Professor Listing

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Michael Litwack

Assistant Professor

Arts

English and Film Studies

About Me

Michael Litwack trained in Modern Culture & Media at Brown University and American Studies at Wesleyan University before joining the University of Alberta 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."


Research

Supervisory Areas

media theory, critical race and ethnic studies, Black studies, screen cultures, genealogies of media and mediation, transnational U.S. American studies, history of critical and cultural theory, post/humanisms


Teaching

Recent and upcoming courses include:

Undergraduate

  • ENGL 103   Case Studies: Reading Race and Representation
  • ENGL 218   Textualities: Theories of Reading and Interpretation
  • ENGL 302   Topics in Literary and Cultural Theories: Posthumanism
  • ENGL 385   Critical Media Studies
  • ENGL 385   Narratives of New Media
  • ENGL 395   Media Culture and History
  • ENGL 483   Mediating Race, Mediating Blackness

Graduate

  • ENGL 582   Media and the Question of Reading
  • ENGL 583   Race, Modernity, and the Human
  • ENGL 800   PhD Colloquium