Doug Stark is a PhD student in the English program at UNC, Chapel Hill. His research appraises the role of play and experimentation across literature, film, video games, and new media. Drawing on his background in game studies, Germanophone media theory, and continental philosophy, Doug’s thinking concerns the conditions of possibilities for forms of play transhistorically and transculturally. He asks: what are the epistemic, cultural, and technical preconditions for the emergence of forms of play? For example, why do we have computer game play as we know it today? Why the ostentatious play of baroque wigs in the late eighteenth century? Across time and space, Doug contends, we can see a complex enmeshment of cultural values, forms of knowledge, and technical development refracted through the medium of play. Currently focusing on post-war aleatory aesthetics, Doug is particularly interested in forms of play that seem to operate in excess of epistemic paradigms of thought.

Doug also has forthcoming work on video game literature and Afrofuturism.

Prospective ENGL 105 students should know that the content of the course will engage in some way with games and play.


  • “‘A More Realistic View:’ Reimagining Sympoietic Practice in Octavia Butler’s Parable Series.” Extrapolation. (Forthcoming)
  • “Video Game Novels” Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology and Art of Gaming, Second Edition, edited by Mark J. P. Wolf. (Forthcoming)
  • “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.

Curriculum Vitae / Resume