Michael Litwack is assistant professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. 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.
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."
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
Recent and upcoming courses include:
This variable content course introduces methods of literary research as an in-depth process through one or more case studies. Not to be taken by students with *6 in approved junior English. This course can only be taken once for credit. Note: refer to the Class Schedule and the Department of English and Film Studies website for specific topics.Winter Term 2021
A genealogy of advanced Media Studies theories and approaches in their historical contexts. Corerequisite: MST 100.Winter Term 2021