Announcements

Monster Theory Reader Cover.jpg

Some fun things to report.  First, I was included this summer as part of a Studio 360 NPR program on The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Click HERE to listen!

I'm also pleased to report that The Mad Scientist's Guide to College Composition will be published at the end of October and The Monster Theory Reader is scheduled be published in December (of 2019).

On the DJ front, my Dark Nation Radio program recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special 20-year retrospective broadcast.  You can stream it from my Mixcloud page here: https://www.mixcloud.com/cypheractive/dj-cyphers-dark-nation-radio-20-year-retrospective/

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

The Mad Scientist's Guide to College Composition

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.

This college composition guide will treat the composition classroom as a mad scientist's laboratory and the different types of assignments one might encounter as "experiments."  This loose theme lends coherence to the approach to composition, while encouraging students to have fun with writing. “Writing an essay” is a task that can strike fear into a student’s heart, but performing an experiment—that licenses creativity and doesn’t presume that one knows the outcome from the start!

Gothic Melville

Keeping pace with contemporary Western culture’s fascination with monsters, monster theory has attempted to explore the significance of monsters in different genre, media, and cultural contexts; complicating this project however has been the absence of a single volume collecting in one place central approaches and significant works.  Monster Theory: A Reader will address this gap by bringing together many of the scattered articles, essays, and book chapters theorizing monsters and monstrosity

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