Robert Lane Kauffmann

Robert Lane Kauffmann (PhD, Comparative Literature, UC San Diego, 1981) retired from Rice in 2015 after a long and distinguished career. He taught courses in Spanish literature and thought, Latin American short fiction, literary translation, and for two decades, a section of Rice’s introductory humanities course (Renaissance to the Present). He founded the Global Hispanism Workshop (2003-2015) of Rice’s Humanities Research Center. His research interests include modern European literature and philosophy, the history and theory of the essay, and the Spanish Civil War and its consequences.


Selected Publications

  • “Hacia un ensayo transhispánico en dos filósofos españoles exiliados en México,” in Reindert Dhondt and Dagmar Vandebosch (eds.), Transnacionalidad e hibridez en el ensayo hispánico: Un género sin orillas (Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2017), 67-79.
  • “Lettori...,” prologue to Lucia Parente (ed.), La Scuola di Madrid: Filosofia spagnola del XX secolo (Milan. Mimesis Edizioni, 2016), 13-42.
  • “Zambrano, Habermas, e i generi discorsivi della modernità filosofica,” Estetica: Studi e ricerche 2 (2013), 39-52.
  • “Narrating the Other: Julio Cortázar’s ‘Axolotl’ as Ethnographic Allegory,” in Erik Camayd-Freixas and José Eduardo González (eds.), Primitivism and Identity in Latin America: Essays on Art, Literature, and Culture (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2000), 135-55. Reprinted in Short Story Criticism, vol. 76, ed. Joseph Palmisano (Detroit: Gale, 2006), 145-56.
  • Ed., Passages, genres, differends: Jean-François Lyotard, special issue of L’Esprit créateur 31/1 (Spring 1991). Editor’s Introduction, 7-13; article (“The Ends of a Genre”), 62-76. 
  • “The Skewed Path: Essaying as Un-methodical Method,” Diogenes 143 (1988), 66-92, published in parallel French edition as “La voie diagonale de l'essai: Une méthode sans méthode," trans. Marc-André Béra, Diogéne 143 (1988), 68-94. A condensed version of the original essay appeared in Alexander Butrym (ed.), Essays on the Essay: Redefining the Genre (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1989), 221-40, and in David Lazar (ed.), Essaying the Essay (Gettysburg, PA: Welcome Table Tress, 2014), 252-71. The French version also appeared in François Dumont (ed.), Approches de l’essai: Anthologie (Québec: Editions Nota Bene, 2003), 183-228, reissued in 2021 by Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal. 
  • “Walter Benjamin’s Rhetorical Strategy,” Philological Quarterly 67 (1988), 512-23.