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Summary: Twentieth and twenty-first century US literature and culture, film studies, critical theory, gender studies
I have a wide variety of research interests, including twenty-first and twentieth-century US literature, American Studies, film studies, US culture studies, gender and masculinity studies, US racial formations, memory cultures, and globalization. My work is broadly interdisciplinary and-within the framework of a critical US American Studies-interrogates the effects of globalization, neoliberalism, and transnationalism on the cultural forms of the contemporary nation-state. I am particularly interested in the effects of such macrological forms on the micrologies of national identity, citizenship, and subjectivity. As such, my work moves beyond the confines of a nationally bound attention to race, class, and gender by interrogating the dialectical processes through which such terms gain, maintain, and lose their focus.
In my recent book, Affirmative Reaction: New Formation of White Masculinity, I explore the cultural politics of heteronormative white masculine privilege in the United States. Through close readings of texts ranging from the popular television drama 24 to the Marvel Comics miniseries The Call of Duty, and from the reality show American Chopper to the movie Million Dollar Baby, the book argues that the true privilege of white masculinity-and its defining strategy-is not to be unmarked, universal, or invisible, but to be mobile and mutable. Affirmative Reaction describes how, in response to the perceived erosions of privilege produced by post-civil rights era identity politics, white masculinity has come to rely on the very discourses of difference that unsettled its claims on the universal; it has redefined itself as a marginalized identity.
I am currently working on a number of inter-related research projects: a book-length monograph, September 11 and the Narrative Imaginary, examines representational strategies in post-September 11 US fiction. A second book-length research project, Domestic Insurrections: Fictions of Citizenship and Family at the Postnation, examines representations of citizenship and domestic space/formations in contemporary US fiction. Both of those projects are specifically concerned with questions of both formal and thematic representation.
I am also currently involved in two editing projects: a collection of essays on US narrative cinema and the War on Terror (with Professor Liam Kennedy, University College Dublin) and a special issue of the Journal Of American Studies on the subject of Fictions of Speculation (with Annie McClanahan, University of WisconsinMilwaukee).
I am co-investigator, alongside Professor Bridget Bennett, of the AHRC-funded Research Network Home, Crisis and the Imagination.
I was the co-investigator, alongside Professor Bridget Bennett, on the AHRC-funded Connected Communities scoping project, 'Imagining the Place of Home'. The report and bibliography for the project can be found here: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/125130/imagining_the_place_of_home/
I am the co-director, alongside Professor Bridget Bennett, of the LHRI research theme 'Home, Community and Belonging'. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/20045/leeds_humanities_research_institute/1777/projects/5
Recent and Forthcoming Publications
Affirmative Reaction: New Formations of White Masculinity. Duke University Press (2011)
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters:
Fictitious Capital: Historicizing the Present in William Gibsons Bigend Trilogy, in Fiction After 9/11 (eds. John N. Duvall and Rob Marzec), Johns Hopkins University Press (forthcoming 2014)
"Second Acts: Masculinity in Crisis and the Recessionary Imaginary." In Gendering the Recession. Eds. Diane Negra and Yvonne Tasker. Duke University Press (Forthcoming, March 2014)
Like Nothing in this Life: September 11 and the Limits of Representation in Don DeLillos Falling Man. Studies in American Fiction 40.1 (2013).
"Policing the Borders of White Masculinity: Labor, Whiteness, and the Neoliberal City in The Wire." In The Wire: Race, Class, and Genre. Eds. Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro. University of Michigan Press (2012)
"September 11 as Heist." Journal of American Studies, 45.4 (2011)
"Men's Soaps: Automotive Television Programming and Contemporary Working-Class Masculinities." Television and New Media, 9.4 (July 2008)
"Jack Bauer's Extraordinary Rendition: Neoliberal Melodrama and the Ethics of Torture." Acoma 36 (Spring 2008)
"Romancing the Nation: Family Melodrama and the Sentimental Logics of Bourgeois Nationalism." Comparative American Studies, 5.1 (March 2007)
(co-edited with Dr. Annie McClanahan) Fictions of Speculation (special issue), Journal of American Studies, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming, 2015)
(co-edited with Professor Liam Kennedy) Intellectuals and the Nation-State (special issue). Comparative American Studies, 4.4 (December 2006)
Programme Note for The Great Gatsby. Northern Ballet (March, 2013)
Review of Elwood Watson and Marc E. Shaw (eds.), Performing American Masculinities: The 21st-Century Man in Popular Culture (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2012). Journal of American Studies 46.4 2012 (online edition)
Eroi Post-Etici nel Tempo del Terrore. Il Manifesto. 231. Italy. 21 September 2008
InterdisciplinarityA Discussion (Response). Leeds Humanities Research Institute Bulletin. 1.2. April 2008
Include: invited lectures at the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College (USA), the Clinton Institute for American Studies, UCD (Ireland), University of Cambridge, University of Birmingham, Freie Universität (Germany), and Instituto Universitario Orientale, Naples (Italy).
I teach across the School's American provision, lecturing and offering seminars on the undergraduate modules American Words, American Worlds and Writing America. My options modules, September 11 in Fact and Fiction (undergraduate), Narratives of Memory and Forgetting in Contemporary US Culture (undergraduate), and Fictions of Citizenship in Contemporary US Literature (postgraduate), reflect my current research interests and areas of expertise.
Postgraduate Research Supervision
I would be happy to receive inquiries for PGR supervision on topics related to any of the research or teaching areas mentioned above.
Current and recent PGR supervision topics include:
David Foster Wallace and the Post-postmodern
Representations of Tourism and Terrorism in Three Post-9/11 American Novels
Shifting Masculinities and Feminist Possibilities in Post-9/11 Literature