Apocalyptic Cinema

As part of my new research on contemporary Hollywood, I taught a class on Apocalyptic Cinema in Fall 2015. I have been working on disaster films since the late 90s, and new films in this weird genre always challenge and surprise me. You can find and download some of my articles from this website.

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Alfred Hitchcock in Context

I taught a class on Alfred Hitchcock in Spring 2015, and I am working on an article about his narrative strategies. Each film seems to make a case for a different understanding of suspense and surprise, as I discuss in a short piece on Psycho. You can find and download some of my articles from this website.

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Technology and Fantasy

Now that my book on robots is published, I am going back to notes and ideas about the representation of technology in popular culture. I am fascinated by how we imagine the future, and how we imagine technological innovation, how we use images to understand and sometimes define the new.

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Robots in silent cinema

This interesting article mentions my work, and it focuses on some of the funniest robots and automata of early and silent film. Titled “The Bumbling Robots and Awkward Automatons of Silent Cinema,” this piece by Allison Meier gives some hilarious examples, from The Automatic Motorist (1911), to L’Uomo Meccanico (1921), and Houdini’s The Master Mystery

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Science and Fiction in The Martian

        I gave a number of interviews and comments on The Martian and its representation of technology, scientific processes, and space travel.  Both the novel by Andy Weir and the film directed by Ridley Scott revel in depicting realistic technological challenges and solutions. You can read my discussion of realism and the

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Science For the People: Exploring Artificial Intelligence

Science for the People is a syndicated radio show that focuses on science, popular culture, history, and public policy, and broadcasts across North America. I participated in a great panel of scientists, journalists and researchers to discuss Artificial Intelligence, organized by the show’s host Desiree Schell. Here is the episode’s description: Artificial Intelligence #348 This

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At the Kojo Nnamdi Show

I was invited to The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC, and was interviewed by guest host Todd Kliman. We talked about my book, Anatomy of a Robot, which he had read so carefully, and about the perennial appeal of robots and other artificial people! It was a great conversation, and wonderful experience

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Handbook of Affective Computing

Affect and machines in the media

My article on “Affect and Machines in the Media” was just published in The Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing, edited by Rafael A. Calvo, Sidney D’Mello, Jonathan Gratch, and Arvid Kappas. This essay discusses major cultural fantasies and preconceptions about machines and emotion, as these have been formed in science fiction literature, film, and popular

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io9: we come from the future!

I was online answering questions about robots on io9, and if you don’t know this website you really should check it out, it has such an irreverent and also knowledgeable approach to science fiction media and culture. Here is the link to the discussion, which took place on August 15, 2014, from 11 -12 Pacific

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On the recent debate on Young Adult Literature

Perhaps it is the impending film release of The Fault in Our Stars that has occasioned new interest in how the category known as “young adult literature” operates today in the publishing world, the book-to-film world, and the general reading world. The debate has taken many forms this summer, and has intensified after the publication

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Anatomy of a Robot

My book is here! Anatomy of a Robot!

My new book, Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema and the Cultural Work or Artificial People has just come out from Rutgers University Press. It is so exciting to see this project come to fruition and the book looks beautiful. Here is some more information about this project. Description Why do we find artificial people

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“Robots and Slaves” Talk at UC Santa Cruz

I gave a talk recently at the Center for Cultural Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. It was a great honor to be invited to present my work, and the discussion after the talk was lively and inspiring, with faculty and students from the departments of Literature, History of Consciousness, Film &

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