Dissertation Advisor(s): Heather K. Love
"Social Science Fictions: The Numeric Imaginary of Cold War America"
2018-2020 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Science & Literature at Cornell University, Department of English and Society for the Humanities
B.A. Women's Studies, UCLA (2010)
Ph.D. English, University of Pennsylvania (2018)
Joan Lubin completed her PhD at Penn in 2018 and is now the 2018-2020 a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in science & literature in the Society for the Humanities and the English Department at Cornell University. She was the 2017 John Money Fellow for Scholars of Sexology at the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, Indiana.
Her dissertation, “Social Science Fictions: The Numeric Imaginary of Cold War America” examined the production of science as an aesthetic category, tracing the ways in which scale emerges as its organizing logic and most persistent formal problem. By thinking of science as an aesthetic category, and not just an ideological or methodological one, this project reads the scientism of the Cold War as the foundation for a set of literary experiments with scientific modes of representation. Each chapter identifies a site of representational negotiation at the interface of the literary and the social scientific to track how the answers ventured to the question of how to scale representations to reality repurposed mathematical formalism in the service of social realism and developed modes of narrative representation for an age of statistical aggregation.
She is currently working on two book manuscripts: Pulp Sexology: Paperback Revolution, Gay Liberation, a literary history of the quantitative turn in American sexology; and Social Science Fictions: SF on Campus, part institutional history of science fiction as a legitimate object of literary critical concern, part literary history of the convergence between sci-fi and campus novel in the long 1970s.