I’m an Americanist interested in the cultural life of speculation: utopian, dystopian, and apocalyptic popular culture, narratives of the future of technology and work, fantasies of racial identity, and critical theory.
I was born and raised in east San José, California. I grew up near Sal Si Puedes (Get Out If You Can), the neighborhood where Cesar Chavez began his organizing for the United Farm Workers. My first texts were my father’s tattoos or “placas”: east side, madre, tropicana varrio locos.
Thanks to the support of family, friends, and mentors, I was the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year college. After earning my PhD in American Studies in late 2013, I moved to a suburb of Munich, Germany, with my wife and two daughters. I like to pretend that I can channel Ernst Bloch, who wrote The Spirit of Utopia while meditating on the Alps in a nearby town. One day I will write a book called Bato in Bavaria.
From 2013-2015 I crossed the Weißwurstäquator (“white sausage border”) to lecture in the Institute of English and American Studies at Frankfurt University. In 2016 I became Assistant Professor (Assistenzprofessor) of American Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. I recently published a book about automation myths (Against Automation Mythologies) and am currently completing another about apocalyptic science fiction (Un-American Dreams) and starting another about videogames and gender (Rules of the Father: Playing with Patriarchy in The Last of Us).
Assistant Professor (Assistenzprofessor) of American Studies, Co-Coordinator of “Technologies” concentration, University of St. Gallen, 2016—present
Lecturer, Institute for English and American Studies, Frankfurt University, 2013—2015
Research Associate and Web Editor, The Digital Portal of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich University, March 2013—September 2013
Teaching Fellow and Part-Time Acting Instructor, Yale College, 2010—2012
Teaching Assistant, Santa Clara University and West Valley College, 2003—2006
PhD, American Studies, Yale University, Dec. 2013
MA & MPhil, American Studies, Yale University, 2010
BA, English, Santa Clara University, 2006
Against Automation Mythologies: Business Science Fiction and the Ruse of the Robots
“Race and Robots”
“Sleep Dealer, or, Tijuana, Ciudad del Futuro”