Lily Scherlis

Cohort Year: 2019
Research Interests: new media studies| affect studies| tropology| feminist and queer studies| critical data studies| ecological crisis| infrastructure| intimacy and belonging| ambition/aspiration| personality and self-styling


I study how personal success, intimacy, and belonging are talked about in the early twenty-first century US. My research tracks the cultural histories of phrases like “quality of life” and “staying in touch”: rhetorical phenomena where the good life becomes a grammar. I use methods from media theory and literary studies to historicize slippery contemporary objects, bringing an aesthetic approach to bear on strange archives like personalized advertisements, campaign ads, industrial standards, Twitter feeds, and questionnaires. I am also a new media artist; my research methods include video, sculpture, and performance. I received my AB from Harvard University in Comparative Literature and Visual & Environmental Studies in 2018.