BiographyI began my undergraduate work in literary studies at UCLA and the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I received my BA in 1975. I received my MA in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976, and my PhD in literature in 1980 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. During my career I taught literature and critical theory at Caltech, Emory University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago. From 2000-2002 I served as President of Loyola's Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. I served as Chair of Loyola's Committee on Faculty Appointments from 2002-2003, and as Chair of the Faculty Affairs University Policy Committee from 2003-2004. I also served the English Department as Graduate Programs Director from 1990-1994, and as Assistant Chair from 1996-1999. In 1998 I was chosen as Graduate Faculty Member of the Year.
My areas of academic specialization include modern and contemporary literature and theory, cultural theory, visual culture, the relationship between literature and globalization, and the future of the humanities in twenty-first century higher education. My books include Being in the Text: Self-Representation from Wordsworth to Roland Barthes (Cornell, 1984), The Selected Correspondence of Kenneth Burke and Malcolm Cowley (Viking, 1998, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in biography), Contingency Blues: The Search for Foundations in American Criticism (U. of Wisconsin Press, 1997), Global Matters: The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies (Cornell UP, 2010), and The Humanities "Crisis" and the Future of Literary Studies (Palgrave, 2014). My essays on literary and cultural theory, modern and contemporary literature, globalization, and border studies have appeared in academic journals including PMLA, Callaloo, Cultural Critique, and Modern Fiction Studies, and In These Times.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My areas of research and professional expertise include 19th and 20th century British and American literature, 20th century border, multicultural, and global literatures, the history of literary and critical theory, poststructuralist criticism, visual culture studies, border and globalization theory, and the history and current state of the humanities.
I thrive on travel and am an avid photographer. Much of my time now is taken up with hiking and skiing.