I've recently joined the University of Arizona English Department as a visiting assistant professor. I work on twentieth-century and contemporary U.S. literature and culture, with emphases on science and technology and the digital humanities.
The Manchurian Candidate, 1962
I'm currently completing my first book, Human Programming: Automatism and the Aesthetics of American Freedom. 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 automata and technocracy, has been published in American Literature, and a related article on cults and globalization in David Mitchell's fiction is forthcoming in Novel: A Forum on Fiction. More >>
The ARPANet, a predecessor to the internet
My next project will explore 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?