Lisa Mendelman is Assistant Professor of English at Menlo College. She researches and teaches at the intersections of science and affect in American literature since 1865. Her first book, Modern Sentimentalism: Affect, Irony, and Female Authorship in Interwar America (Oxford University Press), will be out in fall 2019.
The information superhighway is paved with good intentions. This thought occurred to me earlier this summer, as I drove the Silicon Valley corridor of 101. “The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there,” one billboard declared. “Hello marijuana, goodbye anxiety,” announced a second (the company, Eaze, hand-delivers the substance, à la Instacart). “No data left behind,” avowed a third. Perhaps because I was headed to the ALA to deliver a paper on Edith Wharton’s satire of interwar scientific culture, Twilight Sleep, the third struck me as particularly ludicrous and problematic.
This installment marks the last planned set of responses—at least for now—to the special issue on Weak Theory. We’ll bring the discussion to a close, in several weeks’ time, by giving the writers from that issue a chance to answer the responses. Many thanks to all who have participated!