Department of Comparative Thought and Literature
The Johns Hopkins University
Harel Newman is currently a PhD candidate in the department of Comparative Thought and Literature (the Humanities Center) at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to this, he studied philosophical theology a the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and completed a BA in the Great Books program at St. John’s College, Annapolis. His research centers on Oscar Wilde as a philosopher and reader of Plato, integrating approaches derived from philosophy, queer theory, comparative literature, and Classics. He is broadly interested in reception of the Classics, philosophical aesthetics and aestheticism, queer theory, philosophy of love, philosophy of religion, and the temporalities implicated across these fields.
Philosophizing Gayly: Oscar Wilde Reading Plato and the Times of Desire
Beginning with Oscar Wilde and expanding outward into the rethinking of temporality, on the one hand, within queer theory, and on the other within Classics, this project aims to explore the relationship of queer temporalities to the problems of reception and hermeneutics, and the possibility of thinking a queer or gay philosophy on those grounds. The project takes Wilde to have outlined precisely such a project in his philosophical dialogues and, in particular, in his suggestion that, “it is as critic of Beauty that Plato is destined to live, and that by altering the name of the sphere of his speculation we shall find a new philosophy.” Ideally, the project will help inform a rethinking of both the desire and time of philosophy broadly, and of the relationship of queer theory and LGBTQ studies to philosophy.