Tyler Curtain

Email:   tyler@unc.edu
Office:   Greenlaw 522
Hire Date:   1 999


Associate Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill

Co-Director, Center for Philosophy of Biology, Department of Philosopy, Duke University

Faculty, History and Philosophy of Science, Technology & Medicine, Duke University

Associate Director and Faculty, Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College (http://www.middlebury.edu/blse/)


Ph. D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1999 (English and American Literature)

B.Sc., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1988 (Computer Science from the College of Engineering and Applied Science)


Tyler Curtain is a theorist and philosopher with the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in theory, as well as courses in science fiction and fantasy. He co-directs Duke's Center for the Philosophy of Biology. (For more information, see http://www.philbio.org/.) His research interests include theoretical philosophy, philosophy of biology, evolutionary theories of language, linguistics, philosophy of language, and theoretical computer science.

Professor Curtain is also Associate Director of the Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College), where he has taught since 2011. Professor Curtain was named to the 2013 Robert Frost Chair of Literature at Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College, Vermont. Bread Loaf bestowed the top honor on Professor Curtain for intellectual innovation, mentorship in graduate student education, and exceptional graduate-level teaching. The Chair is named after poet Robert Frost who taught at Bread Loaf for 42 years, starting in 1921. Former Chair holders include Sacvan Bercovitch (Harvard), Laurence Holland (Johns Hopkins), Michael Wood (Princeton), Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck, University of London), and Paul Muldoon (Princeton).

Professor Curtain serves on the executive committee of the Discussion Group on Science Fiction and Utopian and Fantastic Literature for the Modern Language Association. He will be Secretary of the MLA SF/UF Group in 2016, becoming President for the 2017 academic year.

Professor Curtain has been appointed by the MLA Executive Council to the Publication of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) Advisory Committee for a three-year term, from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017.  Members of the committee advise the Editorial Board and the editor on articles submitted to PMLA. Professor Curtain replaces renowned Stanford linguistic anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath. 

Teaching Awards

Sitterson Award for Undergraduate Teaching, 2009