Michael Litwack, PhD, MA Brown, BA Wesleyan

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept

Pronouns: he/him/his;

Contact

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept
Email
litwack@ualberta.ca
Address
4-43 Humanities Centre
11121 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5

Overview

About

Michael Litwack is assistant professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta (Treaty 6 and Métis Nation Region 4 Territory), where he also teaches in the Media Studies BA program. He received a Ph.D. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University in 2017. His research focuses on the theoretical and historical encounters among race, media, technology, and modernity. Michael's writing has appeared in journals such as Media Culture & Society, Cultural Critique, Media Fields, Camera Obscura, and The Black Scholar. His coedited volumes include a special dossier in Jump Cut on new directions in Marxist film and media studies (2022) and an issue of the contemporary arts journal PUBLIC titled "Smoke: Figures, Genres, Forms'' (2019). 

Michael’s current projects include "Mediations of Racial Capitalism," a SSHRC-funded collaborative research project that explores the entanglements between formations of raciality, class composition, and the history of media and media studies. He is also completing a book, Racial Technics, that examines 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-technology 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.


Research

Supervisory Areas

media theory, black studies, critical race and ethnic studies, history of critical theory, genealogies of media and communication, U.S. literary and cultural studies, gender and sexuality, post/humanisms


Teaching

Recent and upcoming courses include:

Undergraduate

  • ENGL 103 Case Studies in Research: Reading Race and Representation
  • MST 200 Media Theory
  • ENGL 217 Introduction to Literary and Critical Theory
  • ENGL 218 Textualities: Theories of Reading and Interpretation
  • ENGL 385 Archaeologies of Media
  • ENGL 430 Studies in Theory: After Humanism
  • ENGL 430 Studies in Theory: Forms of Refusal
  • ENGL 483 Mediating Race, Mediating Blackness

Graduate

  • DH 510 Contemporary Media Theory
  • ENGL 582  Media and the Question of Reading
  • ENGL 583 Race, Modernity, and the Human
  • ENGL 800 PhD Colloquium