Professor Todd McGowan, Department of English

Donald Trump is self-evidently a figure of excess. His success as a presidential candidate stemmed not just from the excessive enjoyment that he offered his supporters but also from the way that he characterized them as lacking. Taking stock of the relationship between lack and excess reveals not only why Trump succeeded but also why the rapacious capitalism that he represents continues to triumph. Todd McGowan will explain the model for understanding this relationship, which comes from Orson Welles’s classic film Citizen Kane

Todd McGowan teaches film and theory in the Film and Television Studies Program and the English Department. He is the author of Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free MarketsEnjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of PsychoanalysisThe Fictional Christopher Nolan, and other publications. His forthcoming works include a book on comedy entitled Only a Joke Can Save Us and a book on Hegel called The Contradictory Revolution.

The Dean’s Lecture Series was established in 1991 as a way to recognize and honor colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences who have consistently demonstrated the ability to translate their professional knowledge and skill into exciting classroom experiences for their students – faculty who meet the challenge of being both excellent teachers and highly respected professionals in their own discipline. The Award is a celebration of the unusually high quality of our faculty and has become an important and treasured event each semester. 



College of Arts & Sciences