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Mark Dery, Cultural Critic

Mark Dery has been a professor of journalism at NYU, a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow at UC Irvine, a Hertog author in Columbia University’s Hertog Fellowship program, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. He has lectured widely at academic and arts institutions throughout the United States and has published extensively in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Cabinet, Bookforum, Rolling Stone, Wired, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Hyperallergic.

Dery received a B.A. in English from Occidental College in 1982. He is associated with the concept of “culture jamming,” the guerrilla media movement he popularized through his 1993 essay of the same name. He is known, too, as a seminal theorist of “Afrofuturism,” a term he coined in his essay “Black to the Future” in the 1994 Duke University anthology Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture. Flame Wars, which he edited, inaugurated cyberstudies as an academic field, kick-starting scholarly interest in Afrofuturism and techno-feminism.

Dery’s books include The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink and Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century, which was translated into eight languages. His latest is the University of Minnesota essay collection I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams, which was published in Brazil as well as the States. He is at work on a biography, to be published in 2018 by Little, Brown, of the author, illustrator, and legendary eccentric Edward Gorey.

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