Sara Marcus is a PhD candidate 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 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.
Marcus’s current 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.