Alysia Garrison is a writer and academic. She teaches the literature of the long eighteenth century, the philosophy of history and critical theory at Dartmouth College. She is the author of articles on topics ranging from Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben to Irish modernist Samuel Beckett and English Romantic peasant poet John Clare, and short essays on figures such as Jacques Derrida and Jamaican apprentice James Williams. She received her PhD at the University of California Davis in 2013. She is currently at work on a book about secret history, a project about time and climate, and a collection on eighteenth-century women writers. She is a 2016 Dartmouth Public Voices Fellow.
What do you do best?
Listen. Analyze. Get to the crux of the question.
What makes you the best?
Empathy paired with inquisitiveness and a desire to bring out the best in others.
What are your aspirations?
To never forget those “flash existences” and “poem-lives” who lived and died as intensities that live within me and motivate every scholarly encounter.
Each student I have touched who has forgotten time, suspended deadlines, and lost herself in the exquisite joy of reading, thinking, and writing.
Most Challenging Moment?
Finishing a dissertation on the tenure track balancing a keyboard on one hand and my newborn daughter on the other.
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
Whatever beings, parahumans, inoperative communities.
Unruly characters in novels from 1688-1832. Poets, prophets, oracles, conjurers, vagabonds, watchmakers, scribblers, and rogues.
My human and inhuman families, living and dead.
Los Angeles, Santorini, Ibiza, Giant’s Causeway, London, Rome, Big Sur, Blue Mountains.
Philosophy and theory books (Semiotext(e), Verso), Illy espresso, moon juice, minimalist electronica, KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Wonder, curiosity and other aesthetic categories. Endorphin highs. Secret histories, about which I am writing a book. Intertwined human and ecological time scales.