New Faculty: Lindsay Thomas

Lindsay Thomas

Associate Professor, Literatures in English

Academic focus:

20th- and 21st century U.S. literature and culture, critical data studies, digital media, computational approaches to literary and cultural history

Current research project: 

I’m currently working on a book manuscript on the “algorithmic middlebrow,” which tells a technological history of the novel and U.S. publishing since the mid-20th century by focusing on how authors, readers and publishers articulate the value of a strangely under-discussed aspect of novelistic form: length.

This book tracks the range of technological “solutions” that have promised to make novel reading and writing more efficient, more productive and more fun, including speed reading, early experiments in automating composition, innovations in paperback publishing, digital reading and writing technologies such as e-books and e-readers, and the cultivation of online communities of readers. These “solutions" attempt to resolve the formal and practical problems of length that have dogged and defined the novel from its modern inception, including, especially, the time it takes to write and read novels. 

Previous positions :

  • Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Miami, 2022-2023
  • Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Miami, 2016-2022
  • Assistant Professor, Department of English, Clemson University, 2014-2016

Academic background:

  • Ph.D., English, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014
  • M.A., English, University of Colorado, 2008
  • B.A., English, Colorado State University, 2006

Last book read:

“Chapters from an Autobiography” by Samuel Steward

In your own time/when not working:

Biking, hiking, being outdoors, reading and watching movies

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching:

Courses on the history and politics of data, on data-intensive research practices in the humanities, and on the intersections of contemporary literary culture and digital media 

What most excites you about Cornell:

I’m especially excited to be part of an institution with a strong interdisciplinary tradition and community in the humanities, with many opportunities for collaboration within and across various departments and programs, and that sees the humanities as vital to understanding the role of digital technologies in our lives.

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