AboutLisa Siraganian is the J. R. Herbert Boone Chair in Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, and Chair of the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature. Prior to her arrival at Hopkins, Professor Siraganian was the Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute and an Associate Professor of English at Southern Methodist University. She is the author of Modernism’sOther Work: The Art Object’s Political Life (New York: Oxford UP, 2012), shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize (2013) and her essays have appeared in Law and Literature, American Literary History, Modernism/Modernity, Modern Fiction Studies, nonsite, Post45, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
EducationDedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University. J.D. May 2019. (Cum Laude. Evening program. One year of coursework at Harvard University)
Johns Hopkins University. English and American Literature. M.A. 2000, Ph.D. 2004 (George E. Owen Dean’s Fellowship. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship)
Oxford University. Faculty of English Language and Literature. B.A. 1997 (First Class Honors, I. Exeter College Fitzgerald Prize)
Williams College. Honors in English Literature. B.A.1995 (Summa cum laude. Elizabeth Shumway Prize in English. Phi Beta Kappa junior year)
Editor, The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Tenth Edition. Volume D. 1914-1945
. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Under contract for publication in 2021.
Book manuscript under review: Corporate Form: The Meaning of Persons in Legal and Literary Modernism.
Modernism’s Other Work: The Art Object’s Political Life
. New York: Oxford University Press, January 2012. 272 pages. Paperback, June 2015.
** Shortlisted (one of four finalists) for Modernist Studies Association Book Prize
(2013); Reviewed in Radical Philosophy
177 (Jan/Feb 2013): 52-54, Nonsite
8 (Jan 2013); Modernism/Modernity
(Sept 2014), American Literary History
(online, October 2015).
“Dreiser’s Anti-Corporate Tools: Veil Piercing and the Novel of Corporate Agency.” American Literary History
30:2 (Summer 2018): 249-77.
“Art and Surrogate Personhood.” nonsite.org.
Issue #21: Art and Objecthood at 50. (Summer 2017). Online. 7,400 words.
“Modernist Poetics After Twitter, Inc.” In The Contemporaneity of Modernism
, ed. Michael D’Arcy and Mathias Nilges, 203-215. Routledge, 2015.
“Hiding Horrors in Full View: Atom Egoyan’s Representations of the Armenian Genocide.” Revision and republication of “Telling a Horror Story, Conscientiously…” (infra
) in The Armenian Genocide Legacy,
ed. Alex Demirdjian, 287-302. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
“Don’t Let Me Be Universal; or, the Postwar American Poem.” nonsite.org
. Issue #16: Situation. Summer 2015.
“Theorizing Corporate Intentionality in Contemporary American Fiction.” Law and Literature
27:1 (Spring 2015): 99-123.
“Speculating on an Art Movement: Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
.” Modern Fiction Studies
59:3 (Fall 2013): 591-609.
“Ang Lee and James Schamus’s Neo-Indies: The Ultimate Movie Machine.” Post45: Peer Reviewed.
(December 20, 2011). Online. 14,000 words.
“Wallace Stevens’s Fascist Dilemmas and Free Market Resolutions.” American Literary History
23:2 (Summer 2011): 337-361.
“‘A Disciplined Nostalgia’: William Gaddis and the Modern Art Object.” In William Gaddis, “The Last of Something,”
ed. Crystal Alberts, Christopher Leise and Birger Vanwesenbeeck, 101-114. Jefferson: McFarland, 2010.
“Modern Glass: How Williams Reframed Duchamp’s Window.” The William Carlos Williams Review
28:1-2 (2008): 117-139. **Awarded the Walter Scott Peterson Prize for Best Essay in the Williams Carlos Williams Review.
“Telling a Horror Story, Conscientiously: Representing the Armenian Genocide from Open House
.” In Image and Territory: New Essays on Atom Egoyan
, ed. Monique Tschofen and Jennifer Burwell, 133-156. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007.
“Out of Air: Theorizing the Art Object in Gertrude Stein and Wyndham Lewis.” Modernism/Modernity
10:4 (2003): 657-676.
“‘Is This My Mother’s Grave?’: Genocide and Diaspora in Atom Egoyan’s Family Viewing
.” Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies
6:2 (1997): 127-154.
Projects“Corporate Form: The Meaning of Persons in Legal and Literary Modernism,” recovers the intellectual history of corporate personhood—or corporate personality, as it was known—as a cooperative project among legal theorists and literary writers developing out of robust jurisprudential and aesthetic debates. Rather than tracing a history of representations of corporate persons in various disciplines, Corporate Form shows how the problems of corporate personhood were essential problems for literature as such. Poised to think through modernity’s philosophical problems, the writing of poets and novelists like Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Schuyler, and Charles Reznikoff made legal thought think more.
Combining legal analysis of law reviews, treatises, and case law with literary interpretation of short stories, novels, and poems, my chapters reveal corporate personhood as an unexpectedly fertile ground to explore basic questions of agency and intention, stimulating some of the most ambitious thinking of the twentieth century. The book thus intervenes powerfully not only in urgent contemporary legal debates about corporate personhood, but also in recurring and essential questions across a series of disciplines, such as the nature of meaning and interpretation, the relationship between politics and aesthetics, and the affiliation between literature and law.