Megan Tusler

Megan Tusler
Assistant Instructional Professor
Pronouns: she/her/hers


Assistant Instructional Professor, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, Department of English Language and Literature, The College

Affiliate Faculty, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture

I received my PhD in English from the University of Chicago in 2015, where I have taught courses in comparative ethnic literature, the American novel and photography, and literary culture and urbanism. My undergraduate degrees from Mills College are in English and Ethnic Studies. My dissertation, American Snapshot: Urban Space and the Minor Archive, argues that minor and counter-culture movements in the 20th century US produce new versions of archiving in response to social crisis, particularly through the mode of the photo-text. My current monograph, On Other Loathing, explores race, misanthropy, and negative affect in the ethnic American novel. I am currently at work on two essay projects; one is a literary genealogy of the kitchenette apartment in American urban space and the other a piece on the western and liberal sentimentality in the 1950s. I have also volunteered in the curatorial department at the Chicago History Museum and been a Newberry Library fellow in the Ayer Collection of American Indian Studies. I enjoy sewing, thrift shopping, and Windy City Soul Club, and am the co-host of the podcast “Better Read than Dead: Literature from a Left Perspective.” I am a member of Faculty Forward/SEIU Local 73, the contingent faculty union at the University of Chicago.

Co-host of the podcast “Better Read than Dead: Literature from a Left Perspective.” 


Feeling Brown, Feeling Down [Winter 2024]

This course explores orientations such as shame, sickness, and melancholy to think critically about racial formations amidst capital and how these are posed alongside literary questions. As the entangled fields of ethnic studies, affect theory, and historicism continue to develop, genres of feeling shift and stretch; as such we understand that we will be exploring feelings that are difficult to name as well. Theoretical readings include Muñoz, Freud, Ahmed, and Klein; literary works include Morrison, Okada, and Larsen. [MAPH/English]

California Fictions: Literature and Cinema 
[Spring 2024]

The spaces of California, the most populous state in the US, have been sites of literary study since its introduction into the union. This course turns to some cultural objects of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, rural central California, and the California roadways to give a survey of critical space studies and engage questions of urbanism, racialization, and borders. Secondary readings include LeFebvre, Certeau, and Mike Davis; literary works include Himes, Yamashita, and Acosta. [MAPH/English]