Scholarly Publications

“Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith (et al) Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes.” Critical Insights: The Graphic Novel. Ed. Gary Hoppenstand. Grey House Publishing, 2014. 123-37. Print.

Gives an introduction to critical themes and key literary elements of the first volume of The Sandman’s ten volumes, written for undergraduates engaged in the study of graphic novels.

“Unbinding the Tragic ‘Dream’ of Human Abjection: Paying the Debt of Gender-Based Abjection in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.” Fabricating the Body: Effects of Obligation and Exchange in Contemporary Discourses. Ed. Sarah Burcon. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 55-68. Print.

Teases out the way in which the gender bias that is common in comic-based graphic novels is handled responsibly, respectfully, and creatively in Gaiman’s masterpiece.

“Figuring the Midwestern Grotesque in Louise Erdrich’s Novels: Of Modernist Form, Separatists, Postmodernists, and the Romantic Sensibility.” SAIL (Studies in American Indian Literatures) 24.2 (2012).

Argues for a revision of the concept of “Midwestern Grotesque” within literary criticism based on romantic and postmodern features of Erdrich’s Ojibwe and EuroAmerican characters.

"Connie Willis: Of Fused Genres, Marriage Plots, and Meta-Gender." 23-page manuscript. The New York Review of Science Fiction 21.4 (2008): ISSN 1052-9438.

Addresses the challenges that Connie Willis's oeuvre presents to feminism and feminist literary criticism.

“Discourse Analysis, Post-Trauma, and Participatory Listening in Cambodia.” 32-page (8,600-word) manuscript under consideration at Issues in Integrative Studies.

Based on my research project in Cambodia, examines the loss of defining cultural narratives in Cambodia and suggests the use of the lifestory genre to deepen understanding of the effects of genocide and to develop possible strategies for cultural restoration.

“Orature and Cambodian Culture.” McMaster Journal 2 (2007):104-16.

An interpretation of the cultural themes expressed by subjects in my lifestory study of individuals from a cross-section of Cambodia.

"Global Civilization at Defiance College: An Interdiscursive Program." Co-authored with Don Buerk. Reforming Liberal Education and the Core after the Twentieth Century. Ed. Darcy Wudel, Ronald J. Weber, and J. Scott Lee. Lanham, MD: UP of America, 2006. 9-14.

Write-up of the article for the Association for Core Texts and Courses Conference of April 2002. An examination of methods for securing support for cross- and inter-disciplinary programs.

"Incurably Alien Other: A Case for Feminist Cyborg Writers." Anthologized in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 106. Gale Publishing, 2001.

See article description below.

Issues of Color: Racism: Does It Still Exist? Defiance, OH: Defiance College and Defiance Community Television, 2000. Co-moderator/interviewer.

A documentary of round-table interviews on the issue of race and ethnicity within Northwest Ohio.

"Mending the Rationality/Romanticism Divide in the Study of Women's Science Fiction." FemSpec: An Interdisciplinary Feminist Journal 2.1 (2000): 11-29.

An examination of women’s science fiction texts that critique the type of feminism that is dismissive of the theories and practices developed out of Enlightenment philosophy.

Instructors Manual for In Search of Great Ideas: A Reader for Writers. Harcourt Brace, 1996. 255 pages. Co-authored with Michael Ryan.

A pedagogy manual emphasizing interdisciplinary studies through active-learning strategies.

"Incurably Alien Other: A Case for Feminist Cyborg Writers." Science Fiction Studies 22.3 (1995): 399-420.

An overview of feminist science fiction writers engaging in cutting-edge postmodern representations of post-humanist technological subjectivity.

"Being a Boundary: The Abject Subjects of Elizabeth Hand's HEL Trilogy." Extrapolation 36.3 (1995): 222-43.

An argument that Hand’s trilogy manifests Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection, in which repudiation of a boundary figure serves the construction and maintenance of subjectivity.

One Person's Struggle with Gender-Biased Language. Bowling Green, OH: WBGU-TV, 1994. Scriptwriter and video continuity expert.

Thirty minute educational documentary focusing on language that fosters gender-inclusivity.

"Spiraling Around the Hinge: Working Solutions in Always Coming Home." Old West/New West: Centennial Essays. Ed. Barbara Meldrum. University of Idaho Press, 1992. 241-57.

A study of the multiplicity of genre and cross-cultural ideas in Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel.

Scholarly presentations

“A Paradox in Nostalgic Midwestern Poetry?” Lansing, MI: Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 1 June 2015.

Explores the nostalgia within Midwestern poetry, which is a paradox of  simultaneous present moments, the present that creates a fantasy of past places and the present that interrogates that fantasy.

“Arêtê . . . The Greek Way with Art, Sport, and Thought: A Liberal Arts Approach to Living.” Debating Defiance: In and Out of the Liberal Arts Tradition. Defiance, OH: Debating Defiance Lecture Series, 24 Feb. 2015.

Argues for a fuller understanding (and application) of the foundational trivium of the liberal arts: grammar (content of the disciplines, organized systematically), logic (critical tool for putting content in context), rhetoric (communicating understanding of content/context for real-world application).

“Where Once the Cannibals Chanted: Reflections on Chaco Culture and Related Travel Literature and Fiction.” Detroit, MI: Midwest Modern Language Association, 15 Nov. 2014.

Argues that conflicting views of Anasazi civilization in anthropology studies over the past two decades inform contemporary popular fiction and travel literature about Pueblo culture.

“C. D. Wright’s Sublime and Raw Gothic Poetry and the Reality Hunger Manifesto.” Chicago, IL: National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, 18 Apr. 2014.

Explores the ways in which Wright’s lyric poetry demonstrates the near-sublimity of the raw life that Shields expects of both creative nonfiction prose writers and reality TV personalities.

“Failure to Deliver: The Success of eXistenZ and Repo! The Genetic Opera.” Bowling Green, OH: Ray Browne Conference, 22 Feb. 2014.

Argues that unlike Repo Men, which delivers what audiences expect, eXistenZ and Repo! The Genetic Opera radically and successfully interrogate the Romantic fantasy of agency and self determination.

“When Morpheus/Dream and the Repo Man Bring Death to the Community.” St. Louis, MO: Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, 11 Oct. 2013.

Studies contemporary gothic texts—the operatic film Repo! The Genetic Opera and the graphic novel The Sandman—from the philosophical perspectives of Maurice Blanchot and Alphonso Lingis.

“Of the New Gilded Age and the Problem of Activism in the Classroom: Experimenting with ‘Conflict Transformation’ Pedagogy. ” Bowling Green, OH: Battleground States Conference, 23 Feb. 2013. 

Report on the development of a Composition classroom pedagogy based on the practices of Conflict Transformation mediators in the discipline of Peace Studies.

“Unbinding the Tragic ‘Dream’ of Human Abjection: Paying the Debt of Gender-Based Abjection in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.” Cincinnati, OH: Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, 10 Nov. 2012.

See description above in Scholarly Publications section.

“Race and Genetics.” Debating in Defiance: Does Race Exist?. Defiance, OH: Debating in Defiance Lecture Series, 13 Sep. 2012.

Argues for a both/and nuanced understanding of the culturally constructed concept of race, with evidence of biological race coming from genetics studies.

“Not What Does This Poem Mean . . . But What Does This Poem Do? ” Defiance, OH: Defiance College Fall Convocation Distinguished Faculty Presentation, 27 Aug. 2012.

See description  just below.

"What a Poem Can Do: Poetry Beyond Meaning and Being." Defiance, OH. Richard W. Stroede Distinguished Faculty Presentation, 17 Apr. 2012.

An interactive session on poetry interpretation, designed to expand audience understanding of the way in which poetry serves a function beyond the common culture’s focus on meaning/ semantics.

"Benjamin Franklin and Individual Thought." Defiance, OH: McMaster School for Advancing Humanity Symposium, 29 Mar. 2012.

Draws on the writings of Ben Franklin to expose the political, religious, and gender conflicts that developed in the foundations of American society in response to the ideal of "individual thought."

"It's Not about Humans Eating Humans: Impossible Individualism and Impossible Community in
The Road." Bowling Green, OH: Battleground States Conference, 25 Feb. 2012.

Draws on Jean-Luc Nancy's cultural theory of "community" to argue for the dilemma teased out in John Hillcoat's film as tragedy.

"When Tricksters and Love Collide: Louise Erdrich'sTales of Burning Love and The Bingo Palace." St. Louis, MO: Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, 5 Nov. 2011.

Argues for the discursive centrality of the Trickster figure in Louise Erdrich's novels.

“Dear Pope: Did You GET My Letters? Signed, Father Damien; or, How a Louise Erdrich Character Writes Back to the Empire” Lansing, MI: Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 13 May 2011. Also an at-large session moderator.

Argues that the numerous, self-reflexive discourse types in Erdrich’s The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse serve to mark doubt not just about institutions that hold power but about writing itself.

 “Figuring the Midwestern Grotesque in Louise Erdrich’s Novels.” Lansing, MI: Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, 14 May 2010. Also an at-large session moderator.

Exploratory argument that while both the Ojibwa/Chippewa and Euro/American characters of Erdrich’s novels exhibit features of the “Midwestern Grotesque,” they also retain an elemental Romantic sensibility.

“Getting My Feet Wet: How I Want to Cross the Rio Grande Next Time” presentation of the Defiance College panel on “Patrolling Borders: The View from the Ruins of Fort Defiance”: Bluffton, OH: Bluffton University’s Beyond Borders Immigration Conference, 20 Mar 2010.

Presents theories of marginalization and privilege useful to the critique and self-critique of culture, race, ethnicity, population demographics, economics, political structure, and educational opportunities.

“The ‘Meta’ Way to an Integrative Learning Community.” Springfield, IL: Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 24 Oct 2008.

A comparison of different types of learning communities in relation to (1) learning theory and (2) pedagogy for integrative thought and action, including integrative meta-discourse and meta-cognition.

“Results of the Electronic Portfolio Implementation Learning Community.” Columbus, OH: Ohio Learning Network 2008 Learning Communities Initiative Expo, 19 May 2008.

A report in poster format on the final outcomes of a learning community focused on pedagogy development and faculty training.

“Rebuilding New Orleans; 2007-2008.” Defiance, OH: McMaster School for Advancing Humanity Symposium, 9 Apr 2008.

Presented with others the activities of the New Orleans Learning Community, which focused on the needs of community partners in New Orleans around issues of education, housing, the environment, and culture.

“The Electronic Portfolio Implementation Learning Community of the Arts and Humanities Division, Defiance College.” Bowling Green, OH: Ohio Learning Network/Northwest Regional Center Workshop, 15 October 2007.

A report on the organizational structure and learning process involved in a learning community focused on pedagogy development and faculty training.

“Integrating Research, Experiential Learning, Global Service, and Discourse across the Disciplines: On the Process of Developing a ‘Borderland’ Journal.” Tempe, AZ: Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 28 September 2007.

An examination of challenges while developing an interdisciplinary research and service-based journal and the strategies used to meet those challenges.

 “Defiance College Service Learning.” San Antonio, TX: National Communication Association Conference, 16 November 2006. Presenter and chair of the panel on "Service Learning in the Community College: Making Connections with the Communities We Serve."

A presentation on the integration of academic research in service projects that follow a theoretical model of community-focused partnering.

“Bringing a Travel-Study Project in Cambodia into World Literature and Culture Courses.” Atlanta, GA: Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 7 October 2006.

A workshop for conference members on developing learning-community pedagogy for research/service projects that incorporate ethnographic and literary theories and methods.

"How a Learning Community Empowers." Defiance, OH: Collegiate Global Summit of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, 1 June 2006 .

A workshop for conference members on developing pedagogy to manage student learning communities.

"Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Academic Learning: Studying Viewpoints on Conflict in West and Central Asia through Video-Production Methods." Bowling Green, OH: Educational Technology Convergence Project, 21 April 2005.

A presentation on the pedagogy, production methods, and theory for integrating the study of cross-cultural conflict in a first-year composition course.

"The Reality of Engagement: From Design to Assessment." With Ken Christiansen, Mary Ann Studer, and Ellen Servetnick. Charlotte, NC: Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 15 October 2004.

An examination of methods of designing, implementing, and assessing programs that focus on academic skill development through the use of Student Life engagement methods.

"Creativity and Convergence in a Readings-Based Interdisciplinary Global Civilization Program." With Ken Christiansen, Mary Ann Studer, and Don Buerk. Detroit, MI: Association for Integrative Studies Conference, 10 October 2003.

An overview of an interdisciplinary two-course program that achieves common learning goals through individualized pedagogy and course materials.

"Modernity's Concept of the Sub-Human; or, Lessons Learned from Science Fiction and Michel Foucault." Atlanta, GA: Association of Core Texts and Courses Conference, 4 April 2003.

A lecture on convergences between science fiction tropes and Foucault’s cultural studies as they relate to the paradoxical rhetoric of dehumanization within humanist-based discourse.

"From Western to Global Civilization: A Painless Transition." with Don Buerk. Montreal: Association for Core Texts and Courses Conference, 6 April 2002.

An examination of methods for securing support for cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs.

" Multiculturalist Pedagogy: To Exercise the Heart or Discipline the Mind." Chicago: American General and Liberal Studies Conference, 3 November 2000.

A lecture comparing the pedagogy of three institutions and their general education diversity-focused courses.

"The Female Cyborg: A Hopeful Monster." Oswego, NY: National Women's Studies Conference, 12 June 1998.

A presentation using women’s cutting-edge science fiction to ask the question of whether the subjectivity that is assumed of (or afforded) the “Author” is able to cross the gender divide.

"Facing the Alien: Confronting Feminist Interpretation through the Study of Women's Science Fiction." Louisville, KY: Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, 22 February 1997.

A lecture critiquing current interpretive trends in science fiction studies, with alternative interpretations.

"A History and Critique of Gender-Biased Language." Featured Women's History Month Lecture. Findlay, OH: The University of Findlay, 14 March 1995.

A lecture on research findings in the social sciences about the relationship between gender-based marginalization and language.

"A Snake Chasing It's Own Tail: Pat Cadigan's Feminist Poststructuralist Science Fiction." Louisville, KY: Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, 25 February 1994.

An examination of the thematic disruptions and postmodern structural elements of Pat Cadigan’s oeuvre.

"The Faces of Thought Woman: Adaptability in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony." Eugene, OR: Western Literature Association, 7 October 1988.

A lecture teasing out the rhetoric of this Laguna Pueblo storyteller and epistemological differences between Pueblo and EuroAmerican cultures.