Combined Shapeclose Created with Sketch.
Spring 2024


Combined Shape Created with Sketch.
Group 2 Created with Sketch.
Ffcvdsiwaaa9nje 2
New in Modern Philology
A Review of Absentees: On Variously Missing Persons

In a recent issue of Modern Philology, Julie Orlemanski reviews Daniel Heller-Roazen’s Absentees: On Variously Missing Persons. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“Those who have vanished, who have been legally diminished, or who are no longer alive: these several categories of attenuated persons help define what it is to be human within a social order. Such is the claim that undergirds the series of evocative case studies making up Daniel Heller-Roazen’s latest book, Absentees: On Variously Missing Persons. As in his prior titles for Zone Books, Heller-Roazen traces a particular topic—here, the nonperson—across a dizzying array of disciplines, epochs, and language traditions, drawing unexpected patterns into view and subtly altering the terms of understanding previously worked out in the human sciences. Absentees follows a line of inquiry started in his previous study No One’s Ways: An Essay on Infinite Naming (2017). There, Heller-Roazen tracked a disturbance at the interface of logic and language, one created by the negative particle (in English, the non-) and the indeterminate reference, or “infinite naming,” it makes possible. No One’s Ways focused tightly on philosophical discourse to consider an unbounded set of negations—nonseeing, nonmortal, nonthing, nonman, and so forth. In Absentees, conceptual focus is turned upon the canceled human in particular, which is here considered across a set of archives much broader than just philosophy. Both studies admit to a fascination with Odysseus, who famously tells the Cyclops Polyphemus that his victim’s name is Oūtis, a moniker that becomes in repetition oú tis, “no one,” a misnaming and depersoning that makes possible the hero’s escape.”