Department of English
Office: Walker 504
Phone: (773) 702-4840
I am interested in the ubiquity of networks, as metaphors and material systems, in the post-1945 period. My research examines how contemporary American literature, film, television, and new media deploy different forms to render the complexities of global networks. I study what I call “network aesthetics" by exploring narrative, visual, and algorithmic approaches to interconnection. From the terrorist networks of Stephen Gaghan's film Syriana to the emerging infectious disease ecologies of the computer game Killer Flu, from the webs of geopolitical power in Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow to the social networks of David Simon’s television show The Wire, decentralized structures inspire numerous cultural hopes and anxieties.
More generally, I am fascinated by different media and the spaces between them. My research and teaching interests extend to video game studies, the culture of online synthetic worlds, science fiction, electronic literature, the encyclopedic novel, graphic novels, and American culture. In addition to my scholarly work, I am currently working on a number of projects related to transmedia games.
Graduate: New Media Theory; Critical Game Studies; Transmedia Games: Theory and Design
Undergraduate: Virtual Worlds; Digital Storytelling; American Television From Broadcast Networks to the Internet
Speculation Alternate Reality Game (2012)
- “Gamification and Other Forms of Play.” boundary 2 (Forthcoming Summer 2013)
- "Wired." Critical Inquiry (Fall 2011)
- “Terror Networks and the Aesthetics of Interconnection.” Social Text 105 (2010): 65-90.
- "Between: An Interview with Jason Rohrer." Critical Inquiry, Online Feature (Fall 2011)
- "The Transmedia Turn in Popular Culture: The Case of Comic-Con." Post45, Contemporaries (August 2011)
- “Speculative Security.” Cyberspace and National Security: Threats, Opportunities, and Power in a Virtual World. Ed. Derek S. Reveron. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2012
- “Hollywood and the Novel.” The American Novel 1870-1940. Volume 6 of The Oxford History of the Novel in English. Ed. Priscilla Wald and Michael A. Elliott. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Forthcoming).
- “Clacking Control Societies: Steampunk, History, and the Difference Engine of Escape.” Neo-Victorian Studies 3:1 (2010), pp. 46-71.
- "The Terror Complex: Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis." Exit 9 Vol. IX: Textuality and Terror (2008): 93-116.
Selected Collaborative Publications
- “From Intervention to Invitation: Reshaping Adolescent Sexual Health through Storytelling and Games.” African Journal of Reproductive Health 16, no. 2 (June 2012): 189-196 (with Melissa Gilliam, et. al).
Stork Alternate Reality Game (Game Changer Chicago, 2012)
Digital Media Projects
- Stork (alternate reality game)
- Lucidity (alternate reality game)
- Speculation (alternative reality game collaboration with Katherine Hayles and Patrick LeMieux)
- Oscillation (transmedia game)
- Game Changer Chicago (digital media and health initiative)
Ph.D., Duke University, 2010. Teaching at Chicago since 2010.