Richard Dienst
Professor of English

Critical Theory and Cultural Studies

Professor Dienst is the author of:

— Still Life in Real Time: Theory After Television (Duke University Press, 1994), an account of television from the perspectives of cultural studies, Marxist political economy, Heidegger's philosophy, Derrida's deconstruction, and Deleuze's cinema theory.

 The Bonds of Debt: Borrowing Against the Common Good (Verso Books, 2011), an analysis of indebtedness as a fundamental condition of contemporary social, political, and economic life.

Seeing from Scratch: 15 Lessons with Godard (Caboose Books, 2020), an exploration of visual pedagogy based on the work of Jean-Luc Godard.

He is also the co-editor (with Henry Schwarz) of Reading the Shape of the World: Toward an International Cultural Studies (Westview Press, 1996), a collection of essays on cultural politics in an era of globalization.

He has published a series of essays on contemporary theory, visual media, and political discourse in a variety of journal and anthologies.

Occasional pieces can found on two blogs: 




43 Mine Street, Room 102, College Ave Campus

Please contact me to schedule a meeting.

  • History of Literary Theory (Parts 1 and 2)
  • Literary and Scientific Writings
  • Theories of Text and Image
  • Utopia
  • Thinking as a Way of Life
  • Science Fiction
  • Introduction to Crime Fiction

2020: Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching

2015: SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education

    • "Debt and Utopia"
    • https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3401-debt-and-utopia

PhD, Duke University
BA, University of California, Berkeley