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Faculty Profile

Darren Lone Fight

Assistant Professor of American Studies (2020)

Contact Information

lonefigd@dickinson.edu

Denny Hall Room 105

Bio

Darren Lone Fight arrives at Dickinson from the PhD program in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts. For the last two years, Darren served as visiting faculty in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University; his recent journal article in Studies in American Indian Literatures explores the political and cultural effect of Indigenous visual artists revising pop-culture iconography in their work. Darren has taught across a diverse range of institutions and organizations, ranging from research universities and small liberal arts colleges to a land conservation organization. Darren feels fortunate to have assisted his former students as a research program mentor, thesis committee member, and faculty advisor, as well as helping students publish their work, win academic awards, and organize campus events. His current work orients around ontologies of narrative and experiential reality in contemporary American Indian art and philosophy.

Education

  • B.A., University of North Dakota, 2006
  • M.A., University of Massachusetts, 2010
  • Ph.D., 2021

2021-2022 Academic Year

Spring 2022

AMST 101 Back to the Future
Retrofuturism is a type of remembrance of an anticipated future. If futurism is the representation of possible futures, retro-futuristic art and culture is a reexamination and remembrance of those futuristic dreams that never came into being. In “Back to the Future: American Retrofuturism Since the 1990s,” we’ll be examining this phenomenon in two primary ways: first, we’ll look at expressions of retrofuturism that were being constructed during the long 90s—from 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall to the terrorist attacks of of 9/11 in 2001. The 1990s were a prolific generator of retro-futurist genres—cyberpunk, steampunk, dieselpunk, and atompunk, for example. Each were important genres of art and literature in the 90s that pulled from the posited futures of different historical moments—from steampunk’s use of Victorian era technologies to the mid-century futurisms of atompunk inspired by the development of the atomic bomb. Additionally, we’ll look at retro-futurist cultural productions in our present day that themselves “remember” the visions of the future that were created during the 1990s—vaporwave, glitchart, and technological nostalgia for things like the Walkman and cassette recording. These contemporary expressions mobilize the nascent digital aesthetics of the 1990s as a contrasting, lost vision of the future constructed in the 1990s. Guiding us through these explorations will be an examination of “hauntology,” or as the scholar Mark Fisher terms it, “Lost Futures.” Lost Futures are the idea that the present—whenever that happens to be—is “haunted” or carries with it the spectral visions of prior future imaginings that never materialized. For every envisioned future that becomes our lived present, there are innumerable other possible futures that were lost along the way. Retrofuturism is the process of remembering and recovering those lost futures to understand how the futuristic thinking of different historical moments continues to inform our own contemporary projections of possible and probable futures.

AMST 101 Back to the Future
These courses explore cultural diversity in the United States through an interdisciplinary framework combining historical, literary, and cultural analysis. Students are introduced to the methods and questions central to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, and special attention is paid to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexualities in exploring American histories and cultures. Topics may include ; Class and Culture; Body Politics; Comparative Ethnicities; The New Negro Movement; Race, Class, and the American Dream; Urban Landscapes.

AMST 200 Indigenous Futurism
In the field of what scholar Grace Dillon calls “Indigenous Futurism,” Native artists from the visual to the literary have found a profoundly ripe stage for the exploration of Indigenous representation and artistic exploration. Following historically on other alternative-futurist projects such as Afrofuturism and Queer Futurism, Indigenous Futurism shares certain sensibilities with these related aesthetic forms, perhaps most strikingly as a strategy of decolonial clapback against the white-washing tendencies of the majority of popular speculative art throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. Nevertheless, Indigenous Futurism marshals the field of SF/Futurism in critically different ways unique to the history and relationship of Native America to popular culture. Indeed, this emerging field has a particular strategic advantage due to its temporal and pop-cultural orientation, allowing such art to function as a laboratory of resistance to the colonial project. This course examines Native authors, filmmakers, and visual/multimedia artists in order to evolve an understanding of the character of the field of Indigenous Futurism and why it operates as a critical strategic negotiation site for the representation of Native people in contemporary American culture.

AMST 201 Intro to American Studies
Introduces students to basic theories and methods used for the interdisciplinary analysis of United States and hemispheric cultural materials and to the multiplicity of texts used for cultural analysis (mass media, music, film, fiction and memoir, sports, advertising, and popular rituals and practices). Particular attention is paid to the interplay between systems of representation and social, political, and economic institutions, and to the production, dissemination, and reception of cultural materials. Students will explore the shaping power of culture as well as the possibilities of human agency.