Wai Chee Dimock

Wai Chee Dimock's picture

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

Wai Chee Dimock writes about science, technology, medicine, and literature, focusing especially on the symbiotic relation between humans and nonhumans.  Editor of PMLA, and a film critic for the Los Angeles Review of Books, her essays have also appeared in Artforum, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. 

Dimock is working on a new book, “Darwin’s Algorithms: How AI Helps Humans Evolve with Viruses.”  Her Weak Planet (2020) was just published by the University of Chicago Press.  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, will be reissued in a new edition in 2021.

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. 

Contact:   wai.chee.dimock@yale.edu

Selected Publications

- “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.

- “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)