Jesús Velasco, Department Chair

Jesús Velasco's picture
Augustus R. Street Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Comparative Literature
Department Chair
Ph.D. in Philology, Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), 1995

J R Velasco studies Medieval and Early Modern legal cultures across the Mediterranean Basin and Europe within and outside the legal professions, from the perspective of contemporary critical thought. He is the author of Microliteraturas (Madrid, Cátedra, 2022), Dead Voice: Law, Philosophy, and Fiction in the Iberian Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), Plebeyos Márgenes: Ficción, Industria del Derecho y Ciencia Literaria (SEMYR, 2011), or Order and Chivalry: Knighthood and Citizenship in Late Medieval Castile (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). He is currently completing his PhD dissertation in Law, with the title, Science de l’âme et corps du droit, and finishing his new project: Political Idiots: Three Fables on Philology, Law, and Originalism. His articles on legal culture, chivalry, Occitan poetry, Political Theory, and other subjects have appeared in English, Spanish, French, and Catalan in journals like MLN, La Corónica, Studi Ispanici, and many others. He is interested in the practice of photography. He has published and exhibited his work in several venues. He is currently working on a photo-literary project on academic freedom. He has taught courses and seminars in Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Comparative Literature, and the Law School: Torture and Confession (with Bernard Harcourt), Foucault 13/13 (with Bernard Harcourt), On Friendship (with Claudio Lomnitz), Formes du Droit (with Emanuele Conte and Pierre Thévenin), Inquisitions, Microliteratures: The Margins of The Law, Fiction, Public Intellectuals Before Modernity, and many others. Velasco has taught at the École Normale Supérieure (Fontenay), University of Salamanca (Spain), UC Berkeley, and Columbia University —where he has been at the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought of the Law School. He has held visiting positions at Emory, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Roma Tre, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, or Paris III, among others. At Columbia, he has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, Chair of the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.