Professor of English; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto Scarborough
UTSC Office Location:
University of Toronto Scarborough, Room H334
UTSG Office Location:
Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 929
Office hours and/or Leave Status:
Teaching and Research Interests:
Twentieth Century British and Irish Literature
Other Teaching Fields:
B.A. (Brown), MA (Florida), Ph.D. (Florida).
In the most general terms, I am interested in the relationship between modernity and the various attempts to represent it-modernism, certainly, but also more popular discourses such as advertising and cinema. In terms of cinema, I am fascinated with the "shape" various genres took (the Western, Melodrama, Film Noir, etc.) and how that shape reflects various myths of modernity that help us locate ourselves in its aggressively secular milieu. Perhaps it is how we cope with the diminsment of the sacred in the secular that drives much of my work. My first book on James Joyce, Reading Dubliners Again: A Lacanian Perspective, looked at the stylistic shifts in Joyce's fiction in light of a dominant contemporary psychoanalytic theory. My second book on Joyce, Advertising in the Fiction of James Joyce, took a more cultural theory approach and showed how advertising discourse was crucial for Joyce in his exploration of where "sacred" discourse had been appropriated by various dominant discourses of modernity. In article form, I have pursued this interest in a variety of writers and filmmakers. I explored Sylvia Plath's relationship to Mademoiselle magazine, Hitchcock's Lacanian gender constructions in Vertigo, connections between the theories of Eisenstein concerning montage and the Illustrated books of William Blake, and similarities in the construction of the modern "self" and the invention of the internal combustion engine in works by Eliot and Stein. Most recently, I have looked at the depiction of modernity from a Heideggerian perspective in Kubrick's 2001, the relationship of capitalism and the ideology of "true love" in the genre of Hollywood Romance, the parallel of the Hollywood horror genre with the "monstrous" indifference of laissez-faire economics. Current work argues that the shape of Hollywood genre contains a modernist element that can be usefully juxtaposed to the better known modernist techniques of Eliot, Woolf and Joyce, to name a few. I am a member of the English Department, an adjunct to the Comparative Literature Department, and a member of the faculty of the Innis Graduate School in Cinema.
Advertising and Commodity Culture in Joyce. Gainesville, Florida: "The James Joyce Series", University Press of Florida, 1998.
Reading Dubliners Again: A Lacanian Perspective. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1993.
Six Ways of Looking at Modernity; Hollywood Cinematic Genres and the Production of the Modern Self Ineluctable Modality of the Visible; Visual Culture and Modernity in James Joyce.
Articles & Essays:
"'Cold, Empty, Beautiful': Advertising Fascism at the 1937 Paris Exposition in Jean Rhys's Good Morning, Midnight in Littérature et publicité , ed. Sarah Thronton. Paris: Editions Gaussen (forthcoming).
"Ineluctable Modality of the Visible: Eco-‐Criticism, the Age of Spectacle, and James Joyce's Ulysses" in Eco-‐criticism and James Joyce, ed. Robert Brazeau (forthcoming).
"I Watch Therefore I Am: Visual Juxtapositions in Cinema and the Alignment of the Modern Self". Psychology and Film, ed. Gerald Cupchik (forthcoming).
“‘The Famished Roar of Automobiles’: Modernity, the Internal Combustion Engine, and Modernism” in Disciplining Modernism, ed. Pamela Caughie. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2009): 221-‐241.
“James Joyce and Popular Culture” in Palgrave Guide to Joyce Studies, ed. Jean-‐ Michel Rabate (New York:Palgrave Macmillan, 2004): 39-‐51.
"'Without contraries There is No Progression': Cinematic Montage and Blake's The First Book of Urizen" University of Toronto Quarterly, special issue: "Blake In Our Time" (Vol. 4 No. 80, Fall 2011): 918-‐934.
"Technically Human: Kubrick’s Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Heidegger’s Propriative Event" in Film Criticism (Fall 2011)
"'Let's Get Fiscal: Moving From Negotiation to Intimacy in the Hollywood Romance" in Film International (Vol. 9, No. 5, 2011).
"Metaphor and Montage: Film versus Poetry". (with Gerald Cupchik) Cognitive Semiotics (forthcoming).
"Globalization and Its Discontents: 'Film Noir' as the Lingua Franca of World Cinema" Transnational Cinemas (submitted)
"'The Killer Inside of Me': Nietzschean Ressentiment and Voice Over in Film Noir" Screen(submitted)
“Tears of Joy: Hollywood Melodrama, Ecstasy, and Restoring Meta-‐Narratives of Transcendence in Modernity" University of Toronto Quarterly ( Vol. 79, No. 2, Spring 2010): 819-‐837.
“Monsters and Mortgages: The Horror Movie as Prime Economic Indicator” in Film International Vol. 43.2 Spring 2010.
“He’s Got Bette Davis Eyes: James Joyce and Melodrama” in Joyce Studies Annual 2008. Fordham University Press: 78-‐104.
“Melodrama and Film Noir on Today’s Big Screen: How Modern Audiences Experience Yesterday’s Classics”. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2(4), 203-‐212 (2008).