Michael Szalay

Picture of Michael Szalay
Professor, English
School of Humanities
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 1997
M.A., University of Chicago, 1991
B.A., Williams College, 1990, English and History
Fax: (949) 824-2916
Email: mszalay@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
Mail Code: 2650
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
20th- and 21st-century Literature, Media, and Politics
Research Abstract
I teach 20th- and 21st-century fiction, television, and film, as well as courses on World-Systems Theory and the origins of capitalism. My first two books (Hip Figures: A Literary History of the Democratic Party and New Deal Modernism: American Literature and the Invention of the Welfare State) examine the relationship between literature, liberal governance, and economic crisis. My forthcoming book, Second Lives: Black-Market Melodramas and the Reinvention of Television (Chicago, 2023), defines a new television genre—the black-market melodrama—that has driven the ascent of TV as a cultural force over the last two decades, and that continues to mediate the ongoing effects of deindustrialization on a changing U.S. middle class.
Second Lives: Black-Market Melodramas and the Reinvention of Television (University of Chicago Press, 2023)
“Streaming Enthusiasm and the Industrious Family Drama,” Los Angeles Review of Books (June, 2021). // Reprinted in Quarterly Journal 31 (December 2021)
Japanese translation of "Ishiguro's Prestige," by Satoru Hirose (Suiseisha, 2020)
French Translation of “HBO’s Flexible Gold”: “L’Or Flexible de HBO,” trans. David Buxton, Variations 22, 2019
“Melodrama and Narrative Stagnation in Quality TV,” in Theory & Event, Volume 23 (Spring, 2019)
“‘The Real Home of Capitalism’: The AOL Time Warner Merger and Capital Flight,” in Michelle Chihara and Matthew Seybold, eds., The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics (Routledge, 2019).
“The Author as Executive Producer,” in Mitchum Huehls and Rachel Greenwald Smith, eds., Neoliberalism and Literary Culture (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017): 255-276.
“Ishiguro’s Prestige,” in Western Humanities Review, Fall 2016, 70.3: 139-155
“Story Work: Non-Proprietary Autonomy and Contemporary Television Writing,”
co-authored with Catherine Fisk, Television and New Media, June 10, 2016: 1-16
“Pimps and Pied Pipers: Quality Television in the Age of Its Direct Delivery,” Journal of American Studies 39:4 (October, 2015).
“The Bodies in the Bubble: David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King,” co-authored with Richard Godden, Textual Practice 28:7, special issue, “How Abstract Is It?” ed. Rebecca Colesworthy and Peter Nichols (Fall, 2014). Collection republished as How Abstract Is it? Thinking Capitalism Now (Routledge Press, 2015).
“HBO’s Flexible Gold,” Representations 126:1 (Spring, 2014).
"New Left Melancholia," in A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement in its Times, ed. Howard Brick (University of Michigan Press, 2014)
Hip Figures: A Literary History of the Democratic Party (Stanford University Press, 2012).
"The Incorporation Artist: Dana Spiotta's Stone Arabia," in The Los Angeles Review of Books, July 10, 2012
"The Writer as Producer: The Hip Figure after HBO," in Mad Worlds: Sex, Politics, and Style in the 1960s, ed. Lauren Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert Rushing (Duke University Press, 2012)
"Lionel Trilling's Existential State," Occasion 1.2 (Winter 2011).
“Ralph Ellison’s Unfinished Second Skin,” in American Literary History 23.4 (Fall, 2011)
"'Eerie Serenity': A Response to John McClure" in Boundary 2 vol. 36, no. 2 (Summer 2009)
"Modernism's History of the Dead" in A Concise Companion to American Fiction, 1900-1950, ed. Peter Stonely and Cindy Weinstein (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008).
"The White Oriental," in Modern Language Quarterly 67.3 (Sept. 2006)
Countercultural Capital: Essays on the Sixties from Some Who Weren’t There, a special issue of The Yale Journal of Criticism, edited with Sean McCann. 18.2 (Fall, 2005)
"Do You Believe in Magic? Literary Thinking After the New Left," and "Paul Potter and the Cultural Turn," co-authored with Sean McCann, in Countercultural Capital, a special issue of The Yale Journal of Criticism 18.2 (Fall 2005)
"All the King's Men; or, The Primal Crime," Yale Journal of Criticism (Fall, 2002).
New Deal Modernism: American Literature and the Invention of the Welfare State. Duke University Press, 2000
(and Introduction) Jack Balch, Lamps at High Noon, "Radical Novel Reconsidered" Series, ed. Alan Wald. Urbana: Illinois University Press, 2000
"'Nothing More than Feelings': Generational Politics and the Authenticity of Alternative Culture." Michigan Quarterly Review (Fall, 1998): 843-59.
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