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Indiana University Bloomington
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Jacob Emery, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Jacob Emery

Justyna Beinek, Ph.D.

Degree: Ph.D in Slavic, Harvard University, 2006.

Dissertation: “Stock Exchanges: Heredity, Identity, and Metaphor in Modernist Slavic Literature.”

Specialties/Research Interests: Russian, Balkan, and Scandinavian fiction; rhetoric and figure; critical theory; Marxism; anthropology; science fiction; metafiction; translation.

I have published stray articles on topics from Thomas Pynchon to Russo-Swedish literary relations, but I am primarily engaged in two extended inquiries into the intersection of fictional rhetoric and economic life. Both projects draw inspiration from the theory of figure—especially the ideas formulated within German Romanticism and the tradition stretching from Russian Formalism to deconstruction—and from the anthropological and Marxist approaches that attempt to correlate economic structures and cultural forms.

One of these lines of interest, which derives from my dissertation, examines a series of Russian and South Slavic novels in which parents and children mistake themselves for each other in mirrors. Besides showing how such scenes spell out principles of literary construction through metaphors of hereditary identity, I hope to demonstrate that the confusion of parents and children points to a continuity between the figural economies of texts and the social economy, which also renders people substitutable for one another in the reproduction of labor through successive generations.

The other project is an attempt to elaborate a materialist conception of the mise-en-abyme, or text within the text, as a mechanism by which we recognize the work of art as distinct from other kinds of work—that is, the larger work of economic production that frames the artwork, and which the artwork models in miniature.

Selected Publications:

Courses Taught: