Neil Larsen


Position Title
Professor of Comparative Literature

805 Sproul

Education and Degree(s)

  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota
  • M.A., Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota
  • B.A., Philosophy, Reed College

Research Interest(s)

  • Critical Theory and its philosophical sources
  • Marxism
  • Comparative literature
  • Post-colonial and Latin-American literary studies (including Brazil)


Neil Larsen works and writes extensively in the areas of Critical Theory, Latin American literature and culture (including Brazil) and postcolonial studies. He has published his work in Spanish, Portuguese and German as well as English. Larsen is the author of Modernism and Hegemony (1990), Reading North by South (1995), and Determinations: Essays on Theory, Narrative and Nation in the Americas (2001). His current book projects are Towards a Critical Theory of ''Theory'', and its sequel, Principles of Immanent Critique, both intended to serve the pedagogical aim of providing students with an advanced, methodical introduction to the workings of Marxian critique in the literary and cultural sphere. He is a member of the editorial collectives for the online journal Mediations and the German-language journal of Critical Theory, Krisis. His most recent work includes an essay on Lukács, "Lukács sans Proletariat, or Can History and Class Consciousness be Re-historicized?," forthcoming in in Timothy Bewes & Timothy Hall, eds., The Fundamental Dissonance of Existence: New Essays on the Social, Political and Aesthetic Theory of Georg Lukács (London: Continuum Press); and "Race, Periphery, Reification: Speculations on - Hybridity - in Light of Gilberto Freyre's Casa-grande & senzala," forthcoming in the journal Cultural Critique.

Selected Publications

  • Determinations: Essays on Theory, Narrative and Nation in the Americas (London, NY: Verso Press, 2001)
  • Reading North by South: On Latin American Literature, Culture and Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995)
  • Modernism and Hegemony: a Materialist Critique of Aesthetic Agencies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990) Theory and History of Literature Series, vol. 71
  • "Thoughts on Violence and Modernity in Latin America, in Light of Arno Mayer's The Furies", in A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America's Long Cold War, Greg Grandin and Gilbert Joseph eds, (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming)
  • "O 'Híbrido' como Fetiche: 'Raça', Ideologia e Narrativa em Casa-grande & senzala," Gilberto Freyre y los Estudios Latinoamericanos, Joshua Lund and Malcolm McNee, eds. (Pittsburgh: Instituto Internacional de Literatura Latinoamericana, forthcoming)