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Professional Summary

Alan Liu is a Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught since 1988. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1980 and taught in the English Department and British Studies Program at Yale University from 1979-87. He is the weaver of Voice of the Shuttle. His central interests include the digital humanities, literary and cultural theory, and British Romantic literature and art. Currently he is continuing his work on a writing project titled The Future Literary: Literary History and the Culture of Information—the first half of which (on the culture of information) is being completed as a book titled, The Laws of Cool: The Cultural Life of Information. He is principal investigator of the NEH-funded Teaching with Technology project at UCSB titled, Transcriptions: Literature and the Culture of Information. In addition, he directs the Literature and Culture of Information specialization in the UCSB English Department and and co-organizes the department's Public Humanities Initiative. His recent courses include Literature and the Culture of Information, Hyperliterature, and Reading Wordsworth.



Major Web Projects

Selected Writings (excerpts only unless otherwise indicated)

  • Book: Wordsworth: The Sense of History, 726 pp., Stanford UP, 1989
  • Articles
    • "The Future Literary: Literature and the Culture of Information" (English Institute volume, Routledge, forthcoming)
    • "Knowledge in the Age of Knowledge Work," Profession 1999: 113-24
    • "Local Transcendence: Cultural Criticism, Postmodernism, and the Romanticism of Detail," Representations 32 (Fall 1990): 75-113
    • "The Power of Formalism: The New Historicism," ELH 56 (1989): 721-71; rpt. in Italian translation in L'Asino d'Oro 4, no. 8 (Nov. 1993): 78-122; also forthcoming in German and Chinese translations
    • "Wordsworth and Subversion: Trying Cultural Criticism," Yale Journal of Criticism 2, no. 2 (Spring 1989): 55-100
    • "The New Historicism and the Work of Mourning," Studies in Romanticism 35 (1996): 553-62

Recent Courses

Selected Recent Talks

  • "Historicizing 'Information'," NEH eHumanities talk series, Washington, D.C., May 1, 2001
  • "The Tribe of Cool: Information Culture and History," Vanderbilt Univ., March 28, 2001
  • "Classroom of the Future," organizer and presenter at panel on "Classroom of the Future," Univ. of California Digital Cultures Project conference, UCSB, Nov. 4, 2000
  • "The Classroom of the Future and The School of Athens," UCSB Science-Humanities Forum colloquium on "Classroom of the Future," Mar. 3, 2000
  • "Should We Historicize the Culture of Information?", Colloquium presentation for UCSB Transcriptions Project, Nov. 15, 1999
  • "The Laws of Cool (Information Should Not Mean But Be)", The English Institute, Cambridge, MA, Oct. 2, 1999
  • "Knowledge in the Age of Knowledge Work," Modern Language Assoc. Convention (Presidentual Forum workshop), San Francisco, Dec. 29, 1998
  • "Sidney's Technology," U. Virginia, Nov. 9, 1998
  • "The Downsizing of Knowledge: Knowledge Work and Literary History," Townsend Center, Univ. of California, Berkeley, March 12
  • "Managing History: The Downsizing of Knowledge," plenary address at Western Humanities Conference, U. California, Riverside, Oct. 17, 1997, and U. Virginia conference on "Temporality and History," March 29, 1997
  • "The New Knowledge," UCSB Dialogues in Human Values and Public Life (session on "The Impact of Electronic Culture on Human Values"), May 17, 1997
  • "Common Standards: Academic Knowledge and Knowledge Work," Workshop on "Electronic Orders: Classification, Standardization, Formalization, and Genre in Electronic Environments," UCSB, Jan. 11, 1997, and Workshop on "Computational Worlds: Metaphors and Practices," UCLA, Feb. 28, 1997
  • Introduction to"The Canon and the Web: Reconfiguring Romanticism in the Information Age," Modern Language Association convention special session co-organized with Laura Mandell of U. Miami, Ohio, Dec. 29, 1996, Washington, D. C.
  • "The Laws of Cool: Literature on the Line," SUNY Buffalo conference on "Reading Ethics," March 28, 1996, and plenary paper for National Graduate Student Conference in Romanticism, Emory U., April 12, 1996
  • "The Voice of the Shuttle," U. Georgia, April 15, 1996

Home©2000, Alan Liu, English Dept., Univ. of California, Santa Barbara (e-mail)
 This page last revised 4/29/01
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