Berkeley English Faculty

C. D. Blanton

C. D. Blanton

Associate Professor; Chair, Program in Critical Theory

Wheeler Hall, room 437
Tuesday, 2-5 p.m. (virtual), or by appointment

Professional Statement

C. D. Blanton completed graduate work at Duke University and arrived at Berkeley from the Department of English at Princeton. He is the author of Epic Negation: The Dialectical Poetics of Late Modernism (Oxford) and is currently working on two books, on modernist systems of absent causality (Modernism's Metaphysics) and on post-war British cultural aesthetics (Aftereffects). He is the co-editor, with Nigel Alderman, of A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry (Blackwell) and of two special issues: Financialization and the Culture Industry, with Colleen Lye and Kent Puckett (Representations), and Pocket Epics: British Poetry After Modernism, with Nigel Alderman (The Yale Journal of Criticism). He is currently Director of the Program in Critical Theory. He also serves on the editorial board of Representations and the advisory board of PMLA.


Selected Publications and Papers Delivered


Epic Negation: The Dialectical Poetics of Late Modernism (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Aftereffects: Late Capital, Late Style. (In progress)

Modernism's Metaphysics: In Search of Absent Causes. (In progress)


Edited volumes:

Financialization and the Culture Industry, ed. C. D. Blanton, Colleen Lye, and Kent Puckett; Representations 126 (Spring 2014): 160 pp.

A Concise Companion to Post-War British and Irish Poetry, ed. Nigel Alderman and C. D. Blanton (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), xxviii + 298 pp.

Pocket Epics: British Poetry After Modernism, ed. Nigel Alderman and C. D. Blanton; The Yale Journal of Criticism 13:1 (Spring 2000): 208 pp.



"Eliot's Political Theology," forthcoming.

“Judgment and Social Being: Notes on Teleological Positing,” South Atlantic Quarterly 119:4 (October 2020): 725-34.

"Ezra Pound's Effective Demand: Keynes, Causality, and The Cantos," in Ezra Pound in the Present, ed. Josephine Park and Paul Stasi (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), 201-31.

"Modernism and Reification: Lukács, Benjamin, Adorno," in The Cambridge History of Modernism, ed. Vincent Sherry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 802-19.

"Abstract in Concrete: Brutalism and the Modernist Half-Life," in The Contemporaneity of Modernism, ed. Michael D'Arcy and Mathias Nilges (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), 17-30.

"Theory by Analogy," PMLA 130:3 (May 2015): 1-16.

"The Last Romantics?" in The Cambridge Companion to British Poetry, 1945-2010, ed. Edward Larrissy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 10-24.

"Reoccupying Metaphor: On the Legitimacy of the Nonconceptual," New Encounters between Literature and Philosophy, ed. Krzysztof Ziarek, Humanities.

"Form, Figure, and Ground: Auden and England after Modernism," in The Blackwell Companion to British Literature, Volume IV: Victorian and Twentieth-Century Literature, ed. Robert DeMaria, Jr., Heesok Chang, and Samantha Zacher (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013), 296-313.

“London,” in T. S. Eliot in Context, ed. Jason Harding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 33-42.

“Medieval Currencies: Nominalism and Art,” in The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages: On the Unwritten History of Theory, ed. Andrew Cole and D. Vance Smith (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 194-232.

“Transatlantic Crossings,” in A Concise Companion to Post-War British and Irish Poetry, ed. Nigel Alderman and C. D. Blanton (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), 134-154.

“Arnold’s Arrhythmia,” Studies in English Literature 48:4 (Autumn 2008): 755-767. [Reprinted: Victorian Hybridities: Cultural Anxiety and Formal Innovation, ed. U. C. Knoepflmacher and Logan D. Browning (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), 13-25.]

“Invisible Times: Modernism as Ruptural Unity,” in Modernism and Theory, ed. Stephen Ross (London: Routledge, 2008), 137-152.

“The Politics of Epochality: Antinomies of Original Sin,” in T. E. Hulme and the Question of Modernism, ed. Edward P. Comentale and Andrzej Gasiorek (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2006), 187-208.

“Impostures: Robert Browning and the Poetics of Forgery,” Studies in the Literary Imagination 35:2 (Fall 2002): 1-25.

“Nominal Devolutions: Poetic Substance and the Critique of Political Economy,” The Yale Journal of Criticism 13:1 (Spring 2000): 129-152.

Current Research

Modernism's Metaphysics: In Search of Absent Causes

A study of the distinct logical, and ultimately metaphysical, claims formulated (or silently implied) by the literature of the interwar period--structures of induction, incognition, and inference; teleology and occasionalist causality--as etched in the thought of J. M. Keynes and Ford Madox Ford, W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Samuel Beckett.


Aftereffects: Late Capital, Late Style

A study of the resurgent logic of late modernist determinacy in Britain, at the moment of the postwar order’s renegotiation, between 1968 and 1973. Figures treated include Alison and Peter Smithson, Geoffrey Hill, J. H. Prynne, B. S. Johnson, Allen Fisher, and Harold Pinter.

English Department Classes