Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 1999
Harriman Hall 252
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750
Tel: (631) 632-7570
Current Book Project:
Democracy and Generational Being
Democracies are remarkable for being founded on nothing but the
demos. When Cleisthenes introduced districts or demes to Athenian political life it was
specifically to disrupt the rule of the
genos and end entitlement to political power by virtue of family or birth. Yet we continue
to organize ourselves into nation-states today, and are constituted as subjects and
citizens in ways that are still deeply informed by birth, nationality and our desire
to belong as generational beings to a past and a future. The
genos remains the unexamined object of this desire and, in an age of genocide, there is
an urgent need to interrogate what drives us to value the
genos so highly that we abhor violence against it as we abhor no other violence. How can
we understand our need for taxa, orders, and kin even as we commit ourselves to the
rule of those who have nothing in common? This is the paradox at the heart of the
genos. Democracy holds out the promise of a politics beyond the
genos, but making good on that promise means working out a distinctively democratic temporality,
and confronting the patterns of genocidal violence that not only made possible the
founding of our modern democracies but remain with us in the form of structural repression,
natal alienation, and slow death.
Current translation project: Jean-Luc Nancy.
Derrida, Supplements. Fordham University Press.
Natality and Finitude to my current project on democracy, generational life, and genocide, this work has
happened at the intersection of ontology and politics. Articles and chapters investigate
the political and ontological questions that arise around embodiment ("The Politics
of Intrusion," “Umbilicus”), gender ("The Excess of Justice"), labor ("Symbol, Exchange
and Birth"), teaching ("Pedagogy without a Project"), and worldiness (“Amery, Arendt
and the Future of the World”). Much of it has dealt with the work of Heidegger, Arendt,
Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Translations, alone and with collaborators, include three
books of Nancy’s:
Being Singular Plural (with Robert Richardson, Stanford, 2000),
Being Nude (with Carlie Anglemire, Fordham, 2014) and
Corpus II (Fordham, 2013).
Subjects and Simulations (Lexington, 2014), on the work of Jean Baudrillard and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, was
edited with Hugh Silverman and
Logics of Genocide: The Structures of Violence and the Contemporary World, was edited with Martin Shuster.
Irish Studies is an on-going interest. “Traumatized Sovereignty” deals with the functioning of
sovereignty in Northern Ireland, and “Learning a Strange Native Language” is about
inheriting the Irish language, with a nod to Derrida’s
Monolingualism of the Other.
You can find links to some of this work below.
Teaching: Social and political philosophy; democratic theory; contemporary political philosophy;
philosophy and race; philosophy and genocide;
Sensus communis; critical phenomenology; Arendt; Nancy; Nietzsche; Descartes; philosophy, commemoration
and mourning; art and society.
Logics of Genocide
edited by Anne O'Byrne and Martin Shuster (Routledge, 2020)
Natality and Finitude
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010).
Subjects and Simulations
, edited by Anne O'Byrne and Hugh Silverman (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2013).
Corpus II: Writings on Sexuality
translated by Anne O'Byrne (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013).
translated by Anne O'Byrne and Carlie Anglemire (New York: Fordham University Press,
Being Singular Plural translated by Robert Richardson and Anne O'Byrne (Stanford, CA: Stanford University