Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
M.A. Montclair State University
B.A. Montclair State University
I teach and develop courses in my primary field (20th century American Literature), but also instruct courses in genre fiction, literary criticism and American literature from European colonization to the modern era. Additionally, teaching courses in undergraduate writing as well as advising English majors in the UNC Honors program count rank high on my list of preferred professional activiities. Curriculum and course design are activities I pursue whenever possible; I most recently designed "Literature in a Digital Age" (ENGL 137) for the English Department at UNC.
While teaching hours are primarily devoted to courses in American Literature and Composition, my scholarly research and writing is occupied with those fields as well as others. Scholarly journals (boundary 2, Modern Fiction Studies, American Studies, Reader and Quaderni d'Italianistica) have published my essays and reviews. Individual essays have also appeared in edited volumes, the most recent being my essay on Thomas Pynchon's novel Vineland in the collection Pynchon's California from the University of Iowa Press.
I have written two books. The University of South Carolina Press published the first, a monograph about the American writer Don DeLillo, in 2014. The second, entitled Welcome to Bowfin Country, was accepted for review by the UNC Press. I received a small grant in 2014 to complete that project, and am currently revising the manuscript.
I was raised in and around the editorial offices of Il Progresso Italo-Americano, the historic Italian language newspaper of New York City, and honor that memory by maintaining a steady editorial work of my own. It includes:
- Advisory Editor for boundary 2 and its website.
- Series Editor of the Dialogue Series for Rodopi Editions (now an imprint of Brill Publishers). Recent and forthcoming volumes include collections of essays on Paul Bowles, Sherwood Anderson, Marilynne Robinson. J.G. Ballard and Patrick McCabe.
- Co-Editor (with Richard Purcell) of a new volume of schoalrly essays about the writings of President Barack Obama.
I wrote Understanding Don DeLillo between 2012-2013, during which time I had ocassion to hear DeLillo read at Duke University and also to see a humble yet effective production of his play Valparaiso at a small experimental theatre next to an automobile junkyard in Durham, N.C. During that time I read all that DeLillo had written, nearly every secondary source (the latter included non-English sources in languages that I could read), and also consulted and discovered new materials that had been overlooked or under-valued: Duke and the junkyard, as it were.
The book surveys the "career," in Fred Jameson's use of that term, rather than the oeuvre, by integrating techniques from several critical genres: literary biography, the history of the book, observations on the commercial publishing industry, inter-disciplinary research on DeLillo's work in other media, as well as my own readings of DeLillo and those of prominent critics. In all, the book's parts were designed to present not only an accessible survey of an important literary writer's career but also glimpses of DeLillo's own style through ocassional moments of mimetic subterfuge.
A follow-up note about the project: The book was originally planned to include two additional chapters: the first, on DeLillo's historical fiction (Libra and Underworld) and the second, on DeLillo's plays and work in other media. These were cut for reasons both practical and narrative; quite simply, I ran out of space for them, and the more concise book enjoyed a more compact narrative logic. I resumed work on those excised chapters in 2015 with the intention of publishing them at some point.