Welcome. I teach U.S. literature and digital humanities at the University of Arizona. My research examines the roles of science and technology in post-1945 U.S. culture.

Recent Posts

2015–6 Talks and Travel

  • 24-27 September 2015, ASAP/7: Arts and the Public, Greenville, SC: “Cults, Institutions, and Publics, in Snow Crash and in Theory”
  • 8 January 2016, MLA 2016, Austin, TX: “Tracing 1984’s Networks,” on “Literary and Scientific Networks” panel
  • 17–20 March 2016, ACLA 2016, Cambridge, MA: Organizer and Respondent, “Arendt’s Literary Worlds” panel
  • 1 April 2016, Scaling Forms Symposium, University of Chicago: “Brokering the Self: Agency and Privacy in Fictional Networks”
  • 4-9 April 2016, Dialogical Imaginations Forschungsatelier, Eichstätt, Germany: “Self and Other, Human and Posthuman: Dialectics of the American Brainwashing Discourse”


The Manchurian Candidate, 1962

My first book, Human Programming: Brainwashing, Automatons, and American Unfreedom, will appear from the University of Minnesota Press in fall of 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. A portion of the book, on Ralph Ellison’s interests in automatons and technocracy, has been published in American Literature, and a related article on cults and globalization in David Mitchell’s fiction appeared in the fall 2014 issue of Novel: A Forum on Fiction. More >>

My next project explores the network form in contemporary culture through digital tools, sociological methods, and contemporary fiction by authors including Jennifer Egan, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Daniel Suarez. How does considering the network change our understandings of both individual agency and social process? How have fiction writers been thinking, both thematically and formally, about the roles of networks, social media, and distributed agency in contemporary culture and politics? More >>