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Director of Graduate Studies & Professor
Contact Info

Office: Keezell 211

Spring 2024 Office Hours: 
Monday & Wednesday, 11:00am - 12:00pm

American fiction, 1865-1945; popular literary genres (esp. hard-boiled crime and detective fiction, dime novels, and westerns); American modernism; American periodical culture; silent film and film history; popular film genres (western, detective/noir, horror, etc.); American language and slang; literature and the American Left; jazz and literature; early sound recording history and technology.

Ph.D., English, City University of New York, 2009
B.A., German, Transylvania University, 2001
B.A., English, Transylvania University, 1999

Black Pulp: Genre Fiction in the Shadow of Jim Crow, Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 2021

  • Shortlist, Modernist Studies Association Book Prize, 2022
  • Honorable Mention, Bibliographical Society of America St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize, 2023

The Word on the Streets: The American Language of Vernacular Modernism
. Charlottesville: U of Virginia Press, 2017. 

Editor and Introduction, Black Empire by George S. Schuyler, Penguin Classics, 2023.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:
“Beyond Little and Big: Circulation, Data, and American Magazine History” (with Edward Timke), Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 11.1 (2020): 25-51.

“Signifying Genre: George S. Schuyler and the Vagaries of Black Pulp,” Modernism/modernity 26.3 (September 2019): 483-504.

“‘Gettin’ on with These Furriners’: Silent Western Epics and American Identity,” Screen 59.4 (Winter 2018): 463-483.

"Pulp Magazines," American Literature in Transition: 1920-1930. Ed. Ichiro Takayoshi. Cambridge UP,  2017. 434-448.

“‘The Paper Old and Faded and Falling to Pieces’: Absalom, Absalom! and the Pulping of History,” Faulkner and History. Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Series. University of Mississippi Press. 2017. 177-191. 

 “Outlaws Without a Cause: Generational Conflict in Budd Boetticher’s Ranown Cycle,” The Films of Budd Boetticher. Refocus Film Series. Edinburgh UP, 2017. 206-227.

 “Weird Investigations and Nativist Semiotics in H.P. Lovecraft and Dashiell Hammett,” Modern Fiction Studies 60.4 (Winter 2014): 651-676.

 “Milland Alone: The End of the System, Post-Studio Stardom, and the Total Auteur,” Journal of Film and Video 66.4 (Winter 2014): 3-18.

  “Rethinking Blacula: Ideological Critique at the Intersection of Genres,” Journal of Popular Film and Television 40.2 (Summer 2012): 62-74.

  “‘I Used to Be a Highbrow But Look at Me Now’: Phrenology, Detection, and Cultural Hierarchy in S.S. Van Dine,” Clues: A Journal of Detection 30.1 (Spring 2012): 30-41.

 “‘Slipping back into the vernacular’: Anzia Yezierska’s Vernacular Modernism,” MELUS 36.3 (Fall 2011): 187-211.

 “‘Any Chance to Be Unrefined’: Film Narrative Modes in Anita Loos’s Fiction,” PMLA 125.1 (January 2010): 107-120.

Digital Projects:
Co-director (with Ed Timke), Circulating American Magazines, a data visualization project designed to make over 100 years of circulation figures for major American periodicals publicly accessible. 

Reviews and Other Publications:
“Review of Jim Crow Networks: African American Periodical Cultures by Eurie Dahn,” Modernism/modernity 29:1 (January 2022): 203-205.

“Review of The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward.” Resources for American Literary Study 39 (2017): 378-384.

How It Happens Here: Race and American Antifascist Literature.” Los Angeles Review of Books, November 26, 2016.

Introductions, The Collected Hard-Boiled Stories of Race Williams, by Carroll John Daly.
      Volume 1: Them That Lives By Their Guns. Ed. Matthew Moring. Altus Press, 2015
      Volume 2: The Snarl of the Beast. Ed. Matthew Moring. Altus Press, 2016
      Volume 3: Shooting Out of Turn. Ed. Matthew Moring. Altus Press, 2017
      Volume 4: If Death Is Respectable. Ed. Matthew Moring. Altus Press, 2018.
      Volume 5: Just Another Stiff. Ed. Matthew Moring. Steeger Books, 2019. 
      Volume 6: Gangman’s Gallows. Ed. Matthew Moring. Steeger Books, 2020. 
      Volume 7: Unremembered Murder, Ed. Matthew Moring. Steeger Books, 2022. 

Edna T. Shaeffer Humanist Award, JMU, 2022

Virginia Humanities Grant (w/Mollie Godfrey), “A Miserable Revenge: Recovering 19th-Century Black Literature from the Shenandoah Valley,” 2022

Research and Scholarship Outstanding Faculty Award, Office of Sponsored Programs, JMU, 2018

College of Arts and Letters Summer Research Grant, 2018

National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (w/Edward Timke), Circulating American Magazines, 2017

Provost's Research Award, 2017

College of Arts and Letters Summer Research Grant, JMU, 2016

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Participant, “City of Print: New York and the Periodical Press,” 2015

College of Arts and Letters Summer Research Grant, JMU, 2013

Erle Stanley Gardner Endowment for Mystery Studies Fellowship, Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities, 2011

Edna T. Shaeffer Humanist Award, JMU, 2011

JMU Library Collections Development Grant, Black Mask pulp collection, JMU, 2010-11 

Open Resource Grant for “Hart Crane’s The Bridge: A Digital Resource,” JMU, 2010-11 

Alfred Kazin Prize, Best Dissertation in American Literature and Culture, CUNY Graduate Center, 2009

Rollin Prize (Best graduate essay in American Culture), Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association in the South Conference, 2006

Current Projects:
Claude McKay: The Letters in Exile, co-editor with Gary Edward Holcomb


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