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: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 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 Configurations, Cultural Critique, Camera Obscura, and Postmodern Culture, for which I co-edited a special issue on the topic of "Medium and Mediation." I recently described for the Cornell Press blog how digital culture is best discussed as a continuing episode in the interlinked histories of labor and war, race and gender, power and money. Not long ago, I was in residency at the Humanities Institute, pursuing a research project on presentism, Afrofuturism, and national criticism. Not long before that, I was interviewed on the topic of critical cyberculture for the Digital Culture and Media Initiative.

Next up, two more books. The first of these, Against the Present; or The Technological Society, Unfinished and Half in Ruin, theorizes speculative claims about "the present" to untangle some current knots of technocentrism, neoimperialism, and racist nationalism. The second, Megrim: A Media Theory of Migraine, theorizes migraine headache as a metaphor, method, and medium. In these and 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, 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

Genealogies of cultural and media theory, philosophies of technology, radical feminisms, racial justice, post-structuralism and semiotics

Visual Culture

Film poetry, radical film movements, theories of apparatus