Dr John McKeane
In 2021-22 I will be on research leave as winner of the Society for French Studies prize research fellowship.
My twitter account is @JohnMcKeane
Details of publications not listed below (translations, reviews, and others) are available at
Areas of interest
My research looks at French and comparative literature. It links these literatures to two particular areas: that of philosophy, and that of language and translation. Practising as a regularly published translator informs my approach to the latter area.
My D.Phil. (2011) looked at fragmentation and dialogue in the work of Maurice Blanchot, on whom I have published numerous articles. I am the co-editor of the collective volume Blanchot romantique (2010), and the translator of Christophe Bident’s ambitious 632-page Maurice Blanchot: a Critical Biography (2018).
Working on Blanchot and the Romantics led me to a thinker who also studied these figures, Lacoue-Labarthe. I published Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe: (Un)timely Meditations (2015) and am the author of various other pieces on this philosopher, poet, translator, and playwright. I have also published on Lacoue-Labarthe’s longtime collaborator Jean-Luc Nancy, and am the translator of various works on and by him, notably Adoration: the Deconstruction of Christianity, II (2013).
Lacoue-Labarthe dedicated much of his thinking to Greek tragedy, and this has also been a major interest of mine, leading to publications on tragedy for Lacoue-Labarthe, but also for Roland Barthes and Sarah Kofman.
In its ancient Greek setting, tragedy had important roles in education and the regulation of sensibility. The education aspect has paved the way for a project reflecting on the institutions we inhabit and represent, and the question of catharsis has led me to co-edit a special issue of the journal Paragraph on Sarah Kofman and the Relief of Philosophy (2021).
I teach a variety of French language and translation modules, as well as French and comparative cultural modules. I am also convenor of the following modules:
- ML1EN1COMP ‘What is Comparative Literature?
- FR2HTF 'How to Think in French'
- FR3PM ‘French Popular Music and Society’
BackgroundI graduated with a BA (first-class), M.St., and D.Phil from the University of Oxford. I remained at Oxford for a JRF and various lectureships, also holding positions at Cardiff and Warwick before coming to Reading. I have won several prizes including the Junior Paget Toynbee Prize for Dante Studies, and I was AHRC/ESRC visiting fellow at the Library of Congress.
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2023) Art (and its deliverance). Understanding Nancy, Understanding Modernism. Understanding philosophy, understanding modernism Understanding Nancy, understanding modernism
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2023) Streams of consciousness: river-poetry from Heidegger to Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe. Understanding Nancy, understanding modernism. Bloomsbury , London. ISBN: 9781501370144
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2023) Absolu – entretien – l’entretien infini. Dictionnaire Maurice Blanchot. Classiques Garnier , Paris.
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2022) Cogitating with Cassin: ontology, sophistics, feminine voice. S: Journal of the Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique , 13 ISSN: 1874-9062
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2021) Art's passing for Hegel, Lacoue-Labarthe, Nancy. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities , 26 (1-2). pp. 101-112. ISSN: 1469-2899 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969725X.2021.1938401
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X and Bates-Firth, J. , eds. (2021) Sarah Kofman and the relief of philosophy. Paragraph , 44. Edinburgh University Press (1). pp 142. ISBN: 9781474484503
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2021) Sarah Kofman et la mère-nature : de la tragédie à la comédie. Sarah Kofman: philosopher autrement. Hermann , Paris.
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2021) 'Lire "Thomas le solitaire" de Maurice Blanchot', translated by Louise Mai. In: Hoppenot, É. , (eds.) Les Romans de Maurice Blanchot. Roman 20/50 Presses universitaires du Septentrion (70). ISBN: 9782490889013
- Mckeane, J. (2018) Amor: Blanchot since 2003. In: Bident, C. and Mckeane, J. , (eds.) Maurice Blanchot: a Critical Biography. Fordham University Press , Bronx, NY. pp. 465-478. ISBN: 9780823281763
- Mckeane, J. (2018) The neuter/the neutral. In: Langlois, C. , (eds.) Understanding Blanchot, Understanding Modernism. Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism Bloomsbury , London. ISBN: 9781501331374
- Mckeane, J. (2017) L’hymne et la communauté, ou Tragédie : suite et fin. Penser la tragédie d’Euripide. L’Esprit créateur , 57 (4). pp. 39-49. ISSN: 1931-0234 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1353/esp.2017.0040
- Mckeane, J. (2017) Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Oxford Bibliographies Online | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/OBO/9780190221911-0020
- Mckeane, J. (2014) Coupure, mutation, fragmentation. Cahiers Maurice Blanchot , 3 (Autumn). pp. 131-139.
- Mckeane, J. (2014) Change in the archive: Blanchot's 'L'Entretien infini'. Forum for Modern Language Studies , 50 (1). pp. 69-81. ISSN: 1471-6860 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fmls/cqt027
- Mckeane, J. (2014) Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe: (Un)timely meditations. Legenda , Oxford. ISBN: 9781909662421
- Mckeane, J. (2013) Absolutely absolute: Mallarmé, Blanchot, and the absence de livre. Thinking Poetry: Philosophical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century French Poetry. Palgrave Macmillan , Basingstoke. pp. 97-112. ISBN: 9781137329271
- Mckeane, J. (2013) 'Périmer d’avance': Blanchot, Derrida, and influence. Questions of Influence in Modern French Literature. Palgrave Macmillan , Basingstoke. pp. 111-125. ISBN: 9781137309150
- Mckeane, J. (2013) Since we have been a dialogue: Blanchot's 'Entretiens'. Oxford Literary Review , 35 (1). pp. 47-64. ISSN: 1757-1634 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.3366/olr.2013.0056
- Mckeane, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2141-079X (2012) Immense parole qui disait toujours ‘Nous’ ?” : le dernier homme de Maurice Blanchot. Travaux en cours
- Nancy, J. and Mckeane, J. (2012) Adoration (the deconstruction of Christianity, II). Fordham University Press , New York. ISBN: 9780823242948
- Mckeane, J. (2011) Réverbérations: 'Totalité et infini' dans l’écriture de Maurice Blanchot. Europe , 991-992 (Nov-Dec). pp. 117-129.