Adam Haley, PhD

UPCOMING CONFERENCE TALK: Facilitating the Art of Becoming-Scholar: Graduate Writing Support Within and Against Positivist Consensus

Given the dominance of positivist epistemologies within the neoliberal academy, what is the role of a graduate writing center in enabling graduate students to put pressure on disciplinary ways of knowing and doing? Can a graduate writing center be a force for epistemic pluralism and against epistemic closure, while also supporting students in moving legibly within and around the confines of disciplinary codes? Should it?

UPCOMING CONFERENCE TALK: The Politics of Peerness and Profession in Graduate Writing Support

Although peerness has much to recommend it and although the comfort and non- judgmental ease of peer-to-peer interaction often facilitates productive sessions with graduate writers, conversations about the incipient professionalization of graduate writing support have put pressure on the dominance of peer-to-peer consultation within graduate writing centers.

CONFERENCE TALK: Mentoring Into the Discipline: Graduate Writing Support and the Subterranean Ecologies of Academic Belonging

Even beyond the considerable rhetorical and intellectual challenges posed by most academic writing, graduate student research writing carries for its writer the additional burden of being the primary medium for the development and articulation of professional and scholarly identity.

ARTICLE PROJECT: Theorizing the Self within Self-Care: Academic Identity Formation and Graduate (Writing) Support

A theory and practice of graduate (writing) support grounded in social identity/self-determination theory, situating writing within the rhetorical community of genre/discipline, and motivated by validation theory allows writing consultants to engage scholarly writing as itself a highly fraught medium for the development, performance, and articulation of identity—and, thus, an urgent and powerful site for self-care.

CONFERENCE TALK: Imaginative Autonomy in the Automated Economy: Twitter Bots, Creative Distance, and the Algorithmic Contours of Media Form

Where media criticism has paid much attention to the way algorithms can shape the production, dissemination, and economics of creative media, this paper will theorize the creative algorithm as itself an emergent media form within increasingly automated media and cultural spaces.

CONFERENCE TALK: Apocalyptic Imaginaries and the Aesthetics of Imminent End

Where dystopia in fiction and film typically suggests itself as a kind of anti-aesthetic space, the possibilities of beauty and imagination having been expunged by some constricting totality, contemporary apocalyptic narratives often fixate on aesthetic possibility over and against a landscape that seems to foreclose it.

ARTICLE: Traveling Through Corporate Time: Inevitability and (Anti-)Corporate Narrative Form

Insofar as futurity continues to take on increasing significance as an object of rhetorical struggle, economic investment, and political imagination, its ongoing restructuring by corporate entities assumes great urgency. But the corporation’s influence on the structures of future-thinking goes beyond real-world corporate ownership of cultural production and distribution venues; it has to do, rather, with the corporation’s own narrative machinery, the ramifications that that machinery has outside of the corporate assemblage, and the way that machinery interfaces across legal, political, economic, and cultural registers.

CONFERENCE TALK: Life in (Un)Death: In the Flesh, the Medicated Undead, and the Limits of the Biopolitical

What happens when the zombie itself becomes subject to the very regime for which it has been such an indispensable rhetorical figure? What happens when the rhetoric of zombification and the control measures it makes indispensable fold back in on themselves, in the form of biopolitical regulation of zombiedom itself?

LEAP/ENGL 15: Composing Across Media

This course will argue that writing does not exist—and never has existed—in a vacuum, that it is constantly influenced by (and influencing!) other modes of communication, expression, and thought in other genres, contexts, and media forms.

CONFERENCE TALK: The Fantastical Unmanned: Techne, Genre, and the (Super)Naturalized Drone

Does reorienting our thought away from the individual drone apparatus and toward the regime of drones (a collective force of omnipotence and omnipresence, both within and above our natural surroundings) open up new avenues of thinking about life under the aegis of the drone? In other words, is one drone a science-fictional technology, but a fleet of drones a fantastical monster—and if so, is this the monster most emblematic of the present?

ENGL 262: Culture Under Surveillance

On some level, surveillance and narrative seem to have an awful lot in common: both are technologies reaching across time and space to allow some parties to see into the inner lives of others, to witness and record private moments, to look from the outside in and make the private public.

CONFERENCE TALK: The Digital Lives and Afterlives of Collaborative Classroom Knowledge

What happens if the world of the humanities classroom didn’t end, at least not in the way we expect it to? What would it look like to articulate the “you had to be there” collective experience of a good class, the private knowledge it generated, to and for those who weren’t “there,” beyond the apocalyptic transitions of winter or summer break?

CONFERENCE TALK: The Futures of Work and Self: Fluid Humanity and Laboring Identities in Contemporary Science Fiction

The danger of the demands for fluid laboring identities, voiced by and within austerity regimes, is not that they might lead to catastrophic digital technologies of control and domination. It’s that those demands are themselves but the latest release of much older technologies, technologies that have proven terrifyingly apt at constraining selves, dictating labor, and coding identity as just another practice of profit and accumulation.

CONFERENCE TALK: Discursive Worlds Inside and Outside the Classroom

How might we broadcast the particular knowledge generated within a class—specific to a set of individuals in a specific context, with specific experiences, associations, and languages—to spaces and contexts outside of that class, and what happens to that knowledge when it is broadcast? In what forms and with what benefits can the associations and conceptual vocabularies built over the duration of a class be made to function outside of the space and time of that class?

CONFERENCE TALK: I Sing the Body Comic: Breaking the Skinned Surfaces of Empaneled Corporeality

How do the interplay of surface and depth in sequential art—the static image whose depths are revealed or implied in juxtaposition, sequencing, and textual accompaniment—render a theory of the body, and of the relationship between the body’s inside and outside? How does the human body in graphic narratives function as a site for boundary-crossings between insides and outsides of all kinds—not just skin and viscera, but publics and privates, revelations and secrets, the presented and the withheld?

LEAP/ENGL 15: Photography and Writing

As Andre Agassi and Canon told us in 1990, image is everything.

CONFERENCE TALK: Distant Bodies and the Proximities of Drone Subjectivity

What is it to inhabit a body in relation to other bodies under the aegis of the drone, on whose indispensability even the figureheads of nation-state and corporation can agree? How might our thinking of the socius as technologically, politically, and economically mediated be informed by the figure of the drone? How does the ascendency, figuratively and literally, of drone technology condition both distance as such and the human experience of empathy, attention, and power across distance?

CONFERENCE TALK: Viral Modernity: Accumulation, Transmission, and the Shape of the World

What theoretical work can the virus—indeterminately living and non, analog and digital, natural and manmade, corporeal and virtual—do to articulate and clarify the constitutive paradoxes of postmodernity, neoliberalism, and global finance capitalism?

ENGL 15: Image and Rhetoric

How does persuasive writing conjure images in its audience’s heads, and how do those images embody or enable the act of persuasion? And: why are images so powerful in human culture, to the point that we go to war for flags, threaten violence over cartoons, and regulate or outright censor various kinds of visual depictions? What makes the image so potent, and how might it help us understand rhetoric more broadly?

Lynd Ward Prize

Under the auspices of PSU Libraries and the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, I served as the chair of the selection jury for the 2013 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, “presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident.

CONFERENCE TALK: Ethics, Awareness, and the Desire That Is (Or Was) Global Hyperlink Cinema

What is it to conjure, in fiction, the totality of the world in its worldness? To capture it on film? To evoke it as object, subject, muse, master, organizing principle rather than unremarked backdrop? To narrate its tendrils in all of their tangled complexity? To assemble it, or a passingly coherent sense of it, from shots, scenes, fragments?

ENGL 136: Comics

I aim for you to leave this class with a handle on why comics are far from the trivial, adolescent timesuck others often assume them to be—indeed, why they have been one of the most vital and interesting forms of cultural production over the last century.

ENGL 30: Writing the Future

This course will focus on the persuasive and philosophical uses of the future, and on the importance of implicit and explicit claims about the future to so many rhetorical acts. Taking as its thematic content various fictional and nonfictional imaginings of the future—some explicitly argumentative, some less so—we will investigate how visions of the future function rhetorically and how they constitute arguments about and calls to action in the present.

ENGL 436: Fiction, Game, World

A world is an odd thing. But like so many fundamental components of how we think about and experience our lives, its oddness as a concept is not immediately apparent.

CONFERENCE TALK: Form, Fiction, Footnote: Historiography, Reading Practices, and the Presented Past in Edward P. Jones’s The Known World

If, as scholars of literature and literary reading, we earnestly believe that fictional narrative has something substantive to contribute to our understanding of the world, then it is imperative that we grant an appropriate philosophical weight to such narratives, understanding them not as footnotes or factual correctives, but as potentially radical reformulations of the totality of human experience—as ways of un-knowing and re-knowing the world.

CONFERENCE TALK: The Real Invisible Hand: Historical Haunting, Porous Chronologies, and the Grasp of What Came Before

What is virally postmodern or postmodernly viral about Kindred is not just the physical and ideological content of slavery it so ruthlessly and vividly uncovers, but the novel’s disruption and reconfiguration of the mainframe of contemporary historical consciousness.

CONFERENCE TALK: Pattern Cognition: Mapping the Unmappable and the Aesthetics of Structure and Agency

Fiction, film, and television’s increasingly dispersed, globalized narrative structures suggest an attempt to grapple narratively with the complexity of political and economic structures, but rather than reading paranoia, pareidolia, and fragmented narration as merely symptomatic responses to the problematic complexity of a post-’60s world, I ask how we might understand the complexity of that world as a fundamentally aesthetic quality.

ENGL 262: The Possibilities of Postmodern Historical Fiction

Faulkner tells us that not only is the past not dead, it’s not even past; this course will ask how, why, and to what effects the past is present (and I mean this both chronologically—present as now—and spatially—present as here).

ENGL 436: “Contemporary” “American” “Fiction”

Our nominal topic is a particularly slippery one: contemporary American fiction. Not only is there no recognized “canon” of contemporary American fiction, it’s difficult even to pin down any of the three words in that key phrase.

ENGL 191: Science Fiction

Science fiction has long occupied a strange, somewhat precarious position in Western culture. Popular but nerdy, lucrative but marginalized, the stuff of dreams but the butt of jokes, it is both a driving force behind literary history and a counter-tradition at the margins of that history.

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