Ian Fleishman received his doctorate in French and German Literature from Harvard University and is currently an assistant professor of German Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is affiliated with the Program in Comparative Literature and Theory, the Cinema Studies Program and the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities. His work focuses largely on sex and violence in order to trace the evolution of narrative form and its underlying epistemological shift from modernism to the postmodern.
He has published in Comparative Literature Studies, French Studies,German Quarterly, The Germanic Review, The Journal of Austrian Studies, Mosaic and elsewhere on subjects ranging from the Baroque to contemporary cinema. His first book, An Aesthetics of Injury: The Narrative Wound from Baudelaire to Tarantino(Northwestern 2018) was the winner of the Northeast Modern Language Association Book Award.
ICI Affiliate Project 2019-20
This project, provisionally entitled Counterfeit Identities: Camp Abjection from André Gide to Xavier Dolan, investigates formal experimentalism as an index of sexuality in order to map queer strategies of storytelling onto queer subjectivities’ (sometimes self-destructive) modes of self-invention. It argues for an understanding of queer neither primarily as a set of sexual orientations nor as a perpetually unsettling worldview, but rather as a distinctly narrative mode of playful, and playfully contrived, identity formation and worldmaking.
With the notion of camp abjection, which argues for the impossibility of a self unconditioned by alterity, Counterfeit Identities responds to recent calls for an investigation into the darker aspects of the camp sensibility. Ultimately, the archive of the camp abject may suggest a productive countermodel to queer theory’s own efforts at perpetual self-reinvention within a discursive field tacitly committed to the assumption that non-normative sexualities might somehow inherently correspond to both progressive politics and an avant-garde aesthetic.