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.


Recent and Upcoming Talks and Travel

  • 1 July 2018, SFRA, Milwaukee: “Experience and Empty Time: Knowledge Work in Ted Chiang’s Stories”
  • 31 May 2018, SNS, Ithaca, New York: “Networks and the Form of Collectivity in Karen Tei Yamashita’s I Hotel” on “The Global South Novel” panel
  • MLA, New York: “The Leak, the Novel, and the Network” on “Private Media: Rethinking Privacy in Contemporary Culture” panel
  • 26 October 2017, ASAP, Oakland: “Institution, Network, Game: Dynamics of the Sellout” on “Varieties of Institutional Experience” panel
  • 31 March, Global/Contemporary Symposium, University of Virginia: “Tracing Global Networks: Protocol, Collectivity, and Yamashita’s I Hotel
  • 17 March 2017, New Work in 20th and 21st Century Studies Workshop, UC Berkeley English Department: “Leak Fiction: Privacy and the Character Network”
  • 12 March 2017, Tucson Festival of Books panel, “On Brainwashing, Automation, and Politics”

Research

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.


Selected Publications

Pre-print drafts at Humanities Commons

Recent Reading

The Watchman in Pieces: Surveillance, Literature, and Liberal Personhood
The Sellout
The Girls
Infomocracy
The Argonauts
Stories of Your Life and Others
Ripley Under Ground
Ripley's Game
The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Official World
Site Reading: Fiction, Art, Social Form
Making Literature Now
24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep
Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction
Network Aesthetics
Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction
Seveneves
Submergence
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

Contact

Scott Selisker
470 Modern Languages
1423 E University Blvd
P.O. Box 210067
Tucson, AZ 85721
selisker@email.arizona.edu
@sselisker on Twitter