Yubraj Aryal

Yubraj Aryal Profile Picture
Pholosophy and Literature

Mentor / Lab:
Daniel W. Smith

Specific Research Area / Project:
Affective Modulations of the Political in the Nonsovereign Formation of Identities

Undergraduate Institution:
Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Research Profile:

I am primarily interested in the role of the affective modulations of the political in the nonsovereign formation of identities; how nonsovereign subjects affectively constitute themselves in a different political register. I am studying Indian Sadhu traditions and insurgent/insurrectionist literature as case studies in my research to see the nature of affective modulations of the political in postidentitarian identity, approaching the political and its relation to identity in the context of recent discourses on affect and body and focusing on such figures as Foucault, Deleuze, Spinoza, Brian Massumi, Giorgio Agamben, Carl Schmitt, and Hardt and Negri. What interests me in Sadhu and insurgent/insurrectionist modes of life (which are seemingly polar opposites) is neither the salvation that aSadhu seeks in life nor the ideology that an insurgent/insurrectionist practices in life but the “ethics of the art of living” (i. e. “taking a line of flight,” self-constituting one’s own self and body and giving a new style to one’s existence) within or beyond the “dispositif of power,” which, I believe, can serve as a nonsovereign model of being a new political subject (or self-affectively being defined oneself) for us in today’s postpolitical age.

Trained in interdisciplinarity in a strong interdisciplinary tradition at Purdue University, my research is informed by various fields, mainly literature, philosophy, aesthetics, films and cultural studies. The same goes for the courses I teach.

Currently, I am working on the “Bio-politics and Etho-poetics Project,” which aims at studying how we can resist power relations within or beyond the domination and control mechanisms of power, making its influences upon us ineffective, and how we can constitute ourselves by our self-affectivity, making life as an art.

About Me:

Yubraj Aryal About Me Picture

Already known in North American literary and philosophical scholarly communities as the editor of a peer reviewed publication in philosophy and literature, Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry (indexed by Proquest, EBSCO, Gale-Cenage, MLA Intl. Bibliography, and The Philosopher’s Index), as well as an emerging scholar actively advancing a critical exchange of dialogues on issues that surround various fields of the humanities today, I want to become a distinguished literary theorist, philosopher, writer and teacher who can uniquely contribute field-defining ideas to the humanities.

I am advancing intriguing dialogues in contemporary issues in literature, philosophy and aesthetics through a critical exchange of ideas, conducting interviews with well-known scholars in these fields. To this end, I have already interviewed such outstanding scholars as Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, Brain Massumi, Marjorie Perloff, Charles Bernstein, Jerome McGann, Charles Altieri, Allen Wood, Lauren Berlant, Paul Patton, Geoffrey Galt Harpham, Robert J Young, Kwame Anthony Appiah and a number of others. I also write editorial on some contemporary topic for each issue of Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry. To promote the exchange of ideas among scholars, I have already written several editorials for the past issues of our journal, and am writing the recent one entitled “Poetry of Taliban: Renewing the Old Debate on the Moral Poetry” on the recent controversy—after the publication of Poetry of the Taliban by a UK-based publisher Hurst & Company in May 2012—as to whether we should or should not have to read Taliban poetry.


  • American Philosophical Association’s Research Grant, 2009.
  • Purdue College of Liberal Arts Global Research Synergy Grant, 2012.
  • Purdue McBride International Travel Grant, 2011.
  • Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship, Philosophy and Literature Program Finalist, 2012.
  • Purdue Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Excellent Award in Philosophy and Literature Research, 2012.


  • Deleuze (co-edited with Professor Daniel Smith, Purdue University) for the Society for Philosophy and Literary Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal).
  • Modernisms (co-edited with Professor Peter Nicholls, New York University) for the Society for Philosophy and Literary Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal).
  • “Philology in a New Key,” (conversation with Jerome McGann) in Are the Humanities Inconsequent? (Chicago: Prickly Paradigm U. of Chicago Press, 2009).
  • “Extended Nationalism” in Encyclopedia of Global Justice (Springer, 2012).
  • The Humanities at Work: International Exchange of Ideas in Aesthetics, Philosophy and Literature (Sunlight, Kathmandu, 2008).


  • "Affective Politics: A Non-sovereign Way of Creating a Sovereign Self," Special Session for "Authors of Working Papers," the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s Annual Conference, November 04-06 2011, Atlanta, GA.
  • "The Parallel Hypothesis: Desiring the Mind and Minding the Desire," the Comparative Literature Department of City University of New York, Cunny-Graduate Center’s Conference on "Desire from Eros to Eroticism," November 10-11, 2011, Cunny-Graduate Center, NY.
  • "Affect, Body and the Ethical Self," the American Philosophical Association’s Central Meeting, February 15-18, 2012, Chicago, IL.
  • "Unoriginal Genius/Conceptual Art: Recovering Avant-grade in Contemporary Poetics," the First Conference of American and Chines Association for Poetry and Poetics, September 29-30, 2011, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China.
  • "Derrida and Anti-Knowledge," Theory and Cultural Studies Symposium, Department of English, Purdue U, April 02, 2009, Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN.
  • "Progress on Knowledge as a Story of Violence" the Literary Association of Nepal’s Annual Conference on "South Asia as a Zone of Peace," March 1-2, 2006, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • "Intercultural Exchange of Ideas for Global Peace and Mutual Understanding," the World Congress of Philosophy, July 30- August 05, 2008, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • "Modernism and its New Engagements with the ‘Real’ in Contemporary Time," (with Marjorie Perloff, Stanford U), the Modern Language Association’s Annual Conference, January 03-06, 2012, Boston, MA.
  • "On the Human" (with Geoffrey Galt Harpham, Director, National Humanities Center, NC), the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s Annual Conference, November 09-11, 2012, Research Triangle Park, NC.
  • Dr Samir Hadaat (Fordam University)’s "Machines in the Life of Deconstruction," the American Philosophical Association’s Eastern Division Meeting, December 27-30, 2009, New York.
  • Bryan Bannon (Oglethorpe University)’s "From Intrinsic Value to Compassion: A Place-Based Ethics," the American Philosophical Association’s Eastern Division Meeting, December 27-30, 2011, Boston, MA.
  • Joseph Arel (U of Guelph)’s "Hypothesizing the Self in Plato's Meno and Derrida's The Memoirs of the Blind," the Kent State University Philosophy Conference, March 14, 2009, Kent, OH.
  • "Metaphysics: Nietzsche," the American Philosophical Association’s Central Division Meeting, March 27 - April 01, 2011, Minneapolis, MN.
  • "Workshop on Interdisciplinary Pedagogy in Literature," the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s Annual Conference, November 09 - 12, 2012, Research Triangle Park, NC.
  • "College Teaching Workshops Series I: Basics of Teaching," Six Weeks, offered by the Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University, Fall 2010.
  • "College Teaching Workshops Series II: Expanding Your Teaching Toolkit," Six Weeks, offered by the Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University, Spring, 2011.
  • "Preparing Future Faculty Workshop," offered by the Graduate School, Purdue University, Spring 2012.
  • "Writing Lab Practicum," English Department, Purdue University, Fall 2012.
  • "Powerful Presentations: Using Prezi, PowerPoint and Presenter," offered by the Purdue Information Technology, September 20, 2011.
  • "Adobe Connect: Web Conferencing, Collaboration, and Teaching Online," offered by Purdue Information Technology, August 31, 2011.

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