Homepage for Eric Beck Rubin, author

 

A C A D E M I C   A N D   R E L A T E D

Eric Beck Rubin received a doctorate in comparative literature from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a master of architectural history and theory from McGill University. His areas of academic specialty are disparate – Memorials and Memory, 19th and 20th Century Literature, Fin–de–Siècle Vienna, and South Asian and Post–Colonial Studies. The common interest is in the way works of art transmit memory, and what happens when we use fiction as a means of conveying history.

He has taught, guest lectured, and written on subjects such as Freud’s Civilisation and Its Discontents, the use of the Greek art of memory in Gothic cathedrals, the novels of Nobel Laureate Imre Kertész and Georges Perec, and North American Memorial Day rituals, among others. 

From 2013 to 2015, Eric was an adjunct curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He is also the creator of the Burning Books literary podcast.

 

Teaching

'Forgetting Architecture', 'Cultural Transformation and Design': Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto (2011-15); 'The First Architects': Department of Architectural Sciences, Ryerson University (2012); 'The Impossible Necessity': Bergen Arkitekt Skole (2008); 'Iconography and Cultural History': Waterloo University School of Architecture (2004-5).

 

Speaking

'The Life of an Artist', International Festival of Authors; 'The Life of a (Very) Short Story: A Discussion with Etgar Keret', Appel Salon; 'Disrupting Memorials', Facing History; 'The Institutionalization of Trauma', Holocaust Education Week; 'The Ordinary and the Extreme', Art Gallery of Ontario; 'David Heti's Comedy', Montreal Le Mood; 'Life? or Theatre?' Robert Gill Theatre; 'Remembrance Day', CBC Radio; 'Mnemotechnics', Treehouse Talks; 'George Elliott Clarke's I & I', Department of English, University of Toronto; 'Orientalism and Much Maligned Monsters', Department of Architecture, McGill University; 'Hans Erich Nossack’s The End and Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour', Waterloo University School of Architecture.

 

Recent Writing [*peer reviewed]

'The Ordinary and the Extreme', Memory Unearthed, Yale University Press; 'Not Again', Berfrois; 'Georges Perec, Lost and Found in the Void: Memoirs of an Indirect Witness’, Journal of Modern Literature*; 'Avoided', Los Angeles Review of Books; ‘Sisyphus in Fatelessness: The Allegory and Irony of Eternal Recurrence’, Comparative Literature and Culture*, 'Dresden/Dresden', Descant; 'A Short Story in Nine Parts', Dear Albertine Gallery. 

 

CV

Paper

2013
Doctor of Philosophy, English and Comparative Literature
Goldsmiths College, University of London
Dissertation: Then Cover the Abyss With Trance, an exploration of the novelistic representation of the Holocaust
Supervisor: Josh Cohen

2005
Master of Architecture, Architectural History and Theory
McGill University, Montreal
Graduated cum laude from program headed by Alberto Pérez–Gómez
Thesis: Vienna in Dreams, a look at the faces of the fin–de–siècle metropolis as interpreted by the work of Joseph Roth, Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil and Sigmund Freud
Supervisor: Martin Bressani

2002
Honours Bachelor of Arts, Major in South Asian studies, Minors in History and English
University of Toronto
Graduated with distinction

Courses and Related

2016 to present
University of Waterloo
School of Architecture
Adjunct Faculty: instructed the first–year Iconography and Cultural History course, part of the school’s core curriculum in cultural history; the subject of the class was great European architectural works and thought in the Modernist Period

2011 to 2015
University of Toronto
Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
Instructor: designed and taught ‘Forgetting Architecture’, a Masters-level elective seminar on the architectural memorialisation of trauma, based on my PhD research, as part of the faculty’s offering of courses in Selected Topics in Architecture History and Theory
Instructor: designed and taught 'Cultural History and Design', a second-year undergraduate course on the expression of cultural phenomena in architectural conceptions and design

2013 to 2015
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Henryk Ross Photographs from the Łodz Ghetto
Curatorial Consultant: advised on the exhibition of a newly acquired collection of photos of the ghetto taken during the time of its operation by Henryk Ross

2014
Ministry of Canadian Heritage, Ottawa
Memorial to the Victims of Communist Regimes Design Competition
Core member of Plant Architect and Blue Republic’s shortlisted design team for ‘Tipping Point’, a proposed national memorial to be located in Ottawa

2014
University of Waterloo
School of Architecture
Adjunct Faculty: teaching 3A studio term 'The Architectural Imagination', focusing on developing and educating design instincts; specialising in exploring the construction and possibilities of narrative as a means of understanding and expressing creative processes

2012
Ryerson University, Toronto
Department of Architectural Sciences
Instructor: designed and taught ‘The First Architects’, the first–year Ideas, Technologies and Precedents course, which is part of the school’s core curriculum; the subject of the architectural history class is design and its context from prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages

2009
Bergen Arkitekt Skole, Norway
Co–coordinator, Guest Lecturer and Critic of ‘The Impossible Necessity’: under the aegis of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, designed and participated in the instruction of a fourth–year design and theory studio on libraries and the limits of knowledge

2004, 5
University of Waterloo
School of Architecture
Adjunct Faculty: instructed the second–year Iconography and Cultural History course, part of the school’s core curriculum in cultural history; the subject of the class was great European architectural works and thought in the Renaissance, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment

Selected Guest Lectures and Publications [*peer reviewed]

November, 2015
Holocaust Education Week, Ryerson University, Toronto
Featured speaker for the annual event's ‘Legacy Symposium’, discussing the article ‘Not Again’ and the direction of memorial design in North America

October, 2015
Rain, Gravity, Heat, Cold, Blok Design
Interview of Superkül principals Meg Graham and Andre D'Elia included in this monograph about the first ten years of the firm's practice in Canada and abroad

January, 2015
Memory Unearthed, Yale University Press
Author of ‘The Ordinary and the Extreme’, an essay exploring the representation of trauma in Henryk Ross’ photographs of the Łodz Ghetto, included in the Art Gallery of Ontario's catalogue for the exhibition

January, 2015
Jackman Theatre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Featured speaker on a panel discussing the representation of trauma in the photographs of Henryk Ross

October, 2014
Berfrois
Author of ‘Not Again’, a critique of Daniel Libeskind's winning proposal for the Canadian Holocaust Monument

July, 2014
Journal of Modern Literature*
Indiana University Press
Author of ‘Georges Perec, Lost and Found in the Void: Memoirs of an Indirect Witness’, an article examining the identity Perec created out of a war–time childhood spent in hiding 

May, 2014
Los Angeles Review of Books
Author of ‘Avoided’, an exploration of Horreur Vacui, or the void, in art, architecture and the novels of Georges Perec

March, 2014
Comparative Literature and Culture*
Purdue University Press
Author of ‘Sisyphus in Fatelessness: The Allegory and Irony of Eternal Recurrence’, an article evaluating Imre Kertész’ novel as a work in conversation with essays by Nietzsche and Camus 

November, 2013
Holocaust Education Week, Toronto
Featured Speaker for the annual event, discussing the subject of the American narrative (the ‘Americanization’) of the Holocaust

November, 2013
Le Mood, Montreal
Selected Featured Speaker for festival of Jewish thought and culture; part of a three person presentation, with David Heti and Natalie Mathieson, on the history, limits, transgressions of, and tolerance for, provocative humour

October, 2013
University of Waterloo School of Architecture
Lectured on Hans Erich Nossack’s The End and Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour to first year iconography class taught by Robert Jan van Pelt

October, 2013
University of Waterloo School of Architecture
Lectured to Collective Memory graduate seminar on the subject of Frances Yates’ The Art of Memory

April, 2013
Life? Or Theatre?
Robert Gill Theatre
Performer in Ars Mechanica’s original theatrical production on the life of German artist Charlotte Salomon

April, 2013
Descant Magazine
Issue 160: The Hidden City
Author of ‘Dresden/Dresden’, an article about the city’s escape from its traumatic history

December, 2012
University of Toronto
Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
Invited Guest Critic to Masters Final Reviews
November, 2012

CBC Radio
Invited Guest of the Remembrance Day program, discussing the changing shapes of monuments and memorials in Canada

October, 2012
Treehouse Talks, Toronto
Lectured on the subject of Mnemotechnics (the art of memory) in classical and medieval architecture

August, 2011
Dear Albertine Gallery, Toronto
A Short Story in Nine Parts
Exhibited (under pseudonym) ‘A & E’, a serialised short story commissioned by the gallery

March, 2011
University of Toronto
Department of English
Lectured on George Elliott Clarke’s most recent work, I & I, for Clarke’s second–year English course on African–Canadian Literature