More About the Author
I went to college at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I was a dedicated poet and a Morehead Scholar. After finishing an M.A. at Chapel Hill in English, I completed a doctorate at Duke University, ten miles away, where I landed at just the right time to take advantage of a remarkable collection of faculty talent: Frank Lentricchia, Fredric Jameson, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Stanley Fish, just to name a few (visiting faculty in those days at Duke included folks like Terry Eagleton, Toril Moi, and Franco Moretti). In 1990, I moved to Indiana University in Bloomington, where I stayed for eight years as an Assistant and later Associate Professor in English, American Studies, and Cultural Studies, publishing my first book, The Limits of American Literary Ideology in Pound and Emerson with Cambridge in 1993, and co-editing with Bill Rasch a special double issue of Cultural Critique on "The Politics of Systems and Environments," which later appeared in modified form as Observing Complexity: Systems Theory and Postmodernity (Minnesota, 2000). In 1998 I left Indiana to become Associate Chair of the English Department at SUNY-Albany, where I stayed until 2003. While there, three books appeared: Critical Environments from Minnesota (1998), Animal Rites from Chicago (2003), and the edited collection Zoontologies, also from Minnesota (2003). In August 2003 I moved to Houston, where I now live and teach at Rice University, holding the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Chair in English and chairing the Department. I've recently published my fourth book, What Is Posthumanism?, which weaves together the concerns of my previous two volumes: animal studies, systems theory, pragmatism, poststructuralism. Over the past couple of years, I've also been involved in a couple of multi-author volumes: Philosophy and Animal Life, with Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, John McDowell, and Ian Hacking (Columbia, 2008), and The Death of the Animal: A Dialogue, with Paola Cavalieri, Matthew Calarco, Harlan Miller, and J.M. Coetzee (also Columbia, 2009). I have recently completed a co-edited collection with Branka Arsic at SUNY-Albany entitled The Other Emerson, which includes contributions by Eduardo Cadava, Stanley Cavell, Sharon Cameron, Don Pease, and several others, which appeared from Minnesota in 2010. Currently, I'm absorbed with completing a short book on biopolitics, biophilosophy, and species difference, and with editing the series Posthumanities that I founded at Minnesota, which will be publishing about six books a year--stayed tuned to my site (or theirs) for forthcoming titles. I continue to teach courses in US literature and culture, mainly in modernism (and especially modern poetry) but also selectively in the 19th century, and I spend a good deal of time working with graduate students in areas of theoretical training such as systems theory, pragmatism, animal studies, poststructuralism and non-literary culture. Over the past two decades, I've published widely on critical theory, American culture and literature, and the arts in venues such as Boundary 2, Diacritics, New Literary History, Cultural Critique, American Literature, PMLA, and New German Critique, among others. I've also enjoyed invitations to deliver numerous lectures, keynote addresses, plenary talks, roundtables, and seminars in both North America and Europe in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University, the UCLA Humanities Consortium, The Forum for European Philosophy at the London School of Economics, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam, and the annual Summer Academy in Frankfurt, Germany, among many others.