Ohio State nav bar

Brian McHale

Brian McHale

Brian McHale

Distinguished Arts and Humanities Professor of English


614 292-4676

562 Denney Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • narrative theory
  • postmodernism
  • science fiction


  • DPhil, 1979, Oxford University
  • AB, 1974, Brown University


Brian McHale is Distinguished Arts and Humanities Professor of English at the Ohio State University. He is one of the founding members of Project Narrative at Ohio State, and served as president of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) in 2010-11.  The author of three books on postmodernist fiction and poetry –Postmodernist Fiction (1987), Constructing Postmodernism (1992), and The Obligation toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems (2004) – he has also published many articles on modernism and postmodernism, narrative theory, and science fiction.  He is co-editor, with Randall Stevenson, of the Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English (2006); with David Herman and James Phelan of Teaching Narrative Theory (2010); with Luc Herman and Inger Dalsgaard of the Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon (2012); and with Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons of the Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature (forthcoming). McHale’s research interests include the two-way traffic between popular genre fiction and aesthetically ambitious postmodernism in such phenomena as postmodern science fiction, the metaphysical detective story, and the so-called “avant-pop” tendency in contemporary culture.  On another front, he also investigates the interface between narrative theory and popular genres such as the Western, the detective story and science fiction.