Magnet, Alec


Doctoral Candidate


Institutional Affiliations: ,

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Alec Magnet’s dissertation, “Hungry Reading, Gothic Writing: The Reparative Gothic in Melville and Tennyson,” explores how those and other American and British writers of the long nineteenth century incorporate gothic conventions into their writing in order to represent relationships of aesthetic and emotional attachment to (or via) texts, artworks, or idealized others. His work focuses on hard-won, politically generative, and emotionally nourishing practices of liking things, especially among people who are queer, unusually shame-prone, or otherwise misfit or different.

His chapter “The Queer, Statistical Kinship of Tennyson and Melville” appears in Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature, edited by Duc Dau and Shale Preston (Routledge, 2015). Review 19 singled it out as the “outstanding” chapter: “Magnet’s beautiful and melancholic reading . . . stunningly exemplifies a return to what reading through a queer lens originally set out to do.” You can read a copy of the chapter here.

His and T Meyerhoff’s article “Teaching/Feeling/Writing: A Theatrical Interlude on Affect, Performativity, and Plagiarism” was published in The Writing Instructor in 2015.

Key areas of inquiry include: queer performativity and reparative reading, gender, affect, relational and intersubjective psychoanalysis, mourning and melancholia, and various methods of incorporation, internalization, and identification, including reading and cannibalism. One current project involves thinking through the convergence of queer and geek.

Alec is an adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York, where he teaches upper-level courses on American and gothic literature, as well as at Marymount Manhattan College, where he teaches first-year writing and research seminars focused on fandom.

Visit his website at