John Fekete

E-Mail: jfekete@trentu.ca

Professor Emeritus

John Fekete is Professor Emeritus of Cultural Studies and English Literature at Trent University, as well as a member of the Cultural Studies PhD Program and the Centre for the Study of Theory, Culture, and Politics.  Recognized as an international figure in the field of modern and postmodern theory and in the antifoundational transformation of theory from the 1970s, he has published widely on media theory in the age of McLuhan and Innis, the horizons of the technological imaginary, science fiction, utopian narratives, speculative literature, critical theory, literary value,  everyday psychopathology, moral panics, and the culture of biopolitics, while also serving on the editorial boards of Telos, Sexuality and Culture, the Canadian Journal of Communications, the Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, and Philosophy of the Social Sciences, as well as the journal representing his favourite teaching interest, Science Fiction Studies.  He has given numerous invited talks in Canada, the U.S., and abroad, and has been frequently interviewed in various media, particularly after his book, Moral Panic, which turned to  cultural theory to examine the rising contagion of data abuse and biopolitical mobbing in the 1990s, became a Canadian best seller.  

Fekete’s highly praised books (see http://www.trentu.ca/culturalstudies/faculty_feketebooks.php) describe, assess, and intervene in the trajectory of critical and cultural thought since the Second World War. The Critical Twilight: Explorations in the Ideology of Anglo-American Criticism from Eliot to McLuhan (Routledge 1978) was described as “the basis for a revaluation which is of the first importance” (Raymond Williams).  The Structural Allegory: Reconstructive Encounters with the New French Thought (U of Minnesota P, 1984) was seen as “simultaneously an annunciation, incarnation, chronicle, and critique of one of the central intellectual movements of our time” (Barbara H. Smith).  Life After Postmodernism: Essays on Culture and Value (St. Martin’s P, 1988) took its place as “a pioneering text on the question of value in the postmodern scene” (Arthur Kroker).  And Moral Panic: Biopolitics Rising (Davies, 1994), which was influential in redefining the debate about human rights and academic freedom in government policy and in North American institutions of higher learning, was called “a masterpiece of critical theory” (Agnes Heller), and was included in a list of “the five best” books, as an “indispensable guide to the fanaticism of our times” (Alan Charles Kors).  In recognition of his leadership in theory and cultural studies, John Fekete was awarded Trent University’s Distinguished Research Award (1990) and, on his retirement from Trent employment in 2012, he was honoured with the annual John Fekete Distinguished Lecture series, established by the PhD Program in his name. 

At Trent, Prof. Fekete was a primary player in founding the first Cultural Studies B.A. in North America, the interdisciplinary M.A., and the first Canadian PhD in Cultural Studies.  He chaired the Cultural Studies Department and directed the PhD Program, whose basic degree protocols he developed and inaugurated.  In 2013, Bata Library dedicated to Prof. Fekete the notable science fiction collection which he had built.  (See http://www.trentu.ca/newsevents/newsDetail.php?newsID=6303)  For his untiring faculty association activism in the service of professional equity, human rights, and academic freedom, he has been recognized in the CAUT’s Dedicated Service Award (2011), OCUFA’s Dedicated Service Award (2012), and the annual John Fekete Award to be granted for outstanding service by faculty members, founded in his name by the Trent University Faculty Association to honour his own extensive contributions (2013). 



Books by John Fekete