Eduardo Cadava

Professor of English
Office Phone

Ph.D., UC, Irvine


Eduardo Cadava joined the English Department in 1989. An Associate Member of the Department of Comparative Literature, the School of Architecture, The Center for African American Studies, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, he also serves on the Executive Committees of the Program in Media and Modernity, The Program in European Cultural Studies, the Program in Latin American Studies, and the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies. He is a faculty member in the summer program at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee and he has been the Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor in Architecture at Cooper Union. He specializes in American literature and culture, comparative literature, media technologies, literary and political theory, and theory of translation. He has written extensively on literature, philosophy, photography, architecture, music, democracy, war, memory and forgetting, race and slavery, human rights and citizenship, and the ethics of decision. 

Cadava is the author of Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History (Princeton UP), Emerson and the Climates of History (Stanford UP), and, with Fazal Sheikh, of Fazal Sheikh: Portraits (Steidl)He also has co-edited Who Comes After the Subject? (Routledge), Cities Without Citizens (The Slought Foundation and the Rosenbach Museum), a special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly entitled And Justice for All?: The Claims of Human Rights (Duke UP), and The Itinerant Languages of Photography (Princeton University Art Museum and Yale UP). He has co-curated installations and exhibitions at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia, and the Princeton University Art Museum, and he has co-produced and co-edited a DVD entitled Unpacking Derrida's Library (Slought Foundation and PIIRS), with recorded remarks by Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Hent de Vries, Avital Ronell, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Samuel Weber. He has translated several works by Jacques Derrida, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Maurice Blanchot, and recently has introduced and co-translated Nadar's memoirs, Quand j'étais photographe, which will appear with MIT Press in the fall of 2015.

He is presently working on a small book on the relation between music and techniques of reproduction, memorization, and writing entitled Music on Bones, a monograph on Fazal Sheikh’s The Erasure Trilogy, and a collaboration with the Catalonian photographer Joan Fontcuberta on the forensic photographic work of the French police photographer Alphonse Bertillon. He is also co-directing, with Eyal Weizman, a multiyear project on the relation between political conflict and climate change entitled Conflict Shorelines that includes field work in Amazonia, the Negev desert, and the Arctic, and collaborating with Fazal Sheikh on a project entitled Exposures that seeks to document the ruination of the Utah landscape by uranium mining and oil and gas drilling and the consequences of this ruination on native communities. He received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2018 and, in the summer of 2019, he was awarded honorary Greek citizenship for “promoting Greek culture abroad.”