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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

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Matt Tierney

Fall 2022 Office Hours

on leave 2022-2023


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

I teach and write literary and media theory with reference to humanist critiques of technology, cultural histories of the US Left, and political capacities of art.

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 of What Lies Between appears in American Literature; and of Dismantlings in American Literary History, in boundary 2 , and in The Year's Work in English Studies. I have interviewed on the topic of literature and technology with Public Books and on critical cyberculture with our Digital Culture and Media Initiative, which I now direct. 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.

Next up, more books: Break to Build, a follow up to my first two, is a postaesthetic theory of survival, sabotage, and visual culture; and after that, Migraine-Work, is a media theory of art, migraine headache, and the dream of dignified work.

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 human rights in digital society to computer novels and community studies, to genre politics and film poetics.


Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

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

Media and Digital Studies

Histories and expressions of technologism, anticapitalist and social justice critiques of Silicon Valley, theories of intermediality

Theory and Cultural Studies

Philosophies of technology, cultural and media theories, comparative Marxisms, radical feminisms, racial justice, histories of theory

Visual Culture

Aesthetics and postaesthetics, conceptual art, political ⇄ film movements, critical visual literacy