University of Rochester

Michael C. Fisher

PhD Candidate, ABD

Field: American History

Major Fields: Recent American History, American Cultural and Intellectual History

Minor Fields: Modernism and Modernity, 19th Century European Intellectual History

Research Interests: My research focuses on the ways in which Americans have re-envisioned the meaning of the self since World War II. Drawing on a host of cultural practices, products, texts, and figures, my dissertation traces how four high-profile "visions of the self" were disseminated through diverse media specific to the postwar period. Through the power of postwar culture, characterized as it was by unprecedented advances in media reach and influence, I argue that new practices centered on new ways of thinking about the self developed, and some became widespread. In my writing on the Internet and consumer culture, I follow a similar approach to analyzing contemporary trends in terms of shifting values and telling assumptions that shape our world.

Adviser: Joan Shelley Rubin

Dissertation: "American Re-envisionings of the Self: From The Lonely Crowd to est"

Education:
BA, History, UC Davis, 2006

Publications/Presentations:

  • “The Cultural Politics of Resonance: Teaching in the Classrooms of the Early Twenty-First Century.” Literature, Politics, Aesthetics: Jacques Rancière and the Politics of A-Disciplinarity, Binghamton University, March 2014.
  • “Is It Necessary to Become Less Consumerist?” in Kurt Finsterbusch, Ed., Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Social Issues (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014).
  • “Self-Extension, Consciousness Expansion, and the Road to Altamont.” Historians Are Writers! History Slam, Cornell University, May 2013.
  • “Citizenship as ‘Facebookization’: Consumer-Selfhood on the Internet.” Citizenship and Its Discontents: Belonging in a Global World Conference, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, March 2013.
  • Review of Inger Stole’s Advertising at War: Business, Consumers, and Government in the 1940s (2012), Consumption Markets & Culture, 3/18/13.
  • “Historians and Their Problems,” Full Stop Magazine, 2/26/13.
  • “Socialization to What?” a review of Paul Goodman’s Growing up Absurd (2012), Full Stop Magazine, 10/17/12.
  • Co-author with Jonathan Lee, Paul Goodman Changed My Life study guide (Zeitgeist Films, 2012).
  • “Goods Aplenty: Against Thrift and the Question, ‘What for?’” a review of James Livingston’s Against Thrift (2011), The Blog of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, 3/22/12.
  • “The Road From Modernity: The Two Paths of James and Nietzsche.” Exchanges and Returns: The Crossroads of Interaction Graduate Conference, Syracuse University, March 2012.
  • “Fully-Licensed Subjectivity and the End of Modernity.” Image, Truth, and Distortion Graduate Conference, University of Rochester, February 2012.
  • Paul Goodman Changed My Life panel participant. Dryden Theater, Rochester, New York, February 2012.
  • “The (Moral) Problem of Modernity.” Humanities Caucus panel, University of Rochester, January 2012.
  • Paul Goodman Changed My Life panel participant. United States Intellectual History Conference, City University of New York, November 2011.
  • Introduction to New Reformation: Notes of A Neolithic Conservative by Paul Goodman (Oakland: PM Press, 2010).
  • "The Coming of the Modern: How Tocqueville and Kierkegaard Envisioned the Ethos of their Age." Second-Year Conference, University of Rochester, April 2010.
  • "A 'Religious Crisis': Paul Goodman and the Necessary New Reformation." The Great Rehearsal? World Revolutions of 1968 Conference, University of San Francisco, September 2008.

Teaching Experience:

  • WRT 105: In the Shadow of Facebook: The Internet and American Culture, Instructor, University of Rochester, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
  • WRT 105: In the Shadow of Facebook: The Internet and American Culture, Instructor, University of Rochester, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
  • WRT 105: Digital Culture and Counterculture, Instructor, University of Rochester, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013
  • WRT 105: The Individual and American Culture, Instructor, University of Rochester, Fall 2011 and Spring 2012
  • WRT 105: The Individual and American Culture, Instructor, University of Rochester, Fall 2010 and Spring 2011
  • HIS 193: The Long 1960s: America at a Crossroads, 1945-1980, Instructor, University of Rochester, Summer 2014
  • HIS 148: Recent America, 1945-1989, Teaching Assistant for Dr. Robert Westbrook, University of Rochester, Spring 2010
  • HIS 147: Industrial America, 1865-1929, Teaching Assistant for Dr. Daniel Borus, University of Rochester, Fall 2009

Honors:

  • 2012 David A. Parker Memorial Prize, “to the graduate student in the PhD program who best exemplifies David Parker’s qualities of historical imagination and dedication to learning.”
  • 2011 Lina and A. William Salomone Prize, for “outstanding work in European cultural and intellectual history”
  • 2010 Wilson Coates Book Prize, for Second Year Paper “The Coming of the Modern: How Tocqueville and Kierkegaard Envisioned the Ethos of their Age”
  • 2006 High Honors, for Honors Thesis in History, “Paul Goodman: a ‘Neolithic Conservative’ in Search of Social Revolution,” UC Davis