Phillip John Usher is a scholar of Comparative and French-language literature at New York University. His research is increasingly situated at the crossroads of early modern studies and contemporary theory, with a particular emphasis on classical reception and the conceptual histories of cartography and ecological thought. Most of his current work takes place in an intellectual sandbox he calls the Humanist Anthropocene.
His most recent article (published August 2017) is "Untranslating the Anthropocene" in a Diacritics issue on "Untimely Actualities." More details here. Full article on Project Muse.
Usher is the author, translator, or (co-)editor of six volumes, most recently Epic Arts in Renaissance France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
L'Aède et le géographe: poésie et espace du monde à l'époque pré-moderne (Paris: Classiques Garnier, expected 2018).
Robert Garnier's "Tragedy of Pious Antigone" (Tempe, Arizona: ACMRS, expected 2018).
On the Exterranean: Ecologies of Extraction in the Humanist Anthropocene (under final review with publisher).
Early Modern Écologies, co-edited by Pauline Goul and Phillip John Usher (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, expected 2018). [To be published in the series Environmental Humanities in Pre-Modern Cultures, edited by Gillian Overing, Heide Estes, Philip Slavin, and Steve Mentz.]
“The Night Before Geology: Fossil Stories from Early Modern France” in: Emily Thompson and Collette Winn (eds.) Storytelling in the French Renaissance: Literature, Art, Medicine, Science (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, forthcoming).
“The Revenge of the Mines: Earth-from-Nowhere versusSurfaces-with-Depths” in: Jeremie Korta and Dorothea Heitsch (eds.), Early Modern Visions of Space (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, forthcoming).
“Afterword” in: Sara Miglietti (ed.), special issue of Modern Language Notes (MLN) on “Climate and the Humanities.” Forthcoming, 2017.
“Atmoterrorism in the Humanist Anthropocene” in: Jeff Kendrick and Katherine Maynard (eds.), Words of War, Wars of Words (Medieval Institute Publications of Western Michigan University, forthcoming).
“Abordages dans le Quart Livre” in: Romain Meninin et al. (eds.), Rabelais inextinguible (Paris: Classiques Garnier, forthcoming).
“La Crète épique: La Franciade et la tradition desisolarii” in: Frank Lestringant et Alexandre Tarrête (ed.),Îles et insulaires (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles) (Paris: PUPS, forthcoming).
“Un Étrange adversaire : Phovère, le géant de la Franciade” in: Revue des Amis de Ronsard, forthcoming 2017.
“A Painting of Trojans / A Map of America: Early Modern French Reactions to Ariosto.” In: Jo Ann Cavallo (ed.), Italian Renaissance Romance Epic (New York: MLA, series “Options for Teaching,” forthcoming).
“L’intertexte virgilien dans les Singularités de la France Antarctique (1557) d’André Thevet” in: volume edited by Véronique Ferrer, Olivier Millet and Alexandre Tarrête (eds.), (Geneva: Droz, forthcoming).
Agenda - Talks (2017-18)
October 5-7, 2017: Discussion of "Plant Sound" at conference "Sense of Sound" co-organized by Sarah Kay and François Noudelmann, New York University.
October 24, 2017: Discussion of On the Exterranean at French Seminar Series, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
October 26-29, 2017: Paper on "Plant Theory and 16th-Century Botany" on panel "Contemporary Readings" at Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, Milwaukee.
October 26-29, 2017: Chairing Panel on "Corpus Naturalis: Biology and Ecology in Renaissance France" at Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, Milwaukee.
January 5, 2018: Chairing Panel on "New Work in Sixteenth-Century French Literature and Culture" at the MLA, New York City. 8.30-9.45am, Madison (Hilton). Panel no 226.
March 21, 2018: Invited talk on "The Globe vs. the Exterranean" at Tulane University, New Orleans.
March 22-24, 2018: Presenting on "Geomedia in Early Modern Normandy" on panel "Dreams in Stone: The Early Modern Lithic Imaginary" (organized by Lyle Massey and Brownen Wilson, chaired by Tiffany Werth). At the RSA, New Orleans.
March 22-24, 2018: Presenting on "Exterranean" on roundtable "Eco-philology: Early Modern Environmental Words and Worlds" (organized by Pauline Goul and Stephanie Shirilan, chaired by Roland Greene). At the RSA, New Orleans.
April 11-13, 2018. Keynote address on "Vegetalities." at the Swedish National Research Conference in Comparative Literature, on "Parenthetic Modernity: New Challenges for Literary Studies" at Linköping University, Sweden.
April 20, 2018: Paper "Terra and the Exterranean" at conference on "World-Making: Local and Global Imagining in Early Modern Literature," Columbia University, NYC.