Ian Williams Curtis is a sixth year Ph.D. candidate. In March 2020, he will submit his dissertation: The J3 Affair (1948-1951): Historical Fantasies and Modern Literature in a Postwar Murder. Based on an original archival discovery, the project retraces and analyses the assassination of a high school student by his classmates. The murderer, his accomplices, and the French press blamed recent history and contemporary literature and film for the victim’s death. This incident played a pivotal role in establishing a new cultural category in France—the J3s—which forced an entire country to examine its responsibility for the effects that defeat and collaboration during World War II had had on French youth. During the J3 Affair, an entire generation of young men and women, and the cultural productions they consumed, were on trial.
Prior to beginning his doctoral work at Yale, Ian completed a Master 2 in psychoanalysis at the Université de Paris VIII, where he wrote his thesis on Jacques Lacan, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. He holds an AB from Kenyon College in French literature. He graduated summa cum laude with Highest Honors, Phi Beta Kappa.