Tyler is on leave for the academic year 2023-2024 but regularly checks his Bates email address.

Tyler A. Harper

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies

Hedge Hall, Room 112



Research: Tyler Austin Harper is a literary scholar working at the intersection of the history of science, philosophy, and environmental studies. His book, “The Paranoid Animal: Human Extinction Before the Bomb,” is under contract with Princeton University Press. It examines how British literary figures, scientists, and social theorists engaged with the concept of human extinction prior to the nuclear age. Specifically, his work argues that the period between 1800 and 1945 witnessed a shift from fatalistic visions of the end of humanity—dominant during the Romantic Era and influenced by theories of geological catastrophism—toward a new, post-Darwinian conception of human extinction in which threats to the species were reimagined as risks that could be mitigated by technological intervention, prefiguring current debates about AI, nuclear war, and climate change. His scholarly work has been published in Modern Language Quarterly, Science Fiction Studies, Syndicate, and Paradoxa.

Harper is a contributing writer at The Atlantic. His public writing on politics, culture, race, and technology has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Jacobin, and other outlets.

Courses Taught:
ENVR 205: Lives in Place
ENVR 227: Catastrophes and Hope
EN/ES 235: Climate Fiction
ENVR 349: Extinction

Ph.D., Comparative Literature, New York University (2020)
M.A., Comparative Literature, New York University (2017)
B.A., English, Haverford College (2014)