Ella Brians

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Ella Brians (B.A., Amherst College, French and Philosophy; M.A., New School for Social Research, Philosophy) works on poetry and poetics from Romanticism to Modernism in English, French and German. Her primary focus is on the Anglo-American poetic tradition from the late 18th-20th centuries, as well as the long history of poetics that reaches back through the Renaissance to Plato and Aristotle. Her interests include lyric theory and lyric subjectivity, the tension between lyric expression and poetic narrative, the post-Romantic long poem, accounts of poetic formation, the transmission and transformation of poetic forms, attempts to express limit states of experience in poetic language, and the potential ethical force of poetic self-constitution. Current projects include an exploration of the ethics of address in John Berryman and Anne Carson’s work, as well as an examination of Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh as a response to Wordsworth’s account of poetic formation in The Prelude. Before joining the Comparative Literature department, Ella studied philosophy with a focus on 20th century French thought and the work of Gilles Deleuze. In both her philosophical and literary work, she is concerned with the intersection of ethics, aesthetics and subject formation.

Ella is an active member of the Contemporary Poetry Colloquium (English Department), which organizes readings and conversations about poetry at Princeton. She is also responsible for organizing the annual Comparative Poetics Colloquium, which brings together world-renowned scholars, graduate students, faculty and poets for a one-day discussion of poetics and poetic practice. In addition, Ella is editor and distribution manager for Inventory, a journal of literary translation.


I, you, he: The Ethics of Address in Berryman's Dream Songs and Carson's The Beauty of the Husband," ACLA Conference, Brown University, March 29-April 1, 2012.

“Maternal Neglect and Unblessed Babes: Barrett Browning's Response to Wordsworth's Myth of Infant Bliss," Princeton-Rutgers Victorian Graduate Colloquium, Rutgers University, February 17, 2012.

“Reconciliation in The Wreck: The Nun’s Cry and Hopkins’ Poetry of Experience,” Graduate Symposium, “Victorian Healing and Reconciliation,” Princeton University, February 26, 2010.

“Fictions of the Self, the Self as Fiction: The Ethics of Self-Creation in Butler and Deleuze,” ACLA Conference, UC Long Beach, April 24-27, 2008.


Book Chapter: “The “Virtual” Body: Deleuzian Becomings and Cyber-Corporeality,” in Deleuze and the Body. Deleuze Connections Series (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011).

Book Review: Catherine Chandler, Lines of Flight and Wendy Videlock, Nevertheless in The Raintown Review. 10.2 (2012).

Book Review: Carrie Jerrell, After the Revival in The Raintown Review. 9.2 (2011).

Book Review: Julie Kane, Jazz Funeral in The Raintown Review. 9.1 (2010).

Book Review: Todd May, Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction in Graduate Faculty
Philosophy Journal
. 27.1 (2006).

Selected Translations:

“Antigone: Limit and Horizon,” from the French by Julia Kristeva, “Antigone, la
limite et l’horizon,” in Feminist Interpretations of the Antigone, ed. Fanny Söderbäck (New York: SUNY Press, 2010).

“For Shoshana Felman: Truth and Art,” from the French by Julia Kristeva, “Pour Shoshana Felman: La vérité et l’art,” in The Claims of Literature: The Shoshana Felman Reader, eds. Emily Sun, Eyal Peretz, Ulrich Baer (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007).

“Hannah Arendt and the Liberal Tradition: Heritage and Differences,” from the French by Géraldine Muhlmann, “Hannah Arendt et la tradition libérale: héritage et differences,” in the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, vol. 28:2.


English 221: Words vs. Music (Princeton University)
English 303/Comparative Literature 372: The Gothic (Princeton University)

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