UNC English & Comparative Literature


M.A. University of Colorado, Boulder

B.A. Illinois State University


Sean DiLeonardi teaches and writes broadly about contemporary American literature and its relationship to race, technology, science, and media. Drawing from an interdisciplinary mix of literary criticism, media theory, and science/technology studies, Sean’s research catalogues the effects of new technologies on literary form and, inversely, literary culture’s role in shaping American discourse on race, science, and digitality.


Sean is currently preparing a dissertation that traces an epistemological shift in scientific and literary ideas about probability in the American midcentury. The dissertation argues that an array of new media—from digital translators to the first major English translation of the I Ching—automates probability, thus inspiring a set of formal innovations in both scientific and literary narratives. 


Chair, 2017-18 Boundaries of Literature Symposium

Co-editor, Ethos Review (http://www.ethosreview.org/)

Co-organizer, the Americanist Speaker Series, in collaboration with Duke English


  • “Cryptographic Reading: Machine Translation, the New Criticism, and Nabokov’s Pnin,” Post45: Peer-Reviewed (forthcoming)


  • Dean’s Graduate Fellowship. Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences, 2018-19.
  • Carl Hartsell Award for Teaching Excellence. Dept. of English and Comparative Literature, UNC, 2018
  • Research Fellowship. The Graduate School, UNC, Spring 2018.
  • Maynard Adams Fellowship. Carolina Public Humanities, 2017-18.
  • Robert Bain Award. Dept. of English and Comparative Literature, UNC, 2016.
  • Digital Media Internship. SITES Laboratory, UNC, 2015-16.
  • Travel Grant. Dept. of English and Comparative Literature, UNC, 2014.
  • Travel Grant. United Gov. for Graduate Students, UC Boulder, 2013.
  • Brome Creative Writing Award. English Dept., ISU, 2007.
  • Associated Bank National Scholarship. 2003.

Curriculum Vitae / Resume