Sara Marcus

Sara Marcus is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Southern California’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities. In 2018–19, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She completed her Ph.D. in Princeton’s English department and Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities. Marcus holds an MFA from Columbia University and is the author of the book Girls to the Front (Harper Perennial, 2010), a critical and cultural history of the 1990s punk-feminist movement Riot Grrrl. Her essays and criticism have appeared in publications including Artforum, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Bookforum, Post45, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and in the books No Regrets, The Idea of Avant-Garde, and The Essential Ellen Willis. An academic article, “‘Time Enough, but None to Spare: The Indispensable Temporalities of Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition,” was published in the journal American Literature in 2019.

Marcus’s current book project, Political Disappointment: A Partial History of a Feeling, tracks political disappointment through 20th-century American cultural practices, with an emphasis on literature and sound. Spanning the fields of literary scholarship, sound studies, history, political philosophy, and cultural criticism, Marcus’s project argues that political desires in their disappointed mode do important work in processing unwelcome political change and developing new concepts. Political Disappointment thus goes beyond existing debates over utopianism and pessimism to reclaim disappointment as a generative force in American life and literature.