Born in Vienna, Armen Avanessian studied philosophy and political science in Vienna and in Paris with Jacques Rancière. After completing his dissertation in literature, Phenomenology of the Ironic Spirit: Ethics, Poetics, and Politics of Modernity (in Bielefeld, Germany, with Karl Heinz Bohrer), he worked as a freelance journalist and editor (at Le Philosophoire) in Paris, and then in publishing in London. In 2007 he returned to academia to begin his current position as a researcher at the "Collaborative Research Center 626: Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits," and at the Peter Szondi Institute for Comparative Literature at Free University Berlin. In 2011 he was a Visiting Fellow in the German Department at Columbia University and in 2012 at the German Department at Yale University. In 2013/14 he was Visiting Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg and currently at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.