Brian Hochman

Brian Hochman

Brian Hochman is Director of American Studies and Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University.

He is the author of two books. The most recent, The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States (Harvard University Press, 2022), traces the history of wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The research for this project received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholars Program and the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center. His first book, Savage Preservation: The Ethnographic Origins of Modern Media Technology (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), was named as a finalist for the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero Prize in 2015.

His academic writings have appeared in American Literature, African American Review, Callaloo, Notes and Queries, Post45: Peer Reviewed, Resilience, and The Multilingual Screen: New Perspectives on Cinema and Linguistic Difference (Bloomsbury, 2016). His research on electronic surveillance has been featured in IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Wired among other venues.

He received his PhD from Harvard University’s Program in the History of American Civilization (now American Studies). At Georgetown, he teaches courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. literature and culture.

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Guest Appearances
May 11, 2022

Wiretapping’s origins might surprise you

On the cover of Brian Hochman’s book The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States is a martini cocktail, complete with skewered olive. Someone attempting to judge a book by...