Sarah Wasserman is Associate Professor in the English Department. Her teaching and research interests include 20th and 21st century American literature, material culture studies, critical theory (especially psychoanalysis), media studies, and critical race studies.
She earned her M.A. from the University of Chicago, her Ph.D. from Princeton University, and served as Assistant Professor at the JFK Institute of North American Studies in Berlin, Germany before joining the English Department at the University of Delaware.
Her first book, The Death of Things: Ephemera and the American Novel (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) examines literary representations of disappearing objects in American culture from the beginning of the twentieth century until today. It was reviewed in The Nation and has been short-listed for a number of prizes, including the Modernist Studies Association first book prize.
Her scholarly essays appear in PMLA, Contemporary Literature, Post45, American Literary History, Modern Fiction Studies, The Journal of American Studies, and Literature Compass, as well as in numerous essay collections. Her public writing appears in Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, and Flaunt magazine. With Patrick Moran, she curates the “Thing Theory and Literary Studies” colloquy on the Stanford Arcade website. Her research has been supported by the Wolf Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a regional faculty fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year.
An interdisciplinary volume, Modelwork: Material Culture and Modeling in the Humanities, which she edited with Martin Brückner and Sandy Isenstadt, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in October 2021. She is currently at work on Computer Love, a book that examines movies, television shows, commercials, and pop songs from the 1980s to chronicle the impact we imagined computers would have on love and romance.
Professor Wasserman advises graduate students in American literature and often serves on the Executive Committee of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. She teaches undergraduate classes on contemporary Jewish American fiction, graphic novels, and digital culture, as well as surveys of American literature, collections-based courses, and composition. Her interdisciplinary graduate seminars include literary and material culture theory courses and topical courses in contemporary American fiction with a focus on public writing.
You can learn more about her work, media appearances, and upcoming talks at sarahwasserman.com.