Department of English

Nicholas Pisanelli

B.A. English, University of San Francisco, 2014., M.A. Humanities, University of Chicago, 2015.
Research Interests Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Literary and Cultural Theory, Studies in the Novel, 20th-Century and Contemporary
Dissertation Obsolescent Life: Modernism and the Aesthetics of Acceleration


My research focuses on the relationship between art and technology in the modernist period. More specifically, I am interested in how the conjugation of technical and aesthetic forms in modernist works produce new figurations of the human, the machine, and the environment. My dissertation approaches these problems by tracing the emergence of obsolescence as a technique of capitalist accumulation that overhauls our experience of the old, late, and outdated. In attending to the feelings of anxiety, shame, and disgust that come to circulate around the obsolete, my project rethinks the modernist break as an encounter with the obsolescence of the literary as such.


“Contra Ecosophy,” Review of The Last Humanity: The New Ecological Science, by François Laruelle. New Formations, vol. 103, 2021, pp. 185-188.