma materDartmouth College, Stanford University
SubjectSpanish and Latin American Literature, Cervantes, Borges, Fictionality, Psychoanalysis, Continental Philosophy
SpouseBernadette Wegenstein

William Egginton (born 1969)[1] is a literary critic and philosopher. He has written extensively on a broad range of subjects, including theatricality, fictionality, literary criticism, psychoanalysis and ethics, religious moderation, and theories of mediation.

Life and career[edit]

William Egginton was born in Syracuse, New York in 1969. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 1999. His doctoral thesis, "Theatricality and Presence: a Phenomenology of Space and Spectacle in Early Modern France and Spain," was written under the direction of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. He currently resides with his wife, Bernadette Wegenstein, and their three children, in Baltimore. William Egginton is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at the Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches Spanish and Latin American literature, literary theory, and the relation between literature and philosophy.[2][3]


William Egginton is the author of How the World Became a Stage (2003), Perversity and Ethics (2006), A Wrinkle in History (2007), The Philosopher's Desire (2007), The Theater of Truth (2010), In Defense of Religious Moderation (2011), and The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World (2016). He is the co-author of Medialogies: reading reality in the age of inflationary media (2017). He is also co-editor with Mike Sandbothe of The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy (2004), translator of Lisa Block de Behar's Borges, the Passion of an Endless Quotation (2003, 2nd edition 2014), and co-editor with David E. Johnson of Thinking With Borges (2009). In 2017, he co-authored the book Medialogies: Reading Reality in the Age of Inflationary Media with David R. Castillo. In 2018, Bloomsbury published his book, The Splintering of the American Mind: Identity, Inequality, and the Future of Community.[4]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • Egginton, William. The Splintering of the American Mind: Identity, Inequality, and the Future of Community. New York: Bloomsbury USA. {{ISBN|978-1635571332}}
  • Castillo, David R., and William Egginton (2017). Medialogies: reading reality in the age of inflationary media. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. {{ISBN|978-1628923605}}
  • Egginton, William (2016). The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World. New York: Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 978-1620401750.
  • Egginton, William (2011). In Defense of Religious Moderation. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231148788.
  • Egginton, William (2009). The Theater of Truth: The Ideology of (Neo)Baroque Aesthetics. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804769549.
    • Reviewed in: CLIO 39.3 (2010): 402-407; Modern Language Quarterly 73.1 (2012): 98-101; Comparative Literature Studies 49.2 (2012): 311-314; Revista Hispánica Moderna, 64.2 (2011): 222-224; Teatro: Revista de estudios culturales, 24 (2012) PDF available at:http://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/teatro/vol24/iss24/
  • Egginton, William (2007). The Philosopher's Desire: Psychoanalysis, Interpretation, and Truth. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804755993.
  • Egginton, William (2007). A Wrinkle in History: Essays in Literature and Philosophy. Aurora, Colorado: The Davies Group Publishers. ISBN 978-1888570939.
    • Reviewed in Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, 29.3 (Spring 2007) 523-525.[1]
  • Egginton, William (2006). Perversity and Ethics. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804752596.
    • Reviewed in symploklè 14:1-2 (2006):363-4.
  • Egginton, William (2003). How the World Became a Stage: Presence, Theatricality and the Question of Modernity. Albany, New York: SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0791455463.
    • Reviewed in Modern Language Notes 118.5 (2003): 1327-1329; Theatre Research International 30.1 (2005): 102-3; Revista canadiense de estudios hispanos 29.3 (2005): 609-11; Bulletin of the Comediantes 57.1 (2005): 217-218.

Edited and translated books[edit]

  • Second edition and translation of Lisa Block de Behar, Borges: The Passion of an Endless Quotation, SUNY Press, 2014
  • Co-editor, with David E. Johnson, Thinking With Borges, Aurora, CO: The Davies Group Publishers, 2009
  • Borges: The Passion of an Endless Quotation, by Lisa Block de Behar, translated and with an introduction by William Egginton, Albany: SUNY Press, 2003
  • Co-editor, with Mike Sandbothe, The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy: Contemporary Engagements Between Analytic and Continental Thought, Albany: SUNY Press, 2004
  • Co-editor, with Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Peter Gilgen, Disciplining Literature. Stanford Humanities Review 6.1 (1998)

Chapters in books[edit]

  • Can Neuroscience Overturn Roe v. Wade?" in The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments, eds. Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, New York: Norton, 2016.
  • "The Limits of the Coded World," in The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments, eds. Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, New York: Norton, 2016.
  • "Bodies in Motion: An Exchange," with Alex Rosenberg, in The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments, eds. Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, New York: Norton, 2016.
  • "Afterword: What Are Talking About When We Talk About Zombies," in Castillo, Schmid, Reilly, and Browning, Zombie Talk: Culture, History, Politics, New York: Palgrave, 2016, 106-114.
  • "Borges on Eternity," in Eternity, a History, ed. Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 277-282.
  • "Crime Shows—CSI: Hapsburg Madrid," in Peter Goodrich and Valerie Hayaert (eds), Genealogies of Legal Vision, London: Routledge, 2015, 243-58
  • "The Eradication of Transcendence," in Braidotti et al. eds, The Postsecular Turn, 2014
  • "Potentiality of Life," in Silvia Mazzini ed., Reading Hermeneutic Communism, Continuum, 2014
  • "Staging the Event: The Theatrical Ground of Metaphysical Framing," in Michael Marder and Santiago Zabala, eds. Being Shaken, Palgrave, 2014, 177-85
  • "¿Tolerancia o fundamentalismo: una pregunta contemporánea," interview collected in Diálogos en la Finis Terrae: Entrevistas de Marco Antonio de la Parra, ed. Constanza López (Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Finis Terrae, 2013): 39-50
  • "Neither Here nor There: The Everyday Dialectics of Manuel Cruz," in Vivir para pensar, eds. Fina Birulés, Antonio Gómez Ramos and Concha Roldán, Madrid: Paidós, 2011
  • "Three Versions of Divisibility: Borges, Kant, and the Quantum," Thinking With Borges, eds. Egginton and Johnson, Aurora, CO, The Davies Group, 2009, 53-72
  • Co-author, with Bernadette Wegenstein, UNESCO Online Encyclopedia of Social Sciences and Humanities—"Media Impact on Literature" entry, (2008)
  • "Intimacy and Anonymity, or How the Audience Became a Crowd," Crowds, eds. Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Matthew Tiews, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007, 97-110
  • "Keeping Pragmatism Pure: Rorty with Lacan," in Egginton and Sandbothe, eds., The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy: Contemporary Engagements Between Analytic and Continental Thought (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2004)
  • "Sobre el espaciamiento: el espacio paranoico del Dr. Francia," in Espacios y discurosos compartidos en la literatura de América Latina. Actas del Coloquio Internacional del Comité de Estudios Latinoamericanos de la Asociación Internacional de Literatura Comparada, ed. Biagio D'Angelo (Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae-Fondo, Editorial de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 2003) 102-110
  • "Facing the Defacement of Death: Heidegger, Deleuze, and García Lorca," Convergencias Hispanicas: Selected Proceedings And Other Essays On Spanish And Latin American Literature, Film, And Linguistics, eds. Elizabeth Scarlett and Howard B.Wescott (Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs, 2002) 103-118
  • "Mímesis e teatralidade," in Mascaras da mimesis: a obra de Luiz Costa Lima (Rio de Janeiro: Record Editora, 1999) 321-342

Articles and other publications[edit]

  • "Stranger Than Fiction," The European Magazine, January 15, 2015
  • "Vampire Dreamboats and Zombie Capitalists," New York Times Opinionator, The Stone, October 26, 2014
  • "On Borges, Particles, and the Paradox of the Perceived World," New York Times Opinionator, The Stone, April 28, 2013
  • "Affective Disorder," diacritics 40.2 (2012 [appeared 2013]): 24-43
  • "Determinismo versus libertad humana," in Revista Cronopio, Medellín, Colombia, Nov. 4, 2012
  • "Can Neuroscience Challenge Roe V. Wade?" New York Times Opinionator, The Stone, Oct 28, 2012
  • "The Reality of Caudal," (Re)Reading Gracián in a Self-Made World.Hispanic Issues On Line Debates 4 (Fall 2012): 42–44. Web.
  • "Religion – Conspiracy – Code," MLN, special issue: "The Long Shadow of Political Theology," 126.4 (2011): 32-43
  • "Afterword: The Trap of Relevance," Hispanic Literatures and the Question of a Liberal Education. Ed. Luis Martín-Estudillo and Nicholas Spadaccini. Hispanic Issues On Line 8 (Fall 2011): 222–229.
  • "The Revenge of the Novel: Mario Vargas Llosa, the new Nobel laureate, has always seen fiction as much more than just stories." Foreign Policy, October 7 (2010). http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/10/07/the_revenge_of_the_novel
  • "On Radical Atheism, Chronolibidinal Reading, and Impossible Desires," CR: The New Centennial Review 9.1 (2009): 191–209
  • "The Baroque as a Problem of Thought," PMLA 124.1 (2009): 143-49
  • Co-author, with David Castillo, "Hispanism(s), Briefly: A Reflection on the State of the Discipline," online supplement to Hispanic Issues (2006)


  1. ^ "Egginton, William, 1969- - LC Linked Data Service (Library of Congress)". id.loc.gov. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  2. ^ "| ARCADE". ARCADE. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  3. ^ "Man in the Middle". Johns Hopkins Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  4. ^ "German and Romance Languages and Literatures | Krieger School of Arts and Sciences | Johns Hopkins University". Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2017-11-02.

External links[edit]