Michael Tondre is Associate Professor of English at Stony Brook University (SUNY) and an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice, and Policy. He joined the English faculty after completing his graduate work at Oxford University and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Trained as a specialist in nineteenth-century literature and culture, he is the author of The Physics of Possibility: Victorian Fiction, Science, and Gender (2018) and of articles and reviews in PMLA, ELH, Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, and Nineteenth-Century Literature. His is the winner of the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Article Prize, the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts essay award, and of fellowships from the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech.
The locus of his current project is the history of fossil power and the shaping force of literature in imagining new regimes of resource extraction, circulation, and consumption. He is completing Refinement: Oil, Aestheticism, and the British Atlantic World, 1850-1930. Situated at the nexus of the environmental humanities and postcolonial critique, the book asks how doctrines about aesthetic cultivation and l’art pour l’art animated global fantasies of petroleum power, and vice versa, in the era heralding the dawn of oil culture. An abridged chapter from that project is forthcoming. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, he lives now in Brooklyn, New York.