Santiago Colas

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Santiago Colas

Associate Professor, Arts and Ideas in the Humanities

435 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Office Location(s): 1623 East Quad
Phone: 734.647.4382
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Comparative Literature
      Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, Residential College
  • About

    I teach and do research at the intersection of the humanities and athletics.  In part, this means that I’m interested in the ways that social categories, philosophical ideas and literary forms and sporting phenomena may influence one another.  But it also means that I’m interested in using elements form each domain as conceptual lenses to help focalize under-examined aspects of the other domain.  So, for example, we might view a spectacular athletic play as an epiphany and we might think about how viewing it in this way could change our usual way of thinking about epiphanies in, say, James Joyce.  Or, conversely, we might think about the bildungsroman as a genre and a narrative and use that to get a critical purchase on certain common narrative shapes given to describe the careers of athletes.  I teach courses in which the central topic might be literary texts, or philosophical texts, or athletic phenomena, but in which all may be related to each other, whatever the specific focus.

    In addition to my scholarly research in this area (see list below), I maintain a blog through which I try to be informed by and to inform broader public discussions of the relationship between sports (especially basketball) and culture and society.

    Select publications:


    2016  Ball Don’t Lie! Myth, Genealogy and Invention in the Cultures of Basketball (under contract at Temple University Press)

    1994  Postmodernity in Latin America: The Argentine Paradigm (Durham: Duke

    University Press)


    Articles and Book Chapters

    2015  “’Ball Don’t Lie!’ Rasheed Wallace and the Politics of Protest in the National Basketball  Association,” forthcoming Communication and Sport

    2015  “The Meanings of Manu: Race, Class, and Globalization in the National Basketball Association”  forthcoming Sports and Nationalism in Latin America, Ed. Robert Irwin and Hector Fernández (Palgrave)

    2014  “Getting Free: The Arts and Politics of Basketball Modernity,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues November 22, content/early/2014/11/21/ 0193723514559054 DOI: 10.1177/0193723514559054

    2014  “What We Mean When We Say “Play the Right Way”: Strategic Fundamentals, Morality, and Race in the Culture of Basketball,” Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association of America 45.2 (Fall, 2012 [published 2014]): 109-125. 

    2009  “The Difference that Time Makes: Hopelessness and Potency in Borges’ ‘El Aleph’” Thinking with Borges, Ed. William Egginton and David Johnson (Aurora: Davies Group Publishers), 87-101.

    2008  “Magic and Autonomy in Historias mínimas and La vita è bella” (with Vincenzo Binetti), Discourse  28.2-3:  130-152.

    2008  “Must Intellectual Analysis Destroy the Joy of Reading?” Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice 21.2: 28-34

    2007  “Toward an Ethics of Close Reading in the Age of Neoliberalism,” New Centennial Review 7.3: 171-214.

    2006  “Writing Life and Love: Julio Cortázar and Gilles Deleuze,” Angelaki 11.1:


    2005  “Telling True Stories, or The Immanent Ethics of Material Spirit (and Spiritual Matter) in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials” Discourse 27.1: pp. 34-66.

    2005  “Inventing Autonomies: Meditations on Julio Cortázar and the Politics of Our Time” New Centennial Review 5. 2: pp. 1-34.

    2003  “Living Invention, or, The Way of Julio Cortázar,” Revista de estudios hispánicos, 37:

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Literature, Duke University
  • Selected Publications:
  • Articles
  • Essays