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2016, MA English, Loughborough University

2014, BA English, Loughborough University


Doug Stark is a Ph.D. student in the English Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Broadly, Doug’s research addresses various ways in which media devices and media systems problematize subject-centered conceptualizations of thinking and acting, posing new political and ethical challenges but also serving as means to experiment with alternate modes of relationality and socio-technical organization in complex ecologies. Mostly in conversation with discourses on media theory/philosophy and critical race theory, his writing and teaching concern twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature, film, and new media with a specialism in the history and theory of (video) games.

Doug’s dissertation—tentatively titled Thinking Games—focuses on the implementation of games and play to address epistemological and aesthetic problems in the early- to mid-twentieth-century US. In this period, he explores how games and game-like scenarios served as (proto-)cybernetic epistemic mediators in the computational and human sciences as well as how artists used the metaphor and practice of play for aleatory experimentation. Contributing to histories of art, media, science, and technology, the dissertation re-positions gamification (the application of elements typical to game playing) not as a contemporary phenomenon but as a pervasive historical a priori for a number of significant cultural developments. In analyzing incidents of games assisting in solving specific problems, he makes the media philosophical claim that game-player complexes engender unique capacities to think—an argument he extends to include early computer games.

He has forthcoming and published work on Afrofuturism, neoliberal gamification, videogame literature, walking simulators, and croquet in Extrapolation (2020), Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies (2019), Encyclopedia of Video Games (est. 2020), and the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds (2020), In Media Res (2020) respectively.


  • Stark, Doug. “Reimagining Play with Lewis Carroll’s Croquet.” In Media Res, March 2020,
  • Stark, Doug. “Unsettling Embodied Literacy in QWOP the Walking Simulator.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, vol. 12, no. 1, 2020, pp. 49–67.
  • Stark, Doug. “‘A More Realistic View:’ Reimagining Sympoietic Practice in Octavia Butler’s Parable Series,” Extrapolation, vol. 61, no. 1-2, 2020, pp. 151–171.
  • Stark, Doug. “Video Game Novels.” Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology and Art of Gaming, 2nd. ed., edited by Mark J. P. Wolf, Greenwood Press. (Forthcoming est. 2020)
  • Stark, Doug. “Ludic Literature: Ready Player One as Didactic Fiction for the Neoliberal Subject.” Playing the Field: Video Games and American Studies, edited by Sascha Pöhlmann, De Gruyter, 2019, pp. 153-173.


Games and Cultures Humanities Lab Fellow, Duke University. 2019-2020.

Curriculum Vitae / Resume