Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home People Matt Tierney
Matt Tierney

Matt Tierney

Assistant Professor of English

Office: 206 Burrowes Building
Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building
Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays; on Zoom; by appointment


  1. Ph.D. in Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, 2012
  2. M.A. in Literature, University of California-Santa Cruz, 2006
  3. A.B. with honors in American Studies, Cornell University, 1999

Professional Bio

My fields include media studies, cultural theory, and the digital, literary, and film cultures of the United States. My particular interest is in Twentieth-Century aesthetic interventions into the politics of race, gender, and technology.

I have written two books—Dismantlings: Words against Machines in the American Long Seventies (Cornell University Press, 2019) and What Lies Between: Void Aesthetics & Postwar Post-Politics (Rowman and Littlefield Intl., 2015)—as well as articles and essays in books and journals including diacritics, Configurations, Cultural Critique, Camera Obscura, and Postmodern Culture, for which I co-edited a special issue on the topic of "Medium and Mediation." A learned and thoughtful review of Dismantlings appears on the website of boundary 2. I recently described for the Cornell Press blog how digital culture is best discussed as a continuing episode in the long, interlinked histories of labor and war, race and gender, power and money. A few years ago, I was interviewed on the topic of critical cyberculture for our Digital Culture and Media Initiative

Next up, two more books. The first of these, A Time for Sabotage: The Technological Society, Unfinished and Half in Ruin, theorizes and opposes the temporalities of technocentric neoimperialism and racist nationalism. The second, Megrim: A Media Theory of Migraine, theorizes migraine headache as a metaphor, method, and medium. In these and in other writing, I trace the convergent interests of activist and multiethnic literatures with radical philosophy and digital critique.

Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

Multiethnic fiction, activist poetry, genre subcultures (especially punk rock and science fiction), novels about digital media, intellectual histories of literary criticism

Media and Digital Studies

Medium theory, noncontemporary accounts of technological change, political critiques of computation and automation, intermediality, race and gender in technoculture

Theory and Cultural Studies

Political theory, genealogies of cultural and media theory, philosophies of technology, radical feminisms, racial justice, semiotics

Visual Culture

Film poetry, conceptual art, critical visual literacy, radical film movements, theories of apparatus