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  • Faculty

  • Dominic Pettman

    Professor of Media and New Humanities


    Office Location
    B - Eugene Lang College Building - 65 West 11th Street

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    Dominic Pettman


    Dominic Pettman is Professor of Culture & Media at Eugene Lang College and the New School for Social Research. He has held previous positions at the University of Melbourne, the University of Geneva, the University of Amsterdam, and the American University of Paris. His courses center around posthumanism, critical theory, Continental Philosophy, cultural studies, digital culture, animal studies, sound studies, postmodernism, new media, and affect theory.

    His first book, After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion, was based on his dissertation, and explored the intersections between decadence, technology, transgression and apocalyptic rhetoric.

    His 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.

    His 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).

    His fourth book is entitled, Human Error: Species-Being and Media Machines, and 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.

    His fifth book is entitled, Look at the Bunny: Totem, Taboo, Technology, and explores five case studies concerning the totemic power of the technical image.

    His sixth book, In Divisible Cities, 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.

    His seventh book, Infinite Distraction, pays attention to social media, arguing that we are being "hyper-modulated" by dominant platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

    His eighth book, Humid, All too Humid, is a collection of whimsical "overheated observations" about contemporary culture and media.

    His ninth book, Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics, encourages readers to listen to the many non-human voices that we are unaccustomed to hearing.

    His tenth book, Creaturely Love, explores the ways in which desire makes us more - and less - than human.

    His eleventh book, Metagestures, co-written with Carla Nappi, explores the use of fiction as a tool to write and think with works of theory

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    Degrees Held

    PhD, University of Melbourne

    Recent Publications


    Metagestures (Punctum, 2019)

    Creaturely Love: How Desire Makes Us More and Less Than Human (Minnesota, 2017)

    Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (Stanford, 2017)

    Infinite Distraction (Polity, 2016) 

    Humid, All too Humid (Punctum, 2016)

    Look at the Bunny: Totem, Taboo, Technology (Zero Books, 2013)

     Human Error: Species-Being and Media Machines (2011, Posthumanities Series, University of Minnesota Press)

    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)

    Articles and Book Chapters (peer reviewed, select)

    “Just Another Manic Monad: Of Glass, Bees, and Glass Bees,” Discourse (2017).

    “Invasion of the Mind Snatchers: Ideas, Otherness, and the New Digital Vectors of Infection,” Social Research International Quarterly (special issue on “Invasive Others,” 2017).

    “The Gesture of Photographing,” Thresholds (2017)

    “Love Reconsidered: An Interview with Dominic Pettman,” in The Materiality of Love, eds. Ania Malinowska and Karolina Lebek (Routledge, 2017).

    “Animal Affection,” in The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies, edited by Lynn Turner and Ron Broglio (forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

    “A Horse is Being Beaten: On Nietzsche’s Equinimity,” Digital Dionysus: Nietzsche and the Network-centric Condition, edited by Dan Mellamphy and Nandita Biswas Mellamphy (Punctum Press, 2016).

    “Lulu and the Centaur: Photographic Traces of Creaturely Love,” Necsus (Spring, 2015).

    "Tolstoy's Bestiary: Animality and Animosity in The Kreutzer Sonata," Angelaki (2013)

    "Exile from Funland: Flusser and Agamben After the Fall," Journal of Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (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).

    "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.

    Articles (non-peer reviewed)

    “Twenty Theses on Posthumanism, Political Affect, and Proliferation,” Public Seminar, March 10, 2017.

    “Some Remarks on the Legacy of Madame Francine Descartes – First Lady and Historian of the Robocene – on the Occasion of 500 Years Since her Unlawful Watery Execution,” Public Domain Review, Conjectures series, edited by D. Graham Burnett, January 2017.

    “Electric Caresses: Rilke, Balthus, and Mitsou,” Cabinet, no. 50, Fall 2015.

    “The Nude in the Library: Playboy and the Card Catalog,” Public Seminar, Nov 27, 2015.

    “Pizza Rat: Totem of Our Time,” Public Seminar, October 23, 2015.

    “The Screech Within Speech,” Sounding Out, July 16, 2015.

    “Wings of Desire,” Cabinet, no. 55, Winter 2015.

    “Legislating the Libido: On the New Censorship Laws in the UK,” Public Seminar, December 29, 2014.

    “Working Around God: Technology, the Pace of Life, and the Shabbos Elevator,” The Atlantic, Object Lessons Series, June 14, 2014.

    “MOOCs: Herding Education to the Slaughterhouse?” Mute magazine, May 23, 2014.

    “The Tumblrst Tumbl Ever Tumbld: or, How I found the Angel of History Trapped on the Flypaper of Social Media,” Los Angeles Review of Books, February 20, 2014.

    “The Orc and the Penguin,” Cabinet, no. 50, Summer 2013.

    “So You Think You Can Think: How I Taught a Course on Reality TV by Turning My It Into a Reality TV Competition,” Inside Higher Ed, 26 August 2013.

    “The Noble Cabbage: A Review of Michael Marder’s Plant-Thinking,” Los Angeles Review of Books, July 2013.


    Research Interests

    History of Media; Philosophy of Technology; Visual and Sonic Culture; Posthumanism; Digital Culture, Animal Studies, Affect Theory.

    Awards And Honors

    Honorary Fellow, Department of English & Cultural Studies, University of Melbourne

    Australian Academy of the Humanities Publishing Award (2004)


    Personal Website

    Current Courses

    First Year Seminar

    Independent Senior Project

    Independent Study

    Posthuman Eros

    Sad Planets

    Sad Planets

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