The papers of J. Hillis Miller, world renowned literary critic and a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature her at UC, Irvine, are now open for research in Special Collections and Archives.
Miller was a member of what has been called the “Yale School” of deconstruction, which included Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Harold Bloom, and Geoffrey Hartman. He began teaching at UCI in 1986 and was a member of the Critical Theory Institute. I have had the privilege of getting to know this great thinker through his personal and professional writing. Scholars of 19th century literature and deconstruction will, I’m certain, be thrilled to find the two and a half record cartons full of Miller’s nearly stream of consciousness journals and notes, manuscripts of his twenty-nine tomes of literary criticism, his professional correspondence, and even a few examples of major unpublished works.
While, I too appreciate the academic treasure trove I’ve spent months describing and arranging, I think I have enjoyed most of all the personal touches sprinkled throughout. It may not be terribly important to those studying deconstruction in the future that J. Hillis Miller had pet cats, loved to hike and sail, or quoted George Eliot’s Middlemarch at his daughter’s wedding reception, but each of those little details has made me smile.
The guide to this collection can be found here on the Online Archive of California.