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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

Spring 2023 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, political capacities of art, and cultural histories of the US Left.

I've published 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)—and my other writing appears in such journals as diacritics, Configurations, Cultural Critique, Camera Obscura, and Postmodern Culture, for which I co-edited a special issue on the topic of "Medium and Mediation." Thoughtful praise of Dismantlings appears in American Literary History, in boundary 2 , and in The Year's Work in English Studies; and of What Lies Between in American Literature. I 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 wrote on the Cornell Press blog about how digital culture is best discussed as a continuing episode in the long duration of production and exchange, work and war, power and money.

Next up, more books, of which Sabotage Visions is a postaesthetic theory of technology and survival, and Migraine-Work is a political and media theory of migraine headache.

I teach graduate seminars like "Cultural Critique and High-Tech Capitalism," "Technoculture and Literary Politics," "Race, Gender, Medium," "Media/Culture," and "Reading Film"; while my undergraduate teaching ranges more widely, from human rights in digital society to science fiction, work and literature, community studies, and film poetics.


Areas of Specialization

Contemporary Literature

Cultures of work, genres of dissent, novels about computers

Media and Digital Studies

Histories of technologism, mediations of social change, anticorporatist and anticapitalist critiques of Silicon Valley, intermediality

Theory and Cultural Studies

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

Visual Culture

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