I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto, where my work focuses on British modernism (specifically, the relationship between technology, politics, and artistic expression in the period) and Digital Humanities (at the theoretical level, I look at the relationship between technology, politics, and artistic expression in the digital age; at the practical level, I work to develop new applications of natural language processing for meaningful literary analysis).
Before starting my current job in Toronto, I was an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University. Before that, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Guelph and the University of Victoria. I did my doctoral work at the University of Toronto. My dissertation, 1934: Generic Hybridity and the Search for a Democratic Aesthetic, was supervised by Melba Cuddy-Keane, with whom I co-authored (with Alexandra Peat) Modernism: Keywords (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).
After graduating, I developed “The Digital Text,” a pioneering undergraduate class on literature in the digital age. This class provided the foundation for my book Literature in the Digital Age: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2016). “The Digital Text” also introduced me to the world of “indie games” and to Superbrothers (Craig D. Adams), the subject of my next book, The Far Shore: Indie Games, Superbrothers, and the Making of JETT (Coach House Books, 2021). “The Digital Text” also introduced me to Julian Brooke, a computational linguist who served as my TA for four sections of the class, and has become a frequent collaborator on Digital Humanities projects.
I have numerous obsessions outside of academic work. For the past couple of years, a big one has been running. Before that, it was cycling and bicycle frame building (see my erstwhile blog, Two Serious Bikes). I used to do a lot of travelling and a lot of travel writing before the pandemic. I love the Toronto Blue Jays. My most enduring obsessions are with music. Since I was about 15, I’ve been playing guitar — and, inevitably, collecting and working on guitars and guitar gear. For most of my life, I’ve been mostly into punk, post-punk, and 90s art rock (listen to Polvo’s Celebrate the New Dark Age if you wonder what I mean). In the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about jazz and have realized my favourite period is the early 60s — Jackie McLean’s Destination… Out! and Prince Lasha’s The Cry are some faves. As I write this (December 2021) I find myself listening to pretty much nothing other than Fairport Convention. I do a lot of reading, too. My favourite book of the last couple of years is Lina Wolff’s The Polyglot Lovers. Twin Peaks is probably my overall favourite thing ever.