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John D'AmicoVisiting Assistant ProfessorFrench

Education

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2019

Biography

John D’Amico works on texts of the long nineteenth century, in particular literature’s dialogue with the visual arts, philosophy, and the history of science. His current project, Ennui and the Fabrication of Dreams, argues that the depictions of boredom by Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, and Joris-Karl Huysmans tell the story behind literary labor by dramatizing mental activity in deviation from the standards of productivity prescribed by bourgeoning industrialism. He contends that these authors’ reevaluations of wasted time took a scientific turn in that period, as their narrative meditations on boredom anticipated and subverted fin-de-siècle medical studies on attention. Their literary prescience resulted in the creation of innovative formal meditations on the dialectic between inside and out—a tension at the crux of modernity’s theorization.

His teaching embraces the multiliteracies framework, spiraling the study of grammar and French and Francophone culture throughout the levels with a focus on project-based learning. At Emory, he coordinates all sections of Intermediate French and has taught Elementary French I, Elementary French II, Intermediate French, Advanced French, French for Reading Comprehension, and Writing Skills. In his beginners and intermediate courses, he uses the opportunity afforded by the in-between place students inhabit when studying a new language to play with words and ask questions about how language functions. In his advanced courses, his students write drafts and become astute readers of themselves through the revision of their own texts, a process that unfolds in tandem with the close reading of authentic texts. In addition to Emory, he has taught at Agnes Scott, Harvard, and Miami (Oxford, Ohio). He was also a Visiting Lecturer for three semesters in Madrid, Spain in the Complutense’s English Department.

Beyond the classroom, his interests include food and wine, plants, ashtanga yoga, being in nature, and the 1970s.

Publications

“Flaubert’s ‘Travail Psychologique’: The Value of Distraction.” MLN, forthcoming, vol. 136, no. 4, September 2021.

“J.-K. Huysmans with Wilhelm Wundt: Ennui, or a Mind-Body Problem,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies, forthcoming, vol. 51, nos. 1-2, Fall-Winter 2022-2023.