Jonathan Flatley

Jonathan Flatley







Jonathan Flatley

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Modern and contemporary literature and culture; modern and contemporary art; African American literature; Russian/Soviet art/film/literature; queer theory; aesthetic theory; affect theory; Marxism and Marxist theory; Andy Warhol. I teach undergraduate classes on modern literature, art and culture, and in African American studies, cultural studies and environmental humanities.   At the graduate level, I teach a range of classes in aesthetic theory, queer theory, modern and contemporary literature and media.


I write about the relationship between politics and aesthetics. I am especially interested in the ways that art and literature can represent and produce political feelings. I am currently finishing  *Black Leninism: How Revolutionary Counter-Moods Are Made,* a book about Black group formation, the moments when Black people come together as a group for whom collective action seems urgent, obvious, and vital, and when victory over the forces of white supremacy seems possible.  During the 2022-2023 academic year, I will be the Clark / Oakley fellow at the Clark Art Institute and WIlliams College.  While there, I will be working on a new book project about liking and being like trees.  


  • Ph.D. Duke University, Graduate Program In Literature, 1996
  • B.A. Amherst College, 1989

Awards and grants

  • 2019: Wayne State University Distinguished Faculty Fellowship
  • 2019: Wayne State University Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award
  • 2018: Humanities Center (WSU) Summer Research Fellowship2017: Marilyn Williamson Endowed Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, Wayne State University Humanities Center
  • 2017: Tamiment Library (NYU) Cold War Center Travel Grant
  • 2014: Wayne State Research Enhancement Proposal Grant (REP) for “Black Leninism”
  • 2011: Wayne State Humanities Center Summer Research Fellowship
  • 2010: Wayne State University Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award
  • 2010: Career Development Chair Award, Wayne State University
  • 2005: University Research Grant, Wayne State University
  • 2004: Wayne State Humanities Center Summer Research Fellowship
  • 2001: Fulbright Fellowship, Moscow, Russia
  • 1990-95: Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities

Selected publications


Recent essays

  • “Unknown Parabolas” Chelovek (Moscow: Institute of Philosophy), Special Issue in honor of Valery Podoroga.
  • “Picturing the World of the Communist Black International,” The Wayland Rudd Project, Yevgeny Fiks (New York: Ugly Duckling Press, December 2020). Fall 2021.
  • “My Hustler” and “My Hustler II,” Catalogue Raisonne of the Films of Andy Warhol (New York: Whitney Museum), 2021.
  • “’Beaten, But Unbeatable’: Langston Hughes’s Black Leninism,” Comintern Aesthetics, ed. Amelia Glaser and Steven Lee, University of Toronto Press, Spring 2019
  • “What is a Revolutionary Setting?” Cluster on Setting on the Modernism / Modernity Print Plus platform, ed. Hannah Freed-Thall and Dora Zhang, Winter 2017
  • “Lenin’s Affect Theory,” Siniy Divan, Moscow, Winter 2017
  • “Reading for Mood,” Representations 140 (Fall 2017), a special issue on “Fallacies”
  • “Refreshments of Revolutionary Mood,” Literary/Liberal Entanglements: Toward a Literary History for the Twenty-First Century, ed. Corinne Harol and Mark Simpson, University of Toronto Press, Fall 2017

Recent shorter pieces

Edited volumes

  • “1968 Decentered.” Co-editor, with Robert Bird. South Atlantic Quarterly Spring 2020
  • “Andy Warhol.” Co-editor, with Anthony E. Grudin. Special issue. Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, 56.3. (Summer 2014)
  • “Disco.” Co-editor, with Charles Kronengold. Special issue. Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, 50.1 (Winter, 2008)
  • Pop Out: Queer Warhol. Co- Editor with Jennifer Doyle and José Muñoz. Duke University Press, 1996


Courses taught by Jonathan Flatley

Spring-Summer Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024 (current)

Fall Term 2023