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Amanda Dennis

Assistant Professor

  • Department: Comparative Literature and English
  • Office: 
  • Office Hours: 
    Mondays 14:00–15:00 or by appointment

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Professor Dennis has research interests in philosophies of embodiment, modernism, and contemporary literature, and her current research traces the influence of 20th-century French philosophy on the work of Samuel Beckett. Her book project, Bodying Space: Beckett and the Question of Agency, engages phenomenology to explore how the physical body – especially in relation to its environment – suggests alternative forms of subjective agency. Her articles have appeared in The Journal of Modern Literature and the Journal of Beckett Studies, and she has published elsewhere on philosophy and literary aesthetics. She has held fellowships and visiting lectureships in France, the UK, the US and Spain. She also studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded a Whited Fellowship in creative writing. She is fiction editor of the literary magazine Paris Lit Up, and writes about literature for the Los Angeles Review of Books and Guernica.


PhD University of California, Berkeley
MPhil University of Cambridge (Gates Cambridge Scholar)
MFA Iowa Writers Workshop (Fiction)
AB Princeton University




“Compulsive Bodies, Creative Bodies: Beckett and Agency in the 21st Century,” Journal of Beckett Studies 27.1 (2018).
“Poets of Their Own Acts: Tactics, Style and Occupation in Beckett’s Nouvelles,” Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 27 (2015). 
“Radical Indecision: Aporia as Metamorphosis in The Unnamable,” Journal of Beckett Studies 24.2 (2015). 
“Glitches in Logic in Beckett’s Watt: Toward a Sensory Poetics,” Journal of Modern Literature, 38.2 (2015).
“Dithyrambs and Ploughshares: The Cycle of Creation and Criticism in Nietzsche’s Aesthetics,” The European Legacy 16.4 (2011).

Conferences & Lectures

“Uncertain Humanisms: Energies of Environment in Beckett, Bowen and Merleau-Ponty,” Invited lecture at Durham University, Department of English, May 2018. 
“Beckett and Surrealism,” Invited lecture at the Modern Languages Association Conference (MLA), Austin TX, Jan. 2016.
"Beckett, Sensation and Agency: Quad and Worstward Ho.” Invited Plenary Lecture at the Samuel Beckett Summer School, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Aug. 2015.
“Subversive Geography: Foucault’s Heterotopia and Beckett’s Closed Space Tales,” Conference of the Samuel Beckett Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 2017.
“Beyond the Nation: Doubles and Cosmopolitanism in Postwar Irish Literature,” ADEI, Granada, Spain, May 2015.