|Occupation Professor, writer|
Name Shoshana Felman
|Website Official website|
Employer Emory University
|Alma mater University of Grenoble (Ph.D.)|
Education University of Grenoble (1970)
Awards Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
Known for Literary criticism, Literary theory
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Books Testimony: Crises of Witnessin, The juridical unconscious, Writing and madness, What does a woman want?, The Scandal of the Spea
Freud and Education
Shoshana Felman is an American literary critic and current Woodruff Professor of Comparative Literature and French at Emory University. She was on the faculty of Yale University from 1970 to 2004, where in 1986 she was awarded the Thomas E. Donnelly Professorship of French and Comparative Literature. She specializes in 19th and 20th century French literature, psychoanalysis, trauma and testimony, and law and literature. Felman earned her Ph.D. at the University of Grenoble in France in 1970.
Felman works in the fields of psychoanalytic literary criticism, performativity theory, feminism, Holocaust testimony, and other areas, though her writings frequently question, ironize, or test the limits of the very critical methods being employed. Often in her writing a reversal will occur so that the critical vocabulary gets subjected to and converted into the terms of the literary or cultural object being scrutinized rather than simply settling the meaning of the object; thus in Felman's style of criticism there is no fixed hierarchy of theory over and beyond the reach of the literary object. As such, her methods share an affinity with deconstruction, for which she is sometimes associated with the Yale School and colleagues such as Paul de Man.
Jacques Lacan is a significant influence on Felman and she was among the vanguard of theorists—and perhaps foremost among those addressing Anglophone audiences—to rigorously apply his concepts to the study of literature.
Since the 1990s Felman has written texts on testimony and trauma, particularly in the context of the Holocaust and other collective trauma.