Patrick Whitmarsh


I study the intersections of literature, visual art, and science in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on post-World War II fiction. My dissertation examines the appearance of cybernetic and science-fictional imagery in selected late modernist texts by Djuna Barnes, Samuel Beckett, Ralph Ellison, and Thomas Pynchon. I have also become recently interested in the relationship between complexity and perspective in the sciences after World War II, and how this relationship reflects certain experimental qualities and tendencies in postwar fiction.

You can view my CV here.


“‘So it is I who speak’: Communicating Bodies in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days and The
Unnamable” (forthcoming 2019 in JML: The Journal of Modern Literature)

“Specters of Communication: Supernatural Media in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow” (MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 63.3, September 2017)

“‘Imagine you’re a machine’: Narrative Systems in Peter Watts’s Blindsight and Echopraxia” (Science Fiction Studies 43.2, July 2016)

Conference Presentations

“Unthinkable Presents: Modernism’s Science Fictions.” Modern Language Association.
Chicago, IL, January 2019. (organizer, accepted for inclusion)

“‘Eyes on my eyes.’ Beckett’s Cybernetics of Observation.” Accepted to the Samuel Beckett
Society’s guaranteed panel, “Beckett and Science.” Modern Language Association. Chicago, IL, January 2019.

“Suvin and Cybernetics.” Annual Conference of the Society for Utopian Studies. Memphis, TN,
November 2017.

“Proverbs for Paranoids: The Limits of Counterculture in Philip K. Dick and Thomas Pynchon.”
Modern Language Association. Philadelphia, PA, January 2017.

“Time (Passes) Out of Joint: Reading Modernism Through Science Fiction.” Modernist Studies
Association. Boston, MA, November 2015.