Mathias Nilges


Mathias Nilges

Campus Location
Nicholson Tower Rm 422
(902) 867-3998

PhD, University of Illinois Chicago

Co-Editor, Postmodern Culture, Johns Hopkins University Press


Research and Teaching Interests:
20th and 21st century American literature, critical theory, the novel, time and temporality, the politics of literature and culture, climate and environmental fiction.




How to Read a Moment: The American Novel and the Crisis of the Present. “FlashPoints” Series, Northwestern University Press, 2021. 

Right-Wing Culture in Contemporary Capitalism: Regression and Hope in a Time Without Future. “Critical Theory and the Critique of Society” Series, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. 

Edited Collections:

William Gibson and the Futures of Contemporary Culture. Co-edited with Mitch R. Murray. “The New American Canon” Series, University of Iowa Press, 2021. 

Literature and the Global Contemporary. Co-edited with Sarah Brouillette and Emilio Sauri. “New Comparisons in World Literature” Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 

The Contemporaneity of Modernism. Co-edited with Michael D’Arcy. Routledge, 2015. 

Marxism and the Critique of Value. Co-edited with Neil Larsen, Joshua Robinson, and Nicholas Brown. MCM’, 2014. 

Literary Materialisms. Co-edited with Emilio Sauri. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 


“Futures of Literary Criticism,” (co-edited with Tim Lanzendörfer), a special issue of Textual Practice, 37.2 (2023).

“On Autonomy,” a special issue of Comparative Literature and Culture,” 22.3 (2020).

“Literary Criticism After Postcritique,” (co-edited with Tim Lanzendörfer), a special issue of American Studies/Amerikastudien 64.4 (2019).

“Medium in Question: Politics and Mediation,” (co-edited with Matthew Tierney), a special issue of Postmodern Culture 25.2 (January 2015, published January 2016).

“Dossier: Wertkritik/Value Critique,” (co-edited with Neil Larsen, et al.), a special double-issue of Mediations 27.1-2, (spring 2014).

“Marxism and Literature Revisited,” (co-edited with Emilio Sauri), a special issue of Mediations 24.2 (spring 2010).


“On ‘Making Sure No One Ever Travels Too Far’: The Climate Novel and Our Limited Imagination,” South Atlantic Quarterly 124.1 (forthcoming, January 2025).

“Capitalist Realism,” in Paul Stasi (ed.) Realism and the Novel: A Literary History (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2024).

“Renewing Democracy,” in Sherryl Vint (ed.) Cambridge Companion to American Utopian Literature and Culture, 1945-2020 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming July 2024).

“The Temporality of Indigenous Futurisms,” College Literature 50.2-3 (2023). 432-456.

“Futures of Literary Studies,” (with Tim Lanzendörfer), Textual Practice 37.2 (2023). 187-204.

“Die Neuheit des heutigen Romans,” in Corinna Norrick-Rühl and Tim Lanzendörfer (eds.) Der Roman als Netzwerk: Formen, Ideen, Waren (Springer, 2023): 33-56.

“The Regulation School,” in Martin Kreiswirth et al. (eds.) The Johns Hopkins Guide to Critical and Cultural Theory (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021).

“Un-learning and Re-learning the Future: Raymond Williams’s Timely Utopia,” in Paul Stasi (ed.), Raymond Willliams at 100 (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021). 41-60.

“The Shelf Lives of Futures: William Gibson’s Short Fiction and the Temporality of SF,” in Mitch R. Murray and Mathias Nilges (eds.), William Gibson and the Futures of Contemporary Culture (University of Iowa Press, 2021). 67-81.

“Periodizing Gibson,” (with Mitch R. Murray), in Mitch R. Murray and Mathias Nilges (eds.), William Gibson and the Futures of Contemporary Culture (University of Iowa Press, 2021). 1-18.

“The Novel’s Novelty Now,” in Corinna Norrick-Rühl and Tim Lanzendörfer (eds.) The Novel as Network: Form, Idea, Commodity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). 29-49.

“Prolegomena: Prospective Realism in a Present Without Future,” Mediations 33.1-2 (spring 2020). 85-98.

“Literary Studies After Postcritique: An Introduction,” (with Tim Lanzendörfer), American Studies/Amerikastudien 64.4 (2019). 491-513.

“William Gibson,” in Sherryl Vint (ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature. (Oxford University Press, 2019, updated 2022). Online. N. pag.

“The Realism of Speculation: Contemporary Speculative Fiction As Immanent Critique of Finance Capitalism,” CR: The New Centennial Review 19.1 (April 2019). 37-60.

“The Cultural Regulation of Neoliberal Capitalism,” in Stephen Shapiro and Sharae Deckard (eds.) World Literature, Neoliberalism, and the Culture of Discontent (“New Comparisons in World Literature” series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). 157-174.

“Value,” Andrew Pendakis et al. (eds.) Bloomsbury Companion to Marx (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). 431-437.

“Post-Fordism,” in Jeffrey Di Leo (ed.) Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). 631-633.

“Critical Theory and Literary Theory,” in Beverley Best, Neil Larsen, Chris O’Kane, and Werner Bonefeld (eds.), Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, 3 vols. (Sage, 2018), 1052-1070.

“Finance Capital and the Time of the Novel or, Money Without Narrative Qualities,” in Ana Falcato (ed.), Philosophy in the Condition of Modernism: Essays on Philosophy, Literature and the Arts, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 243-262.

“The Dialectics of Presence and Futurity in the Contemporary Latino/a Novel,” in Carlos Gallego and Marcial González (eds.), Dialectical Imaginaries: Materialist Approaches to U.S. Latino/a Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism (University of Michigan Press, 2018), 217-240.

“Fanon’s Presence,” College Literature 45.1 (January 2018). 46-53.

“Contemporaneity and Contradiction: Uneven Temporal Development in Bridgett M. Davis’s Into the Go-Slow and Okey Ndibe’s Foreign Gods Inc.,” in Sarah Brouillette, Emilio Sauri, and Mathias Nilges (eds.), Global Literatures and the History of the Contemporary (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). 176-201.

“On Refusing to Live in the Moment,” (with Sarah Brouillette and Emilio Sauri), in Sarah Brouillette, Emilio Sauri, and Mathias Nilges (eds.), Global Literatures and the History of the Contemporary (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). xv-xxxviii.

“Fictions of Neoliberalism: Contemporary Realism and the Temporality of Postmodernism’s Ends,” in Rachel Greenwald-Smith and Mitchum Huehls (eds.), Neoliberalism and Contemporary Literary Culture, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). 105-121.

“Medium and Mediation,” (with Matthew Tierney), Postmodern Culture 25.2 (January 2015, published January 2016). 1-12.

“Neoliberalism and the Time of the Novel,” Textual Practice 29.2 (March 2015). 357-377.

Reprinted in: Emily Johansen and Alissa Karl (eds.) Neoliberalism and the Novel (Routledge: 2016). 161-182.

“The Contemporaneity of Modernism,” (with Michael D’Arcy), in Michael D’Arcy and Mathias Nilges (eds.) The Contemporaneity of Modernism. (Routledge, 2015). 1-14.

“The Presence of Postmodernism in Contemporary American Literature,” American Literary History 27.1 (spring 2015). 186-197.

“Finance Capital and the Time of the Novel or, Money Without Narrative Qualities,” TOPIA 30/31, (spring 2014). 31-46.

“Form(alisms’) Now,” in Emilio Sauri and Mathias Nilges (eds.) Literary Materialisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 169-184.

“Literature and Materialism Revisited,” (with Emilio Sauri), Introduction to Emilio Sauri and Mathias Nilges (eds.) Literary Materialisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 1-14.

“Latino/a Literature and Marxist Literary Criticism,” Suzanne Bost and Frances Aparicio (eds.)The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (Routledge, 2012). 143-152.

“The Aesthetics of Destruction: Contemporary U.S. Cinema and TV Culture,” Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula and Karen Randell (eds.) Re-Framing 9/11: Film, Popular Culture and the War on Terror. (Continuum, 2010). 23-34.

“Marxism and Form Now,” Mediations 24.2, (spring 2010). 66-89.

“Marxism and Literature Revisited,” (with Emilio Sauri), Introduction to “Marxism and Literature Revisited,” (co-edited with Emilio Sauri), Mediations 24.2 (spring 2010). 1-11.

“‘We Need the Stars’—Change, Community, and the Absent Father in Octavia Butler’s Parable Novels,” Callaloo 32.4, (fall 2009). 1332-52.

“The Anti-Anti Oedipus: Representing Post-Fordist Subjectivity,” Mediations 23.2 (spring 2008). 27-70.

“Das Ende der Zukunft: Graphic Novels als Spiegel der U.S. Gesellschaft nach dem 11. September 2001,” in Sebastian Domsch (ed.) Amerikanisches Erzählen nach 2000: Eine Bestandsaufnahme. (Edition Text+Kritik, 2008). 145-157.


Review of Michael Naas’s Don DeLillo, American Original: Drugs, Weapons, Erotica, and Other Literary ContrabandAmerican Literary History (2023).

David Foster Wallace and ‘The Long Thing’.” American Literary History. n. pag. (4 pages), summer 2017.

“Interpretive Fictions of the Cold War.” Review of Sorin Radu Cucu, The Underside of Politics, NOVEL 49.3 (2016). 534-36.

“Forming Nation and World.” Review of Tobias Boes, Formative Fictions, MLN 130.5, (December 2015). 1262-66.

“How to Change the World: A Politics of the People.” Review of Enrique Dussel, Twenty Theses on Politics. Reviews in Cultural Theory 1.2 (2010). 89-94.


“The Ontological Break: Prelude to Another World History.” Translation of “Der Ontologische Bruch,” by Robert Kurz (German to English), Mediations 27.1-2 (2014). 357-373.

“Concerning the Ongoing World Economic Crisis: Questions and Answers.” Translation of “Fragen und Antworten zur aktuellen Weltwirtschaftskrise,” by Robert Kurz (German to English), Mediations 27.1-2 (2014). 331-356.

“Patriarchy and Commodity Society: Gender Without the Body.” Translation of “Das Warenproduzierende Patriarchat,” by Roswitha Scholz (German to English), Mediations 27.1-2 (2014). 123-142.

Reprinted in: Andrew Pendakis et al. (eds), Contemporary Marxist Theory. New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2015.