About Mark Dery

C. Taylor Crothers Mark Dery

Mark Dery is a cultural critic, essayist, and the author of four books: Escape Velocity, a critique of the “libertarian bro” ideology that dominated the Digital Revolution of the ‘90s; two studies of American mythologies (and pathologies) The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink and the essay collection I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts, and, most recently, the biography Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey. He has taught journalism at NYU and “dark aesthetics” at the Yale School of Art, been a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow at UC Irvine and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. He popularized the concept of “culture jamming” and, in his 1993 essay, “Black to the Future,” coined the term “Afrofuturism.”

He writes cultural criticism about anything that catches his omnivorous eye: giant squid, Surrealist lobsters, post-mortem photography, anxious masculinity in The Elements of Style, Hannibal Lecter’s obsession with grammar, William S. Burroughs’s fear of centipedes, the Proustian pleasures of Taco Bell, and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Severed Head.

Biography (short version): Mark Dery is a cultural critic best known for his essays on Afrofuturism (a term he coined) and culture jamming (a phenomenon he popularized). His byline has appeared in a broad range of publications, including the New York Times MagazineRolling StoneElle, BookforumWired, The Washington Post, and The LA Review of Books. A frequent lecturer in the U.S. and Europe, he has been a professor of journalism at NYU, taught in the Yale School of Art, was appointed Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow at UC Irvine, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. Dery’s books include two critiques of cyberculture, the anthology Flame Wars, which he edited, and Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (translated into eight languages); two studies of American mythologies (and pathologies), The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink and the essay collection I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams (University of Minnesota Press, 2012; rights have been sold in Brazil; remaining translation rights with agent); and a biography, Born To Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey (Little, Brown, 2018; rights have been sold in the UK and China; remaining translation rights with agent).


Biography (expanded version): HERE.

AGENT: Andrew Stuart, The Andrew Stuart Agency.

AUTHOR PHOTOS FOR PROMOTIONAL USE: HERE.