Professor Emeritus Jeffrey M. Perl

    Fields of Interest

    19th and 20th Century (especially modernist) English and French Literature, as well as the history of criticism, taste and aesthetics from antiquity to the present.

    Founder/ Editor, Common Knowledge (Duke University Press)



    Founder/Editor, Common Knowledge (Oxford University Press journal, 1990-98; Duke University Press, 2000-present).

    Professor of English Literature, Bar-Ilan University, 1999-present.

    Professor of the Humanities, University of Texas, Science Campus at Dallas, 1989-99

    Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 1987-89; Assistant Professor, 1980-87.


    Fulbright Senior Scholar and Visiting Professor, Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1998-99.

    John U. Nef Lecturer, University of Chicago, 1995.

    Guggenheim Fellow, 1988-89.

    Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in the Humanities, 1984-85.

    Visiting Fellow, Mansfield College, Oxford University, 1983.

    National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 1983.

    Associate Senior Fellow, Columbia University Society of Fellows, 1986-87.

    Columbia University Council for Research in the Humanities Fellowships: 1982, 1983, 1986.

    Finalist nominee, 1984, for The Tradition of Return: Christian Gauss Prize, Phi Beta Kappa; Harry Levin Prize, American Comparative Literature Association; Book Award, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.

    Whiting Fellow, Princeton University, 1979-80.

    Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford University, 1973.

    Fellowship year pending, Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

    Fellowships offered and declined: National Humanities Center, 1989; American Council of Learned Societies, 1984]



    Smithsonian Institution Associates/Teaching Company “Best College Teachers in America” lectures, inaugural series, 1990 (see also:  Recorded Lectures).


    Ph.D., with special honors, Comparative Literature, Princeton University, 1980.

    M.A., Comparative Literature, Princeton University, 1979.

    B.Phil., Modern British and American Literature (1880-1960), Oxford University, 1976 (examinations passed in first-class status).

    A.B., summa cum laude, Honors Program in Humanities, Stanford University, 1974.



    At Bar-Ilan: Member of the governing boards, Lechter Center for Literary Studies, Kaplan Center for American Studies; member, Dean’s Committee on Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Education; chair or member, various ad hoc committees.

    At Texas: Chair, University Committee on Qualifications (final-review committee for all appointments, tenure decisions, and promotions), 1992-93, Vice-Chair 1991, member 1990-94; Vice-President for Academic Affairs Search Committee, member; 1991-92; Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities Search Committee, member 1996-97; Committee for Sabbatical Awards, 1996; School Personnel Committee, 1989-97; School Graduate Studies Committee, 1996-98; School Development Committee, 1989-93; chair or member, numerous search and ad hoc committees.

    At Columbia: Secretary of the Faculty of Columbia College, 1985-88; Director of M.A. Programs in English and Comparative Literature, 1987-88; Director of Summer Session, university literature departments, 1985-88; Columbia College Admissions Committee, 1987-88; graduate Admissions and Evaluation Committee, English and Comparative Literature, 1986-88.



    Member, Center for Humanities Innovation, Durham University, UK, 2012-present.

    Special Adviser (juror) for Fellowships, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1995-present .

    Consultant to the publications department, Getty Center for Art History and the Humanities, 1997.

    Consultant for fellowships, Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, United States-Israel Educational Foundation (for Fulbright Scholarships), Research Council of Canada, and Oregon Humanities Center.

    Member, Princeton University Advisory Council, Department of Comparative Literature, 1994-present.

    Consultant for tenure reviews and appointments, Yale University, University of Virginia, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Tel Aviv, University of Haifa, Open University (Israel), and Ben-Gurion University Departments of English.

    Reader for Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, Columbia University Press, University of Massachusetts Press, Routledge Publishers, Continuum Publishers, The Journal of the History of Ideas, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Mosaic: Studies in the Novel.

    Consultant to BBC Radio 4 for a program on Eliot’s Indic studies, 2013; consultant to CBS News and Newsweek for the Eliot centenary, 1988; consultant to the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle for the Mallarmé/ Manet/Debussy/Nijinski/Matisse exhibit at the Musée D’Orsay, 1989; consultant to the New York Times for a front-page article on “public intellectuals,” 1994; consultant to Smithsonian magazine for an article on Pound, 1995.


    “Scholarship and Public Affairs,” Common Knowledge Conference, Skidmore College, 2005.

    “Schlegel’s Romantisch, the Classics, and Modern Theory,” Modern Language Association Convention, Washington, D.C., 2000.

    “Intellectual Messiahs,” Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, 2000.

    “Mediocre Classics,” Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1998.

    “The Etiology of Dispute,” Rice University, 1996.

    “Before Postmodernism,” the Autumn 1995 John U. Nef Lecture, University of Chicago (also listed under “Honors” above).

    “Soteriology Between Disciplines,” Bar-Ilan University/Hebrew University of Jerusalem conference in honor of Stanley Cavell, 1995:  plenary session chair.

    “On Disagreement,” New School for Social Research Graduate Faculty, 1992.

     “The Aims of Comparative Literature,” American Comparative Literature Association convention, Brandeis University, 1989:  panel chair.

    “After Modernism,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1988.

    “Eliot’s Difficulty,” The T. S. Eliot Centenary Lecture, Duquesne University, 1988.


    P.E.N., Modern Language Association, American Comparative Literature Association, Phi Beta Kappa.



    The Tradition of Return: The Implicit History of Modern Literature (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984).
    Skepticism and Modern Enmity: Before and After Eliot (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).
    Peace and Mind: Civilian Scholarship from ‘Common Knowledge’, collection in the series Contemporary European Cultural Studies, ed. Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala (Aurora, CO: Davies Group, 2011).
    Intellectual Caritas (research in progress; one chapter in draft form).
    Classics of Obnubilation (research in progress; eight chapters in draft form).
    Games and Spoilsports: Ambivalence in Context (research in progress).
    The Peace of Art (research in progress).




    Literary Modernism (eight lectures), Smithsonian Institution Associates/ Teaching Company “Best College Teachers in America” inaugural series, 1990 (audio).
    “Papuan Peace,” Common Knowledge 22.2 (May 2016): xxx-xxx.
    “A Caveat on Caveats,” Common Knowledge 21.3 (Fall 2015): 399-405.
    “Greco-Latin Findings,” Common Knowledge 21.1 (Winter 2015): 10-18.
    “The Undivided Big Banana,” Common Knowledge 20.3 (Fall 2014): 412-18.
    “Experimental Scholarship,” Common Knowledge 20.2 (Spring 2014): 197-203.
    “Tampering with Scholarly Form,” Common Knowledge 20.1 (Winter 2014): 1-3.
    “Bland Blur,” Common Knowledge 19.3 (Fall 2013): 411-23.
    Fausses Idées Claires and Idées Fixes” (coauthored with Mikhail Epstein), Common Knowledge 19.2 (Spring 2013): 217-23.
    “De-differentiation,” Common Knowledge 18.3 (Fall 2012): 419-32.
    “‘Abominable Clearness’” (coauthored with Natalie Zemon Davis), Common Knowledge 17.3 (Fall 2011): 441-49.
    “Patina, Depost, Penumbra,” Common Knowledge 17.2 (Spring 2011): 221-30.
    “Decorate the Dungeon” (coauthored with Colin Richmond), Common Knowledge 16.2 (Spring 2010): 223-32.
    Mezza Voce Quietism?” Common Knowledge 16.1 (Winter 2010), 22-30.
    “The Promise of Apathy,” Common Knowledge 15.3 (Fall 2009), 340-47.
    “‘The Need for Repose’,” Common Knowledge 15.2 (Spring 2009), 157-63.
    “‘More Trouble Than It Is Worth’,” Common Knowledge 15.1 (Winter 2009), 1-6.
    “Regarding Change at Ise Jingū,” Common Knowledge 14.2 (Spring 2008), 208-20.
    “T. S. Eliot’s Small Boat of Thought,” Common Knowledge 13:2-3 (Spring-Fall 2007), 337-61.
    “Suffocation in the Polis,” Common Knowledge 13:1 (Winter 2007), 33-39.
    “A Diriment Anchorism,” Common Knowledge 12:3 (Fall 2006), 379-87.
    “Unsettling Others,” Common Knowledge 12:2 (Spring 2006), 214-18.
    “Irenic Scholarship and Public Affairs,” Common Knowledge 12:1 (Winter 2006), 1-12.
    “Conference Working Group Recommendations” (coauthored with Clifford Geertz, Sari Nusseibeh, Caroline Walker Bynum, et al.), Common Knowledge 12:1 (Winter 2006), 13-15.
    “Further Trauma?” Common Knowledge 12:1 (Winter 2006), 34-35.
    “Historiography and Melodrama” (coauthored with J.G.A. Pocock), Common Knowledge 11:3 (Fall 2005), 370-74.
    “Talking Peace with Gods, Part II,” Common Knowledge 11:1 (Winter 2004), 18-21.
    “Talking Peace with Gods, Part I,” Common Knowledge 10:3 (Fall 2004), 426-29.
    “Hugh Kenner: 1923-2003,” Common Knowledge 10:3 (Fall 2004), 371-76.
    “Neo-Stoic Alternatives, c. 1400-2004: The Greater Apes,” Common Knowledge 10:2 (Spring 2004), 214-19.
    “The Disregardable ‘Second World’: Dialogical Introduction” (responding to Péter Nádas), Common Knowledge 10:1 (Winter 2004), 38-41.
    “The Idea of a Jewish Society,” Modernism/Modernity 10:3 (Sept. 2003), 447-54.
    “Relaxing Ideas: Punctuation and Boxing,” Common Knowledge 9:3 (Fall 2003), 394-98.
    “Benefits of the Doubt: A Brighter Past,” Common Knowledge 9:2 (Spring 2003), 199-203.
    “Secret Accomplices: Implications of Ambivalence,” Common Knowledge 9:1 (Winter 2003), 37-41.
    “Diffidence, Humility, Weakness, and Other Strengths: Subjunctive Prophecy,” Common Knowledge 8:3 (Fall 2002), 449-51.
    “On Cultivation” (coauthored with Natalie Zemon Davis), Common Knowledge 8:2 (Spring 2002), 364-65.
    “Caveats and Consolations: Setting Limits,” Common Knowledge 8:2 (Spring 2002), 284-86.
    “On Method” (coauthored with Alick Isaacs), Common Knowledge 8:1 (Winter 2002), 147-51.
    “Civilian Scholarship,” Common Knowledge 8:1 (Winter 2002), 1-6.
    “Introduction” to the symposium, “A Turn Away from ‘Language’?” Common Knowledge 4:2 (Fall 1995), 27-29.
    “Introduction” to the symposium, “Community and Fixation: Toward a New Type of Intellectual,” Common Knowledge 3:3 (Winter 1994-95), 14-19.
    “The Manufacture of Disagreement,” Common Knowledge 2:2 (Fall 1993), 122-34.
    Editorial statements in Common Knowledge 1:1 (Spring 1992), 11; 1:2 (Fall 1992), 4 and 8-9; 4:1 (Spring 1995),18; 4:2 (Autumn 1995), 158; 5:2 (Fall 1996), 21; 6:3 (Winter 1997), 146-47; 7:3 (Winter 1998), 1-3; 10:3 (Fall 2004), 377, 463; 18.3 (Fall 2012): 525-27; 19.3 (Fall 2013): 399-401.
    “Penelope without Ulysses,” Southwest Review 76:4 (Fall 1991), 551-62.
    “Foreign Metaphysics:  The Significance of T. S. Eliot’s Philosophical Notebooks, Part One” (coauthored with Andrew P. Tuck), Southern Review 21:1 (Winter 1985), 79-88.
    “The Language of Theory and the Language of Poetry:  The Significance of T. S. Eliot’s Philosophical Notebooks, Part Two,” Southern Review (Special Eliot number) 21:4 (Fall 1985), 1012-23.
    “The Hidden Advantage of Tradition” (coauthored with Andrew P. Tuck), Philosophy East and West 35:2 (April 1985), 115-31.
    “Anagogic Surfaces,” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 22:3 (Fall 1981), 249-70.
    “The Law of the Excluded Middle,” Renascence 40:3 (Spring 1988), 159-70.
    “The Evasion of Consensus” (review of Gerald Graff, Professing Literature), University of Virginia Review 10 (1988), 181-86.
    “Miniature Parnassus” (review of Richard Graves, Robert Graves: The Assault Heroic), Partisan Review 55:1 (1987), 163-66.
    “The Language Animal” (review of J. Hillis Miller, The Linguistic Moment), Sewanee Review 95:2 (Spring 1987), 295-98.
    “Giving the Word Back” (review of Mark C. Taylor, Erring: A Postmodern A/Theology), London Times Literary Supplement 4:308 (25 Oct. 1985), 1214.
     Review of Ricardo Quinones, Mapping Literary Modernism, in CLIO 14:3 (Spring 1985), 344-46.
    Nicholas Tavuchis, Mea Culpa: A Sociology of Apology and Reconciliation;
    Carol Armstrong, Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas;
    Philippe Sergeant, Donald Sultan Appoggiaturas;
    Robert Bauslaugh, The Concept of Neutrality in Ancient Greece;
    Jean-Louis Cohen, Le Corbusier and the Mystique of the USSR;
    Michael Camille, Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art;
    Pamela Blum, Early Gothic Saint-Denis;
    Conrad Rudolph, Artistic Change at St.-Denis;
    Daniel Javitch, Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of ‘Orlando Furioso’;
    Joseph Camilleri and Jim Falk, The End of Sovereignty?;
    William Weber, The Rise of Musical Classics in Eighteenth-Century England;
    T. S. Eliot, Eeldrop and Appleplex (reissue);
    Thomas Krens, et al., The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932;
    Wen Fong, Beyond Representation;
    Brendan Cassidy, ed., Iconography at the Crossroads;
    P.J.P Goldberg, Women, Work, and Life Cycle in a Medieval Economy;
    Richard Brodhead, Cultures of Letters;
    Daniel Arasse, Vermeer: Faith in Painting;
    Eviatar Zerubavel, The Fine Line;
    Rowland Abiodun et al., The Yoruba Artist: New Theoretical Perspectives on African Arts;
    David Bindman, ed., William Blake’s “Jerusalem”;
    David Bindman, ed., The Early Illuminated Books of William Blake;
    David Bindman, ed., William Blake’s “Milton”;
    Lincoln Kirstein, Mosaic;
    Maud Gleason, Making Men: Sophists and Self-Presentation in Ancient Rome;
    Joan Copjec, Read My Desire: Lacan against the Historicists;
    Stephen Mulhall, Stanley Cavell: Philosophy’s Recounting of the Ordinary;
    Portrait Drawings, 1500-1900 (Getty Museum Exhibition);
    J.L. Dawson et al., Concordance to the Complete Poems and Plays of T.S. Eliot;
    The Salon Album of Vera Sudeikin-Stravinsky, ed. and trans. John Bowlt;
    Gregory Stone, The Death of the Troubadour;
    Joan DeJean, Ancients Against Moderns;
    The Flight of European Artists from Hitler (Los Angeles County Museum exhibition);
    Christopher Bollas, Cracking Up;
    Homer: The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fagles;
    John Golding Braque: The Late Works;
    Harold Fisch, The Biblical Presence in Shakespeare, Milton, and Blake;
    Isabel Colegate, A Pelican in the Wilderness and Aztecs (Royal Academy of Arts exhibition, London);
    Chris Hedges, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning;
    Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo, The Future of Religion;
    Rowan Williams, Silence and Honey Cakes: The Wisdom of the Desert;
    Tony Juniper, Spix’s Macaw: The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Bird;
    Vernon W. Ruttan, Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?;
    Robert Fagles, trans., Virgil’s “Aeneid”;
    George Steiner, My Unwritten Books;
    Donald Keene, Chronicles of My Life: An American in the Heart of Japan;
    Japan Rising: The Iwakura Embassy to the USA and Europe, 1871-1873, ed. Chushichi Tsuzuki and R. Jules Young;
    Alan Macfarlane, Japan through the Looking Glass;
    Yuriko Saito, Everyday Aesthetics;
    The Culture of Japanese Fascism, ed. Alan Tansman;
    Anthony Vidler, Histories of the Immediate Present: Inventing Architectural Modernism;
    Stéphane Hessel, Time for Outrage;
    Oscar Wilde, The Women of Homer;
    T. S. Eliot, Letters, vols. 1 and 2;
    Lisa Guenther, Solitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives;
    Alan Page Fiske and Tage Shakti Rai, Virtuous Violence: Hurting and Killing to            Create, Sustain, End, and Honor Social Relationships, and Nigel Biggar, In Defence of War.






    “Stéphane Mallarmé,” European Writers:  The Romantic Century, ed. Jacques Barzun (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985), vol. 7, 1567-96.
    “Friedrich Schlegel,” European Writers: The Romantic Century, ed. Jacques Barzun (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985), vol. 5, 177-204.
    “‘Except in Tendency’: T. S. Eliot and the Dilemma of Post-Symbolist Classicism” (Stanford: Stanford Essays in the Humanities, 1976:  series 19), 61-110.
    “Disambivalent Quatrains,” in The Blackwell’s Companion to T.S. Eliot, ed. David E. Chinitz (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 133-44.
    “Postmodern Disarmament,” in Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Gianni Vattimo, ed. Santiago Zabala (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2007), 326-47 (other contributors include Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, Umberto Eco, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Manfred Frank, with a response by Vattimo). Spanish translation published 2009 (Barcelona: Anthropos). Also forthcoming in translations into German (Passagen) and Italian (Garzanti).
    “Passing the Time,” original article for The Future of Modernism, ed. Hugh Witemeyer (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998), 33-47.
    Two articles (“Concrete and Abstract” and “Touchstones”) in The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, ed. Alex Preminger et al. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993), 323-33, 1295. Revised article (“Touchstones”) for the new edition of 2012.
    “A Postwar Consensus,” original article for T. S. Eliot:  Man and Poet, ed. Laura Cowan (Orono, ME: National Poetry Foundation, 1990), 343-66.
    “The Language of Theory and the Language of Poetry,” reprinted in T. S. Eliot, ed. Harriet Davidson (London: Longman, 1998) (other contributors: Terry Eagleton, Maud Ellmann, Jacqueline Rose, Sandra Gilbert, Christine Froula)
    “The Significance of T. S. Eliot’s Philosophical Notebooks,” reprinted in T.S. Eliot: Essays from “The Southern Review”, ed. James Olney (Oxford: Oxford University Press [Clarendon], 1988), 157-77.

    Last Updated Date : 23/05/2022