Browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category

Interview: The Future of the Political Novel

in Uncategorized

(Originally published on Substack.) In 2014, I published a chapter on contemporary muckraking fiction in the edited collection, Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase: Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature. The chapter is on fiction by Chris Bachelder and Robert Newman. The essay’s driving question: in an era that has spawned numerous dystopian novels—an era apparently so in […]

Autofiction and Autoreification

in Uncategorized

(First published on Substack.) These are my notes for the MLA roundtable I participated in this year, “Contemporary Autofiction,” organized by Ralph Clare and featuring great talks by Timothy Bewes, Annabel Kim, and E. L. McCallum. I. In my remarks today, I want to propose that autofiction, or at least in its contemporary variation, is […]

“Dune,” Reaction

in Uncategorized

(Originally published on Substack.) Last year, I joined a group-read of scholars who were reading Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel, Dune, and discussing it on Twitter, in anticipation of the new Denis Villeneuve movie. The movie got delayed till 2021, but the discussion we had, under the hashtag #DuneBookClub, was a lot of fun, […]


in Uncategorized

(This was originally posted on Substack.) On November 16th, I had the good fortune to be a respondent at a Columbia University Seminar in Literary Theory meeting on Sianne Ngai’s new book Theory of the Gimmick. (Sianne was the main speaker.) Below you’ll find the script I used as the basis of my opening remarks. […]

New Writing, 2017-2018 Edition

in Uncategorized

It’s been a minute.  I’ve published loads of writing since I last posted. Most of this writing is available for free online, or can be found on my account. If you want a copy, don’t hesitate to email me. Fiction Last year, I had a short story called “The Girl Who Almost Became a […]

Fartcopter Studies

in Uncategorized

I’m proud to have had a short, hard-hitting piece of cultural criticism (on Adult Swim’s “Fartcopter” and drone aesthetics) published in Slate, mostly because I’ve now achieved my longstanding dream of putting the word “fartcopter” on my CV.

The (Tyrannical) Lives of Algorithms

in Uncategorized

This is the text of a very short story I read at a New America Foundation event, “The Tyranny of Algorithms.” I spoke during a fifteen-minute session called “What our algorithms will know in 2100.” I stole the form of my story from J. M. Coetzee’s 1997 Tanner Lectures on Human Values, which were collected […]

Pretty Cool

in Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction, Uncategorized

It’s hard for me to believe sometimes, but I submitted my dissertation prospectus in December of 2005, during my fourth year as a graduate student in the Department of English at Stanford University. At the time — having recently read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and feeling vaguely dissatisfied with his argument in “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction” — I […]

McGuire’s “Here” at “The Account”

in Rise of the Graphic Novel, Uncategorized

I wrote an essay called “A Theory of Here” for The Account, which is now available online. It’s a preliminary analysis of Richard McGuire’s great new book Here (based on a six-pager he did for RAW back in 1989). The essay will, I think, find its way into “Rise of the Graphic Novel,” specifically into a hypothetical chapter on digital […]

On the Rise of the Graphic Novel

in Rise of the Graphic Novel, Uncategorized

A few years ago, when I was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Princeton, I taught an undergraduate lecture course called “Rise of the Graphic Novel.” The title was meant, in part, to be a joking allusion to Ian Watt’s classic book, The Rise Of The Novel: Studies In Defoe, Richardson And Fielding, but it was also […]

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