Phillip Maciak writes and teaches about U.S. literature, visual media, and the idiosyncratic role of screens in our lives today.
Phillip Maciak teaches in the English Department and the American Culture Studies program. He’s also the TV critic for The New Republic and the author of Avidly Reads Screen Time (New York University Press 2023).
Maciak teaches a variety of courses in both English and AMCS. In English, he regularly teaches “The Great American Novel,” “A Star is Born: Literature and Celebrity,” “Modern Texts and Contexts” — one of the two required survey courses for the English Major — as well as a writing course called “The Writer, the Editor, and the Digital World.” He’s also recently launched a new course in the English department: “Adaptations: Literature / Film / TV.”
In AMCS, he often teaches “The Visible and the Invisible: Introduction to American Visual Culture Studies,” “Hot Takes: Cultural Criticism in the Digital Age,” and a junior seminar called “The American Aughts: 1803 / 1903 / 2003.” He’s also a major advisor for American Culture Studies.
Many of these courses build upon Maciak’s experience as a cultural critic and editor himself. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, WIRED, n+1, and many other outlets, and, from 2016-2023, he was the television editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books.
His book, Avidly Reads Screen Time, is a work of cultural criticism, cultural history, and personal essay about the way we define screens — and the way screens define us — in the twenty-first century.
He’s also the author of The Disappearing Christ: Secularism in the Silent Era (Columbia University Press, 2019), a scholarly monograph about popular religious culture, early cinema, and American literature at the turn of the twentieth century.