Work in Progress
I am currently at work on three larger publication projects and a few shorter pieces:
- I am working on a short book entitled Literature and the Anthropocene. The project is under contract with Routledge and will be published in the Literature and Contemporary Thought series. The book offers a critical introduction to the interface of literature and the Anthropocene. It not only surveys the major concepts and methods, but also presents readings of (mostly contemporary) fiction that test the viability of these methods and concepts. Writers I discuss include John Burnside, William Gibson, N.K. Jemesin, Mat Johnson, Thomas King, J.M. Ledgard, Evelyn Reilly, Jeff Vandermeer, and Alexis Wright. The book should be available in the Spring of 2020.
- With Tom Chadwick, I am working on a double special issue of the journal LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory entitled "Contemporary Literature and/as Archive." The double issue explores how recent technological and environmental developments are pushing the relation between literature and archiving beyond a focus on recovery-work and toward an engagement with the archive as a generative and productive site. The two issues will appear at the end of 2019 and early in 2020.
- I have started work on what should eventually become a short book on the notion of "context collapse." A term originating in social media studies, "context collapse" names a situation in which messages and actions transcend their original context and accrue new meanings that are no less effective for being unintended. The particular affect and temporality of context collapse, I try to show, also throws new light on discourses on the Anthropocene (especially on the post-catastrophe imagination) and on the social ontology of neoliberalism (which, through its double focus on ignorance and compulsion, incessantly provokes situations of context collapse).
- For other occasions, I am also working on chapters on the relation between cultural memory, literature, and the archive (with Tom Chadwick; see here for the larger project); on the relation between the Anthropocene and posthumanism (for The Posthumanism Handbook, to be published by Bloomsbury); on the role of American independent publishers as curators of world literature (with Amelie Hurkens; for a special issue of the journal Interventions); on critical theory and dementia; and on the relation between nature and the welfare state in the novels of the British author Sarah Hall.