Edgar Illas | Faculty
Director of CatalanAssociate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Office: GISB 2105
Ph.D., 2007, Duke University
B.A., 1999, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona
- Contemporary Catalan and Spanish Culture
- Theories of Architecture
- Post-Marxism and Deconstruction
- Global War and the Political
- Thinking Barcelona. Ideologies of a Global City. Liverpool University Press, 2012.
"2013 North American Catalan Society Prize for Outstanding Work in Catalan Studies."
- "Survival, or, the War Logic of Global Capitalism." Décalages 2.1 (2016).
- “Urban Tellurics in Barcelona: Between a Heideggerian Rock and a Postmodern Swimming Pool.” Journal of Urban Cultural Studies 1.3 (2014): 443-60.
- "Is Catalan Separatism a Progressive Cause?" Dissidences 5.10 (2014).
- “From Elegies de Bierville to Separatism: Constituent Power or Global War?” Catalan Review 28 (2014): 3–17. (Translation into Catalan: “De les Elegies de Bierville a l’independentisme: poder constituent o guerra global?” Tropelías 22 (2014): 45-57.)
- “Gaudí Gehry Barcelona.”Cultural Critique 87 (2014): 144-61.
- "The Procrustean Bed of Class Struggle." Décalages 1.3 (2013)
- “Eugenio Trías’s Reading of Joan Maragall: from Civil Catalunya-ciutat to Postcivil Catalunya-estat.” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 13.4 (2012): 323-38.
- “Pleasure against Ideology in Gabriel Ferrater.” Hispanic Review 80.3 (2012): 467-84.
- “Sketches of Contemporary Labor.” Discourse. Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 33.1 (2011): 55-74.
- "On Universalist Particularism: the Catalans and the Jews." Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies. 12.1 (2011): 77-94.
- "Liberalisme i independentisme, o l'esperit treballador català." Catalan Review 24 (2010): 387-400.
- "The Great Novel of Barcelona." The Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies 6 (2008): 167-82.
- “Short Stories against Barcelona’s Urban Transformation.” Transtext(e)s Transcultures. Journal of Global Cultural Studies 3 (2007): 84-97.
- “Visca la mort del català! Una proposta modesta per a les llengües minoritàries.” Dissidences 1.1 (2005).
- “Marià Vayreda: el carlisme reciclat i l’inconscient català.” El Contemporani13 (2004): 27-32. (Spanish version: “Marià Vayreda: el carlismo reciclado y el inconsciente catalán.” Res publica. Revista de filosofía política 13-14 (2004): 87-96.)
- “Precariedad política e independentismo catalán.” La imaginación hipotecada. Aportaciones al debate sobre la precariedad del presente. Eds. Palmar Álvarez-Blanco and Antonio Gómez L-Quiñones. Madrid: Libros en acción, 2016. 245-56.
- Ball de bastons (novel) (Cabrera de Mar: Galerada, 2014). "Article a Núvol"
- "Sandpaper Liquids." (short story) Trans. J.M. Sobrer. Web. October 9, 2013.
- El gel de bany sobre l’esponja (novel) Barcelona: Columna, 2003. Literary Prize Finalist, “La primera columna.
- Articles in El Punt Avui
Honors and Awards
- Individual Research Award, Institute for Advanced Study, Indiana University (2016).
- Course Development Grant, Hutton Honors College, Indiana University (2016).
- New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Indiana University (2012).
- Emergency Grant-in-Aid, Indiana University (2012, 2015).
- Institute for European Studies Mellon Travel Grant, Indiana University (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).
- Research Travel Grant, College of Arts & Humanities Institute, Indiana University (2011, 2016).
- Summer Curriculum Development Grant, West European Studies, Indiana University (2010).
- Bass Instructorship, Graduate School, Duke University (2006-07).
- “Premi Extraordinari,” 1st in Class of 1999, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Current Research Projects
My project, Global War and the Regime of Survival, is a theoretical reflection on the conditions for political life in the situation of global war. My hypothesis is that the logic of global capitalism is no longer cultural (as Fredric Jameson argued in the 1990s) but has evolved into a logic of war. As a consequence of this shift, I propose that the frame of cultural recognition that became dominant in critical and political interventions during postmodernity must be rethought as a regime of survival. Survival defines the minimal assemblages of bodies in the midst of endless war, a type of degree zero governmentality in which living on constitutes the central form of spatialitzation—and de-spatialization—of the polis. Whereas under the cultural logic of late capitalism the recognition of all types of differences and the unearthing of heterodox, queer and subaltern subjectivities were the main driving forces of critical efforts, the regime of survival is composed of immanent singularities that take place within the structure of global war. Through a critical engagement with various contemporary thinkers (Carlo Galli, Jacques Derrida, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Carl Schmitt, Roberto Esposito, and Giorgio Agamben, among many others), my project explores the conditions that make possible the interventions of the singularities of survival in our conjuncture.
Specifically, my study makes four main contributions. First, it extensively describes the effects of the blurring of modern political categories in the situation of global war. Second, it theorizes survival as a global logic that overcomes the theories on life and power derived from the paradigm of biopolitics. Third, it develops the notion of intervention to define the incessant actualization of politics in a time in which the modern temporality of the new has been replaced by what I call the global temporality of the always already. Finally, it explores the notion of singularity to question previous theorizations of the political based on class struggle, inclusion, hegemony, or recognition of demands. The focus on aleatoriness, eclecticism and singularity enables us to understand the effective forms of spatialization of politics in global war.