I received my B.A. from Brown and my Ph.D. in History from Stanford. While in graduate school I studied in Paris on a Fulbright. After graduate school I spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton before joining the faculty of NYU. I entered clinical training soon after, working at a middle school in the East Village and the IPTAR Clinical Center before obtaining my license. I now both teach at NYU and see patients in private practice.
I used to write about the past; these days I write about the present. I’m interested in what happens when our internal worlds collide with the external world. My first book, The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork (Zone Books, 2012; French translation, 2013) was a historical investigation into our experiences of bureaucratic errors (“provocative, original, and a very good read” – The New York Review of Books). I’m currently working on a book about the relationships, situations, and social forces that drive us crazy: gaslighting, passive aggression, mind games, double binds, Catch-22s, etc.
In 2022-23 I will be a Visiting Fellow at the DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. Over the years I’ve also been affiliated with a number of other institutions, including the New York Institute for the Humanities and the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Three of my doctoral students have gone on to teach (Harvard, the New School, and Berkeley); two have gone on to train as psychoanalysts.