Ph.D., University of Chicago B.A., Washington University in St. Louis

Courses Taught

Queer and Feminist Art and Literature; U.S. Empire from the Margins: Global Experience Seminar in Puerto Rico; American Horrors in Film and Literature; Critical Internet Studies; Introduction to Literary Study: Intimacy

Research Interests

20th and 21st century American literature; critical race theory; gender and sexuality studies; aesthetics


  • “Sexual Violence and Racial Capitalism: James Baldwin’s Prison Abolition, 1969–1974,” PMLA (forthcoming 2024)
  • “Crisis/Climax: The Money Shot and the Sexual Wage,” Polygraph (2023)
  • “Ecofeminism and the Art of Sexual Violence: An Interview with Monika Fabijanska.” ASAP Journal 7, no. 3 (2022)
  • “Rape of the Earth: Ana Mendieta’s Defense of a Metaphor.” Signs 48, no. 1 (2022)
  • “Policing (as) the Paradigmatic Scene of Rape,” differences 32, no. 3 (2022)
  • “Not Form, Not Genre, but Style: On Promiscuous Categories,” Textual Practice 36, no. 4 (2022)
  • “The Serial Utopianism of Pornography: Fourier and Playboy.” Genre 54, no. 3 (2021)
  • “Filter: Theory and History of a Style.” New Literary History 51, no. 1 (2020)
  • “Minimalism as Detoxification.” Modern Fiction Studies 65, no. 4 (2019)

Michael Dango

Assistant Professor and Chair of English

 Pronouns: he/him/his  Email:  Phone: 608-363-2195  Office: Room 203, Wright Museum of Art

I research and teach twentieth and twenty-first century American culture, aesthetics, queer and feminist theory, and the environmental humanities. In my classes, we look at contemporary art, media, and literature to see how people are developing frameworks for making sense of urgent political, social, and environmental questions. We explore how poetry might develop new forms of intimacy and kinship, how horror films intervene into structures of racial and sexual violence, and how politics becomes fiction and fiction becomes politics.

My first book, Crisis Style: The Aesthetics of Repair (Stanford UP, 2021), theorizes how stylistic developments in contemporary fiction, sculpture, film, and design respond to a sense of pervasive crisis. My second book, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series, looks at Madonna’s 1992 album Erotica to explore the U.S. culture war, sexuality in the wake of HIV/AIDS, and questions of cultural appropriation. I also regularly contribute essays on contemporary art, racial capitalism, and sexual violence to popular magazines such as Artforum

At Beloit, I coordinated the Worldbuilding Career Channel, which develops programming and mentorship initiatives for students who want to find careers in making worlds through artistic production, game design, media production, and/or activism. The interdisciplinary space helped students find and reflect upon opportunities related to how the kinds of critical theory and histories of art and activism we learn in the classroom find traction in the world. 

You can learn more about my writing and teaching at my personal website:

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