As a scholar with a focus on contemporary and innovative literature, I co-edited of Retaking the Universe: William S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization (Pluto Press; RealityStudio.org), the first collection of original Burroughs scholarship. I have written extensively on Burroughs, including essays focused on the tradition of extra-illustration and cut-ups, the “meaning” of Naked Lunch, and the copyright implications of Burroughs and Brion Gysin’s collaborations. I am currently at work with Marcus Boon on a new edition of Burroughs and Gysin’s collaborative works, tentatively titled The Book of Methods.
My co-edited anthology The Exquisite Corpse: Chance and Collaboration in Surrealism’s Parlor Game (University of Nebraska) was a nominee for the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association, with an emphasis on the legacy of the Corpse game post-Surrealism. I contributed an essay about the digital humanities Exquisite Corpse project I co-directed in the early 2000s, a six-campus collaboration engaging students through different creative modalities.
I had the good fortune to edit and pen the introduction to the final novel by my friend and WWI survivor Raymond Federman—Shhh: The Story of a Childhood—and to help remember his astounding legacy of innovative literary work.
My recent work—both creative and critical—has had a particular emphasis on copyright and remix culture, digital liberal arts, and Chicago history with attention to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
In recent years I have served as Principal Investigator for the NEH-funded Virtual Burnham Initiative, which transforms a selection of flat images from the 1909 Plan of Chicago—by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett—into 3-D models accessible through the web; a three-campus Mellon Foundation-funded collaboration with Lake Forest College, Knox College, and Beloit College; and the four-year Mellon-funded Unearthing History and Culture grant.
Other recent interests include drones, and the way we remember the 1893 Fair.