Seltzer, Mark I.

Distinguished Professor

Kaplan 180
Tel: 310.825.4173 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail


Mark Seltzer is Evan Frankel Professor of Literature and Distinguished Professor in the Department of English. His research and teaching focus on American literature, contemporary studies, systems theory, and media studies. He has worked extensively on the problem of violence in modern society and modern art, and currently is writing on the practices and aesthetics of suspense today.

Professor Seltzer has previously taught at Cornell, and at the Free University and the Humboldt University in Berlin, and been a visitor at Harvard and Stanford and at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. He has held fellowships at the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies in Berlin, the National Humanities Center, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell, and the Stanford Humanities Center.   He has lectured widely, in the United States and abroad, including talks and seminars in Germany, South Africa, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Britain, Austria, and China. In 2013-14, he conducted lecture series in Cologne and in Seoul, and was invited to speak at Yale, University of Chicago, University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, the Free University in Berlin, Keio University, and Stanford. His most recent book is The Official World, forthcoming from Duke University Press. A new edition of his book Bodies and Machines is forthcoming from Routledge.



The Official World (forthcoming, Duke University Press, 2015)

Bodies and Machines (new edition, forthcoming Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2015.)

True Crime: Observations on Violence and Modernity (New York: Routledge, Chapman, and Hall, 2007; and London: Routledge, Chapman, and Hall, 2007)

Serial Killers: Death and Life in America’s Wound Culture (New York and London: Routledge, 1998)

Bodies and Machines (New York and London: Routledge, 1992)

Henry James and the Art of Power (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1984)



“Crime between History and Natural History,” Disease and Crime: A History of Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health, ed. Robert Peckham (Routledge, NY and London, 2013), 150-168.

“Form Games: Staging Life in the Systems Epoch,” in The Imaginary and Its Worlds: American Studies after the Transnational Turn, eds. Laura Bieger, Ramon Saldivar, and Johannes Voelz (Dartmouth UP, 2013).

“The Daily Planet,” Post-45 (online journal, Fall/Winter 2012/13)

“The Official World,” Critical Inquiry Volume 37: 4 (Summer 2011): 724-53.

“Playing Dead: Crime as a Social System,” Crime Culture: Figuring Criminality in Fiction and Film, eds. Bran Nichol, Eugene McNulty, Patricia Pulham (Continuum, 2011), 13-35.

“Die Freie Natur,” in Gefahrensinn: Archiv für Mediengeschichte, eds. Lorenz Engell, Bernhardt Siegert, Joseph Vogl (Wilhelm Fink, 2009/2010), 127-39.

“Parlor Games: The Apriorization of the Media,” Critical Inquiry Volume 36: 1 (Autumn 2009): 100-133.

“Collision,” Speed Limits, ed. Jeffrey Schnapp (Skira, 2009).

“Violence/Media/Modernity,” Lead article, Special Issue, Canadian Review of American Studies 38:1(2008): 11-41.

“Serial Killing for Beginners,” Cultural Studies: An Anthology, ed. Michael Ryan (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008)

Interest Areas
• Critical Theory
• American Literature & Culture