“Wastes of Time: Genre and the Literary Field since 1890” (in progress)
I am working on a book-length study of the system of genre fiction. Today, most of the fiction that people read is genre fiction: fiction explicitly categorized under labels like mystery, romance, and science fiction. This system of categories is one of the most significant innovations of twentieth-century print culture, and it endures as a ubiquitous feature of contemporary print/digital publishing. Genre defines not only how fiction is produced, marketed, and sold but also how writers and readers sort themselves socially, whether as devotees of single genres, as eclectics who range across many, or as people who discriminate serious literary fiction from mere genre fiction.
Yet though scholars have studied some individual genres intensively, they have paid far less attention to the development of those genres’ institutional matrix, the genre-fiction system. Even amidst efforts to expand the scope of literary history beyond a limited selection of prestige texts, genre fiction as a system has been taken for granted; its historical novelty and its changing material and social forms have gone unexamined. I use sociological and book-historical approaches to bring this fundamental dimension of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary history to light. Challenging the conventional understanding of genres like mystery or science fiction as self-evident categories of texts, I emphasize the varying uses of genre by magazine and book publishers, readers, writers, reviewers, library catalogers, and others. I seek to show how genre fiction gradually became institutionalized, often against the intentions of the authorities of the literary field, and how those institutions shaped the choices of all who participated in the social worlds of popular fiction.
Projected date of manuscript completion: it would be foolish to tempt fate.
Oxford University Press, 2013
More information on the book page
An argument for a wholesale revision of the assumptions of modernist studies, Fictions of Autonomy: Modernism from Wilde to de Man puts the practice of relative autonomy at the center of our historical understanding of modernism from Oscar Wilde and Henry James to Wallace Stevens and Paul de Man.
The limits of modernism
Since Fiction of Autonomy my work on modernism has focused on the limits of modernism as a concept and a (still-operating) institution. “Global” and “transnational” ideas of modern and contemporary literature continue the unequal distribution of symbolic capital characteristic of modernist internationalism, as I show in a study of the reception of the wonderful Indian-English (Kenyan-Indian-English-American) writer G.V. Desani. In scholarship, “modernist studies” likewise remains bound to the symbolic economy of modernism proper, as I try to show by bibliographic analysis; I would prefer that twentieth-century studies dispense with “modernism” as a field label.
(see under Digital Humanities)
I am interested in using computational methods for analyzing aggregate patterns of signification and large-scale institutional structures of production, circulation, and reception. I believe that “DH” is most valuable where it develops new connections and overlaps between literary and cultural studies and the social sciences. I describe my ongoing research, teaching, and organizational efforts in this domain in more detail on the Digital Humanities part of this site.
“Genre Fiction Without Shame.” Review essay on Everything and Less: Fiction in the Age of Amazon by Mark McGurl and Genre Worlds Popular Fiction and Twenty-First-Century Book Culture by Kim Wilkins, Beth Driscoll, and Lisa Fletcher. American Literary History 35, no. 4 (Winter 2023): 1745–58. Preprint available.
“Origins of the U.S. Genre-Fiction System, 1890–1956.” Book History 26, no. 1 (2023): 203–33. Preprint available.
Review of Wallace Stevens and the Poetics of Modernist Autonomy by Gül Bilge Han. Wallace Stevens Journal 44, no. 1 (Spring 2020): 144–47.
“Teaching Quantitative Methods: What Makes It Hard (in Literary Studies).” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2019, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren Klein. University of Minnesota Press, 2019. (Open-access version available.)
“From Reproducible to Productive.” CA: Journal of Cultural Analytics, February 2017.
“Relative Autonomy: Pierre Bourdieu and Modernism.” Chap. 4 in The Contemporaneity of Modernism: Literature, Culture, Media, edited by Michael D’Arcy and Mathias Nilges. Routledge, 2016.
“Autonomy Proliferates.” Journal of Dutch Literature 6, no. 1 (2015): 5–16.
Andrew Mazzaschi, Mary Hawkesworth, and Andrew Goldstone, eds. Signs@40: Feminist Scholarship Across Four Decades. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. October 2014. http://signsat40.signsjournal.org.
“Hatterr Abroad: G. V. Desani on the Stage of World Literature.” Contemporary Literature 55, no. 3 (Fall 2014): 466–500.
Andrew Goldstone and Ted Underwood, “The Quiet Transformations of Literary Studies: What Thirteen Thousand Scholars Could Tell Us.” NLH 45, no. 3 (Summer 2014): 359–84. Accompanying website: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~ag978/quiet. (Preprint available.)
Review of Marginal Modernity by Leonardo Lisi. James Joyce Quarterly 50, no. 1–2 (Fall 2012–Winter 2013): 539–42.
Fictions of Autonomy: Modernism from Wilde to de Man. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Andrew Goldstone and Ted Underwood, “What Can Topic Models of PMLA Teach Us About the History of Literary Scholarship?” Journal of Digital Humanities 2, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 38–48.
Review of Consuming Traditions by Elizabeth Outka and The Speed Handbook by Enda Duffy. Studies in the Novel 43, no. 2 (Summer 2011): 281–85.
“Servants, Aestheticism, and ‘The Dominance of Form.’” ELH 77, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 615–43.
“The Two Voices of Wallace Stevens’ Blank Final Music.” Wallace Stevens Journal 29, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 213–32.
0000-0002-2875-1290. At present only some of my work is associated with this ID.