James J. Hodge Assistant Professor of English and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

James J. Hodge (Ph.D. University of Chicago) is Assistant Professor in the department of English and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. He specializes in digital media aesthetics at the crossroads of cinema, art history, and literary studies, especially experimental media art genres such as new media art, avant-garde film, and electronic literature. Focusing also on media and critical theory he has special interests in phenomenology and psychoanalysis (object relations). Above all, he is devoted to the question of how artistic forms reflect the incoherence of lived experience. His book project, "Animating History: New Media Art and the Opacity of Digital Experience" argues that animation transforms historical experience in the digital age. His recent research concerns the impersonality of contemporary media with regard to new networked genres such as the animated .gif.

With Danny Snelson he is co-organizer of the Ordinary Media Research Workshop, a biweekly forum at Northwestern investigating the ways in which digital technologies come to saturate everyday experience and inform artistic practice in the early 21st century.

Present and past course offerings include Media Theory, New Media Art, Critical Internet Studies, Digital Media Studies, Hitchcock and Beyond, Digital Media Theory, Animating Media, Identification, and Cinema and Digital Media.

An interview on his digital pedagogy can be read here.


  • "Digital Psycho: Dedramatizing the Historical Event," Critical Inquiry 43:4 (Summer 2017): 839–860.
  • "Sociable Media: Phatic Connection in Digital Art," Postmodern Culture 26:1 (September 2016): NP.
  • "Gifts of Ubiquity," Film Criticism 39:2 (Winter 2014-15): 53-78.
  • "New Media Art" (with Jacob Gaboury), Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies, ed. Krin Gabbard. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • "Suffering the Modernist Legacy of Husserlian Phenomenology: Review of Testing the Limit: Derrida, Henry, Levinas, and the Phenomenological Tradition by François-David Sebbah," Criticism (forthcoming, 2016).
  • "Impersonal Love? Contemporary Art and Atmospheric Media," More Love: Art, Politics, and Sharing Since the 1990s, ed. Claire Schneider (Chapel Hill, NC: Ackland Art Museum, 2013).
  • "'I'm Looking for a New Way to be with You': On the Lisps' Futurity: A Musical," HowlRound: A Journal of the Theater Commons (July, 2012).