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Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French; Professor of Comparative Literature; Co-Director of the Literature and Philosophy Initiative at Stanford; Europe Center Research Affiliate at the Freeman Spogli Institute; Director of SLE (Structured Liberal Education); Chair of Graduate Studies, French
Professor Joshua Landy's research primarily focuses on the relationship between philosophy and literature, encompassing such thinkers as Nietzsche and Plato, such authors as Marcel Proust, Samuel Beckett, Gustave Flaubert, and Stéphane Mallarmé, and such filmmakers as Federico Fellini and Charlie Kaufman. Landy is co-director of the Literature and Philosophy Initiative at Stanford, a program that offers interdisciplinary tracks within undergraduate humanities majors, as well as graduate student workshops and faculty events.
Landy is the author of two books, Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust (Oxford, 2004) and How To Do Things with Fictions (Oxford, 2012). Philosophy as Fiction deals with issues of self-knowledge, self-deception, and self-fashioning in Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, while raising the question of what literary form contributes to an engagement with such questions. How To Do Things with Fictions explores a series of texts—primarily by Plato, Beckett, Mallarmé and Mark—that function as training-grounds for the mental capacities.
Landy is also the co-editor of two volumes, Thematics: New Approaches (SUNY, 1995) and The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford, 2009). The Re-Enchantment of the World—a collection of essays by leading scholars in history, literature and philosophy—explores the range of secular enchantments still on offer in a modern, rational world. The definition of enchantment is conceived very broadly by the essayists and includes topics ranging from magic, mystery, and wonder to purpose, order, and meaning.
Landy has appeared on the NPR programs, "Forum" and "Philosophy Talk" (addressing narrative selfhood and the function of fiction) and has on various occasions been a guest host of Robert Harrison's "Entitled Opinions" (with Lera Boroditsky on Language and Thought, with Michael Saler on Re-Enchantment, with John Perry and Ken Taylor on the Uses of Philosophy, and with Alexander Nehamas on Beauty).
Landy arrived at Stanford as an assistant professor in the fall of 1996. He has served as Department Chair (French and Italian), Director of Undergraduate Studies (French), and Director of Graduate Studies (French). Landy has received several awards including the Walter J. Gores Award for Teaching Excellence in 1999 and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001. He was also awarded a Fellowship at the Humanities Center from 1999 to 2000 and a Fellowship at the National Humanities Center from 2011 to 2012.
Landy teaches the courses "Philosophy and Literature," "Getting Through Proust," "Film and Philosophy," and "The Art of Living."
How to Do Things with Fictions. Oxford University Press, 2012.
The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age. Stanford University Press, 2009.
Philosophy As Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust. Oxford University Press, 2004.
"Nietzsche, Proust, and Will-to-Ignorance." Philosophy and Literature 26, 2002: 1-23.
"Les Moi en Moi": The Proustian Self in Philosophical Perspective." New Literary History 32.1 (2001) 91-13.
The Cruel Gift: Lucid Self-delusion in French Literature and German Philosophy, 1851-1914. Princeton University Press, 1997.
Thematics: New Approaches. With Claude Bremond and Thomas G. Pavel. State University of New York Press, 1995.
Prof. Landy in the News
Fiction books give a boost to the brain, says Stanford professor
Stanford Report, July 3, 2012
Emerson explores intellectualism, meaning of 'Lost'
Stanford Daily, January 18, 2011
Study of literature under attack?
Stanford Report, December 7, 2010
Stanford Prof: Don't Major in Economics
Patch, December 8, 2010
Few equate Rumsfeld, Rice: Less outcry on campus over return of Bush's top diplomat
Stanford Daily, February 23, 2009
Datelines: News from the Bay Area arts scene
San Francisco Chronicle, February 11, 2009
Hoover Institution director explains, defends appointment of Rumsfeld
Stanford Report, November 14, 2007
When Philosophy Met Literature
Stanford Magazine, January/February, 2007
Professors preach 10 commandments of team teaching: Joshua Landy, Lanier Anderson offer 'thou shalts' of the craft
Stanford Report, March 15, 2006
TV and Radio Selections
Interview with KZSU's "Peninsula Report" on Professor Landy's new book, How to Do Things with Fictions
KZSU, July 13, 2012
Michael Emerson: The Philosophy of Lost
Philosophy + Literature @ Stanford, January 15, 2011
In Defense of Humanities
Stanford University YouTube channel, December 6, 2010
The Art of Living
Forum with Michael Krasny (KQED), May 4, 2009
Episode 206: Serious Fun
Stanford Storytelling Project (KZSU), January 29, 2009
Guest host Joshua Landy in conversation with Lera Boroditsky about language and thought
Entitled Opinions with Robert Harrison (KZSU), November 4, 2008
Award-Winning Teachers on Teaching Series: "Challenges and Rewards of Team-Teaching"
Center for Teaching and Learning at Stanford, February 23, 2006
Language of Fiction
Philosophy Talk (KALW), November 22, 2005
A conversation with Professor Joshua Landy about the vocation of literature and Marcel Proust
Entitled Opinions with Robert Harrison (KZSU), November 1, 2005