Samuel Weber

is an American philosopher and professor. Professor Weber is the Paul de Man Chair at the European Graduate School (EGS), the Avalon Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University, and one of the leading American thinkers across the disciplines of literary theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. Samuel Weber was born in New York. Samuel Weber has been a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Director of their Paris Program in Critical Theory.

Samuel Weber obtained his doctorate from Cornell University in 1960, working with Paul de Man. He then pursued graduate education in Europe, primarily in Germany, and has been a professor in Germany, France and the United States since. It was during his studies abroad that he first encountered the work of the Frankfurt School of critical theory. He was strongly influenced by the work of Theodor W. Adorno, eventually coming to translate his major work of his critical theory – Prisms – into English. This translation, including an introduction by written by him, was of crucial importance in the reception of the work of Theodor W. Adorno in the Anglophone world.

Samuel Weber is not only distinguished for having introduced major elements of the Frankfurt School to English speakers; he also brought the Bhaktin circle and deconstruction to the attention of many in America, both through his work as co-founder and editor of the journal Glyph and his scholarly translations of original texts. In the 70s and 80s he became a prominent figure as he helped introduce and comment, primarily in the United States and Germany, on the work of the Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan. In fact, he translated Jacques Derrida's 'Signature Event Context' (1977) and 'Limited, Inc.' (1988).

Not being limited to the sphere of academia, however, Samuel Weber also served as a dramaturge to German opera houses and theaters in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, and Ludwigsburg during the 1980s. Samuel Weber has studied the Freudian concept of the uncanny extensively. Weber is also heavily influenced by Walter Benjamin. Samuel Weber is working in what he refers to as theatricality in his scholarship. Theatricality can be defined in Samuel's word from an interview with culture machine:

'Theatricality' is what results when the impossibility of self-containment is exposed by iterability as a scene which is inevitably a 'stage', but which, as such, is determined by that which surrounds it...'theater'. More affirmatively formulated, the impossibility of closure opens the scene to a space of alterity that is always provisionally embodied...exposed as an 'audience' -- singular noun for an irreducibly heteroclite stand-in. The 'audience' stands in for the others, ... and perhaps even more, for those who will never come to be. Of course, it is in the nature of our socio-economic system, in an age of 'globalization', to do everything possible to appropriate and domesticate such 'standing-in' so that it seeks to fulfil...actual consumption. The audience is thus considered by the commercial media predominantly, if not exclusively, as potential consumers.

His book Return to Freud: Jacques Lacan's Dislocation of Psychoanalysis (1978, 1991), originally written in German, has been groundbreaking in the fields of psychoanalysis and literary theory. Several of his books are being brought out by Beijing University Press in Chinese translation.

Samuel Weber comments on the relationship between politics and philosophy: