Department of English

University of Toronto

Slater, Avery

Avery Slaterslater_avery
Assistant Professor; Twentieth-Century American Literature
UTM Office Location: UTM 5242
UTSG Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building 805.

B.A. (University of Washington), M.Phil. (Critical Theory/History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge), M.A., Ph.D. (English Literature, Cornell University).

Research and Teaching Interests
Twentieth-Century American Literature; Poetry and Poetics; Comparative Modernisms; Science and Technology Studies; Critical Theory; Ecocriticism; Translation Theory and the Philosophy of Language; Structuralism and Poststructuralism.

Avery Slater’s teaching focuses on twentieth-century American literature and poetry in a global context. Her research investigates the re-conceptualization of human and nonhuman forms of language following the rise of information and computational technologies. She previously held a Presidential Excellence Postdoctoral Fellowship with U.T.-Austin’s English Department, where she taught world literature and film, ecocriticism, and technology studies. Her current book project Apparatus Poetica explores how mid-twentieth-century poets revise and reinvent modernist theories of poetic process in response to emerging technologies of language (computation, machine translation, information theory). She spent the previous academic year at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Humanities Forum, investigating the literary and philosophical contexts of postwar machine translation. Her work in comparative poetics and film theory has recently appeared in or is forthcoming from American Literature, Cultural Critique, Thinking Verse, Transformations, Symplokē, The William Carlos Williams Review, and most recently in a special issue of Amodern on the topic of machine translation and the humanities, edited by Rita Raley and Christine Mitchell.


“Unseen Crystal: Materiality and the Digital Future of Inscription” in Symplokē [forthcoming]

“Cryptomonolingualism: Machine Translation and the Poetics of Automation,” Amodern 8 (January 2018) 

“Postwar Poetry Experiments with Cybernetic Autopoiesis” Literature and Science (ed. PriscillaWald, forthcoming Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

“Abstraction at the Level of Technē: Ferdinand de Saussure, Wallace Stevens, and the Hypogrammatic Lyric” in Theory at the Millennium (edited volume, forthcoming Northwestern Univ. Press)

“Machine Translation” in Cambridge Critical Concepts: Technology (ed. Adam Hammond,forthcoming Cambridge University Press, 2018)

“Technology and the Rise of the Vernacular Object,” William Carlos Williams Review, Vol. 31, no. 1-2, 2017 “The New Williams” [peer-reviewed] Summer, 2016

“Apocalyptic Commons: Derek Jarman’s The Last of England,” Transformations: A Journal of Media and Culture, Vol. 28, 2016, “The Ruins, the Future” [peer-reviewed] Summer, 2016

“Water’s Future Age: Collective Agricultural Transitions” Proceedings of the University of Texas at Austin Sustainability Symposium, Fall 2015

“American Afterlife: Benjaminian Messianism and Technological Redemption in Rukeyser’s ‘The Book of the Dead,’”American Literature (86, no. 4, 2014) [peer-reviewed]

“Prepostrophe: Impossible Modes of Lyric Address and Wisława Szymborska’s ‘Tarsier,’” Thinking Verse IV, no. 1, 2014 [peer-reviewed]

“Jus Sanguinis, Jus Soli: West German Citizenship Law and the Melodrama of the Guest-Worker in Fassbinder’s Angst Essen Seele Auf,” Cultural Critique 86 (Winter 2014) [peer-reviewed]

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