Welcome. I teach U.S. literature, science and technology studies, and digital humanities at the University of Arizona. My research examines the roles of science and technology in post-1945 U.S. literature and culture.
My first book, Human Programming: Brainwashing, Automatons, and American Unfreedom, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in August 2016. It examines how ideas about manipulating human behavior have circulated between scientific, literary, cinematic, and political culture in the U.S., from World War II to the War on Terror. The book shows how novelists and filmmakers have used the figure of the “human automaton” as a means of exploring the meanings of democracy, totalitarianism, and fundamentalism.
I talked about Human Programming for exactly 90 seconds on WAMC Public Radio’s Academic Minute and for about an hour with Carl Nellis of the New Books Network. The Los Angeles Review of Books ran a review entitled, “No Mind to Lose: On Brainwashing.” The book was a finalist for the 2017 Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Kendrick Memorial Book Prize, and it received an honorable mention for UC Riverside’s 2017 Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Program Book Prize.
My current book project, tentatively entitled “Social Medium: The Novel and the Network Society,” explores how contemporary U.S. fiction thinks about the roles of social and information networks in contemporary culture. Borrowing from social network analysis, sociology, and legal studies, the project describes novelists’ insights about the networked natures of political activism, privacy and leaks, and creativity and intellectual property.
“Social Networks,” in American Literature in Transition, 2000-2010 (Cambridge, 2017)
“Digital Humanities Knowledge: Reflections on the Introductory Graduate Syllabus,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 (Minnesota, 2016)
“The Bechdel Test and the Social Form of Character Networks” New Literary History, 2015 (Ralph Cohen Prize)
”‘Stutter-Stop Flash-Bulb Strange’: GMOs and the Aesthetics of Scale in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl,” Science Fiction Studies, 2015 (SFRA Pioneer Award)
“Simply by Reacting?: The Sociology of Race and Invisible Man’s Automata,” American Literature, 2010 (Norman Foerster Prize)