Academic Specialties and Other Interests
I research and teach twentieth and twenty-first century American culture, aesthetics, queer and feminist theory, and the environmental humanities. Prior to joining Beloit, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, where I also completed my Ph.D. in English literature.
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, Style in Crisis Society: The Aesthetics of Repair (forthcoming, Stanford UP), theorizes how stylistic developments in contemporary fiction, sculpture, film, and design respond to a sense of pervasive crisis. I look at how artists use style as a way to repair environmental degradation and political stress. My second book in progress, What Does Rape Look Like?, argues we should replace our legalistic vocabulary for sex and sexual harm with an aesthetic one. My writings have appeared or are forthcoming in New Literary History, Signs, Modern Fiction Studies, Post45, Social Text, Novel, Critical Inquiry, Modern Philology, New Inquiry, Public Books, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.
You can learn more about my writing and teaching at my personal website: https://www.michaeldango.com/.