Adam Szetela

Adam Szetela


I am a Ph.D. student in the English department at Cornell University. Before coming to Cornell, I was a visiting fellow in the history department at Harvard University. Much of my research focuses on capitalism and the limits of free speech in the United States.

My scholarship, journalism, and creative writing have been published in The Journal of American CultureThe Journal of Popular CultureEthnic and Racial StudiesNewsweekThe NationViceSalonSlateRattleSouthwest Review, and the Sunday edition of The Boston Globe, among other places.

In the past, I have interviewed UFC fighters, comedians, documentarians, murderabilia collectors, and other individuals. More recently, I interviewed publishing executives, literary agents, and other people to better understand how social media has reshaped literary culture.

Along with sociologists in the Cornell Social Dynamics Lab, I also conducted controlled experiments with more than one thousand readers to illuminate why people take offense to literature. This research informs my first book, which focuses on books that have been censured on Goodreads, Twitter, and other platforms.

The book won the Moses Coit Tyler Prize, jointly awarded by the history and English departments at Cornell, as well as the English department’s Truman Capote Award for Creative Writing.

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