Dr Jacob McGuinn

Staff details


Lecturer (fractional)


English and Creative Writing


j.mcguinn (@gold.ac.uk)

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Jacob's interests are in modern poetry, philosophical poetics, and theories of criticism and aesthetics..

Jacob is a Lecturer in English, and Deputy Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (CPCT). He started teaching at Goldsmiths in 2016, and completed an AHRC funded PhD in English at Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, on poetry and philosophy. His teaching and research cover issues in modernity, poetry and poetics, and philosophical aesthetics, ranging from the Romantic era to the contemporary.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD English, Queen Mary, University of London 2017
  • MA Literary Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London 2011
  • BA English and History (Joint hons.), University of Birmingham 2010

Research interests

Jacob's research investigates connections between literature, criticism, and history, drawing on philosophical, historical, and political contexts to read modern poetry. His first monograph reads Paul Celan's late poetry in this manner, situating his work from late 1960s Paris in a constellation of thinkers on the question of form in philosophy and literature: Immanuel Kant, Theodor Adorno, and Maurice Blanchot. Further work on these issues has read Blanchot's post-Kantianism through Wordsworth; George Oppen's politics of 'common sense'; and Celan as a figure of elegy and as a reader of the cinema. This research is interested in tracing modernity's developing theories of criticism, interpretation, and reading through poetry, and in particular in understanding the conditions of reading and criticism.

Jacob's current research considers the roots of contemporary intermedial poetics in modern experimental poetry traditions, touching on visual art, the moving image, and sound as contexts for both writing and reading poetry.

Grants and awards

2013: AHRC PhD Studentship
I was awarded a studentship to undertake my PhD at Queen Mary by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Media engagements

2017: A Voice for Radio
With Amina Abbas-Nazari (RCA), a radio essay/sound collage played at Supernormal Festival, Radiophrenia, and Montreal

Conferences and talks

2019: ''to / climb into the noimage': Paul Celan and the poetics of the moving image', at Screen International, University of Glasgow

2019: 'Lyric Forbearance', at INSL Global Conference on Lyric, Université de Lausanne

2017: 'A Voice for Radio', at Modern Sound Cultures, Queen Mary, University of London

2016: 'Fragmenting Figuration: Celan inside Paris outside Blanchot', at Outside In Poetry Festival, University of Glasgow

2016: 'Saying We: Lyric seriality between Oppen and Celan', at Poetic Measures, University of York

2016: 'No-man's land: the poetics of utopia', at 9th Skepsi Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Kent

2016: 'Paul Celan Disorientated', at Seeking Refuce, King's College London

2015: 'Nearing: Adorno, Celan, Encounter', at 8th Annual Critical Theory Conference in Rome, Rome Center of the Loyola University of Chicago

2014: 'Disembodied Lyric', at Textual Embodiment, Goldsmiths, University of London