Associate Professor of Literary Studies
I write nonfiction because I can’t get over the world. The world is abundant, hideous and beautiful; people are monstrous, creative and kind; history is already infinite, between what is known and unknown. There is more suffering than there should be, and humans are too often the authors of it. There’s violence, environmental degradation, disease, hunger, and homelessness, but also, bones lying for thousands of years in Vietnam, Iraq, and Florida indicate that prehistoric people cared for their sick and disabled community members. And there’s such a thing as music. I am still processing reality.
Having trained as a scholar of 20th century and contemporary U.S. culture, I am particularly interested in: popular culture; sex, race, class, and identity; institutional power; cultural reproduction; art and the exercise of aesthetic judgment; and radical investigations into disciplinary and disciplined knowledge. Having trained as a fiction writer, I am particularly interested in prose forms; genre; language; repetition; sound; the limits of sense; white space; repetition; and fragments.
So I write nonfiction with an acute awareness of form.
MFA, Fiction Writing, Vermont College 2002
PhD, Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University, 1993
BA, European Cultural Studies, Brandeis University, 1984
Director, Writing On It All, a public/participatory writing project that takes place on Governors Island every June.
Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger's War on Drugs
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Brief. Jaded Ibis Press, 2012 [app/novel]
Kissed By. Fiction Collective 2, 2007
Selling Out: The Lesbian and Gay Movement Goes to Market. St. Martin's, 2000
Please see www.alexandrachasin.us for more information
Experimental fiction; elements of form; writing from and about history; gender, race, sexuality studies; popular culture; genre; the social practices of literature; book arts
Ind Senior Project
Ind Senior Project (Spring 2020)
Independent Study (Spring 2020)
The Social Life of Books (Spring 2020)