Wai Chee Dimock

Wai Chee Dimock's picture

B.A. Harvard University, 1976
Ph.D. Yale University, 1982

Wai Chee Dimock writes about public health, climate change, and Indigenous communities, focusing on the symbiotic relation between human and nonhumans. She is now at Harvard’s Center for the Environment, working on a new book, “Microbes and AI:  Surviving Pandemics and Climate Change with Nonhuman Intelligence.”

Dimock’s most recent book is Weak Planet (2020).  Other books include Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2006);  Shades of the Planet (2007); and a team-edited anthology, American Literature in the World: Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler ( 2017).  Her 1996 book, Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy, was reissued in a new edition in 2021.  Her essays have appeared in Artforum, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Hill Los Angeles Review of Books, New York Times New Yorker, and Scientific American. 

Dimock’s lecture course, “Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner,” is available through Open Yale Courses.

Outside Yale, Dimock was a consultant for “Invitation to World Literature,” a 13-part series produced by WGBH and aired on PBS stations in the fall of 2010.  A related Facebook forum, “Rethinking World Literature,” is still ongoing.

Books, Essays, and Interviews:

“An Alliance Calling  For More Open AI Should Heed Their Own Call,” Scientific American, Februrary 1, 2024

“New Climate Fiction Offers Visions for Environmental Justice,” New York Times,  September 7, 2022

“AI Can Help Indigenous People Protect Biodiversity,” Scientific Amercan, August 17, 2022

“What AI Can Do for Climate Change, and what Climate Change Can Do for AI,” Scientific American, April 5, 2022

“Thoreau and the Sixth Extinction,” KPFA, February 15, 2022     https://kpfa.org/episode/against-the-grain-february-15-2022/

“Can NASA Help Save the Planet?  Yes, with Indigenous Partners,” The Hill, November 9, 2021

“The Survival of the Unfit,” Daedalus , Winter 2021

Weak Planet: Literature and Assisted SurvivalUniversity of Chicago Press,  2020.

 ”Wai Chee Dimock on Living with Risk,” Artforum May 2020.

“Refusing Extinction,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, May 2021.

“Gaming the Pandemic,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, March 2021.

“Languages in the Time of Corona,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, October 2020.

“AI and the Humanities,”  PMLA, Editor’s Column, May 2020.

“Opiod Education,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, March 2020.

“Hanging with Chefs,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, October 2019.

“Collateral Resilience,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, May 2019.

“Endangered,” PMLA,  Editor’s Column, March 2019.

“Humanists as Builders,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, May 2018

“Historicism, Presentism, Futurism,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, March 2018

Climate Humanists,” PMLA,  Editor’s Column, January 2018

- “Education Populism,” PMLA,  Editor’s Column, October 2017

“Climate Changed,” New York Times Book Review, May 5, 2017

“Experimental Humanities,” PMLA, Editor’s Column, March 2017

“Infrastructure Art,” Editor’s Column, PMLA, January 2017

“Weak Theory,” Critical Inquiry 39 (Summer 2013): 732-753

“Low Epic,” Critical Inquiry 39 (Spring 2013): 614-631

Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature, co-edited with Lawrence Buell (Princeton UP, 2007)

Through Other Continents: American Literature across Deep Time (Princeton UP, 2006)

Literature and Science: Cultural Forms, Conceptual Exchanges. Special issue of American Literature, co-edited with Priscilla Wald (Duke UP, 2002)

Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy (U of California P, 1996)

Empire for Liberty: Melville and the Poetics of Individualism (Princeton UP, 1989)