Image of Mark FreedPosition: Professor
Department: English Language & Literature
Campus Address: Anspach 222
Phone: 989-774-4361

Courses Taught:

  • ENG 201 Intermediate Composition
  • ENG 234 Introduction to Literary Analysis
  • ENG 262 European Literature
  • ENG 334 Literary and Cultural Theory
  • ENG 535 History of Literary Criticism
  • ENG 561 European Romanticism
  • ENG 636 Seminar in Critical Theory

Area of Expertise:

  •  Literary and Cultural Theory
  • Poststructuralism
  •  Frankfurt Critical Theory Literature and Science
  • Literature and Continental Philosophy
  • European Literature

Degrees and Universities:

Michigan State University, PhD

Univiversity North Carolina-Greensboro, MA

Indiana University, BA

Research Interests:

My research interests primarily concern the complementarity of literature and philosophy starting with Jena Romanticism and running through the so-called "end of philosophy" in Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. My 2011 book Robert Musil and the NonModern reads Musil's Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften into connection with other critiques of the Modern, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, and Lyotard. I am currently working on a book which uses Musil's novel to explore theoretical difficulties and possibilities for capturing Modernity in any kind of writing about Modernity.



Robert Musil: Lessons on Writing Modernity (currently in process).

      An exploration of the theoretical contributions the Austrian novelist Robert Musil makes to the effort to capture Modernity in any kind of writing about Modernity.

Robert Musil and the NonModern. New York: Continuum International Publishers, 2011.

     This book reads Robert Musil's theory and narrative technique of essayism into the philosophical discourse of modernity in order to put Musil in dialogue with critiques of the modern by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, and Lyotard.

Peer-reviewed Essays:

Robert Musil and the techne of Rewriting Modernity." Germanic Review 88 (2013): 83-96.

"Toward a NonModern NonHumanism." A Vision of Transdisciplinarity: Laying Foundations for a World Knowledge Dialogue.  Ed. Frédéric Darbellay, et. al.  Lusanne: Ecole Polytechnic Fédéral de Lusanne. 2008.

"Robert Musil's Other Postmodernism": Essayismus, Textual Subjectivity, and The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity."  Comparative Literature Studies 44.3 (2007):   231-253.

"Problems of Freedom and Community in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda." Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association.  30 (2005): 59-77.

"Latour, Lyotard, and the Problematics of Legitimation."  Angelaki: A Journal for Theoretical Humanities. 10.3 (2005): 99-114.

"Latour, Musil, and the Discourse of Non-Modernity." Symplokē:  A Journal for the Intermingling of Literary, Cultural, and Theoretical Scholarship. 11 (2003): 183-196.

"Cultural Studies, Ethics, and the Eclipse of Agency."  Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association. 34 (2001): 1-14.

  "The Moral Irrelevance of Dogma: Mary Ward and Critical Theology in England."                             Women's Theology in Nineteenth-Century Britain: Transfiguring the Faith of Their  Fathers. New York, NY: Garland, 1998.  133-147.

Papers Presented

"Die Vollendung des Aesthetischen: Musil in the Wake of Romanticism." American Comparative Literature Association Conference, University of Washington, Seattle WA. March 2015.

"Robert Musil: Lessons of the Hermeneutics of Modernity." British Association for Modernist Studies Conference, University of London. June 2014.

"Why Don't We Make Up History As We Go Along?": Robert Musil's Archeology of the Future."  International Association of Philosophy and Literature,  Tallinn University, Estonia.  May 2012.

"Essayismus als Durcharbeitung: Robert Musil and the techē  of Rewriting Modernity."           Rewriting Lyotard Conference, University of Alberta, Canada.  February 2011.

"Musil's Essayismus, Reflective Judgment, and the Postmodern Sublime."  Modern Language Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.  December 2008.

"Robert Musil and the Aporia of Autonomy/Sublation."  American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Long Beach, CA. April 2008.

"Cognitive Mapping Musil's Vienna."  Midwest Modern Language Association Conference.  Chicago, November 2006.

"Toward a NonModern NonHumanism."  World Knowledge Dialogue Symposium.  Crans-Montana, Switzerland, September, 2006.     

"Essaying the Nonmodern Human Sciences."  American Comparative Literature Association Conference,  Princeton University, March 2006.  Presenter and organizer of 2-day seminar: Essaying the Human.

"On Functional Relations in Mach and Musil."  3rd European Conference of the International Society for Science and Literature, Université de Paris VIII, June 2004. (Member of International Organizing Committee.)

"Musil's Essayismus and the Critique of Machean Positivism."  2nd European Conference of the International Society for Literature and Science, Århus, Denmark, May 2002.

"Musil and Latour: Toward a Non-Modern Problematics of Psychopathology."  Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature and Science, Buffalo, NY, October 2001.

"The Problem of Freedom in Marxist Cultural and Literary Studies." Re-Thinking Marxism: Fourth International Gala Conference, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Sept. 2000. (Presented in absentia.) 

"Opening the Border Between Science and the Humanities: Musil's Essayismus." Presenter and organizer of panel "I Know, You Believe: Border Skirmishes Between Science and the Humanities." Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature and Science, SUNY Stony Brook, NY. May, 2000.

Professional Organizations:

  • American Comparative Literature Association
  • International Association of Philosophy and Literature
  • International Society for Literature, Science, and Art.