Professor; MacVicar Faculty Fellow; Director, MIT Communications Forum
Office: 14N-335 . PBX: 617-253-6950 . Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Interests: Modern cultural studies; romantic and modern literature; film, media, popular culture; American television; cultural history; American studies
David Thorburn is Professor of Literature at MIT and Director of the MIT Communications Forum. His most recent books (co-edited with Henry Jenkins) are Democracy and New Media and Rethinking Media Change, the launch volumes in the MIT Press series "Media in Transition" of which he is editor in chief. Other writings include Conrad's Romanticism and many essays and reviews on literature and media in such publications as Partisan Review, Commentary, The New York Times and The American Prospect as well as scholarly journals. He has published poetry in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Threepenny Review and Slate. His essays on television, written in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and his course, "American Television: A Cultural History," were among the first in the country to examine the medium in a humanistic context. He has also edited collections of essays on romanticism and on John Updike as well as a widely used anthology of fiction, Initiation.
Prof. Thorburn was the founder and for twelve years the Director of the MIT Film and Media Studies Program, the ancestor of the Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT's first graduate program in the Humanities. Founded 25 years ago, the MIT Communications Forum sponsors lectures, panel discussions and occasional conferences devoted to the political and cultural impact of communications, with special emphasis on emerging technologies. Prof. Thorburn has been the Forum's director since 1996.
In 2002, Prof. Thorburn was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT's highest teaching award. He received his A.B. degree from Princeton, his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford and taught in the English Department at Yale for ten years before joining the MIT faculty in 1976.
Story Machine: Prime Time Television in the Network Era
Modern Fiction in English: An Introduction
Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition
John Updike: A Collection of Critical Essays
Romanticism: Vistas, Instances, Continuities
Initiation: Stories and Short Novels on Three Themes
"Who Are You, Mr. English Professor?"
"The Digital Revolution, the Informed Citizen, and the Culture of Democracy"
"Toward an Aesthetics of Transition"
"Web of Paradox"
"The Name of the Game"
"A Short History of the TV Detective"
"Interpretation and Judgment: A Reading of Lonesome Dove"
"The MIT-James Joyce Connection"
"Television as an Aesthetic Medium"
"The Fiction in Our News, The News in Our Fiction"
"Television Without Guilt"
"Is TV Acting a Distinctive Art Form?"
"Fiction and Imagination in Don Quixote"
"Conrad's Romanticism: Self-Consciousness and Community"
"A Dissent on Pynchon"
21L.000J Writing About Literature
21L.003 Reading Fiction
21L.011 The Film Experience
21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative
21L.430 Popular Narrative
21L.432 American Television: A Cultural History
21L.433 Film Styles and Genres
21L.435 Literature and Film
21L.701 Literary Interpretation
21L.707 Problems in Cultural Interpretation
21L.485 Modern Fiction
21L.488 Contemporary Literature
CMS.801 Media in Transition [Comparative Media Studies graduate subject]