Prof. Theodore Martin

Theodore Martin, Assistant Professor

office: Curtin Hall 517


PhD, English, University of California-Berkeley, 2011
BA, Brown University, 2003

Teaching and Research Interests:

Post-1945 American and British Literature
Genre Fiction
Literary Theory
Theories of Modernity
History and Temporality

Current Research:

Professor Martin studies the form and history of contemporary transatlantic fiction. He is currently at work on a book titled "Contemporary Drift: Genre and the Measures of the Present," which surveys the senses of scale, dimension, and duration that shape our idea of the contemporary. The book shows how certain everyday, makeshift measures of time--the experience of waiting, the impression of simultaneity, the arbitrary span of the decade--help us imagine what it means to be contemporary. It reads these measures across a range of recently revived genres, from the historical novel and detective fiction to the western and film noir. Other works in progress include: an article on impersonation and literary history; an article on climate change and historical unawareness; and a co-written project that aims to reassess symptomatic reading, mediation, and overdetermination, or in other words, some of our basic assumptions about the relation between texts and contexts.

Recent Publications:

"The Long Wait: Timely Secrets of the Contemporary Detective Novel," Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45.2 (Summer 2012), special issue, "The Contemporary Novel: Imagining the Twenty-First Century": 165-183.

"The Privilege of Contemporary Life: Periodization in the Bret Easton Ellis Decades." Modern Language Quarterly 71.2 (June 2010): 153-174.

Recent Presentations:

  • "Theses on Contemporary History," American Comparative Literature Association, 2013
  • "Epochryphal: The Historical Novel and its Contemporaries," Society for Novel Studies, 2012
  • "The Western's Hemispheres: Genre and Other Border Incidents," American Comparative Literature Association, 2012
  • "The Weather Right Now: Climate, Consciousness, and the Contemporary," Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, 2011
  • "Repetition with Indifference: Impersonation, Anachronism, and Literary History," Modernist Studies Association, 2011