Hillis Miller has been a bellwether of academic literary criticism for the past fifty years. Trained at Harvard when it was a bastion of the old historicism, he staked out the newer criticism, drawing especially on Kenneth Burke. In his first job at Johns Hopkins University, he came to embrace the phenomenological criticism inspired by Georges Poulet, writing several books that try to capture the consciousness of a writer and his or her work. Already conversant in Continental thought, he shifted allegiances to deconstructive criticism by the early 1970s, inspired by colleagues Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida. Over the past two decades, he has widened his concerns to ethics, the fate of humanistic education, and the new, digital technologies, especially drawing on the later Derrida.