Jordan Pruett


Research Interests: 

20th and 21st century American literature; game and media studies; critical political economy.


Working at the intersection of aesthetics and political economy, I study the ways that American novels and videogames have tried to grapple with and represent the world-historical economic changes that have confronted capitalist societies since roughly 1973, a period that Robert Brenner calls "the long downturn." This is a historical period that has been characterized by increased political and economic volatility the world over, prompted by persistent economic problems relating to deindustrialization and a declining demand for labor. A forthcoming article tentatively titled "Monotonous Play: New Media for the Newly Superfluous," accepted for publication in Theory and Event in early 2019, looks at two contemporary games that simulate now-obsolete forms of wage labor, suggesting that these games enact a procedural fantasy of accomplishment and prosperity that appeals to the downwardly-mobile children of the middle-class precisely because they lack the opportunities for wage-based social advancement available to an earlier generation.

  • BA English Literature, University of Utah, 2015