film studies, contemporary American literature, digital humanities, literary theory, college writing
ENGL 110: College Writing: “Reading Film”
ENGL 170W Hybrid: Introduction to Literary Study
ENGL 244: Theory
ENGL 384: Aspects of Fiction: “Detecting Texts”
ENGL 391W: Senior Seminar: “The 1980s”
ENGL 391W: Senior Seminar: “Film Adaptation”
ENGL 391W: Senior Seminar: “Digital Literary Analysis”
ENGL 636: History of Literary Criticism
ENGL 703: Composition Theory and Literacy Studies
ENGL 781: Film Adaptation
ENGL 793: Teaching College Writing
Eighties People: New Lives in the American Imagination. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
Eighties People explores how new types of individuals were created and used to manage cultural anxieties during the 1980s. Exploring strategies for fashioning self-knowledge, this book illuminates the hidden lives of surrogate mothers, crack babies, persons with AIDS, yuppies, and brat packers.
“The Variety of Kathy Acker: on the Avant-garde between Pornography and Narrative,” Cinema Journal 56.4 (2017). 12,000 words.
“Digital Surrealism: Visualizing Walt Disney Animation Studios,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 11.1 (2017). 10,000 words.
“Quantum Haunting,” [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies 3.2 (Summer 2016), 11 minutes.
“Aviation Cinema,” Criticism 57.2, Spring 2015: 8,000 words.
“Teaching Subtitles as Historiographic Research,” Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier: Digital Humanities and Media Studies Crossovers. 1,600 words.
“The Machine at the Mad Monster Party,” The Journal of Dracula Studies, Spring 2015: 3,000 words.
“Volumetric Cinema,” [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies 2.1 (March 2015), 20 minutes.
“Panting in the Dark: The Ambivalence of Air in Cinema,” Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies 77 (2011): 32-63.
“Home Movies: Historical Space and the Mother’s Memory,” Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies 18 (October 2010): 14 pp.
“The Cinema of Control: On Diabetic Excess and Illness in Film,” Journal of Medical Humanities 31.3 (2010): 183-204.
“Covering the Cinema: On Wallpaper in Some Films,” Bright Lights Film Journal 58 (November 2007): 5,200 words.
“Slices of Cinema: Digital Transformation as Research Strategy,” The Arclight Guide to Media History and the Digital Humanities, eds. Charles R. Acland and Eric Hoyt. Falmer: REFRAME/Project Arclight, 2016. 4,000 words, invited contribution.
“Devil on the Line: Technology and the Satanic Film,” Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, eds. Kier-La Janisse and Paul Corupe. Toronto: Spectacular Optical, 2015. 9,000 words.
“Pets in Memoir,” Representing the Modern Animal in Culture, eds. Jeanne Dubino, Ziba Rashidian, and Andrew Smyth. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 7,800 words.
Creative and Other Work
“What Does the Western Look Like?,” The Best American Infographics 2016, ed. Gareth Cook (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). Film visualizations.
“To Cite or to Steal? When a Scholarly Project Turns Up in a Gallery,” Hyperallergic, June 30, 2016.
“The Color of Time,” Photo Viz: Visualizing Information Through Photography (Berlin: Gestalten, 2016). Photography.
“Index Card Poetry” (from Three Thousand Films), Michigan Quarterly Review, August 2010.
Typecast, an ongoing typewritten blog about the intersection of film and writing, particularly the question “how can film speak of writing?”
Typewriters in Films, the world’s largest collection of screenshots of typewriters in films.
Current Book Projects
The history of human air travel coincides with the history of cinema. A few weeks after The Great Train Robbery opened in 1903, the Wright brothers successfully made the world’s first flight. But the template that early documentary footage sets—bumps and shakes and jolts, and then tranquility—is reversed when narrative filmmakers use flight in narratives of modernity, speed, technology, or war: in contemporary cinema, aviation cinema offers a smooth takeoff but rough flying. Thus, aerial photography does more than just provide a new view of our world; it structures and controls that world by turning it into a tool of vision. Today, unmoored from a singular theatrical viewing space, the cinema, like the airplane, has become a projector: discharging images, passengers, and new modes of vision. In this book, I analyze aviation cinema, offering a typology of a genre of narrative film that becomes legible around a narrow range of structural elements: the pilot, the passenger, the aircraft, and the terminal. Yet even with such a limited palette, aviation cinema is a genre in motion characterized by its fluidity, exchange, and liminal crossings. The variations in the simple calculus of pilot-passenger-aircraft-terminal results in the 100-plus films I survey. I show how the primary transaction of flight between pilot and passenger is navigated by a series of liminal figures: the sky marshal, the stowaway, the hijacker, the air traffic controller, the ground crew, the mechanic, the terminal staff, and the flight attendant.
Moving into Wonder: Filmic Memory in Women’s Autobiography by Woolf, Duras, and Acker
Moving into Wonder treats the entwined history of cinematic and literary representations of culturally significant types of space—such as the attic, boarding school, or riverfront—that create sites of personal memory. Literary depictions of autobiographical memory in three experimental women writers—Virginia Woolf, Marguerite Duras, and Kathy Acker—overlap with theoretical accounts of film’s representation of space. For each of these writers, memories exist in situ, and cinema offers a technology of memory that shapes autobiographical self-analysis. But while similar in their accounts of memory, these three writers have differing relationships to the cinema. My hypothesis is that autobiographical acts rely on specific sites of memory in order to be legible, and that this fact is due to changes in cinematographic and photographic technology that result in changes in the aesthetics of representing space. While this project explicitly crosses disciplinary boundaries to straddle both literary and film studies, its real purpose exceeds these borders by investigating cultural shifts in the visualization of place and the resulting effect on producing meaningful acts of memory. This project is important, then, not only for literary studies or film studies, but also for all who are interested in how the historical self is represented in autobiographical acts of self-analysis.
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