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Anne O'Byrne

Anne O'Byrne

Associate Professor
Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 1999


Harriman Hall 252
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750

Tel: (631) 632-7570


Current Book Project: The Genocide Paradox

The book investigates the relation between the how we understand political existence—through political selfhood, life, agency, public space, political institutions—and the formal structures of genocide. What is the connection between the existential structure of agency and selfhood, and generation and the formal structure of genocide? Even though political philosophy understands nations and nationalism as cultural creations of the 19 th century, 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 is 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 as to abhor violence against it above all else. Democracy holds out the promise of a politics beyond the genos, but if it is to make good on that promise it will have to take over the generational work of mourning and renewal as the work of politics.

Logics of Genocide, a volume co-edited with Martin Shuster, will appear with Indiana University Press in 2019.

Research: From Natality and Finitude to my current project on genocide, my work has happened at the intersection of ontology and politics. In articles and chapters I have investigated 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.

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.

Teaching: Social and political philosophy; contemporary political philosophy; philosophy and race; philosophy and genocide; Sensus communis; critical phenomenology; Arendt; Nancy; Nietzsche; Descartes; philosophy, commemoration and mourning; art and society.

I will be director of the  Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Citta di Castello, Italy, in July 2019,


Professor Anne O'Byrne's CV




Nataity and Finitude Book Cover Natality and Finitude  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010).  
Subjects amd Simulations Subjects and Simulations , edited by Anne O'Byrne and Hugh Silverman (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2013).  
Corpus Book Cover Jean-Luc Nancy,   Corpus II: Writings on Sexuality   translated by Anne O'Byrne (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013).   
Being Nude Book Cover Jean-Luc Nancy,  Being Nude  translated by Anne O'Byrne and Carlie Anglemire (New York:   Fordham University Press, 2014).  
Being Singular Plural Jean-Luc Nancy,   Being Singular Plural translated by Robert Richardson and Anne O'Byrne (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000).  




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