Skip to main content
Jalal Toufic

Prof. Jalal Toufic

Professor, Department of Humanities and Creative Writing

Phone number3411 8092
ORCID number0000-0002-0848-9934



BA (American University of Beirut), MA (New York University), PhD (Northwestern University)

Research area(s):

(thought-provoking and/or art-provoking) thought; mortality; jouissance; the dancer’s two bodies; silence-over and the immobilization it produces; radical closure and the irruption of unworldly ahistorical fully-formed entities it allows; the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster; aphoristic writing; messianism; creating universes that don’t fall apart “two days” later.

Teaching area(s):

film theory and aesthetics; dance; art; Middle Eastern film, art, and thought; death; religion (messianism, resurrection …), singular filmmakers (Lynch, Tarkovsky …)

Taught previously at:

California Institute of the Arts, University of Southern California, University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (Alba), Holy Spirit University—Kaslik (Lebanon), Kadir Has University (Turkey)

Selected output(s):

—    What Was I Thinking? Berlin: e-flux journal-Sternberg Press, 2017.
—    Forthcoming, 2nd ed. Berlin: e-flux journal-Sternberg Press, 2014.
—    What Were You Thinking? Berlin: Berliner Künstlerprogramm/DAAD, 2011.
—    The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster. Los Angeles: California Institute of the Arts/Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater [REDCAT], 2009 (as one of the volumes of the publication that accompanied Walid Raad’s exhibition Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World / Part I_Volume 1_Chapter 1 (Beirut: 1992–2005), edited by Clara Kim); Forthcoming Books, 2009.
—    The Lamentations Series: The Ninth Night and Day, video, 59 minutes, 2005.

Current project(s):

Postscripts: a book of aphorisms that function as postscripts to my previous books.
Two collaborative videos, one filmed in Beirut and one being filmed in Hong Kong.

Full CV