The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Dr Ned Curthoys

Senior Lecturer
English and Cultural Studies

Contact details
English and Cultural Studies
The University of Western Australia (M204)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2107
Room G.38, Arts Building, Perth campus
BA PhD Syd.
Ned Curthoys joined the discipline of English and Cultural Studies at UWA in January 2014. Previously he was a research fellow in the School of Cultural Inquiry and an ARC post-doctoral fellow in the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, at the ANU. His early research focused on the revival of the humanist tradition of classical rhetoric in contemporary literary criticism, philosophy, and political theory. More recently he has researched and published on humanist scholars such as Hannah Arendt, Ernst Cassirer, and Edward Said. He has also published on German Jewish literature and philosophy from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries and discussed the fiction and political activism of Albert Camus in the context of the Algerian war. His monograph The Legacy of Liberal Judaism: Ernst Cassirer and Hannah Arendt's Hidden Conversation was published by Berghahn Books in September 2013. A paperback edition appeared in 2016.
Key research
Holocaust themed literature and film with a focus on the representation legacy of Arendt's notion of 'the banality of evil'; comparative literature studies with a focus on the work of Edward Said, Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer; the thought of Hannah Arendt; eighteenth century intellectual history, German Jewish studies from Moses Mendelssohn to Hannah Arendt; Jewish studies, Israel/Palestine; pragmatism, Richard Rorty, John Dewey; virtue ethics.


The Legacy of Liberal Judaism: Ernst Cassirer and Hannah Arendt's Hidden Conversation (New York: Berghahn, 2013, 2016)


N.Curthoys, ‘Evaluating Risk in Perpetrator Narratives: resituating Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones as Historical Fiction', Textual Practice 31:3, 2017.

N. Curthoys, ‘Selbstdenken, remembrance, and the future of civil-courage in Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt:on the psychogenesis of the banality of evil’, Screening the Past no.41, 2016.

'A Pragmatic Intervention: Richard Rorty's Therapeutic Impact on Literary Criticism', Australian Literary Studies 24:4, 2014.

‘Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question as Holocaust Pedagogy,Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History 19:3, 2014.

‘Tarrying with the Impossible’: Daniel Stein Interpreter and the Politics of Translation’, Australian Literary Studies 28:3, 2013; in special co-edited section devoted to ‘New Directions in the Literature of Ideas’.

'Redescribing the Enlightenment: the German-Jewish adoption of Bildung as a counter-normative ideal', special issue of Intellectual History Review, Vol. 23, no. 3, 2013.

‘Ernst Cassirer, Hannah Arendt, and the Twentieth Century Revival of Philosophical Anthropology’, The Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 13, no. 1/2, 2011.

‘Hannah Arendt: A Question of Character’, New Formations, no. 71, 2011.

‘A diasporic Reading of Nathan the Wise’, Comparative Literature Studies’, Vol. 47, No, 1, 2010.

‘Diasporic Visions: Al-Andalus in the German-Jewish Imaginary’ in the special issue ‘Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition’, Arena Journal Vol. 33, No. 4, 2010.

‘An Émigré Consciousness’, a review essay discussing Ella Shohat’s book Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices (Duke University Press 2006), in Holy Land Studies (Edinburgh University Press), vol. 6, no. 1, May 2007.

‘The Émigré Sensibility of “World-Literature”: Historicising Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers’ Cosmopolitan Intent’, Theory and Event, Volume 8, Issue 3, 2005.

‘The Politics of Moralising the Nation’, Arena Journal no. 21, 2003/4.

‘Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Narrative’, Journal of Narrative Theory vol. 32, no. 3, Fall 2002.

‘Future Directions for Rhetoric: Invention and Ethos in Public Critique’. Australian Humanities Review, March-May, 2001.

‘The Politics of Holocaust Representation: the Worldly Typologies of Hannah Arendt’, Arena Journal, no. 16, 2001.

Book chapters

‘Moses Mendelssohn and the Character of Virtue, in A. Cook, N. Curthoys and S. Konishi (eds), Representing Humanity in the Age of Enlightenment, Pickering and Chatto, London, 2013.

‘Language and Politics’, eds., Encyclopaedia of Political Thought, Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2014, accepted May 2012. 6000 word peer reviewed essay.

‘The pathos and promise of counter-history: Hannah Arendt and Ernst Cassirer’s German-Jewish historical consciousness’ in Andrew Schaap et al., eds, Power, Judgment, and Political Evil, In Conversation with Hannah Arendt, Ashgate, London, 2010.

‘Diasporic Visions: Al-Andalus in the German-Jewish Imaginary’, in ed. Paul James, Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition, Arena Publications, Melbourne, 2010.

‘Edward Said’s Unhoused Philological Humanism’, in Ned Curthoys and Debjani Ganguly, eds, Edward Said: the Legacy of a Public Intellectual, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2007.
‘The Refractory Legacy of Algerian Decolonisation: Revisiting Arendt on Violence’ in Richard King and Dan Stone, eds, Hannah Arendt and the Uses of History: Imperialism, Nation, Race, and Genocide, Berghahn Books, New York, 2007.

Edited Special Issues of Refereed Journals

With Monique Rooney and Russell Smith, ‘Keywords’, issue 55 of Australian Humanities Review, November 2013.

With Julieanne Lamond, special section of Australian Literary Studies devoted to 'New Directions in the Literature of Ideas', ALS 28:3, 2013.

Cook, A. and N. Curthoys (eds), ‘Representing humanity in the era of Enlightenment: Local Mediations of a Global Aspiration’, special issue of Intellectual History Review, vol. 23. no. 3, 2013.

With Monique Rooney and Russell Smith, issue 54 of Australian Humanities Review, special issue devoted to the ANU ‘Keywords’ public lecture series, June 2013.

’Key Thinkers and Their Contemporary Legacy’, a special issue of Humanities Research Journal, Vol. XVI, no. 2, 2010.

Review Essays, Reviews, Commentary

‘Against the New Atheism’, review essay in Overland Literary Journal, Spring 2008.

Review of John Tranter (ed) The Best Australian Poetry 2007 (UQP), in Journal of Australian Studies vol. 32, no. 1, 2008.

‘A new anti-Semitism?’ review essay in Arena Magazine, no.70, April-May 2004.

Review of Alan Dershowitz, Why Terrorism Works and How to Stop It (2002) Arena Magazine no.68 Dec 2003- Jan 2004.

Review essay on new titles in Jewish cultural studies in Borderlands e-journal vol. 2, no. 3, 2003.

Review of Ien Ang’s On Not Speaking Chinese (2001) for Working Papers on the Web, Volume 5:, 2002.

Review of Now -Time/Image-Space by Kia Lindroos, Theory and Event, no. 3:2, 1999.

Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Senior Lecturer in English and Cultural Studies
Future research
Researching the critical and cultural legacy of Hannah Arendt's concept of the 'banality of evil' and its effects on the genre of the Bildungsroman.
Richard Rorty and pragmatism as a neo-humanism.
Funding received
ARC Discovery (with APD), ‘Hannah Arendt, Émigré Intellectuals, and the Ethos of World Literature’ [DP0666225], $233,580, 2006-2009.
Read German and French
Previous positions
Research Fellow in English, The Australian National University, 2009-2013.
ENGL 1401 Page and Screen.
ENGL 1000 Global Literatures (SEM 2 2017)
ENGL 2401 Meaning and the Moving Image
ENGL2704 Transcultural Literatures
ENGL 3301 The European Individual
ENGL4104 Cinema and Cultural Studies
Current external positions
Advisory Editorial Board, Australian Humanities Review
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM