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About Jacob McGuinn

Jacob is Assistant Professor in English at the New College of Humanities, having also taught literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and Queen Mary, University of London. He received his PhD in English at Queen Mary in 2017, working on modern poetry, poetics, and aesthetic philosophy. His teaching and research cover issues in modernity, poetry and poetics, and philosophical aesthetics, ranging from the Romantic era to the contemporary.


PhD English, Queen Mary, University of London 2017 (AHRC funded)

MA Literary Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London 2011

BA English and History (Joint hons.), University of Birmingham 2010

Jacob McGuinn's Research

Jacob’s research investigates connections between literature, criticism, and history, drawing on philosophical, historical, and political contexts to read modern poetry. His first monograph reads Paul Celan’s late poetry in this manner, situating his work from late 1960s Paris in a constellation of thinkers on the question of form in philosophy and literature: Immanuel Kant, Theodor Adorno, and Maurice Blanchot. Further work on these issues has read Blanchot’s post-Kantianism through Wordsworth; George Oppen’s politics of ‘common sense’; and Celan as a figure of elegy and as a reader of the cinema. This research is interested in tracing modernity’s developing theories of criticism, interpretation, and reading through poetry, and in particular in understanding the conditions of reading and criticism.

Jacob’s current research considers the roots of contemporary intermedial poetics in modern experimental poetry traditions, touching on visual art, the moving image, and sound as contexts for both writing and reading poetry.

Selected Publications

McGuinn, Jacob, ‘Form, Elegy, and the Inorganic: Geoffrey Hill, Paul Celan, Ice’, in Twentieth-Century Literature (Forthcoming 2022)

McGuinn, Jacob, ”Into without image’: Paul Celan reading the moving image’, in Modern Language Notes: Comparative Literature Issue, 136: 5 (forthcoming 2021)

McGuinn, Jacob, ‘Saying ‘We’: George Oppen’s and Kant’s lyrical ‘common sense’, in Textual Practice 34: 10 (2020), pp. 1751-1768

McGuinn, Jacob, ‘An Historically Conjunctural Phenomenon: a review of Marjorie Levinson’s ‘Thinking Through Poetry’, in New Formations 99 (2020)

Jacob McGuinn's Teaching

Jacob has taught literature and philosophy at BA and MA levels in a number of institutions, in aesthetics, poetry, critical theory, and comparative literature.