The Year's Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons

The Year's Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons

Edited by Jonathan Paul Eburne and Benjamin Schreier
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/17/2017
Format: Paperback 7 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02682-8
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What happens when math nerds, band and theater geeks, goths, sci-fi fanatics, Young Republican debate poindexters, techies, Trekkies, D&D players, wallflowers, bookworms, and RPG players grow up? And what can they tell us about the life of the mind in the contemporary United States? With #GamerGate in the national news, shows like The Big Bang Theory on ever-increasing numbers of screens, and Peter Orzsag and Paul Ryan on magazine covers, it is clear that nerds, policy wonks, and neoconservatives play a major role in today’s popular culture in America. The Year’s Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons delves into subcultures of intellectual history to explore their influence on contemporary American intellectual life. Not limiting themselves to describing how individuals are depicted, the authors consider the intellectual endeavors these depictions have come to represent, exploring many models and practices of learnedness, reflection, knowledge production, and opinion in the contemporary world. As teachers, researchers, and university scholars continue to struggle for mainstream visibility, this book illuminates the other forms of intellectual excitement that have emerged alongside them and found ways to survive and even thrive in the face of dismissal or contempt.

Author Bio

Jonathan P. Eburne is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Penn State. He is author of Surrealism and the Art of Crime and editor (with Judith Roof) of The Year’s Work in the Oddball Archive.

Benjamin Schreier is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Studies and Lea P. and Malvin E. Bank Early Career Professor of Jewish Studies at Penn State University. He is author of The Power of Negative Thinking: Cynicism and the History of Modern American Literature and The Impossible Jew: Identity and the Reconstruction of Jewish American Literary History.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Working in and on Nerds, Wonks, and Neo-Cons, this Year and to Come / Jonathan P. Eburne and Benjamin Schreier
1. Wonk Masculinity / Dennis Allen
2. Surface Worship, Super-Public Intellectuals, and the Suspiciously Common Reader / William J. Maxwell
3. Stratigraphic Form: Science Fictions of the Present / Warren Liu
4. Obsession, Pathology, and Justice: Nerds, Bodies, Winsor McCay, and the 1893 Chicago Fair / Nathan L. Grant
5. The Neoconservative Imagination / Jennifer Glaser
6. Conservative and Internationalist: George S. Schuyler’s Pulp Fiction and The Imperialism of The Oppressed / Sara Marzioli
7. The Turing Test and Other Love Songs / Brian Glavey
8. Sex and the Single Nerd: The Schizo Saga of Genes, Genius, and Finally Getting Some / Judith Roof
9. Nerds in Capes: Courtly Love and the Erotics of Medievalism / Jamie Taylor
10. Comic Book Kid/ Scott T. Smith
11. Walking Simulators, #GamerGate, and the Gender of Wandering / Melissa Kagen
12. The Fan as Public Intellectual in "RaceFail ‘09" / Siobhan Carroll
13. Autism, Nerds, and Insecurity / Chloe Silverman
Afterword: Professors Without Chairs / Aaron S. Lecklider

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