I’m a fourth-year PhD candidate in the English Department. My dissertation, Freedom's Fluctuations: Queer Affect and Contemporary Fiction, bridges queer theory and political theory to rethink conceptions of freedom in the contemporary American and British novel. My project posits freedom as a primarily relational and affective state, negotiated aesthetically though fiction. Such an orientation allows us to take up the complex and shifting degrees of constraint and possibility that attend questions of autonomy and sociality, and enables a revision of what it means to be queerly free, and freely queer, in the present moment. Currently, I am a fact checker for New Literary History. Along with John Modica, I am a student co-convener of the Kohler Seminar in Queer, Trans, + Feminist Studies. From 2021-2022, I was a Graduate Fellow in the John L. Nau III History and Principles of Democracy Lab, as well as President of the Graduate English Students Association.
Before coming to UVa, I received my B.A. in English at Oklahoma Christian University (2017), graduating summa cum laude and as an Honors Fellow, and winning a Dean's Award and the award for Outstanding English Major. In 2020, I earned my M.A. in English from Georgetown University. My master's thesis, which I defended with distinction, focused on the intersections of contemporary literary realism, gay masculinity, and queer theories of utopia. 
Research interests: the contemporary American + British novel; queer theory; philosophies of freedom; postcritique; affect theory; celebrity and popular culture
First Name: 
Ian Michael
Computing ID: 
Ian Michael Jayne headshots