Picture of Kurt Cavender


Kurt Cavender

Ph.D. - ABD

M.A. in English, Brandeis University, 2012

B.A. in English, Harding University, 2009

Research Interests:

20th and 21st Century American Literature


"Event, Genre, and Form in Contemporary Historical Fiction and Documentary Film"

Primary Advisor:

Professor Caren Irr


“What is Called an Event Novel?: A Lukácsian Problem and a Badiouian Solution.” Dialectical Humanities Mini-Conference, “The Natural and The Aesthetic,” Harvard University. May 31, 2016.

“Disaster Narratives After Katrina: Rethinking the Vocation of the Contemporary Catastrophe Novel.” Society for Novel Studies Conference. May 13-14, 2016.

“The Difference Between Harman’s and Meillassoux’s Notions of a Speculative Philosophy.” ACLA Convention. March 17-20, 2016.

“Narrative Form and the Concept of the Event in Weather Underground Novels.” The Futures of American Studies Institute, Dartmouth College. June 22-28, 2015.

“Cinéma Vérité and the Hurricane Katrina Novel.” NeMLA Convention. April 30-May 3, 2015.

“Weathering Solidarity: The Political Family in Novels of the Underground.” ACLA Convention. March 26-29, 2015.

“Documentary Melodrama: Event, Crisis Structure, and Cinéma Vérité after Katrina.” English Graduate Conference, “Melodrama,” Brandeis University. February 13, 2015.

“The Novelist as Public Intellectual:  Writing History Against Power.” Annual Conference on Public Intellectuals, Harvard University. April 11-12, 2014.

“Vilem Flusser, Wolfgang Ernst, and the Post-Historical Techno-Logics of Augmented Reality Software.” ReMEDIAting Flusser Symposium and Digital Humanities Project, University of Connecticut. November 1-3, 2013.

“A Dialectic of Play:  The Hegelian Logic of The Professor’s House.” American Literature Association Annual Conference. May 23-26, 2013.

“Digital Revolutions:  Social Media and Political Consciousness.” International Symposium on Language and Communication. June 10-13, 2012.

“Techniques of Resistance: Imagining Revolutionary Possibilities in the Digital Commons.”  English Graduate Conference, “Innovations & Anxieties,” University of Rhode Island. March 31, 2012.

“Fractured Realities and the Violence of Language in Auster’s Leviathan.” English Graduate Conference, "Real Worlds: (dis)Locating Realities,” UMass Amherst. April 16, 2011.

“In the Shadow of Rushdie: Arundhati Roy’s Reading of the Political Text in India.” Language and Linguistics Student Conference, University of Central Oklahoma. October 29-30, 2009.

“Love Laws: Interpellating Ideology and the Carceral in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.” Arkansas Philological Association. October 9-11, 2009.


“Our Knowing Compelled to Go Back: Speculative Misreading and the Textual Identity of Blood Meridian.” Forthcoming in College Literature 43.4 (Fall 2016).

[With J. Graham, R. Fox, and R. Flynn.] “Body Language: Toward an Affective Formalism of Ulysses.” In Reading Modernism with Machines: Digital Humanities and Modernist Literature. Eds. Shawna Ross and James O’Sullivan. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Review of Writing at the Limit: The Novel in the New Media Ecology by Daniel Punday. College Literature 40.4 (Fall 2013): 139-41.

“New Media Technology and the Future of Reading.”  Review of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis by N. Katherine Hayles. The Pennsylvania Literary Journal 5.1 (May 2013): 54-7.

“The Temporality of Digital Media Technology.”  Review of Digital Memory and the Archive by Wolfgang Ernst. Postmodern Culture 22.3 (May 2013).

“Towards a Sociology of Digital Media.”  Review of Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice by Nick Couldry. Cultural Studies (15 Mar 2013).


Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship, Brandeis University, 2016-2017

Milton Hindus Dissertation Award, Brandeis University, 2016

Andrew Grossbardt Endowed Fellowship, Brandeis University, 2012-2016

Summer Research Fellowship, Northeast Modern Language Association, 2015

English Department Summer Writing Fellowship, Brandeis University, 2015

Outstanding Teaching Award, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University, 2015

Frankel Fellowship, Frankel Foundation, 2014-2015

Classes Taught & Assisted

Technogenesis: Media Technology and Human Consciousness (Spring 2015)

Living In The End Times (Fall 2013, Spring 2014)

Favorite Work

Invisible Man