Noah Mertz

Photo: Noah Mertz
Office: 327A
Office Hours: M 9-10:30, W 3-4:30, and by appt.


Noah grew up and attended college in the northeast United States, then for the next several years taught English in a lycée and prépa in Toulouse, worked at an outdoor school in the mountains of Northern California, and traveled across the U.S. for an environmental project. His undergrad research focused on a narrative analysis of Édouard Levé’s experimental autobiographical book Suicide (2008), examining how paratextual information informs the reading of the text, as well beginning to outline a history of the suicidal artist trope. His current project revisits, interprets, and appraises the present usefulness of Guillaume Dustan’s later works, especially Génie Divin (2002), as documentaries of underground queer life in the late AIDS era, cogent histories of the backlash to the cultural revolutions of the 1960s and 70s in France, and audacious prescriptions for the French Republic that could provoke a renewed push toward fulfilling the Enlightenment-era promises of its Constitution. He is also working on a translation of Génie Divin.


  • autotheory, autofiction, non-fictiveness, experimental non-fiction, the question of authorship
  • queer literature & theory
  • critical theory, Kulturindustrie (Adorno & Horkheimer), aesthetics & politics, photography & image, the commons (Habermas)
  • historicity & historiography (Benjamin), mythology (Barthes), 
  • continental philosophy, Marxist political economy, history of capitalism, global financial systems & neo-colonialism (esp. Francophone)
  • Jungian psychoanalysis, Eastern philosophy (Zen Buddhism)
  • translation
  • education (Freire, Stein)
  • ecocritique