Jim Berger

Jim Berger's picture
Senior Lecturer in English and American Studies

Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1994
M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University, 1981
B.A. Columbia University, 1976

My academic, political, and personal interests these days coalesce around the question of the future–the possibility, or lack of possibility–of a just and sustainable future. Where are the gaps in our dystopic horizons? Can we even imagine alternatives to neoliberal/late capitalist modes of production and distribution? What are the yet unimagined forms of human solidarity that will lead to social change? What are the meanings of the cultural obsessions with zombies and assorted dsytopias? I am trying to think through the “not enough” of Naomi Klein’s No is Not Enough, the sets of ideological blockages and passages of Franco Berardi’s Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility, the still outrageous queer provocations of Lee Edelman’s No Future, questions regarding the future of disability posed by Allison Kafer and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, the omni-permeating diagnoses, accusations, and introspections of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen (which are explosive charges set at all the earth’s imagined corners), the possibility of poetry, the possibility of manifesto, the possibility of OBU (One Big Union/ Oligarchy Busters United), the meaning and possibility of every “carrying (or sending) across”–trans-mission, meta-phor, trans-lation. I’m interested also in the future of the university. What is being lost or distorted in its current metamorphoses?


Twentieth- and Twenty-first-century American literature, literary theory, disability studies, apocalyptic literature and film, neuroscience and literature

Selected Publications

- “Propogation and Procreation: The Zombie and the Child.” Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Post-Apocalyptic TV and Film. Ed. Barbara Gurr. Houndmills U.K. and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015. 149-63.

- “This is the Media’s Real Bias: Pro-Business, Pro-Corporate, Pro-CEO.” Salon. October 30, 2015. Online.

- “ ‘The Voice of the Bridegroom and the Bride Shall be Heard No More’: Apocalypse, Critique, and Procreation.” Frame: Journal of Literary Studies. 26 (2013): 125-42.

- “Alterity and Autism: Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident in the Neurological Spectrum.”  Autism and Representation, ed. Mark Osteen.  New York and Oxford: Routledge, 2007.  271-88.

- “Falling Towers and Postmodern Wild Children: Oliver Sacks, Don DeLillo, and Turns Against Language.”  PMLA 120 (2005): 341-61.

- “Trauma Without Disability, Disability Without Trauma: A Disciplinary Divide.”  JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Writing, Multiple Literacies, and Politics 24 (2004): 563-82.