I specialize in 20th-century European literature, art and cinema, with particular emphasis on literatures and cinemas of trauma, national identity and personal and collective memory. I also teach a wide range of interdisciplinary courses in literature, mass media and popular culture, all of which are informed by my research interests in the ethics of representation, the impact of genre and medium on creativity, and the relationship between imagination, turmoil and healing. I continue to explore these themes in both traditional and online courses that I teach frequently, including courses on monstrosity and the “undead,” trauma narratives, the international graphic novel, and postwar existential literature and philosophy.
My teaching and research both focus primarily on contemporary literature of the Americas–South, Central, and North America, and the Caribbean. I’m particularly interested in discourses of the body and other ways in which our narratives of our physical selves shape our understandings of the world around us. My current research focuses on literary narratives of feminicide. I have a joint appointment in Comparative Literature and Women’s & Gender Studies, and I teach courses in both the traditional classroom format and online–join me in whatever format works best for you!
My research focuses on two topics, one in the Middle East and one right here in Milwaukee. In Egypt I do research on Egyptian writers and artists. My current book project focuses on creative production in post-Mubarak Egypt and explores how young people and others are creating art, music and literature to disturb pre-revolutionary visions of Egyptian society, including gender relations, and to imagine and elaborate new types of citizen involvement in politics and civil society.
My teaching and research focuses on religious literature. My goal in teaching and research is not only to analyze and interpret the meaning of Judeo-Christian religious literature in its ancient contexts (which includes a complex of religious, economic, cultural, ethnic and political influences), but also to examine and interpret this literature in its contemporary contexts. My teaching and research employs a number of interpretive approaches, such as, ideological, intertextual, post-colonial and postmodern approaches to name a few. In my current book project I examine the historical, ideological and political-religious implications of cross rhetoric in both Paul’s Greco-Roman context and also within the African American historical and religious context.
The general area of my research and teaching are world literature and world cinema. My recent efforts focus on the transformations of postrevolutionary Chinese literature and film over a period of thirty years. In this regard, I have started a book project on a group of Chinese writers’ pursuit of literary autonomy and the controversies it has caused in domestic literary criticism as well as the international recognition it has helped to bring. The classes I teach show some of my other interests: the body and desire in world cinema, the gangster film, the representation of otherness in world literature, allegory and allegoresis, and the world made by literature. On the basis of these topics, my next step in research may well be a probe into the world of others opened by literature and film.