Leland Jasperse

Lee Jasperse
Teaching Fellow
Cohort Year: 2017
Research Interests: feminist and queer theory; racial and sexual biopolitics; history of affect, embodiment, and psychology; Victorian culture; literature in transition


I received my PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2023 and hold an M.A. in Psychology from NYU. Broadly, I am interested in the way literary form and style refract shifting embodied and intimate norms, with particular attention to gender, sexuality, disability, and racialization. 

My book project, Insignificant Others: the Celibate Politics of Recessive Form, takes up fin-de-siècle texts about celibacy that fail to achieve erotic and narrative drive, innovating alternative forms (e.g. the sketch, the short story cycle). I read this corpus as aesthetic reactions to the historical moment, which saw the rise of sexual identity and the compulsorization of sexuality. These texts provocatively position asexuality as radically disruptive of social and literary norms. Emerging from this work, a second project examines how queer illness writing grapples with representing anaesthetic experience, the withdrawal from sensual attendant upon e.g. chronic fatigue, chemotherapy, and self-medication. I teach in the Humanities Core (Media Aesthetics) and the Department of English.