The Fiction of Politics and Politics of Fiction
International Colloquium of American Studies, Olomouc, September 1-6, 2002
University of Toledo

Department of English
University of Toledo
Toledo, OH 43606
(419) 530-2685; Fax: 530-4440


International Summer Institute for Structural and Semiotic Studies 1986
Ph.D. Northwestern University 1983
(dissertation director: Gerald Graff)
School of Criticism and Theory (Seminar with Tzvetan Todorov) 1981
M.A. Miami University 1978
B.A. Miami University 1975
Visiting Scholar, National Taiwan University 1976


Chair, English, University of Toledo, 1996-1999
Professor of American literature and culture, University of Toledo, 1994-
Associate Professor, Marquette University, 1990-94
Visiting Professor, Northwestern University, 1989
Assistant Professor, Marquette University, 1985-1989
Co-director, "Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and American Literature," a secondary school teacher training institute funded by the Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities, Summer 1985.
Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma, 1983-1985
Lecturer, Roosevelt University, Spring 1983
Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, 1979-1980
Chinese language tutor, Miami University, 1974-1975


Fulbright Teaching Fellow, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, Spring, 1998
University of Toledo Summer Research Fellow, 1995
Marquette University Summer Research Fellow, 1986, 88, 90
University of Oklahoma Sciences Summer Research Fellow, 1984
Dissertation Fellow, Northwestern University, 1981-1982
Howard V. Phalin Fellow, Northwestern University, 1980-1981
Rotary International Graduate Fellow, Taipei, Taiwan, 1975-1976
Phi Beta Kappa, Miami University, 1975
Phi Kappa Phi, Miami University, 1975


The Unusable Past: Theory and the Study of American Literature. London: Methuen, 1986.
The Unusable Past: Theory and the Study of American Literature, Japanese translation, 1993
Loose Ends: Closure and Crisis in the American Social Text. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.
”Every Sound There Is:’ The Beatles’ Revolver and the Transformation of Rock and Roll. Ashgate, 2002.

”The Secret Lives of Objects; The Secret Stories of Rock and Roll: Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Seattle’s Experience Music Project,” American Quarterly, 53 #3 (September 2001): 489-510.
”An Interview with Tom Robbins,” Contemporary Literature, 42 #3 (Fall 2001): 463-84.
”The House that Jimi Built: Seattle’s Experience Music Project,” ECHO: A Music-Centered Journal, II/2, Fall 2000.
”`Echoes’ of the West: Kobo Abe, Haruki Murakami, and the Rock and Roll Imagination,” Popular Music: Intercultural Interpretations, (Ed. Toru Mitsui), Kanazawa, Japan: Graduate Program in Music, 1998: 60-66.
”It’s a Dirty World After All: Recent Work on the Disney Phenomenon” (Review essay), American Quarterly, 49 (December, 1997): 851-58.
”Fast Fish and Raw Fish: Moby-Dick, Japan, and Melville’s Thematics of Geography,” New England Quarterly, (June, 1997): 285-305.
"Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography: Reading Mr. Write; or, The Multiple Voices of Ben the Penman," Prose Studies 17 (April, 1994): 64-94.
"Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination, and the Emergence of a Cultural Discourse of Anti-Stalinism" boundary/2 20 (Spring 1993): 94-124.
"`Doing Good By Stealth': Alice Staverton and Women's Politics in `The Jolly Corner'" (The Henry James Review 13 (1992): 50-66.
"Toward a Theory of Literary Incompetence: Reading Culture Is Not Cultured Reading" Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 10 (Spring 1991): 67-78.
"Trafficking in White: Phillis Wheatley and the Semiotics of Racial Representation" Genre XXII (Fall, 1989): 231-261.
"Condensing the James Novel: The American in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," Journal of Modern Literature 15 (Summer 1988): 17-34.
"Reconstructing Parrington," American Quarterly 41 (March 1989): 155-164.
"Figuring Himself Out: Henry James's `The Jolly Corner' and Cultural Change," Journal of Narrative Technique 19 (Winter 1989): 116-29.
"Yeats, The Rhymers' Club, and Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," Journal of Modern Literature 12 (March 1985): 179-82.
Essays in Collections:

”Richard Bausch,” in Blanche Gelfant Ed., The Columbia Companion to the 20th Century American Short Story. Editor, Blanche Gelfant. New York: Columbia UP, 2001: 130-34.
William Carlos Williams,” in, Blanche Gelfant, Ed., The Columbia Companion to the 20th Century American Short Story. New York: Columbia UP, 2001: 582-86.
”Teaching the Early American Survey,” in Approaches to Teaching Early American Literature for MLA to Teaching World Literature series. Volume editor: Carla Mulford, Penn State. New York: Modern Language Association, 2001: 259-271.

Other publications:
Entries for the Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature (Harper and Collins, 1991) on: Antinomianism, Covenant Theology, Phillis Wheatley, Melville--Typee, Pierre, Israel Potter, Hawthorne--The Blithedale Romance, Frederick Douglass, McCarthyism.
Restaurant Reviews, The Toledo City Paper, weekly 1997-2000.


”Iron Curtains and Satin Sheets: Love and Eroticism in Popular Film and Music of the Cold
War,” American University of Bulgaria, Department of Humanities, Blagoevgrad,
Bulgaria, March, 2002.
”Reimagining the Beatles,” Keynote Talk, Carnegie Mellon-West Virginia University Cultural
Studies Conference, March, 2002.
”Psychedelia, The Beatles, and Anglo-American Popular Culture,” University of Portland, October, 2002. (Compensated Talk)
”`Time Has Come Today’: Expressions of Time in the Lyrics and Literature of Psychedelia,” Bi-Annual Convention of IASPM, University of Turku, Turku, Finland, July, 2001.
”The Rhetorics of American Transcendentalism and Psychedelia,” Cleveland State University, September 7, 2000. (Compensated talk)
”`This is Not Dying’: Revolver and the Birth of Psychedelic Sound,” Beatles 2000, Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 2000.
”Dickens, Disney, and `The Jolly Corner’: Teaching Late James in Cultural Context.” Annual Meeting of the NorthEast Modern Language Association, Pittsburgh, PA, April 10, 1999.
”Tripping Toward the Millennium: LSD and Anglo-American Popular Culture,” Kansas State University, December, 1997. (Compensated talk)
”`First There is a Mountain’: Geological and Naturalistic Metaphors in Psychedelic Music and Film,” Midwest Popular Culture Association, Traverse City, Michigan, October, 1997.
”`Kicks Just Keep Gettin’ Harder to Find’: Psychedelic Studies and Interdisciplinarity,” The Futures of American Studies: The Humanities Institute at Dartmouth College, August, 1997.
”`Echoes’ of the West: Western Popular Music in Contemporary Japanese Literature,” Everyday Wonders--International Convention of the International Popular Culture Association, Brisbane, Australia, scheduled: June 1997.
”The End of the World as They Know It: Kobo Abe, Haruki Murakami, and the Rock and Roll Imagination,” Annual Convention of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Kanazawa, Japan, July, 1997.
”Listening to LSD: Psychedelia in Popular Culture, 1965-1969,” Opening of Exhibition, ”I Want to Take You Higher, Psychedelia, 1965-1969, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, May 17, 1997. (Compensated Talk)
”Fading Out of Print: Herman Melville’s Israel Potter and the Economy of Literary History,” Melville Society Panel, MLA Annual Convention, Washington, D.C., December, 1996.
”Mnemonic Designs: Racial Memory in the Poetry of Phillis Wheatley,” MLA Annual Convention, Washington, D.C., December 1996.
”Herman Melville: History, Autobiography, and the Terms of Nineteenth-Century American Publishing,” Annual Meeting of the MMLA, Minneapolis, MN, November, 1996.
”New Economic Criticism: Pedagogy and Practice,” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Minneapolis, MN, November, 1996.
”From Rags to Rags: Melville, Israel Potter, and the Market,” American Studies Association, Annual Convention, Kansas City, MO, November, 1996.
”Patrolling the Frontiers of the Feminine with Emily Dickinson and Her Lost Dog,” American Literature Association Annual Convention, San Diego, California, May, 1996.
”Fast Fish and Raw Fish: Moby-Dick and Japan,” Honolulu International Conference in Popular Culture.” Honolulu, HI, January 10, 1996.
”The Danger of Phillis Wheatley’s `On Recollection’,” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 3, 1995.
”The Whale’s Penis and the Elephant’s Ears: Gigantism and the Interdisciplinary Imperative,” Twentieth Annual West Virginia Colloquium on Literature and Film, Morgantown, WV, September 30, 1995.
Moby-Dick and Manifest Destiny,” American Literature Association Annual Convention,
Baltimore, Maryland, May, 1995.
”Moby Dick, Dumbo, and Interdisciplinarity,” Western Humanities Pedagogy and the Public Sphere: Fourth Annual Cultural Studies Symposium, Kansas State Univ., March, 10, 1995.
"Dumbombers for Defense: Disney's Dumbo and the United States's Entry into WWII," MMLA Annual Convention, Chicago, November, 1994
"Herman Melville's Economy of Literary History," (Compensated talk) Loyola University, Chicago, IL, March 17, 1994.
"`The Easiest Room in Hell': Disney's Dumbo and the Crisis in American Labor in the 1930s." MLA Annual Convention, Toronto, December 29, 1993.
"Family Feuds or Wars of the Words: A Response to Cecelia Tichi,” Mass Culture: Theory and History Conference, (Compensated talk) Northwestern Univ., May 1990.
"The Struggle for the Sensuous: The Culture of Early American Music," Lecture for Early Music performance "American Roots" by Hesperus, (Compensated talk) Milwaukee Public Library, May 3, 1990.
"Moby-Dick and Modernity, (Compensated talk) DePaul University Great Books Forum, May 1989.
"Toward a Theory of Literary Incompetence: Reading Culture Is Not Cultured Reading," Comparative Literature Symposium, University of Tulsa, April 1989.
"V. L. Parrington and the Narrative of American Literary History," Center for Twentieth-Century Studies, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, March, 1989.
"Lionel Trilling and the Emergence of the Cultural Discourse of Anti-Communism," Midwest Modern Language Association, November, 1988.
"Mr. Dreiser, Mr. Parrington, Mr. Stalin, Mr. Trilling and Reality," American Studies Association Annual Convention, November, 1987
"Are Literature and Literary Theory Independent of Politics: The Cold War," Writing and Literature Conference, (Compensated talk) Wheaton College, October, 1986.
"The Phelps Farm Revisited: Cultural Theorists of American Literature on Huckleberry Finn," Midwest Modern Language Association, October, 1985.


”`Happiness is a Warm Gun: Revolver and the Transformation of Rock and Roll,” Beatles 2000: An International conference, Jyvaskyla, Finland, June, 2000.
”The Orient Expressed: Representations of the ‘Orient’ in American Popular Literature and Culture,” American Literature Association Annual Convention, San Diego, California, May, 1996.
”Democratic Vistas: History in Ante-Bellum American Fiction,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Pittsburgh, PA, Nov. 10, 1995; (also served as respondent).
”Closure in the Cultural Imagination,” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 3, 1995 (Special Invitation by Executive Director)
”The Politics of Gender in USAmerican Popular Culture,” Twentieth Annual West Virginia Colloquium on Literature and Film, Morgantown, WV, September 30, 1995.
"The History in American Literature," Midwest Modern Language Association, November, 1986.  


Radio Program, ”Walt Disney and the Modern Myth,” for ”What’s The Word?” Radio program of the Modern Language Association, Taped–July, 1998, aired December, 1998.
Primary organizer and coordinator of ”American Culture and the Cold War,” an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Toledo, April 11-14, 1996.
Radio Program, "The Legacy of Emily Dickinson," for Wisconsin Public Radio, May 15, 1986.


Graduate Seminars:
Melville, Dreiser, and American Iconoclasm
Popular Literature in Nineteenth Century America
The Moment of American Naturalism
Nineteenth-Century American Fiction
The Nineteenth-Century American Novel as Cultural History
Literary Incompetence: Reading American Popular Culture
Graduate/Undergraduate level:
American Culture and the Cold War
Writing for the Popular Media
Emily Dickinson

Herman Melville
Tom Robbins
Fictions of Social Transformation
Contemporary American literature
Undergraduate level:
American Popular Music
Roll the Rock Around: Popular Music and Politics
Japanese Popular Music and Film
American literature from 1620-1798
American literature 1798-1865
American literature 1865-1900
Survey of American literature I and II


Academic Advisory Board, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Named to board at its inception, 1997, ongoing.
Conference Organizer, American Culture and the Cold War, University of Toledo, April 1996
Editorial Board Member, Genre, 1992-
Tenure reviewer for University of Oklahoma, City University of New York, SUNY--Binghamton, University of Florida, Ohio University, University of Rhode Island, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, and Rice University
Manuscript consultant (American literature and criticism) for American Quarterly, Contemporary Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Prentice-Hall, MacMillan, The Popular Press, and for the university presses at Duke, Florida, Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, SUNY, and the University Press of New England
Duke University, Department of English dissertation committee member for dissertation on Henry Adams. Defense--October, 1992.
West Virginia University, Department of English dissertation committee member.
Judge for 1999-2000 Nancy Dasher Award, College English Association of Ohio
Member, Central Board for Student Media, 1999-
Arts and Sciences Enrollment Management Committee, 1998
Chair, Department of English, University of Toledo, 1996-99
Faculty Coordinator, University of Toledo First Book Orientation Program, 1997-
Gold Key National Honor Society Initiation Address, University of Toledo, Nov. 11, 1996
Phi Kappa Phi Initiation Address, University of Toledo, May 1995
Humanities 2000, Collaboration between University of Toledo and Toledo Public Schools
Graduate Studies Committee, University of Toledo, 1994-
Arts and Sciences (and Marquette University) Committee for Core Curriculum Reform, 1989-93
Department of English Curriculum Revision Committee, Marquette University, 1991-93
Co-coordinator: Integrating African-American Studies into the Core Curriculum of a Catholic University, Marquette University 1990-1991
Participant in Dean's Faculty Forum "Profscam at Marquette?" on the relationship and tensions between teaching and research, December 4, 1989
Faculty Advisor to Marquette University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (English Honors Society)
Coordinator, Departmental Guest Speaker Program, Marquette
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Oklahoma, Marquette

Featured Presenter at Ottawa Hills High School Agora Theme Day -- The Vietnam Era: 1965-1975, ”Politics and History in Rock and Roll,” April, 2001.
Senior Project Sponsor for Kerry Anderson, Notre Dame Academy, April, 2000.
”English Language Studies and Popular Culture,” Invited presentation to Senior English Class at Notre Dame Academy, November, 1999.
Guest Reading at Trilby Elementary School Family Night, March 9, 2000.

Intellectual Work:
Nina Baym, English, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 333-2390
Jane Bradley, Fiction writer and professor, English, Univ. of Toledo (419) 530-2318
Tim Geiger, Book maker and poet, English, Univ. of Toledo (419) 530-2318
Cary Nelson, English, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 333-2390
Tom Robbins (novelist): information protected; call me for contact.
John Carlos Rowe, English, California-Irvine, Irvine, CA 92717 (714) 824-6712
Work as Chair:
Abdul Alkalimat, Director—Africana Studies, Toledo 43606 (419) 530-7253
Jamie Barlowe, Chair Women’s Studies, University of Toledo, 43606 (419) 530-2233
Jane Bradley, Fiction writer and professor, English, Univ. of Toledo (419) 530-2318
Dan Campora, English, Univ. of Toledo, 43606 (419) 530-2318
Patricia Cummins (Vice Provost, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.; formerly Dean of Arts
and Sciences, Univ. of Toledo)
Tim Geiger, Book maker and poet, English, Univ. of Toledo (419) 530-2318
Ronald Schleifer, Humanities, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019 (Outside
evaluator of department while I was chair)

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