About Me


jess at beach copy

I am a scholar of 20th and 21st-century experimental literature, digital poetics, and media theory. My work examines how technologies affect our understanding of aesthetics and reading practices. I pursue these connections across literary and artistic experiments from the 20th and 21st centuries and across media forms.

In 2015, joined the faculty of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University, where I direct SDSU’s Digital Humanities Initiative. Previous to SDSU, I was Assistant Professor of English at Yale University and a Visiting Scholar at UCSD.

I published Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media,, which reads contemporary works of digital literature in relation to literary modernism (Oxford UP, 2014) and Reading Project: A Collaborative Analysis of William Poundstone’s {Bottomless Pit}, written with Mark C. Marino and Jeremy Douglass, (Iowa UP), which won the Electronic Literature Organization’s “N. Katherine Hayles Award for Literary Criticism of Electronic Literature”! Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in a Postprint Era, co-edited with N. Katherine Hayles (Minnesota UP, 2013), collects essays by a wide variety of scholars who analyze text across diverse media formats and historical periods to argue that literary criticism should reconsider how the study of text is a study of media. It presents a case study of collaborative interpretation for digital poetics by weaving together three radically different methodological approaches—close reading onscreen aesthetics, critical code studies, and data visualizations– into an analysis of a single born-digital literary work. I am also work on a book project called “Bookishness: The Afterlife of Books in 21st-Century Literary Culture that examines the fetishization of books in contemporary design, art, and literature as a response to the threat of an increasingly paperless and multimodal society.

I save the most important job for last: I am a mother of two kids who, like me, love books and living near the beach…and I am in love with a very good man.