PhD, English, University of California-Berkeley, 2011
BA, Brown University, 2003
Teaching and Research Interests:
Post-1945 American and British Literature
Theories of Modernity
History and Temporality
Professor Martin studies and teaches contemporary U.S. and British fiction. He is currently finishing a book titled Contemporary Drift: Genre and the Measures of the Present, which aims to theorize what it means to be contemporary: how we come to terms with our own period in history. To do so, it reads the still-expanding field of contemporary literature for the ways it tries to make sense of, and give form to, the elusive category of the contemporary itself. The book focuses on five recently revived genres, and shows how each one generates a different concept for thinking about both the history and the idea of the contemporary. These, Contemporary Drift argues, are the commonplace figures and forms—arbitrary decades, nostalgic revivals, erratic seasons, prolonged waits, working shifts—that, in the absence of historical distance, allow us to take the measure of our present moment. Professor Martin is also at work on a second book project, tentatively titled Symptomatic, which traces the intertwined histories of symptomatic reading and literary form in order to reassess some of our basic assumptions about the relation between texts and contexts.