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220 Memorial Hall<div class="ExternalClass41989FAD87644685A24EC87C0E6EA9F0"><p>Sarah Wasserman specializes in American literature from 1900 to today, with an emphasis on post-1945 and contemporary fiction. Her research and teaching interests include material culture studies, literary theory, popular culture, media studies, and digital humanities. Her current book project, <em>The Death of Things: Ephemera in America,</em> examines literary representations of disappearing objects in American culture from the beginning of the twentieth century until today. Professor Wasserman is the co-editor of  <em>Cultures of Obsolescence: History, Materiality, and the Digital Age</em> (2015) and co-curator of the Stanford Arcade Colloquy, <a href="">"Thing Theory and Literary Studies."</a> Her essays and reviews have appeared in <em>Contemporary Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Literature Compass</em>, and <em>The Journal of American Studies</em>. Before joining the department at the University of Delaware, Professor Wasserman taught in Germany at the JFK Institute for North American Studies at the Free University Berlin. She is also the recipient of the Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Chicago.</p></div>swasser@udel.eduWasserman, Sarah(302) 831-3654<img alt="" src="/Images%20Bios/FAC_Wasserman_Sarah-180.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Winterthur LiaisonAssistant ProfessorAmerican Literature;Cultural Studies;Digital Humanities;Film and New Media;Print and Material Culture Studies;Race and Ethnicity StudiesM.A. Humanities, University of Chicago; Ph.D. English, Princeton University



Cultures of Obsolescence: History, Materiality, and the Digital AgeWasserman, SarahBabette B. TischlederPalgrave MacmillanNew York2015 is fundamental to the experience of modernity, not simply one dimension of an economic system. The contributors to this book investigate obsolescence as a historical phenomenon, an aesthetic practice, and an affective mode. Because obsolescence depends upon the supersession and disappearance of what is old and outmoded, this volume sheds light on what usually remains unseen or overlooked. Calling attention to the fact that obsolescence can structure everything from the self to the skyscraper, Cultures of Obsolescence asks readers to rethink existing relationships between the old and the new. Moreover, the essays in this volume argue for the paradoxical ways in which subjects and their concepts of the human, of newness, and of the future are constituted by a relationship to the obsolete.swasser



Vanishing objects in contemporary American literature<p>​This interdisciplinary book project is the first comprehensive study to address the role that ephemera—objects marked by their imminent disappearance or destruction—play in 20th century fiction. Planned obsolescence, technological change, and the shift from print to digital media have made ephemera ever more meaningful. The disappearing object, so definitive of post-industrial culture, is central in literature seeking to represent the experience of perpetual change and loss. Attention to these objects animates this project, which takes its cue from recent work done under the rubric of “thing theory.” If objects have lives of their own, what happens when they die? From the paper-mâché palaces of World’s Fairs to the abraded edges of postage stamps, disappearing objects intrigue writers like Don DeLillo, Ralph Ellison, Marilynne Robinson, and Philip Roth, elegists of the waning promises of American modernity. In my account, post-45 U.S. fiction responds to the vanishing object-world in ways that are both melancholic and transformative. Bringing material culture studies into dialogue with psychoanalytic theory, this book argues that literary portraits of our vanishing stuff never allow us to let go of or to fully posses our belongings. <br></p>Wasserman, Sarahswasser<img alt="objects vanishing from literature" src="/ResearchProject/RESEARCH_Wasserman-death-of-things-455.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />



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University of Delaware
  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361