MA Northwestern University
BA University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Science Fiction, 20th Century American Lit, Contemporary American Lit, Modernism/Postmodernism, Cultural Studies
When Kurt Vonnegut asks himself the question “After all, why write?” within his semi-autobiographical novel Timequake in 1997, he answers with the idea that “many people need desperately to receive this message”: that others feel and think as they do, that others care about the things they care about, and that they “are not alone.” The same year, Tim Berners-Lee is awarded an Institute of Physics Medal for his invention of the World Wide Web, and in the years since it has been hard to imagine not receiving any message about the range of feelings, thoughts, and opinions present in social discourse. The role of the individual in a changing social and technological landscape has been of consistent concern in literary studies, but rather than reaching a point of exhaustion or relegation to a historical niche, this area of questioning has expanded and opened with the current of cultural and technological changes. Research in Modernist / Postmodernist Literature, Culture Studies, and Science Fiction Studies in particular address cultural production and messages in light of these changes and markers, as well as narrative’s intersection with questions of social structures and identity. At the same time, they connect with the deep tradition of interpretive theory and the critical responses to a changing world that permeate 20th century and contemporary literature, and it is in these connections that I seek to carry out writing and research.