M.A., Queen's University, 2002
B.A., Queen's University, 2001
Nathan Brown's research and teaching focus on 20th and 21st century poetry and poetics, continental philosophy, and science/technology studies. His first book, The Limits of Fabrication: Materials Science and Materialist Poetics, is in press with Northwestern University Press, forthcoming Spring 2014. The Limits of Fabrication examines concepts of form and practices of fabrication in nanoscale materials science and contemporary materialist poetics, updating the context in which poetry might be considered a form of building. He is currently engaged in two other book projects. Absent Blue Wax: Rationalist Empiricism considers the resurgence of rationalism in contemporary French philosophy in relation to various radical empiricisms. The project includes specific engagements with the work of Descartes and Hume, Gaston Bachelard, Louis Althusser, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, Quentin Meillassoux, C.S. Peirce, and Alfred North Whitehead. Research toward a new book project—titled Metrical Modernity and focused on the concept of measure in philosophy, science, and poetry—is funded by a 2013-2014 UC Davis Hellman Fellowship.
Professor Brown also teaches courses in the Designated Emphasis Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. He is the coordinator of Conjuncture - A Series of Symposia on 21st Century Philosophy, Politics, and Aesthetics. With Cynthia Mitchell, he runs a residency program in the Sierras, The Mercury School.
Articles and Book Chapters
- "The Technics of Prehension: On the Photography of Nicolas Baier," forthcoming in The New Whitehead, ed. Nicholas Gaskill and Adam Nocek (University of Minnesota Press).
- "The Distribution of the Insensible." Mute (Jan. 2014).
- "Framing Modernity: Sam Lewitt's Aesthetics of Saturation" in Fluid Employment, Ed. Sam Lewitt (Sequence: New York, 2013), pp. 62-70.
- "The Proletariat." Trans-Scripts. 3 (2013): 61-75.
- "Origin and Extinction, Mourning and Melancholia: On Terrance Malick's The Tree of Life and Lars von Trier's Melancholia." Mute 3.4 (Fall 2012). (pdf)
- "Rational Kernel, Real Movement: Alain Badiou and Théorie Communiste in the Age of Riots." Lana Turner 5 (Fall 2012).
- "Red Years: Althusser's Lesson, Rancière's Error, and the Real Movement of History." Radical Philosophy 170 (Nov/Dec 2011).
- "Absent Blue Wax (Rationalist Empiricism)." Qui Parle 19.1 (Fall/Winter 2010).
- "The Speculative and the Specific: On Hallward and Meillassoux" in The Speculative Turn, Ed. Levi Bryant, Graham Harman, and Nick Srnicek (re:press, 2010), pp. 142-163.
- "Objects that Matter: Olson, Bergvall, and the Poetics of Articulation." HOW2 3.3 (Winter 2010).
- "Immortality by Design." parallax 14.3 (August 2008), 4-20.
- "The Inorganic Open: Nanotechnology and Physical Being." Radical Philosophy. 144 (July/August 2007): 33-44.
- "Needle on the Real: Technoscience and Poetry at the Limits of Fabrication" in Nanoculture: Implications of the New Technoscience. Ed. N. Katherine Hayles (Intellect Books, 2004), pp. 173-190.
Reviews, Interviews, Responses, Short Essays
- "The Nadir of OOO: From Graham Harman's Tool-Being to Timothy Morton's Realist Magic," Parrhesia 17 (2013): 62-71.
- "The Art of the Concept," Introduction to The Art of the Concept, Eds. Nathan Brown and Petar Milat, special issue ofFrakcija: Performing Arts Journal 64/65 (Winter 2012): 6-10.
- "Next to Now," Review of Colin Milburn, Nanovision: Engineering the Future in Radical Philosophy 155 (May/June 2009): 57-59.
- "To Live Without an Idea," Review of Martin Hägglund, Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life in Radical Philosophy 154 (March/April 2009): 51-53.
- "Critical Pivot: The Substance of Thought," Conference Report. Radical Philosophy 150 (Jul/Aug, 2008): 71-72.
- "The Function of Digital Poetry at the Present Time." Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary (February 2008).
- "21st Century Materialism" in Pre-Specifics. Ed. Vera Bühlmann and Martin Wiedmer (JRP Ringier, 2008), pp. 184-193.
- "The Politics of Error: An Interview with Shanxing Wang." Jacket 34 (October 2007)
Recent and Upcoming Graduate Courses
- Fall 2013: Modernity in Contradiction: Real Subsumption and Modernist Poetics
- Spring 2013: ENL 270, Postmodernity, Not Yet: Culture at the Terminus of Capital
- Winter 2012: CRI 200C, The Real Movement of History: Left Communism and the Communization Current
- Winter 2011: ENL 262, Objects in Field: The Poetry and Poetics of Charles Olson
- Winter 2010: CRI 200A, Approaches to Critical Theory
- Winter 2009: ENL 270, 21st Century Poetry & Poetics
Graduate Reading Courses in Critical Theory
- Winter 2014: CRI 298, Hegel's Science of Logic
- Fall 2013: CRI 298, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
- Spring 2012: CRI 298, Modern Theories of the Subject: Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Kant
- Spring 2011: CRI 298, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
- Spring 2009: CRI 298, Being and Event: The Philosophy of Alain Badiou
Selected Undergraduate Courses
- Spring 2013: ENL 45, Desire and Poetic Form
- Winter 2013: ENL 139, Dostoevsky: Literature at the Crux of Modernity
- Winter 2012: ENL 110B, Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Critical Theory
- Winter 2011: ENL 147 (American Literature 1945-Present): Strangers, Exiles, Costumes
- Fall 2010: ENL 188A (Topics in Literary and Critical Theory): Object, System, Network
- Spring 2010: ENL 168 (20th C American Poetry): Image & Object, 1912-1951
- Spring 2010: ENL 10C: Literatures in English, 1900-Present