Philip Gerard

Philip Gerard is a research fellow at the Centre interdisciplinaire d’étude des littératures (CIEL) of the University of Lausanne and a lecturer at the Institute of English Studies at the University of Neuchâtel. Philip’s research focuses on modern poetry and translation, tracing forms of exchange and histories of transmission that carry poetry across time and between languages. Working between several languages, including English, German, French, and Italian, Philip is particularly interested in barriers to transmission and questions of untranslatability. His work explores how such impasses figure cultural heritage and animate historical memory.

Philip completed a PhD in Comparative Literature and Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley in 2019. Since finishing, he has been at work on two book projects and several articles. The first book, Postwar Modernisms: Ezra Pound, Paul Celan, and the Task of the Translator, contrasts how Pound and Celan turn to translation to reckon with the rupture in poetic transmission produced by world war and genocide. The second book, provisionally titled “‘Word for word’: On the Economics of Translation,” studies the financial metaphors and economic logics that underwrite the received wisdom about poetry’s untranslatability. “Pound Notes in German Markets: Paul Celan, Usury, and the Postwar Currency of Ezra Pound,” a recent article on Celan’s reading of Pound, can be found in Modernism/modernity 27 (January 2020).

Philip’s research interests include international modernism, nineteenth and twentieth-century American poetry, translation studies, poetics, Holocaust studies, literature and economics, and psychoanalysis.