Associate Professor of English and Assistant Director, Center for Faculty Innovation
Office: Rose Library 5115
Office Hours: M 3-4pm; W 12-1pm
Courses: Fall 2014
GEng 247: Survey of American Literature I (with William Lawton)
American literature and culture, especially American religious thought, experience,
and psychology; gospel music and culture; sexuality and gender, technology and higher education
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2005
M.A., English, Washington University, December 2001
B.A., English, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Pierre Laclede Honors College, 1998
Then Sings My Soul: The Culture of Southern Gospel Music. Champaign: University of
Illinois Press, 2012. Music and American Life series.
The Gospel Sensibility: Faith, Feeling, and Fallibility in American Sacred Song. Monograph in progress.
Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles:
“Grace To Catch a Falling Soul: Country, Gospel, and Evangelical Populism in the Music of Dottie Rambo.” In Walking the Line: Country Music Lyricists and the American
Literary Canon. Eds. Roxanne Harde and Thomas Alan Holmes. Lexington Press. Forthcoming.
“Authenticity and the Arkansas Imaginary in the Southern Gospel Music of The Martins.” Southern Spaces: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the U.S. South. In progress.
“Southern Gospel Sissies: Gay Men, Evangelical Music, and the Plays of Del Shores.” In The Best of the Journal of Men, Masculinity, and Spirituality. Ed. Joseph Gelfer.
Gorgias Press (2010), 207-231. Originally published in JMMS 3.2 (June 2009),
123-141. Available online.
“Gaither Homecoming, College Football Reunions, and the Consecration of Cultural
History.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 22.3 (2010). Available online.
“No Body There: Notes on the Queer Migration to Cyberspace.” Journal of Popular Culture. 43.2 (April 2010), 286-308.
“Southern Gospel Sissies: Gay Men, Evangelical Music, and the Plays of Del Shores.”
Journal of Men, Masculinities, and Spirituality. 3.2 (June 2009), 123-141.
“Scholarly Voice and Professional Identity in the Internet Age.” Thought & Action. 24 (Fall 2008), 23-34. Available online.
“Why Southern Gospel Music Matters.” Religion and American Culture. 18.1 (Winter 2008), 26-47. Available online.
“The Will in Contemporary Evangelicalism: Or How (Not) To Domesticate Jonathan
Edwards.” Journal of the M/MLA. 39.1 (Spring 2006), 1-13.
“Narcissism, Apocalypse, and Shelley’s Critique of Canonical History in ‘Alastor.’” Essays in Romanticism, (Spring 2003), 37-64.
“The Long Poem of Walking: Spatial Organization and Pedestrian Speech Acts in Piers Plowman.” AntiThesis 12 (Spring 2002), 192-217.
Kluge Research Fellowship in the Social Sciences and Humanities, Library of Congress, 2014
Faculty Scholarship Excellence Award, Florida Gulf Coast University, 2011
Faculty Research Grant, Florida Gulf Coast University, in support of archival research at Center for Popular Music Study, May 2009
National Education Association Award for Excellence in the Academy, 2008
Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship. Washington University, 2004-05
Cornielson Writing Prize. Washington University, 2003
Robert Johnson Prize for Writing Excellence. University of Missouri St. Louis, 1998
Selected Conference Presentations:
“The Gospel Gestalt as Cultural Export: The Curious Case of Gaither Homecomings
Abroad.” Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives
Conference. Ripon College, Oxford. August 2013.
“Authenticity and the Arkansas Imaginary in the Southern Gospel Music of The Martins.” Society for American Music Annual Conference. Little Rock, AR. March 2013.
“Fundamentalists in Cyberspace: Or, Doing American Religious Culture Studies in
the Digital Age.” American Academy of Religion. San Francisco, CA. November
“The Re-Purpose Driven Life: Rick Warren and Contemporary Evangelicalism’s
Covert Appropriation of Humanism.” American Academy of Religion. Atlanta, GA.
Invited Presenter: “Confessions of a Blogademic.” National Education Association Annual Meeting. Portland, OR. March 2009.
“I Once Was Straight But Now Am Gay: Conversion Narratives and Gospel Music in the Plays of Del Shores.” Midwest Modern Language Association. Minneapolis, MN.
“The Gaitherization of Convention Singing.” Middle Tennessee State University, Center for Popular Music. Murfreesboro, TN. April 2008.
“Jonathan Edwards and Crisis Theology in Contemporary Evangelicalism.” MLA annual meeting. Chicago. December 2007.
“Toward a Transatlantic Edwards: The Scottish Correspondence.” Society of Early
Americanists/Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture Conference. Williamsburg, VA. June 2007.
Chair, Religion and Literature panel: “The Half-Life of Religious Thinking.” Chicago.
Midwest Modern Language Association. November 2006.
“Thomas Shepard, Experiential Theology, and the Inscrutability of God’s Plot.” Princeton. American Comparative Literature Association. March 2006.
“William James and the Customization of Calvinism.” St. Louis. Midwest Modern
Language Association. November 2004.
“Contemporary Evangelicalism and the Rediscovery of Jonathan Edwards.” New Orleans, Louisiana. Popular Cultural Association of the South/American Cultural Association of the South. September 2004.
Selected Reviews, Interviews, and Invited Essays:
Review of The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera,
Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations, by Anthony Heilbut. Gay and Lesbian Review. November-December 2012, 54. Available online.
“Still Captivated By Southern Gospel” (author interview for Then Sings My Soul). Religion Dispatches. August 2012.
“The Gospel Church and the Ruining of Gay Lives: An Interview with Anthony Heilbut.”
Religion Dispatches. August 2012.
“Without Bev Shea, No Billy Graham.” Religion Dispatches. April 2013.
“Faith and Football: What the Gospel Church Can Learn from the NFL.” Religion
Dispatches. February 2013.
“The Gospel Gestalt: From Joyful Noise to Whitney Houston.” Religion Dispatches. March 2012.
“Repurposing the Gospel Aura: Eminem’s Chrysler Ad Borrows Some Spirit.”
Religion Dispatches. February 2011.
“Come Out From Among Them: Christian Music Meets its Gay Stars.” Religion Dispatches. April 2010.
Review of Natural Acts: Rusticity and Nostalgia in Country Music, by Patricia Fox. Choice Magazine. March 2009.
Review of Shout, Sister, Shout: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister
Rosetta Tharpe, by Gayle Wald. Choice Magazine. July 2007.