Michael Litwack trained in Modern Culture & Media at Brown University and American Studies at Wesleyan University before joining the University of Alberta in 2016 as assistant professor of English & Film Studies. His research focuses on the theoretical and historical encounters among race, media, technology, and modernity.
His current book project, tentatively titled Racial Technics: Reinventions of the Human, is a study of the vexed function of media technologies, as figurative and material resources, in both imagining and managing Black freedom struggles in U.S. modernity. Beginning with a re-evaluation of the enabling trace of racial slavery embedded in dominant conceptions of media as prosthetic “extensions of Man,” the manuscript tracks multiple philosophical, aesthetic, and political responses to the racialization of the human-machine relationship against the backdrop of twentieth-century media-technological upheavals (including automation, cybernetics, and television). In so doing, Racial Technics assembles an archive of Black media, intellectual, and cultural production that reorients the question concerning technology beyond the protocols of both racial humanism and recent posthumanisms.
Michael has previously published on topics including televisual liveness and biopolitics; masculinity and the cultures of racial neoliberalism; cinema and state violence; and feminist digital counter/surveillance practices. He is also coeditor of an issue of the contemporary arts and culture journal PUBLIC titled "Smoke: Figures, Genres, Forms."