I am a Ph.D. Candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. I am also a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellow (2013-2017) and a Residential Fellow in Chicago’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (2016-2018).
My teaching and research interests include 20th- and 21st-century U.S. and Canadian literatures, especially the avant-gardes; feminist, queer, and trans art, history, and theory; social and political movements; ecological aesthetics and the life sciences; French- and English-language critical theory and continental philosophy; and film, television, and popular culture.
My current research project, “We Don’t Breathe Alone: Forms of Encounter in Anglophone North America Since the 1970s,” argues that breathing is the master trope for contemporary life in North American literature and film. The aesthetics of breathing articulate multiple kinds and scales of encounter—with oneself, with the world, with alterity, and with finitude—at a historical moment when the resources necessary for the reproduction of life are endangered, unequally distributed, monetized, and weaponized. I assemble a minoritarian archive that spans queer life writing (Dodie Bellamy, CA Conrad, Bob Flanagan), feminist prose and verse (Toni Cade Bambara, Linda Hogan), African American speculative fiction (Samuel Delany, Renee Gladman), and observational documentary (Frederick Wiseman, Allan King) to demonstrate that mobilizing breathing aesthetically in contexts where it cannot be taken for granted reconfigures social and political worlds from openness or vulnerability.
My email address is tremblay [at] uchicago [dot] edu. I tweet as @jthomastremblay.