Announcements

Monster Theory Reader Cover.jpg

Both The Mad Scientist's Guide to College Composition and Monster Theory Reader are out and reviews are starting to come in--see the reviews page!

I'm thrilled to announce that And Now For Something Completely Different: Critical Approaches to Monty Python is under contract with the Edinburgh University Press and should be out in October. Satan & Cinema is moving forward with Fordham University Press.

I am also very pleased to announce that the Modern Language Association has approved the petition to create a Gothic Studies forum. We have two paper sessions slated for the 2021 convention in Toronto but, like everyone else, will see what happens. If you are interested in Gothic studies, you can join us the MLAGothicStudies facebook group.

On the DJ front, DJ cypher's Dark Nation radio is now in its 20th year. It airs live Sunday nights from 9-11 PM Eastern US time on Spirit of Resistance Radio. You can access archived programs, including April 19th's goth/psychobilly special, on my Mixcloud page.

Current Projects

Gothic Things
Satan & Cinema

Much has been made of the twenty-first century "non-human turn"--a contemporary paradigm that, as Richard Grusin characterizes it, "decenter[s] the human in favor of a turn toward and concern for the nonhuman." My argument in this study will be that this has always been the thematic and affective terrain of the Gothic, a genre organized around human anxiety concerning the uncanny animacy of the non-human. This book will explore the ways in which the Gothic makes things--material objects--central and enacts a non-human turn avant la lettre.

Edited with Regina Hansen of Boston University, this scholarly collection will explore the ways in which the cinema both reflects and shapes Western conceptions of evil, divinity, and justice as embodied by the figure of the Devil. From Georges Méliès' early experiments with film to contemporary movies such as Constantine, representation of Satan on the silver screen suggests shifting conceptions of the place and role of the human within the universe.

And Now for Something Complete Different: Critical Approaches to Monty Python

Gothic Melville

Considering Monty Python's pioneering contributions to film and television comedy and to traditions of satire and subversion, Python scholarship in film and media studies to date is surprisingly scarce, despite some valuable and thought-provoking work on the television series (Landy 2005) and the Python films (Smith 2012) and mentions in works on cult media and British comedy. This collection aims to take a wider and more eclectic view, considering the whole Python phenomenon (television series, films, live shows, comedy albums and fan engagements with all of these) from a range of interdisciplinary, critical perspectives.

Edited together with Monika Elbert, this collection of scholarly essays will consider the Gothic elements of Herman Melville's prose and poetry.

Pop Culture for Beginners

The Routledge Introduction to the American Ghost Story

Under contract with Broadview Press, Pop Culture for Beginners will be an introductory a textbook for undergraduate course adoption introducing students to the history of the study of popular culture, outlining various theoretical approaches, and then offering brief, adaptable units for implementation in such courses

Co-authored with Scott Brewster, this study explores the American ghost story as a specific genre or mode, one that cannot be relegated to a subcategory of the American Gothic. It will examine the formal and thematic characteristics of the ghost story in the United States, and will trace its historical development from Puritan and Enlightenment origins to its high point in the nineteenth century and continued vibrancy in modern literary and visual culture.