Assistant Professor Eli Jelly-Schapiro has joined the USC Department of English Language and Literature!
Eli's specializations include global contemporary literature, transnational American studies, theories of race, capital, and empire, and the history of the present.
Eli received his PhD in American Studies from Yale University. He additionally holds an MSc in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics and a BS in Culture and Politics from Georgetown University. Undertaken within a global frame and through a historicist lens, his writing on contemporary literature and culture has appeared in Transition, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Social Text online, The Nation, the Journal of American Studies, Transforming Anthropology, and Critique, among other publications.
Eli is currently at work on a book, Security and Terror: Contemporary Culture and the Long History of Colonial Modernity, which interweaves two threads: One, the book embeds the paradigms of security and terror, the dominant conceptual tropes of contemporary American and global culture, within the five-hundred-year history of European empire and its afterlives—the long history of colonial modernity. Two, the book examines how the extant history of colonial modernity, and the dialectic of security and terror that operates therein, is figured in contemporary fiction and theory.
Before coming to USC, Eli was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Merced. While in Merced, he organized and curated an exhibition entitled “Emergency/Emergence: Art after War,” which featured the work of Aaron Hughes, Ehren Tool, Mark Pinto, and Drew Cameron—four artists who are veterans of U.S. military interventions in Iraq. The work on view bore witness, in a variety of media, to the human consequence of militarism and its aftereffects—in the United States, in the Middle East, and in the world at large. While making visible the trauma of war, “Emergency/Emergence” also revealed the cultures of solidarity, resistance, and renewal that emerge within—and gesture toward a way beyond—the space and time of violence.