Skip to main content

Georges Bataille (1897-1962): Criticism in English

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2020 4:42 PM


Bellmer, The CubeAs the influence of French poststructuralist thought spread in American universities during the 1980s and 90s, critics and thinkers on this side of the Atlantic began to investigate the intellectual sources and touchstones of writers like Derrida, Foucault, and Lacan, and as a result touched off a decades-long reckoning with Bataille in English that has found its way into the center of debates in anthropology, art history, cultural studies, economics, gender & sexuality studies, literary & film theory, philosophy, sociology, theology, and many other subfields. Simply put, Bataille is crucial to how we read, write, and think now - partly through the influence of his intellectual progeny, but mainly through his own forceful writings and fertile conclusions.

On this page you can find an exhaustive guide to criticism of Bataille in English, from 1976 to the present, organized by the decade in which it was published. Works on each individual tab are listed from most to least recent. Each book listed in the bibliographies below is linked to the UB Library Catalog, when that item is available in our print collections, and its call number is provided. Books not available in the UB Catalog are linked to WorldCat, where you can discover library holdings for that item in your region; UB users can order these items through our Delivery+ service.

Even though the tradition of scholarship in English is generously represented on this page, the offerings here are by no means exhaustive: by necessity, it omits the lion's share of the copious literature in English published in periodicals, not to mention the entire range of fascinating and important research in French and other languages. Researchers who are ready and willing to look beyond the resources listed here would do best to begin their search for books in the UB Library Catalog and WorldCat, and their search for articles in the MLA International Bibliography, JSTOR, and/or Project MUSE. The UB Libraries also offer Research Guides on Romance Languages & Literatures as well as French & Francophone Literature that contain invaluable resources for the student of Bataille. And you can always contact your librarian and fellow Bataillean, Michael Kicey, Humanities Liaison Librarian, with further research questions and needs.

Image: Hans Bellmer, "Untitled (The Cube)" (ca. 1935-1945). Read more about Bellmer and his close relationship to Bataille's work here. Source: Fair use.