Samolsky, Russell

Associate Professor; Affiliate of Comparative Literature

Russell Samolsky is associate professor of Anglophone literature in the English Department here at UCSB. His research interests include South African literature, Jewish Studies, Animal Studies, Deconstruction, Materialisms, and the Global Humanities. His book, Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Kafka, Conrad, and Coetzee (Fordham UP), takes account of the complex relationship between past apocalyptic texts and future catastrophic events and works to offer a messianic counter-time against apocalyptic futures. He is currently at work on a monograph on J. M. Coetzee, as well as a book on the place of animals, particularly dogs, in contemporary literature.




South Hall 2724

Office Hours: 

Spring 2020 - Please email for appointment.


Mailing Address: 

English Department
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3170


Literature and the Environment
Literary Theory
Twentieth Century Anglophone Literature

Research Interests: 

  • Animal Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • South African Literature
  • Reception Theory
  • Deconstruction



Articles & Chapters: 

  • “Killing Dogs: Animality and Trauma in Waltz with Bashir and Deogratias,” Globalization, Trauma, and Comparative Literature, eds. David Kelman and Jennifer Ballengee (Routledge, forthcoming)
  • “Shades of the Archive: J. M. Coetzee, the Paradox of Poetic Sovereignty and the Lives of Literary Beings,” Coetzee and the Archive, eds. Kai Easton and Marc Farrant (Bloomsbury, forthcoming)
  • "Inter Alia: Aliens and AI," PUBLIC: Art/Culture/Ideas (2019) (with Rita Raley)
  • "Acts of Mourning: Art and the Lives of Animals in J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace and Elizabeth Costello," J.M. Coetzee in Context and Theory, eds. Elleke Boehmer, Katy Iddiols, and Robert Eaglestone (London: Continuum, 2009)
  • "The Time is Out of Joint: Hamlet, Messianism, and the Specter of Apocalypse," English Language Notes 46:1 (Spring/Summer 2008): 29-46.
  • "Animal Ethics," The European Legacy 12:4 (2007)
  • "On Teaching South African Literature in the Age of Terror," Safundi: The Journal of South African & American Comparative Studies 16 (October 2004)
  • "Ghostly Letters: Hamlet, Derrida and Apocalyptic Discourse,” Oxford Literary Review 25 (2003)
  • Metaleptic Machines: Kafka, Kaballah, Shoah,” Modern Judaism 19:2 (1999)
  • “Writing Violence: Bodies and Signs in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe,” Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies 1:1 (1993)
  • Review of Consequences of Theory, Jonathan Arac and Barbara Johnson, eds., English Language Notes 29:1 (September 1991): 90-93


Recent Courses Taught