Pettman, Dominic

Pettman, Dominic

Dominic Pettman
PhD, Department of English & Cultural Studies, University of Melbourne;
BA (honors), Department of English & Cultural Studies, University of Melbourne
Professor, Culture and Media



My teaching and research focus on the manifold ways in which media theory influences cultural practice (and vice versa). While my current work centers around technologies of the present, I am equally interested in the ways in which previous forms and formats were once considered disorienting examples of "new media." While studying literature, critical theory, and philosophy at the University of Melbourne, I became fascinated by unorthodox representations and readings of technology, particularly the strategies used by writers, intellectuals, and multimedia-makers to either integrate or reject new forms of technology.

My first book, After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion, was based on my dissertation, and explored the intersections between decadence, technology, transgression and apocalyptic rhetoric. My second book, co-written with Justin Clemens, and entitled Avoiding the Subject: Media, Culture and the Object, tagged and pursued various "symbolic objects" which circulate within popular culture and the mediascape, questioning the human hubris of subjectivity. My third book, Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age, presented the possibility that even something as ineffable and seemingly natural as "love" can be considered a social technology (designed to engineer and maximize a specific type of belonging). My fourth book is entitled, Human Error: Species-Being and Media Machines, which examines the cultural co-evolution of humans, animals, and machines, arguing that "humanity" may be one of the world's most significant cases of mistaken identity. My fifth book is entitled, Look at the Bunny: Totem, Taboo, Technology, and explores five case studies concerning the totemic power of the technical image.

My next book is called In Divisible Cities, and is a creative exercise in cartographic origami: the reflective result of the narrator’s desire to map hidden cities beneath the familiar Atlas of everyday perception.

Visit my website at 

Courses Taught:
  • Media Toolkit
  • Introduction to Media Studies
  • Introduction to Cultural Studies
  • Locating the Human
  • Love and Other Technologies
  • Cooking, Culture, and Cannibalism
  • Dream Factories
  • Reality TV
  • Humans, Animals, Machines
Recent Publications:
  •  Look at the Bunny: Totem, Taboo, Technology (Zero Books, 2013)
  • "Tolstoy's Bestiary: Animality and Animosity in The Kreutzer Sonata," Angelaki (forthcoming, 2012)
  • "Exile from Funland: Flusser and Agamben After the Fall," Journal of Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (forthcoming, 2011)
  • "Pavlov's Podcast: The Acousmatic Voice in the Age of MP3s," differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies ( The Sense of Sound special double issue, 22.2-3, Summer-Fall, 2011, edited by Rey Chow and James Steintrager).
  •  Human Error: Species-Being and Media Machines (Spring 2011, Posthumanities Series, University of Minnesota Press)
  • "After the Beep: Answering Machines and Creaturely Life," Boundary 2, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Summer 2010), 133-153.
  • "Introduction," in Jean Baudrillard's Fatal Strategies. New York: Semiotext(e), 2008)
  • "Bear Life: Tracing an Opening in Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man," Theory and Event Vol 12, No. 2 (2009)
  • "Love in the Time of Tamagotchi," Theory, Culture, & Society [Special Issue, "Ubiquitous Media"] Vol. 26, No. 2-3 (2009), 189-208.
  • Love and Other Technologies (Fordham, 2006)
  • Avoiding the Subject: Media, Culture and the Object [with Justin Clemens] (AUP, 2004)
  • After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion (SUNY, 2002)
Office Location:
Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts
65 West 11th Street, Room 462
New York, NY  10011
Phone Number/Extension:
212.229.5100 x2986


Personal Website:

Research Interests:
History of Media; Philosophy of Technology; Visual and Aural Culture; Globalization; Popular, Unpopular and Counter-Cultures.
Professional Affiliations:
  • Cultural Studies Association
  • Modern Languages Association
Recent Presentations/Exhibits:
  • Honorary Fellow, Department of English & Cultural Studies, UniversityofMelbourne
  • Australian Academy of the Humanities Publishing Award (2004)

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