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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Dr. Ridvan Askin

Dr. Ridvan Askin

© Peter Schnetz
University of Basel
Anglophone Linguistics and Literary Studies
External Junior Fellow
Marie S. Curie FCFP Fellow
Juni 2019 - October 2019


Ridvan Askin is a Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow in North American and General Literature at the University of Basel. He studied at the Universities of Vienna, Freiburg, and Essex and holds an MA in Philosophy, English, and Portuguese from the University of Freiburg and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Basel. He was a visiting scholar at The Pennsylvania State University in 2011 and at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies in 2016-2017.

His main research interests are aesthetics, contemporary North American fiction, Gilles Deleuze, philosophy and literature, narrative theory, romanticism, and the transcendentalists. His first book, Narrative and Becoming (2016), elaborates a transcendental empiricist concept of narrative arguing for an understanding of narrative as fundamentally nonhuman (instead of human), unconscious (instead of correlated to consciousness), and expressive (instead of representational). He is co-editor of Aesthetics in the 21st Century, a special issue of Speculations (2014), and of two essay collections, Literature, Ethics, Morality: American Studies Perspectives (2015) and The Aesthetics, Poetics, and Rhetoric of Soccer (2018). Die Pinocchio Theorie (2018), his translation of several of Steven Shaviro’s essays, was recently published in Merve Verlag’s Spekulationen series. New Directions in Philosophy and Literature, a collection of essays he co-edited, is forthcoming in September 2019. Currently, he is working on his second book, tentatively titled Transcendental Poetics and the Futures of American Romanticism.

Selected Publications

  • “Prolegomenon to a Differential Theory of Narrative.” SubStance 44.3 (2015): 155-70.
  • Narrative and Becoming. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
  • “Objects.” The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Posthuman. Ed. Bruce Clarke and Manuela Rossini. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 170-181.
  • “Emersons politisches Denken und die Dichtung.” Literatur und Politische Philosophie: Subjektivität, Fremdheit, Demokratie. Ed. Michael Festl and Philipp Schweighauser. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2018. 101-122.
  • “Emerson’s Speculative Pragmatism.” New Directions in Philosophy and Literature. Ed. David Rudrum, Ridvan Askin, and Frida Beckman. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2019.

FRIAS Research Project

Transcendental Poetics and the Futures of American Romanticism

Transcendental Poetics and the Futures of American Romanticism builds on the diagnosis that romanticism constitutes a yet unrealized literary-philosophical project. Such diagnosis is in tune with the prophetic emphasis of many romantic writers themselves, who time and again maintained that the fulfillment of romanticism was essentially still to come. The romantic project is characterized by a strong ontological commitment invested in bridging the Kantian gap between the human and the nonhuman by returning the human to nature while endowing nature with genuine spontaneity and creativity. Nature thus becomes both material and ideal, its ideal condition producing its material manifestation. This ontology is accompanied by an epistemology that acknowledges the Kantian limits of rational thought in unearthing the very ontological description romanticism presents us with and turns to accounts of aesthetic knowledge instead. Roughly, this program can be described as the philosophical marriage of Platonic idealism with Spinozist monism and expressionism, and the priority of intuitive over discursive reason. Romanticism’s ethics and politics follow from this epistemological and ontological program: only when one heeds the aesthetic imperative to attune oneself to the ideal in nature can one be said to be living one’s life fully. And only then is one best equipped to negotiate the affairs of the polis and the community’s well-being.

The projected book intends to chart the development of this romantic project from its very beginnings to the early twenty-first century and beyond. In this, the aim is to trace a general trajectory by way of a series of exemplary readings of major writers and thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Charles Olson, Gilles Deleuze, and E. L. Doctorow.