Jean-Thomas Tremblay


Research Interests: 

20th and 21st century U.S. and Canadian literatures; experimental literature; French studies; feminism; queer theory; critical race studies; disability studies; social movements; life sciences and ecology.

Dissertation Title: 

"We Don't Breathe Alone: Forms of Encounter in Anglophone North America Since the 1970s"


20th/21st Century Workshop (co-coordinator in 2016-2017), Gender and Sexuality Studies Working Group (co-coordinator in 2017-2018), Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “An Aesthetics and Ethics of Emergence, or Thinking with Luce Irigaray’s Interval of Difference,” Criticism 59, no. 2 (2017): forthcoming
  • “Room for Critique: The Spaces of Institutional Disillusionment of 1970s U.S. Feminist Fiction,” Post45 Peer-Reviewed (2016)
  • "Waltz with Manning," Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory 25, no. 1 (2015): 103-106
  • "On Feeling Political: Negotiating (within) Affective Landscapes and Soundscapes,” PhaenEx 7, no. 2 (2012): 96-123.

Review Essays


I am a Ph.D. Candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. I am also a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellow (2013-2017) and a residential fellow in Chicago’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (2016-2018).

My current research project, “We Don’t Breathe Alone: Forms of Encounter in Anglophone North America Since the 1970s,” explores, across various aesthetic movements and trends, the emergence of breathing as a foremost concept for multiple kinds and scales of encounter–with oneself, the world, alterity, and finitude–at a historical moment when the resources necessary for the reproduction of life, notably breathable air, are widely understood to be endangered. I assemble an archive that spans queer life writing (Dodie Bellamy, CA Conrad, Bob Flanagan), feminist prose and verse (Toni Cade Bambara, Linda Hogan), African American speculative fiction (Samuel Delany, Renee Gladman), and observational documentary (Frederick Wiseman, Allan King) to demonstrate that an aesthetic attention to breathing in contexts where said breathing cannot be taken for granted conveys efforts to configure social and political worlds from openness or vulnerability.

Teaching Experience: 

University of Chicago
As Instructor of Record
Life Writing and Sexuality (Winter 2018)
(Millennium Approaches: Imagining History and the Present in the Late 20th Century), Autumn 2016

As Teaching Assistant
Objects, Things, and Other Things, Autumn 2015

McMaster University
As Teaching Assistant
Studying Culture: An Introduction (Winter 2013)
Film Analysis (Autumn 2012)