I am a interdisciplinary scholar of queer and feminist media and cultural studies with a focus on speculative fiction, digital media, and online fandom. I live in the Washington, DC area.
Since August 2014, I have been a tenure track Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at University of Maryland College Park, where I teach in the LGBT Studies program and am a core faculty member in the undergraduate honors program in Design Cultures and Creativity. Prior to taking up this position, I taught in the English department, Doctoral Program in Literature and Criticism, and Women’s Studies Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for two years.
In March 2012 I completed my PhD at the University of Southern California, where I was housed in the English department but worked mainly with faculty in American Studies, Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts, and Gender Studies. I also learned a lot from scholars at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy. Before coming to the US for my PhD, I studied at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sussex. I grew up in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, which I continue to love dearly and miss terribly.
I am presently completing my first book manuscript, Old Futures: The Queer Cultural Politics of Speculative Fiction, which will be published by NYU Press. I am also working on what will become a second monograph on critical and social justice-oriented fan cultures and participating in collaborative work as part of the TransformDH collective. You can read more on my research page.
I am a participant in feminist science fiction and media fandom, and I’m very interested in the ways fan communities engage in critical theorizing and activism (for example, through online discussion and fan video). I’m working on using some of these forms in my own scholarly work, in addition to standard academic practices. I co-chair the academic track at the feminist science fiction convention WisCon and I am a member of the James Tiptree Jr. Award Motherboard, where my main role is to facilitate the Tiptree Fellowships program.
Between 2008 and 2010 I was part of the founding editorial team for the open access online journal Transformative Works and Cultures, which accepts work of interest to both academic and nonacademic audiences. My main role was to establish the journal’s Symposium section, which accepts work from both academic and nonacademic writers. I am still involved as a member of TWC’s editorial board and would be happy to talk about possible submissions for both the peer reviewed and editorially reviewed sections.
This site is a hub for my professional activities on- and offline, and also a place for me to raise questions about queerness, geekiness, politics, gender, race, capitalism, ethics, and scholarship. Like most things on the internet, these pages are a work in progress.
My email address is alothian at umd dot edu or alexislothian at gmail dot com.