Alastair Hunt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

FMH M409

B.A. (Hon.) 1997 Massey University, New Zealand
M.A. 2000 Massey University
PhD. 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison

On the PSU Faculty since 2009


My work focuses principally on Romantic literature, political theory, and animal studies, with occasional excursions into popular culture. I am especially interested in the insights that Romanticism offers on fundamental questions in both politics and ecology, as well as the relation between the two fields. I have written on biopolitics, radical democracy, human rights, legal personhood, the culture of life, industrial animal agriculture, and the work of Hannah Arendt. Whatever the topic, I remain invested in close, slow readings attentive to the rhetorical textures of language. I am currently completing a book, Rights of Romanticism, in which I trace in Romanticism a rhetoric of inhuman rights counter to the dominant rights ideology promoted by humanism.

Research Interests

  • British and German Romanticism
  • Critical theory
  • Political theory
  • Animal studies

Courses Taught

  • ENG 300: Introduction to the English Major
  • ENG 343: British Romanticism
  • ENG 368: Literature and Ecology
  • ENG 458: Romanticism and Democracy
  • ENG 494: Deconstructions
  • ENG 500: Problems and Methods in Literary Study



  • The Right to Have Rights. Co-authored with Stephanie DeGooyer, Werner Hamacher, Samuel Moyn, Astra Taylor. New York: Verso, forthcoming spring 2017.
  • Against Life. Co-edited with Stephanie Youngblood. Afterword by Lee Edelman. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2016.  

Journal Issue


  • “Nonpersons.” Inhuman Rites and Posthumous Life. Eds. Claire Colebrook and Jami Weinstein. New York: Columbia UP, 2017. 
  • “Just Animals.” Biopolitics: Life in Past and Present. Spec. issue of South Atlantic Quarterly. Ed. Sara Guyer and Richard Keller. 115.2 (April 2016): 231-46.
  • “Death by Birth.” The Global Animal. Spec. issue of English Studies in Canada. Ed. Karyn Ball and Melissa Haynes. 39.1 (March 2013): 97-124. German translation: “Tod durch Geburt.” Epistemologien des Untöten. Ed. Erica Weitzmann. Fink Verlag, 2015.
  • “Rightlessness.” Animals … in Theory. Spec. issue of CR: New Centennial Review. Ed. David Clark. 11.2 (Fall 2011): 115-42.
  • “The Rights of the Infinite.” At the Intersections of Ecocriticism. Spec. issue of Qui Parle. Ed. Katrina Dodson. 19.2 (Spring/Summer 2011): 224-52.