Jeremy Withers


Office:357 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


Courses I Teach

ENGL 330: Science Fiction
ENGL 339/522: Literary Theory
ENGL 420: History of the English Language
ENGL 150/250: Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Communication


Ph.D., English, Ohio State University
M.A. and B.A., English, University of Cincinnati
B.A., Philosophy, University of Cincinnati

Current Research Areas

Science fiction; mobilities and transportation in literature

About My Teaching

I believe in the value of going on a voyage of learning with my students. In my classes, I often teach texts and material that are new to me because I love to learn about them along with my students. I am fine with not being “the expert” in the room, and love approaching a text along with my students with more questions than answers, and more of a sense of curiosity than of certainty.

Recent Publications

  • “The Liberating Bicycle in Literature” (forthcoming in The Routledge Handbook on Cycling, 2022).
  • “Better to Move by Foot or Slidewalk: Post-Automobile Environments in Asimov’s The Caves of Steel and Clarke’s The City and the Stars.” Extrapolation 62, no. 2 (2021): 111-131.
  • Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles: Contesting the Road in American Science Fiction (Liverpool University Press, 2020).
  • Current Research

    I am currently working on an article that analyzes the representation of various modes of transport – boats, walking, and airships – in Kim Stanley Robinson’s climate change novel New York 2140 (2017). In this article, I argue that what New York 2140 provocatively (but menacingly) shows is that automobility is so entangled with and propped up by other ideologies like capitalism and hegemonic masculinity that automobility can survive even the disappearance of cars. In other words, the novel suggests those underlying ideologies that support and sustain automobility are more important to its continued existence than automobiles themselves.

    Outside of the University

    When I am not working on my teaching or research, I am often playing with my son and daughter, riding my bike, looking at birds, practicing my guitar, or cooking up delicious vegetarian food with my wife.