Academic degrees

th ANNIVERSARY LECTURE, Beijing Capitol University of Business and Economics (CUEB)

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60th ANNIVERSARY LECTURE, Beijing Capitol University of Business and Economics (CUEB),

Beijing, October 14, 2016

“Apophatische Theologie und Neuzeitliche Philosophie,” Summer Semester Block-Seminare,

co-taught with Prof. Wilhelm Essler

Philosophy Department, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt, August 2-6, 2016

“Die vielen Sprachen der Literaturwissenschaft”

ICLA 2016 - Association Internationale de Littérature Comparée/International Comparative Literature Association - XXI. Kongress, 21. Juli – 27. Juli 2016 – Universitity of Vienna, Austria

Universality of Knowledge and Specialization at the University: A Path from France to China

KEYNOTE SPEECH for International Academic Conference to Inaugurate the School of Foreign Studies,

Beijing Capitol University of Business and Economics (CUEB), Beijing, May 26, 2016

“Imagining Otherness as an Aporia for Comparative Philosophy: In Debate with François Jullien”

21st Symposium: Imagination East and West

Académie du Midi, Alet-les-bains, France, May 15-21
“Books, Bread, and Bubbles:

or How to Read Dante Backwards and Forwards in Time on the Way to China”

William Franke places his recent books in the context of an integrated philosophy of the humanities,

Followed by a Critical Response to The Revelation of Imagination by Lenn Goodman, Andrew W. Mellon Prof. of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, April 6, 2016

* “The Apotheosis of Self-Reflection: Dante and the Inauguration of the Modern Era”

ANNUAL DANTE LECTURE at the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies

cosponsored by the Devers Program in Dante Studies, University of Notre Dame,

and the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, Chicago, February 27, 2016

* “Poetry as Theology: New Theoretical Approaches to Dante”

Interdisciplinary Graduate Workshop co-led with Prof. Vittorio Montemaggi

Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies, The Newberry Library, Chicago, February 26, 2016
* “The Revelation of Imagination.” University of Dallas, Department of English. February, 2016 (to be scheduled)
*“Negative Theology”

Philippine Academy of Philosophical Research

University of Santo Tomas (“The Catholic University of the Philippines”),

Manila, Philippines, December 6, 2015

*“Theological Revelation and Secular Reason:  Critical Proposals for a Meeting of Minds and Cultures,”

Invited Lecture in Department of Philosophy, Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas

Manila, Philippines, December 5, 2015
*“The Tradition of the Chinese Classics and the Idea of World Literature Today”

KEYNOTE SPEECH (with simultaneous translation into Chinese) at International Symposium on “The Orient vs. The Occident: Cultural Exchanges and Influences,” sponsored by Foreign Language Department of Capital University of Economics and Business, jointly organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Capital International Culture Research Center of Beijing Language and Culture University, and the Comparative Literature Studies Center of Soochow University.

Beijing, November 27-29, 2015

*Invited Speaker and Panelist for Session on “Negative Theologies and Apophaticism”

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

Atlanta, November 22, 2015
Host and Moderator (with Xavier Garnier, Director of L’Alliance Française, Macao)

“Universality and Cultural Difference between East and West”

Philosophy Café (public lecture/discussion): Rui Cunha Foundation, Macao, February 11, 2015
*Invited Speaker and Panelist on “Liberal Arts Education in the East Asian University:

The Unspeakable Basis of Comparative Humanities”

Symposium on “Liberal Arts in the Age of Globalization,”

10th Anniversary Celebration of Underwood International College

Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, October 28, 2015
* “Apophatic Paths from Europe to Asia: A Personal Philosophical Journey”

Invited Lecture for Center for Zhouyi and Ancient Chinese Philosophy,

Philosophy Department, Shandong University, China, October 20, 2015
* “Nothingness and the Aspiration to Universality in the Poetic ‘Making’ of Sense:

An Essay in Comparative East-West Poetics”

What Is World Literature? Tension between the Local and the Universal

An International Summit Dialogue and Forum

School of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University, October 16-17, 2015
*“From the Globalism of Nature to the Universality of Thought: Bringing Universalist Ethics and Politics back into Ecological Harmony by the Apophatic Way”

27th International Conference of Philosophy (IAGP): Global Ethics and Politics (Invited Speaker)

Vouliagmeni (Athens metropolitan coast), July 10-16, 2015
* “Die Apophase als Paradigma der belehrte Unwissenheit”

[“Apophasis as Paradigm of Learned Ignorance”]

Cusanus-Tagung zur Thematik des idiota bei Cusanus

University of Tübingen, Germany, June 5-6, 2015

“Cognitive Universality between Science and the Humanities”

PhilHist’15: History of Philosophy Conference on “Interactions”

DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Research Centre)

Istanbul, Turkey, May 14-16, 2015

“Classical Chinese Thought and the Sense of Transcendence”

International Colloquium: Transcendence and Immanence in Intercultural Philosophy

Program of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Macao, March 20- 21, 2015
What is Apophatic Thinking and Why is it Relevant Today?

Discussions around William Franke’s A Philosophy of the Unsayable

International Philosophy Colloquium,

Program of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Macao, March 7th, 2015
*“Philosophical Universalism and the Role of China in the World Today”

Philosophy Café (public lecture/discussion): Rui Cunha Foundation, Macao, February 11, 2015

* “Natural Cognition, Universals, and the Nothing of Religion”

Keynote Address for “Cognition, Religion, and Science”: A Conference of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), co-sponsored by the Toronto Institute for the Advanced Study of Religion Philosophy and Religious Studies Program, University of Macao, January 13-14, 2015

* “Immanence versus Transcendence--A Key Controversy in Comparative Philosophy”

Invited Lecture in Philosophy Colloquium series, Chinese University of Hong Kong,

Hong Kong, October 13, 2014
* “Dante’s Apophatic Vision and Classical Daoist and Confucian Wisdom: Methodological Reflections on Comparative Philosophy, Religion, and Literature”

Dante and East Asia, Devers Program in Dante Studies

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, August 27-28, 2014
* “Self-Reflection and the Theological Apotheosis of Lyric in the Paradiso

Lecture at NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Summer Institute:

“Dante’s Divine Comedy, poetry, philosophy, and the city of Florence”

Florence, July 21, 2014

Seminar on Paradiso VI-X and XI-XVIII

NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Summer Institute:

“Dante’s Divine Comedy, poetry, philosophy, and the city of Florence”

(Institute Leader, with Brenda Schildgen, et al.)

Florence, July 18-22, 2014
“Identity and the Undefinable: What Escapes all Social Categorizations?”

14th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations

Vienna, July 9-11, 2014
“The Philosopher or the Sage? Apophaticism in Europe and China”

Symposium: Wisdom East and West

Académie du Midi, Alet-les-bains, France, June 8-14
* “Paul Among the Theorists: A Genealogy of the New Universalism”

2014 Symposium of contributors to Routledge Companion to Literature and Religion

University of Toronto, June 4-6, 2014
Invited participant in Jungcusaner Symposium (“Wissensformen bei Nicolaus Cusanus”)

Kueser Akademie für Europäische Geistesgeschichte

Berncastle-Kues, Germany, May 26-28, 2014
“Universalism and Transcendentality East and West: The Theological Anomaly”

Critical Theory and the Way: Kantian Paradigms and Prospects in East Asia

International Philosophy Symposium, University of Macao, May 8-10, 2014
*“Knowledge and the Humanities”

(With Dean Martin Montgommery, Chair Professor of English)

Faculty Seminar for Faculty of Arts and Sciences,

University of Macao, April 30, 2014

*“Religion and Literature: Method and Meaning” or

Porphyry’s Hermeneutics of Revelation and the Philosophical Criticism of Literature

Humanities Research Seminar in Religion and Literature

Chinese University of Hong Kong, April 11, 2014

“Rethinking Cultural Universality Today and the Question of Theological Transcendence”

International Conference on “Cultural Spaces, Cultures of Difference” Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, Andrha Pradesh, India, 27-29 January, 2014

“From Epic Wholeness to Anamorphic Imagination: A Poetic Epistemology of the Humanities”

International Colloquium on “The Force of Imagination”

University of Macao, December 14, 2013
“Natural Cognition and its Cultural A Prioris: Macau as the Double Swinging Door between Cultures”

Introductory Address for International Conference on “Natural Cognition: Logic, Evolution, Organisms”

Program in Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Macau, December 14, 2013
“Amphibolies of the Postmodern: Hyper-Secularity or the Return of Religion”

Annual International Conference on Advances in Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCS)

Singapor, December 9-10, 2013
* “The New Apophatic Universalism: Deconstructive Critical Theories and Open Togetherness in the European Tradition”

ASCP (Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy) Annual Conference

Response Session to my paper, with respondent (Prof. Chris Hackett)

University of Western Sydney, Paramatta, Australia, December 3-5, 2013

* “Des pistes apophatiques menant de l’Europe en Chine: En cheminant avec François Jullien”

Bilingual (French-Chinese) Conference-Workshop with François Jullien

(with simultaneous translation into Chinese)

Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, November 7-8, 2013


“Transgression and Transcendence: What Makes Religion Radical? A two-day symposium to discuss Prof. William Franke’s book Dante and the Sense of Transgression: ‘The Trespass of the Sign’

Institute for Christianity and Culture,

International Christian University (ICU), Tokyo, Japan, October 11-12, 2013

* “The Humanities and the Ideal of Wholeness—Epic Pasts, Partisan Presents, Plural Futures”

International Speakers Series on “The Future of the Humanities”

International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2013
* “L’éloge de la fadeur et la litote du neutre: Entre François Jullien, Maurice Blanchot et Roland Barthes” [The Eulogy of Blandness and the Litotes of the Neutral:

Between François Jullien, Maurice Blanchot, and Roland Barthes] 

Colloquium: “Des possibles de la pensée : Autour des travaux de François Jullien”

CERISY-la-Salle (France), September 14-21, 2013

“Thinking in the Gap between the Cultures of Greece and China: Apophatic Universalism”

23rd World Congress of Philosophy: Philosophy as Inquiry and as Way of Life

School of Philosophy, University of Athens, Greece, August 2-11, 2013
“Agamben’s Logic of Exception and its Apophatic Roots and Offshoots”

International Conference “Except Asia: Agamben’s Work in Transcultural Perspective”

Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University,

Taipei, Taiwan, June 25-27, 2013

* “Dante’s Theology and Contemporary Thought,” featured lecture-workshop at:

International Seminar “Dante’s Theology” sponsored by Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Leeds Center for Dante Studies, and Devers Program for Dante Studies, University of Notre Dame

Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, June 21, 2013
* “All or Nothing? The Question of Nature as Bond between the Chinese Classic Past and the Global Future,” Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung sponsored Philosophy Colloquium: “Nature-Time-Responsibility,” University of Macao (China), April 14, 2013
“Postmodern Identity Politics and the Social Tyranny of the Definable”

Third Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion, and Philosophy, IAFOR

“Connectedness and Alienation: The 21st Century Enigma”

Osaka, Japan, March 30, 2013

“François Jullien and the Notion of Immanence: Chinese compared with Western Thought and Culture”

Asian Studies Association of Hong Kong (ASAHK), 8th Annual Conference: “Transformations, Development and Culture in Asia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives”

University of Hong Kong, March 9, 2013
“Religious Literature’s Secular Vocation: Dante and Postmodern Thought”

Conference on Italian Literature and Religion

Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto, October 11, 2012
* “Trauma and Silence in the Post-Holocaust Poetry of Paul Celan”

International Forum for Advanced Research in English:

“Suffering in Literature and Trauma Studies”

English Department, University of Macao, August 23-26, 2012

* “Der Übergang zum ‚anderen Zustand‘ als literarisches Motiv“

Invited Research Conference: “Ende oder Umbau einer Erlösungsreligion? Verschiebungen in der Vorstellung eines nicht nur endlichen, sondern ‘ewigen’ Lebens”

Evangelisch-Theologisch Fakultät, Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany, July 12-15, 2012
“The New Apophatic Universalism: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and Open Togetherness in the European Tradition”

International Conference on Interrogating Cosmopolitan Conviviality:

New Dimensions of the European in Literature

University of Bamberg, May 24, 2012

* KEYNOTE SPEECH: “The Art of Memory or the Forgetting of Art?

Visionary Moment in Dante and Blanchot”

International Conference: “Memory: Impressions, Expressions, Reflections: An Interdisciplinary Conference,” The Department of English Studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA)

Pretoria, March 28, 2012

“The Apophatic Experiential Grounds of Philosophy of Religion”

Wesleyan Philosophical Society, annual meeting on Philosophy and Religious Experience

Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, March 1, 2012
* “Christian Figuralism and Kenosis: From Otherworldliness to the Becoming Worldly of Otherness”

MLA National Convention, Religion and Literature Section, Panel on “Secularism”

Seattle, Washington, January 6, 2012

*  “The Holistic Ideal of the Humanities and Religious Revelation:

Linguistic-Cultural Diaspora or a New Universality?”

Lecture for the School of Modern Languages and Cultures,

University of Hong Kong, November 7, 2011

* “Epic Imagination and the Unlimited Vision of Literature”

Distinguished Lecture Series, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,

University of Macao, October 27, 2011
*  “Reading Emily Dickinson: Three Approaches to One of her Poems,”

with linguist Martin Montgomery and translator Zhang Meifang, Department of English Seminar Series,

University of Macao, October 21, 2011
* “L’itinéraire du corps dans la Divine comédie de Dante”

(“The Itinerary of the Body in Dante’s Divine Comedy”)

Lecture and seminar for the Faculty of Philosophy, Catholic Institute of Paris, September 23, 2011


* “Le commencement et la fin de la philosophie dans le mysticisme apophatique:

de Platon au postmodernisme” 

(“The Beginning and the End of Philosophy in Apophatic Mysticism: From Plato to Postmodernism”)

Lecture at colloquium on “Philosophie et Mystique: Autour de Stanislas Breton,”

CERISY-la-Salle (France), August 27, 2011

* “Dante e la teologia negativa” [Dante and Negative Theology]

ISSR (Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose),

University of Urbino Carlo Bo, August 18, 2011
“Canonicity, Creativity, and the Total Revelation of Literature”

The Hospitable Text Conference: New Approaches to Religion and Literature,

London, July 14-17, 2011
“The Paramount Importance of What Cannot Be Said in Public Theological Discourse”

International Conference on Contextuality and Intercontextuality in Public Theology

GNPT (Global Network for Public Theology)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Research Center for Public Theology

University of Bamberg, June 24, 2011
* “A Philosophy of the Humanities: Their Classical Roots and Contemporary Relevance”

Lecture sponsored by Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,

University of Macao, May 5, 2011
* KEYNOTE ADDRESS: “Letargo and the Argo: Total Forgetting as the Moment of Truth at the Climax of Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Christian Epic Tradition”

4. Internationale Nachwuchstagung des DFG-Graduiertenkollegs: Generationenbewußtsein und Generationenkonflikte in Antike und Mittelalter: “Erfahren, Erzählen, Errinern: Narrative Konstruktionen von Gedächtnis und Generation in Antike und Mittelalter”

[4th International Postgraduate Colloquium, DFG [German Research Foundation]: “Record, Relate, Remember: Narrative Constructions of Memory and Generation in Antiquity and the Middle Ages”]

Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, March 2- 4, 2011

Response to Mary Watt lecture, “Dante, Columbus, and Stigliani's Mondo Nuovo: Literary construction and spiritual imperialism.” Religious History Colloquium.

Vanderbilt Divinity School, September 15, 2010

“Don’t Mention It: Emily Dickinson’s Poetics of ‘Still Appreciation’” (read by Gary Stonum)

Emily Dickinson International Society (EDIS) International Conference

Oxford University, August 8, 2010
* PLENARY ADDRESS: “The Scientific Paradigm and the Poetic Epistemology of the Humanities”

12th International Conference of ISSEI (International Society for the Study of European Ideas):

“Thought in Science and Fiction”

Cankaya University, Ankara, Turkey, August 4, 2010

“Porphyry and the Philosophical Interpretation of Literature”

Session on Literary Philosophy and Philosophical Literature

ISSEI (International Society for the Study of European Ideas)

Cankaya University, Ankara, Turkey, August 3, 2010

“Poetic Revelation: Between Language and Apocalypse”

Tools of the Sacred, Techniques of the Secular: Awakening, Epiphany, Apocalypse and Doubt in Contemporary English-Language Verse

Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Brussels, Belgium, May 7, 2010

* KEYNOTE SPEECH: “’Il Trapassar del Segno’: Language and Transcendence in Dante’s Paradiso

The Fourth Interdisciplinary Conference of the Nordic Dante Network: “Dante and Transgression”

University of Tampere, Finland, August 20, 2009
“The Canon Question and the Value of Theory: Towards a New Concept of Universality”

Conference on National Literatures in the Age of Globalization: The Issue of Canon

University of Bucharest, November 1, 2008
“Existentialism: A Christian Philosophy or the Ultimate Atheism?”

The Fourth World Congress of Phenomenology:

The Phenomenology and Existentialism of the Twentieth Century

Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, August 18, 2008

* “Le Paradis de Dante et les conceptions monastiques du ciel au moyen âge”

Abbaye Saint-Wandrille, Normandy, France, July 22, 2008

+ “Lecture du Ciel de Jupiter dans le Paradis de Dante,” July 23, 2008

“Acknowledging Unknowing: Stanley Cavell and the Philosophical Criticism of Literature”

Conference on Stanley Cavell and Literary Criticism

Edinburgh University, May 11, 2008

“Poetics of Silence in the Post-Holocaust Poetry of Paul Celan”

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Annual Conference,

Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington November 2, 2007
* “Porphyry and the Philosophical Criticism of Literature”

Invited Lecture in the Institute for Classical Philology

University of Salzburg, May 14, 2007
* “A Critical Negative Theology of Dialogue:

The Coincidence of Reason and Revelation in Communicative Openness”

(Vorlesung auf Englisch abgehalten mit anschliesender Diskussion auf Deutsch)

University of Salzburg, May 9, 2007

”Postmodern Identity Politics and the Social Tyranny of the Definable”

Annual Florida State University Conference on Literature and Film

Tallahassee, Florida, February 3, 2007
“The Ethical Posture of Post-Colonial Discourse in Edward Said and in Mahatma Gandhi”

9th International Conference of the Forum on Contemporary Theory,

Udaipur, Rajasthan (India), December 16, 2006
* “Scripture as Theophany in Dante’s Paradiso

2006 Annual Lecture in Religion and Literature,

University of Notre Dame, October 30, 2006
“Habermas’s Critical Reflexive Philosophy versus Premodern Poetic and Theological Reflexivity”

12th International Philosophy Colloquium: The Structure of Reflection—Self-Conscioiusnes and Critique

Evian, France, July 16-22, 2006
“’The Missing All’: Emily Dickinson’s Apophatic Poetics”

College English Association 37th Annual Conference,

San Antonio, Texas, April 7, 2006
“Edmond Jabès, or the Name of God as the Vanity of Language in the Heart of Every Word”

XVIIth Southeast Conference on Foreign Languages and Literatures

Stetson University, Deland, Florida, March 3, 2006
* “Primordial Sacrifice, Typology, and the Theological Vocation of Literature in Finnegans Wake

Lecture for Department of Comparative Literature Seminar Series, University of Hong Kong

December 5, 2005
“Poetic Language, Apocalypse, and the Premises for Dialogue: How a Secular West Can Face Radical Islam.” Worlds in Discourse: Representations of Realities, International Conference,

Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, November 21, 2005

* “’Shadowy Prefaces’: Literature, Theology, and the Philosophy of Unsaying”

Lecture for Department of Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong,

November 8, 2005
“The Truth of Art in Time and in Eternity: Dante’s Divine Commedy

Conference on Art and Time, Australian National University, November 3, 2005

* “The Death of God and the Crisis of Values in Secular Modernity and Post-secular Postmodernity”

Lecture Series on Culture, Value, and the Meaning of Life

Department of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong, September 28, 2005
“A Heideggerian Reading of Prophetic Temporality in the Aeneid

ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association) Annual Convention

Penn State University, March 11, 2005
“An Epistemology of the Humanities as Involved Knowing”

National Assocation for Humanities Education 2005 Convention

Richmond, February 25, 2005
“What Philosophical Criticism of Literature Can Do”

Seventh Annual Comparative Literature Conference: “Thinking on the Boundaries: The Availability of Philosophy in Film and Literature,” University of South Carolina, February 11, 2005

“The Place of the Proper Name in the Italian Topographies of the Paradiso

MLA (Modern Language Association) National Convention, Philadelphia, December 28, 2004

“Apophasis and the Neoplatonic Interpretation of Religious Revelation”

AAR (American Academy of Religion) National Convention. Platonism and Neoplatonism Group.

San Antonio, November 21, 2004.

“Proper Names, Singularities, and the Unnameable in the Topographies of Dante’s Paradiso

Names and the Unnameable: Literary Art and Spiritual Vision: 2004-05 Midwest Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature, Notre Dame University September 17, 2004
“Typological Re-Origination and the Theological Vocation of Poetry”

Bloomsday 100: 19th International James Joyce Symposium

Dublin, Ireland, June 14, 2004
“Christian Epic Tradition and Theological Revelation in ‘Finnegans Wake’”

Conference on Christianity and Literature

Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, March 27, 2004
“Negative Theology in Dante’s Paradiso after Derrida and Levinas

Medieval and Postmodern Intersections: NJCEA 27th Annual Conference

Seton Hall University, March 20, 2004
“New Interpretations of Joyce and Christian Epic”

Miami Joyce Conference, January 30, 2004

“Primary Metaphorization and the Origin of Language: Vico’s Heritage”

Session on Italian Literature between Religion and Philosophy from Baroque Culture to Romanticism

MLA national convention, San Diego, December 28, 2003
“Dante and the Secularization of Religion through Literature”

Division on Literature and Religion: Religion and the Rise of Literary Studies

MLA national convention, San Diego, December 27, 2003
Response to papers on “The Letter to the Romans Through the Ages”

Society for Biblical Literature at the AAR (American Academy of Religion) national convention

Atlanta, Georgia, November 22, 2003
“Dante’s Ugolino, or Narrative as the Instrument of Sin”

Session on Ethics and Narrative

PAMLA (Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Assoc.), Claremont College, November 8, 2003
“Le nom de Dieu comme vanité du langage au fond de tout mot selon Edmond Jabès”

(“The Name of God as the Vanity of Language at the Bottom of Every Word according to Edmond Jabès”)

Colloque Jabès at CERISY (Centre Internationale de Culture)

Cerisy-la-Salle, France, August 19, 2003

“Mystical Rhetorics of Silence: Medieval to Modern”

Sixth International Literature and Humanities Conference: “Inscriptions in the Sand,”

Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta, Cyprus, June 1, 2003
“Paul Celan’s Immemorial Silence”
ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association) annual convention: “Crossing Over”

San Marcos, California, April 5, 2003

“Negative Theology in the Neoplatonic Parmenides-Commentary Tradition

and as Revived in Contemporary Apophatic Forms of Thinking”

Society for the Contemporary Assessment of Platonism (SCAP)

American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, San Francisco, March 31, 2003

“Virgil’s Invention of History as Prophecy”

Comparative Literature Conference: “Imagining Rome”

California State University, Long Beach, March 15, 2003
“Dante: Prophet and Pioneer of Secular Humanism”

Conference on Humanism, SUNY Stony Brook, February 28, 2003

“A Philosophy of the Unsayable: Apophatic Discourses from Plato to the Postmodern”

Vanderbilt Philosophy Colloquium, October 11, 2002

“Joyce’s Typology and the Theological Vocation of Poetry”

International James Joyce Symposium, session on Joyce and the Bible

Trieste, Italy, June 21, 2002
“The Writing of Silence in Post-Holocaust Poetry of Paul Celan and Edmond Jabès”

Phenomenology and Literature Conference: Aesthetics of Mystery in Poetry, Novel, Drama and Film

Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 9, 2002
“Virgil’s Invention of History as Prophecy”

Classical Association of the Atlantic States, session on Augustan Latin Poetry

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, April 27, 2002
"Singularity, Alterity, and the Unspeakable: Apophasis in Post-Holocaust Poetry and
Thought.” International Phenomenological Symposium: “Singularity-Subjectivity-The Other”

Perugia, Italy, July 17, 2001

“On What Cannot Be Said: Significances of Silence in Society, Philosophy, Religion, Literature and

the Arts,” McGill Philosophy Discussion Hour

Vanderbilt, April 2, 2001
* “Dante’s Paradiso and the Poetics of Unsayability”

Presentation at the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France, November 18, 2000

“Topografie italiane come metafore dell’altro mondo nel Paradiso dantesco”

(“Italian Topographies as Metaphors for the Other World in the Paradiso”)

XVII Conference of A.I.S.L.L.I. (Associazione Internationale per gli Studi di Lingua e Letteratura Italiana) on the topic “Le Dimore della Poesia” (“The Dwellings of Poetry”)

Gardone Riviera (Brescia), Italy, June 3, 2000

“Dante’s Poetics of Exile”

International Dante Seminar, invited as “discussant” by Società Dantesca Italiana

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, June 9-11, 2000
“The Exodus Epic: History and Ritual”

2000 Association for Core Texts and Curriculums (ACTC) Sixth Annual Conference

San Francisco, April 15, 2000
“Theological Apocalypse and the Breaking-Open of Dialogue in Literature: Some Political and Poetic Proposals for the New Millennium,” Comparative Literature Colloquium, Vanderbilt, January 25, 2000
“The Lyric Poetics of the Paradiso

1999 South Atlantic MLA Convention, Atlanta, November 6, 1999

Inferno as a Humanities Text: The Interpretive Journey and the Allegory of Reading”

1999 Association for Core Texts and Curriculums (ACTC) Fifth Annual Conference

New Orleans, April 11, 1999.
* “Poetry as Apocalypse and as Negative Theology: Dante to Paul Celan and Wallace Stevens”

Lecture for the Department of French and Italian and Committe on Graduate Studies

Louisiana State Universtiy, March 19, 1999
“Language as Exile: The Poetics of Ineffability”

(French Graduate Conference on “Exile,” read for me in absentia by Prof. Patricia Ward)

Vanderbilt University, February 26, 1999
“Joyce and Christian Epic Tradition: Linguistic Repetition and Theological Revelation”

XVI International James Joyce Symposium

Rome, June 18, 1998

“Prophecy Eclipsed: Hamlet as a Tragedy of Knowledge”

1998 Association for Core Texts and Curriculums (ACTC) Fourth Annual Conference

University of North Carolina, April 19, 1998.

“Dante’s Address to the Reader en face Derrida’s Critique of Ontology”

XXII Annual Phenomenology and Literature Congress,

The World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning

Harvard University, April 16, 1998

“Theory of the Symbol in French Symbolist Poetry: Baudelaire’s Heirs”

L’ère de Baudelaire: Symposium Honoring Claude Pichois

W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire Studies, Vanderbilt University, April 4, 1998
“Dante and Derrida: Ontology and Hermeneutics”

Philosophy Colloquia Series, Department of Philosophy

Vanderbilt University, February 20, 1998
“Dante’s Vision of Scripture in the Heaven of Jove”

1997 MLA Conference: Medieval/Renaissance Italian Division

Toronto, December 30, 1997
“Apocalypse and the Breaking-Open of Dialogue”

Colloquium for History and Critical Theories of Religion Program,

The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

Vanderbilt University, 3 December, 1997

“Poetry Between Metaphysics and Negative Theology: From Dante to Celan”

Symposium on The Tradition of Metaphysical Poetry and Belief, November 1, 1997

Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature, Brigham Young University
“Dante’s Comet: Apocalyptic Poetry and its After-Sparks”

Symposium on History, Apocalypse and the Secular Imagination

University of British Columbia, September 19, 1997
“An Evening Around William Franke and his Dante’s Interpretive Journey

Religious Studies Department, Vanderbilt University, September 8, 1997.

“Humanities Knowledge and the Bible”

1997 Association for Core Texts and Curriculums (ACTC) Third Annual Conference

Temple University, April 11, 1997
“Dante’s Address to the Reader and Derrida on Address”

1996 American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Conference on “Literature Between Philosophy and Cultural Studies,” University of Notre Dame, April 12, 1996

“Petrarch, Bocaccio, and the Waning of Dante’s Hermeneutic Horizon”

Tenth Biennial New College Conference on Medieval -Renaissance Studies,

Sarasota, March 14, 1996. Session Chair: Lee Patterson
* “Resurrection and the Like: Historical Tradition and Revelation According to Dante Alighieri.”

Lecture at the Graduate Center for Medieval Studies, Medieval History Series,

University of Reading, England, May 26, 1995.
“Truth and Interpretation in the Divine Comedy

Ninth Biennial New College Conference on Medieval -Renaissance Studies,

Sarasota, Florida, March 11, 1994
“Dante and the Poetics of Religious Revelation”

MLA Special Session on “Literature and the Concern for Truth”

Toronto, December 28, 1993
“Heidegger and the Greeks”

Seminar at Collegium Phaenomenologicum

Perugia, Italy, August 1993
“Dante, Gadamer and the Question of Suprahistorical Truth”

International Hermeneutics Symposium

Heidelberg, July 2-4, 1993
“Heidegger on Heraclitus’ Logos Fragment”

Workshop in program of the Collegium Phaenomenologicum,

Perugia, Italy, August 1992
“The Divine Comedy as Prophetic Poem”

Pair of lectures in Great Works Series at Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

Vanderbilt University, April 10, 1992
“Dante’s Address to the Reader and its Resonance with Contemporary Theories of Interpretation”

Symposium in Comparative Literature on Dante and Modernism

University of Tulsa, March 27, 1992
“The Sign of the Swan and the Polysemous Dove: Incarnational Poetics in Dante and Mallarmé”

Lecture sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature

Stanford University, June 10, 1991
“Historical Sense and Reader’s Historicity in the Divine Comedy

Lecture for the Medieval Studies Forum

Stanford University, May 29, 1991
“Blind Prophecy: Milton’s Figurative Mode in Paradise Lost

Conference on Christianity and Literature

Santa Clara University, May 3, 1991
“The Polysemous Dove: Truth and Interpretation in the Divine Comedy

Lecture for The Program in Comparative Literature, Vanderbilt University, January 25, 1991


Italian (perfectly fluent)

French (perfectly fluent)

German (perfectly fluent)

Spanish (fluent)



Middle English

Old French

Occitan (Langue d’oc)

Middle High German

Mandarin Chinese (basic speaking)

(University-level experience teaching in German, French, and Italian, as well as in English, for courses in philosophy, literature, and theology. Ancient and Medieval and Asian languages listed are ones used in published research.)

(Editor-in-chief, 2013-14) International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

Exégèse: Journal of Contemporary Studies in Applied Literary Theory (2013- )

Enthymema: Rivista di teoria, critica e filosofia della letteratura (2011- )

Hermeneutica (2012- )

Advances in Literary Study (2013- )

Linguistics, Culture, and Education (2013- )

Philosophy Study (2013- )

Global Journals (2016- )

Australian International Academic Centre (2013)
Member of the Faculty Executive Committee

Head of a principal academic unit of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Subject Convener and Program Coordinator,

Philosophy and Religious Studies Program,

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

University of Macao, 2013-14

Faculty Senate committee for library management, 2014-15


New Courses Introduced
Italian 3242. Dante in Historical Context (Fall 2016)

Divinity 5492. Dante and Theology (Spring 2017)

French 7060. French Theory and Apophatics
At University of Macao, China (2013-2015):

English Grad Special Topics. Philosophy and Literature (Spring 2013)

English Grad Special Topics. Criticism as Philosophy (Fall 2013)

English Grad Special Topics. Religion and Literature (Spring 2014)

Philosophy Ph.D Special Topics. Self-Reflexivity (Fall 2014)

Philosophy Ph.D Special Topics. Universals and Universalism (Spring 2015)

Philosophy Ph.D Special Topics. Comparative Literature and Philosophy (Fall 2015)
DIV 3910-01 / RLST 243 Paul and Postmodern Political Theologies (Spring 2010)
DIV 3910-01 / REL 3910-01 / RLST 294  Apophatic Theology and Culture (Fall 2009)

FR 256.  Existentialisme en Philosophie, Littérature et Théologie

(At Vanderbilt-in-France, Fall 2008)
VORLESUNG Postmodernreligionsphilosophien

[Postmodern Philosophies of Religion] (At University of Salzburg, Spring 2007)
CONVERSATORIUM. Apophatische oder negative Theologie in der Kultur

[Apophatic or Negative Theology in Culture] (At University of Salzburg, Spring 2007)

CONVERSATORIUM. Dantes Paradiso im theologischen Hinblick

[Theology Perspectives on Dante’s Paradiso] (At University of Salzburg, Spring 2007)

DIV 388/FR Post-Modern Theory: In the Wake of the Death of God (Fall 2006)
LECTURE COURSE. Postmodernism

(At University of Hong Kong, Department of Comparative Literature, Fall 2005)

CLT 360  Philosophy and Literature: Philosophical Criticism of Literature  (Spring 2005)

CLT 341 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: Current Trends  (Fall 2003, 2004)

CLT 340 Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism: Classic Texts and Traditions (Spring 2003, 2004)

CLT 355  The Writing of Silence  (Spring 2002)

CLT 355 Mystical Rhetorics of Silence from Plotinus to John of the Cross (Fall 2001)

CLT 355-03 On What Cannot Be Said: Apophatic Discourses in Theology, Philosophy, and Literature (Spring 2000)

CLT 355 Poetics and Politics of the Origin of Language (Spring 1999)

CLT/French 355  The Unnameable and the Sublime  (Fall 1999)

CLT/English 355  Metaphor  (Spring 1998)
CLT 350  Postcolonial Criticism and Theory:  Applications and Emergences of Literary Theories (team-taught with Margaret Doody)  (Fall 1998)
CLT 350 The Soul:  Applications and Emergencies of Literary Theories (team-taught with Margaret Doody)   (Fall 1997)
CLT 327  The Structuralist Paradigm and its Transformations (Spring 1997)

CLT / Philosophy 345  Hermeneutics (repeated 1992-1997)

MAEA 38 Philosophy and Literature (MA seminar at University of Macao)
MAEA 39 Religion and Literature (MA seminar at University of Macao)

PhD. Dissertations Directed:

Peter Kline (Divinity): “Passion for Nothing: Kierkegaard’s Apophatic Theology” (2016)

David Dark (Religious Studies): “Insert Soul Here: The Witness Sacramental Poetics as Apocalyptic for the People” (2011)

Yong Chen (Religious Studies): "On the Rhetoric of Defining Confucianism as a ‘Religion’: A Hermeneutic Reading of the Controversy on Confucian Religiosity and its Significance to the Understanding of Chinese Tradition and Modernity" (2005)

Donald Holman (Comparative Literature): "The Death of Dionysos: Formative Experience and Human Autonomy in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre" (2004)

Heather Garrett (French): "Nothing to Say. Disclosures of Silence in 20th Century French Narrative" (2004)

Robert Scott Hubbard (Comparative Literature): "Original Sins: Philosophical Appropriations of Agency and Meaning in the Greek Tragedians" (2002)

In Progress:

Chance Woods (English)

Xiaolun Qi (Comparative Literature)

University of Macao, supervision of PhD students:

Francesco Carpanini

Paul Man

Nicolas Le Jeune

Liui Yue

Ph.D. Dissertation Committees:

Jason Smith (Vanderbilt Divnity): “Eucharist as the Gift of Political Language”

Belkis E. Barrios (Spanish and Portuguese, Vanderbilt): “Literatura y cine hispánicos del siglo XXI: La

diáspora y el desengaño en el Bildungsroman del nuevo milenio” ["Hispanic Literature and Film of the Twenty-First Century: Diaspora and Disillusion in the latest versions of the Bildungsroman"]

Edward Eh (University of Macao, Philosophy): “Aquinas, Confucius, and Intellectual Virtue: A Comparative Account of Prudentia and Cheng” (2015)
Guan Beibei (Hong Kong University, European Studies), “The Dandy and the Historical Ragpicker: A Study of Contrary Responses to Modernity of Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin” (2014)
Menghun Goh (Religious Studies): “The Middle Voice of Love in 1 Corinthians:  Reading Singularity and Plurality from Different Cultures” (2014)
Alexandra Campana (German): “Violent Black Oceans: Literary Border Crossings in a Global Age, 1990-2005” (2014)
David Dault (Divinity):  "The Covert Magisterium:  Theology, Textuality and the Question of Scripture" (2008)

Claudia Schlee (German):  "Poetry as Compass: Chaos, Complexity and the Creative Voice" (2007)

Rachel Bauer (Spanish):  "Madness and Laughter: Cervantes's Comic Vision in Don Quixote" (2007)

James Burt Fulmer (Religious Studies): "Identities Bought and Sold, Identity Received as Grace: A Theological Criticism of and Alternative to Consumerist Understanding of the Self" (2006)

Brian McGinnis (German): "Reading the Moral Code: Theories of Mind and Body in Eighteenth-Century Germany" (2006)

Joshua Braley (Religious Studies): "Bringing God to Mind: Christian Theology in Light of the Critical Study of Religion" (2006)

Justine Van Meter (Comparative Literature): "Writing the Dying and the Dead: Irishness, Jewishness and Gender" (2006)

André Sousan (Divinity): "The Woman in the Garden of Eden: A Rhetorical-Critical Study of Genesis 2:4b-3:24 (2006)

Azucena Garcia-Marcos (Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid): "Una Approximacion psychoanalytica a la obra de Francisco de Goya" (2006)

Shirin Edwin (French): "Négocier pour survivre: La représentation de l’islam dans les productions romanesques francophones de l’Afrique de l"Ouest (1950-2002)" (2005)

Apel Ygrek (Philosophy): "Virile Expenditure: A Study of Bataille’s Transgressive Erotics" (2004)

Kathleen Costales (Spanish): "No Hay Cosa Como Callar: Una Edicíon Critica" (2004)

Deborah Barnard (French): "Marginality and Mixed Marriages in the Works of Albert Memmi" (2003)

R. Philip O’Hara (Divinity): "Economics of the Basileia Tou Theou in Mark" (2002)

Cécile Guillard (French): "Baudelaire malgré tout: La présence de Baudelaire dans l’oeuvre de Ives Bonnefoy" (2002)

Terresa Stricklen (Divinity): "Preaching and Theology in Light of Theological Education: The Early History of a Troubled Marriage or What Went Wrong How" (2001)

Brett Davis (Philosophy): "On the Way to Gelassenheit: The Problem of the Will and the Possibility of Non-Willing in Heidegger’s Thought" (2001)

Ken Himmelman (Comparative Literature): "'Beyond the Compass of Time': The Fragmented Universe and the Rise of Modern Science Fiction, 1600-1740" (1998)

Darren Hutchinson (Philosophy): "A Song of Solipsism: Wittgenstein and the End of the World" (1996)

Greg Carey (Religious Studies): "Elusive Apocalypse: Reading Authority in the Revelation of John" (1996)

Gian Balsamo (Comparative Literature): "Legitimate Filiation and Gender Segragation: Law and Fiction in Texts by Derrida, Hegel, Joyce, Pirandello and Vico" (1994)

MA Theses directed (or co-directed):

Jason Moore (Divinity): “Jean-Luc Nancy’s Material Ontology: Disenclosure, Apophasis, and the World of Bodies” (2013)

Wong Kar Kei Jenny, “The Challenge of Modernity and Italo Calvino’s Literary Responses: An Examination of the Relationship between Humanity and the World and Literature as a Reconciling Force,” External Examiner, University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Arts, School of Humanities (2012)

Lauren Smelser (Master Theological Studies): “Christian Hermeneutics in the ‘Now’ and the ‘Not Yet’ of God’s Logos: Embodying Christ through Kenosis in Comparative Theological Readership” (2010)

Andrea Thornton (Religious Studies):  “Job and Philosophy” (2010)

Zachery Gershom (Divinity):  “Orthodox Akatathan Liturgy and Apophasis” (2010)

Eric Froom (Philosophy):  “Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, and Philosophical Doubt” (2007)

Burt Fulmer (Interdisciplinary Studies): "Rene Girard and the Exorcism of the Possessed Consumer"  (2006)

Natalia Mikailovitch (Comparative Literature): "Transforming the Language: Translation as Exile and Hermeneutic Dialogue" (2005)

Robert Nasatir (Comparative Literature): "Burning Shadow: The Poetic Image of Federico García Lorca in English-Language Poetry" (2000)

Laura Matter Fukeshima (Comparative Literature): "Reproducing Catullus: Translation and the Polymetrics" (2001)

Matt Burleson (Comparative Literature): "Traces of Heidegger in Crista Wolf’s Cassandra" (2000)

Michel Le Grand (Comparative Literature): "Modernist Poetics of Paul Valery, Pedro Salinas" (1995)

SERVICE (current representative activities)
To Department:

Organized Fireside Chat of poet Béatrice Machet at McTyeire, October 13, 2009

Invited Zygmunt Baranski, Serena Professor of Italian at Cambridge, for two lectures:

“Pasolini’s Uccellini e Uccellacci: Histories of Italy/Histories of Cinema” 9-30-2010

“What’s so New about the Vita Nova?” 10-1-2010
To College: Advisory Board of the Max Kade Center for German and European Studies

Committee for Promotion to tenure of Prof. Richard McGregor

To University: Faculty-in-residence at McTyeire International Hall (for Italian, German, French, and

Spanish) 1992-2012. Faculty Advisor for French Hall 2016-17

Principal Organizer for international conferences at University of Macao:
“What is Apophatic Philosophy and Why is it Relevant Today” (2015).

“Immanence and Transcendence in Intercultural Philosophy” (2015)

“Critical Philosophy and the Way: A Symposium on Kantian Paradigms and Prospects in East Asia” (2014)
Faculty reviewer for the 2017 GEO (Global Education Office) Scholarship Review Committee
To Profession:
Review of fellowship application for the American Academy in Berlin (2016-17)
Tenure Review Committee & Promotion to Associate Professor of Italian, University of Notre Dame
Consultant for Thomas Riggs & Company and The Gale Group

For Dante’s Vita Nuova in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC) series

Consultant for Thomas Riggs & Company and The Gale Group

For Augustine’s Confessions, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC) series

External Reviewer for internal transfers of staff to Philosophy within Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Macao, for Dr. Wan, Dr. Jia, and Dr. Chen
Executive Board Member of Dante Society Council of the Dante Society of America
Tenure Review Committee for Promotion to Associate Professor of Italian, Notre Dame University
Referee for Promotion to Full Professor of Italian, University of Chicago
Referee for Promotion to Full Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University
Tenure Review Committee & Promotion to Associate Professor of Italian, Wayne State University
Tenure Review Committee for Promotion to Associate Professor of Italian, Princeton University

Referee for the Dante Prize (undergraduate essay contest) and Grandgent Prize (graduate essay

Referee of Grant Proposals for American Philosophical Association and Louisiana State
Member of advisory board of Enthymema: Rivista di teoria, critica e filosofia della letteratura;

and of Hermeneutica

Reader of manuscripts for University of Toronto Press, Oxford University Press, Columbia University Press, Routledge, SUNY Press, Fordham University Press, Philosophy of Rhetoric, Christianity and Literature, PMLA, Journal of Religion, Acta Academica, Swiss National Science Foundation, Sage Publications, Gale’s Literature of Society series, Journal of European Studies, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Consultant for Thomas Riggs & Company and The Gale Group

for Manifesto in Literature, Literature of Propaganda, Literature of Autobiography

and for Edmond Jabès in the Twentieth Century Literary Criticism series
Cover endorsements for:

William Desmond, The Intimate Universal: The Hidden Porosity Among Religion, Art,

Philosophy, and Politics (Columbia University Press, 2016)

Jeremiah L. Alberg, Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandalous Texts (East

Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2012)

Wayne Cristaudo, A Philosophical History of Love (New Brunswick: Transaction, 2012)

Gian Balsamo, Il libro del respiro (Italy: Robin Edizioni, 2012)

Virginia Burrus, Mark D. Jordan, Karmen MacKendrick, Seducing Augustine: Bodies, Desires,

Confessions (New York: Fordham University Press, 2010)

Christine O'Connel Bauer, Dante's Hermeneutics of Salvation: Passages to Freedom in the Divine

Comedy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007).

Francis J. Ambrosio, Dante and Derrida: Face to Face (New York: SUNY Press, 2007)

Group session of ICLA (International Comparative Literature Association) triennial Congress at University of Vienna, 21-27 July, 2016. Stream: Sprache der Migration. Migration der Sprache. Transkulturelle Literatur im Zeitalter der Globalisierung.
Philosophy Symposium, “What is Apophatic Thinking and Why is it Relevant Today?

Discussions around William Franke’s A Philosophy of the Unsayable

International Philosophy Symposium, University of Macao, March 7-8, 2015
Principal Organizer:
“Critical Theory and the Way: Kantian Paradigms in East Asia”

International Philosophy Symposium, University of Macao, May 8-10, 2014

Transcendence in Immanence in Intercultural Philosophy

International Philosophy Symposium, University of Macao, April, 2015

(co-organized with Nahum Brown, my postdoctoral fellow)
To Community: Member of artistic team for poetry workshops (ateliers d’écriture) of the Scriptorium at

L’Isle-sur-Sorgue (May 10); the Festival Poétique des Petits Toits du Monde (May 29-30), Noyer-sur-Gabron; and Festival Ex-Poésie at Perigueux on June 30.

« Conférence sur poésie » at Soirée Poésie, Opède, Lubéron, July 18, 2016

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