Sarah Wasserman

Assistant Professor of English
Memorial Hall
Newark, DE 19716

My research and teaching examine the stories that things can tell, even when they are absent. I am currently at work on a book entitled The Death of Things: Ephemera in America, which examines literary representations of ephemeral objects in American culture from the beginning of the twentieth century until today. I am especially interested in the historical and affective work that objects do in contemporary American fiction.  How do the material dimensions and preoccupations of literary texts help imagine alternative modes of being and relating? How does literature function as an archive for minor or transient objects? My work draws upon materialist phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and urban studies to apprehend the way that literature registers the shifting contours of the material world.  A recently published volume considers obsolescence as a historical phenomenon, an aesthetic practice, and an affective mode.