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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

Summer 2022 Office Hours

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

I teach and write media theory and cultural history, particularly of the US Left, with respect to the capacities of art and the critique of 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 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, dignified work, and visual culture; and after that, 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 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 human rights critiques of Silicon Valley, theories of intermediality

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