R. John Williams is Associate Professor of English and Film & Media Studies at Yale University, and a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Religion and Media at NYU. He can be reached by email at robert.j.williams@yale.edu, or at the English Department website here.

His academic work so far has focused on international histories of Buddhism, technological innovation and the perceived difference of racial and cultural otherness. His book, The Buddha in the Machine: Art, Technology, and The Meeting of East and West (Yale University Press, 2014), examines the role of technological discourse in representations of Asian/American aesthetics in late-nineteenth and twentieth century film and literature. The book won the 2015 Harry Levin Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association. He just completed a manuscript titled Out of Mind: A Critical Theory of Media and Meditation (under contract with The University of Chicago Press), which details the rise of a new metaphysics of presence that has emerged within the multi-billion dollar wellness industry–a metaphysics with important consequences in how we read literature and philosophy today. He recently published an essay on the 50th anniversary of the book Laws of Form, and is currently writing a new book on the rise of futurology in the mid-twentieth century, part of which was published as an essay in Critical Inquiry titled “World Futures.”

He is also a member of the band Faded Paper Figures. You can find their music here.