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Matt Tierney

Matt Tierney

Associate Professor of English
Director, Digital Culture and Media Initiative
Preferred Pronouns: he / him
206 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Matt Tierney

Fall 2021 Office Hours

Fall 2021: outdoors or on Zoom, by appointment


Ph.D. in Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, 2012
M.A. in Literature, University of California-Santa Cruz, 2006
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 late Twentieth-Century aesthetic interventions into the politics of race, gender, and technology.

I have two booksDismantlings: 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 book chapters, and articles in 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." Learned praise for What Lies Between appears in American Literature; and for Dismantlings in American Literary History, in boundary 2 , and in The Year's Work in English Studies (who called it "one of the most important books of the year"). I recently described for the Cornell Press blog how digital culture is best discussed as a continuing episode in the long, interlinked stories 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, which I now direct.

Next up, two more books: Break to Build, a follow up to my first two books, is an aesthetic theory of survival, sabotage, and dignified work. Migraine-Work is a media theory of art, labor, and migraine headache.

I teach graduate seminars on media and culture, including "Media/Culture," "Technoculture and Literary Politics," "Reading Film," and "Race, Gender, Medium." My undergraduate teaching ranges more widely, from computer novels and community studies to science fiction, critical methods, and experimental film poetry.


Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

Activist writing, genre subcultures (especially punk rock and science fiction), novels about computers

Media and Digital Studies

Noncontemporary accounts of technological change, anti-capitalist critiques of Silicon Valley, intermediality, race and gender in computation culture

Theory and Cultural Studies

Political theory, cultural and media theory, nonconvergent histories of theory, philosophies of technology, radical feminisms, racial justice

Visual Culture

Conceptual art, political ⇄ film movements, critical visual literacy