Specialty: 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature, Media and Technology, Critical Theory
Degree: PhD, UCLA
I am a teacher and scholar of American fiction from the late nineteenth century through the contemporary period. My work engages with media theory, narrative, the philosophy of science, and related modes of critical attention that illuminate how novels work as aesthetic and communicative systems and cultural agents. In my first book, Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (2013), I developed a systems-theoretical account of how media and infrastructure become the self-referring formal sites of communication in the fiction of the early twentieth century, transitioning from the corridors of power to the postwar open plan. Narrative mediation is also the gravitational center of my recently completed manuscript, which is a study of nonhuman narrative sentience and its genre lives in contemporary fiction, critical theory, and the novelistic history that informs them. I am currently working on a theory of the novella for the contemporary period.
I teach literature, media, and contemporary thought in a variety of contexts, ranging from transhistorical encounters with genre to graduate writing workshops dedicated to work in the public humanities. I serve on the faculty of the History and Philosophy of Science at Notre Dame, and am a member of the steering committee for the Moreau College Initiative, a transformative prison education program run in partnership with Holy Cross College. I am also on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, teaching at the Vermont mountain campus.I am committed to the future of serious literary and cultural analysis and dedicate a good deal of my energy to its support. In addition to lecturing extensively in the U.S. and abroad, I co-edit the Post45 book series at Stanford University Press and serve on the steering committee of the Post45 Collective.
- “The Readers of the Future Have Become Shitty Literary Critics” boundary2 online, (2018).
- Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).
- “New Wave Fabulism and Hybrid Science Fictions.” American Literature in Transition: 2000-2010, ed. Rachel Greenwald Smith. (Cambridge UP, 2017).
- “The Old Weird.” Modernism/Modernity (2016).
- “Atlas of a Concave World: Game of Thrones and the Historical Novel.” Critical Quarterly (2015).
- “What Are the Novels of the Anthropocene? American Fiction in Geological Time.” American Literary History (2015).
- Editor, with Tobias Boes, “Writing the Anthropocene.” Special issue of the minnesota review (2104).
- “Dreiser’s Stamping Room: Becoming Media in An American Tragedy” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 46.2 (2013).
Recent Honors / Awards
- Frank and Eleanor Griffiths Chair, Bread Loaf School of English, 2019
- Founders’ Fellow, National Humanities Center (2016-2017)
- Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture, awarded to Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction by the Media Ecology Association, 2014
- Thyssen Foundation Grant, 2011 (with Markus Krajewski and Stephan Trüby, “Dienstbarkeitsarchitekturen”)
- Faculty Fellow, DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) Interdisciplinary Summer Seminar, University of Chicago, 2009
218 Decio Faculty Hall
Department of English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556