Michael Petit holds a PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder and is author of the memoir Peacekeepers at War (Faber and Faber 1986). His study of media began with his dissertation on eighteenth-century British literature, The Queer Rise of the Novel, which examines how the formation of early-modern sexual identities are reflected and discussed in the concomitant rise and development of the novel. His interest in eighteenth-century print media forms and their connections to identity led him to consider the relationship among identity, technologies and media forms of different eras, including the contemporary. He is currently at work on Hooked, Distracted and Bored: Network Connectivity and Affect, a book that focuses on digital cultural practices and the challenges they bring for post-secondary teaching within the context of the affective power of digital communication technologies.
Michael Petit’s development as a scholar and educator is concurrent with the development of digital technologies, from the initially text-based internet platforms of IRC, MUDs and MOOs to eBay, Google, and the rise of selfie culture. His approach to digital media is informed by multidisciplinary perspectives, and his research on digital cultural practices reflects an interest in how technological affect—the ways these technologies grab us viscerally and engage us in an ongoing fashion—operates in academic settings and across cultures and networked publics at large. Theorizations of technological affect offer ways to understand and explain the political and cultural implications of digital cultural practices, and affect theory directly engages our current intellectual moment, a time when information machines have become so powerful and so seemingly lively that we know, perhaps even fear, that we may no longer be fully in control.
Networked Affect. MIT Press 2015.
Google and the Culture of Search. Routledge 2012.
Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting and Desire. Routledge 2006.
Peacekeepers at War. Faber and Faber 1986
“eBay” in The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Internet, 3 v., Barnery Warf, ed. (forthcoming)
“From Webcams to Facebook: Gay/Queer Men and the Performance of Situatedness-in-Displacement” (with Ken Hillis) in Geographies of Media/Mediated Geographies, Susan Mains, Julie Cupples and Chris Lukinbeal, eds. (Springer 2015): 261-272.
“Digital Disaffect: Teaching through Screens” in Networked Affect, Susanna Paasonen, Ken Hillis, and Michael Petit, eds. (MIT Press 2015): 169-183.
“Media Pedagogy in Action: The Making of the Virgin Appears in La Maldita Vecindad” (with Altha Cravey). Journal of Geography 113 (2013): 68-77.
“A Critical Pedagogy of Place: Learning through the Body” (with Altha Cravey). Feminist
Formations 24.2 (August 2012): 100-119.
History of Media and Technology (UTSC)
Media, Technology and Popular Culture (UTSC)
Senior Seminar: Selfies and Selfie Culture (UTSC)