Kevin Stone

Major: English, German; Minor: French, Yiddish, Russian
20th century
Academic Area: 
Aesthetics, Critical Theory, Queer Theory

Research Areas

Research interests include English, German, French, and Yiddish modernist and post-modernist novels and cultures of performance; narratology; gender, queer, critical, and affect theory; the entanglement of form and medium in the circulation of texts and the formation of reception communities; queer theories of biological, social, and aesthetic reproduction.


Kevin Stone entered the doctoral program in comparative literature at Berkeley in 2016. In 2013, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with an AB in literature and a minor in astrophysics. In the interim, he performed research at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München on a Fulbright grant and worked as a management consultant, including projects in higher education and academic publishing.

His dissertation project, "A Kink in the Plot: Fetish Desire, Literary Modernism, and Narratives of Social Integration," traces the aesthetics of kink desire through a series of anglophone and Germanophone encounters in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to explore how the pathologization of non-normative sexual behaviors in the nineteenth century provided eventually for the conditions under which sexual subcultures formed as an alternative to communities structured by heterosexual nuclear families. He explores how linear narratives of self-cultivation and social integration in literature, medicine, and philosophy were challenged by the frame stories, narrative fragments, false endings, and interpolations that characterize the aesthetics of kink desire as it moved from individual psychological aberration to the formation of publicly visible subcultures and communities. This aesthetics challenges the binary between liberal assimilation and radical anti-sociality that underlies much of contemporary queer theory.

Sample paper/conference talk titles:
-Protocol, Genre, and the Minoritized-Universalized Queer Body in Paul Preciado’s "Testo Junkie"
-"Nightwood" and Reproductive Futurity: A Narrative of a Non-Reproductive Modernism
-Affective Labor, Gendered Subject Formation, and Literature as Minor Resistance in Late Capitalism in Ingeborg Bachmann’s “Simultan”
-Transmissibility, Reproduction, and the Queer Sociality of the Aesthetic Function in “Josephine, the Singer or the Mouse-Folk”