Jason Tougaw

  • Jason Tougaw profile photo
Director, MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation
Faculty Advisor, The Knight News
Klapper Hall, Room 633

You can find my CV on my personal website.

Research Interests

I write creative nonfiction, including my memoir The One You Get. Like a lot of my writing, that book integrates fanciful interludes about neuroscience with family history. Also, like a lot of my writing, it includes a lot of music writing. My book The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience explores literary representations of the brain–and the role that artists play influencing science. I also produce (and sometimes host) QC POD, a podcast about the people and ideas that make Queens College so interesting. These days I’m in the early stages of two music-related projects, a cultural (and personal) history of Eminem and a multi-episode narrative podcast about singer-songwriter Dory Previn.

Teaching Interests

I enjoy teaching a range of courses, including Writing About Popular Music, Podcasting, Consciousness and the Novel, and Voices of Neurodiversity. I teach creative nonfiction in our MFA program and courses on life writing in the Biography and Memoir program at The CUNY Graduate Center. I enjoy teaching lively seminar-style courses with small class sizes, especially when students can create writing or other media they are proud of. I also oversee the English Department’s Internship course, through which students can get academic credit for internships. It’s rewarding to help students find and navigate a satisfying career path.

Selected Publications

The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism (winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize)

The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in The Age of Neuroscience (2018, Yale UP)

Fields of Reading, Motives for Writing 9th edition, co-edited with Comley et al. (Bedford/St. Martin’s 2009).

Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel (Routledge 2006).

Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller; introduction co-written with Miller (University of Illinois Press 2002).

Selected Articles and Essays

“Christopher Isherwood Taught Me to Live Unapologetically.” Literary Hub (May 15, 2018). https://lithub.com/christopher-isherwood-taught-me-to-live-unapologetically/

“An English Beat. ”Out Magazine (November 2017). https://www.out.com/art-books/2017/11/10/english-beat

“12 Great Books about the Human Brain.” Electric Literature (October 9, 2017). https://electricliterature.com/12-great-books-about-the-human-brain-842011da9157

Where Is Consciousness in the Modern Novel?The Scofield. 2.2: (Spring 2017: 172 – 179).

“Touching Brains.” Modern Fiction Studies, special issue entitled Neuroscience and Modern Fiction, ed. Stephen Burn. 61.2 (Summer 2015): 335 – 358.