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MemberAma Bemma Adwetewa-Badu

My research focuses on politics, aesthetics, and identity construction and representation as articulated through avant-garde poetics and 20th/21st century Anglophone Black diasporic literature and culture, especially poetry. I am especially interested in the intersection of politics and aesthetics in literature, and the ways in which avant-garde poetics disrupt preconceived notions of Blackness  (and personhood) while constructing an open nature to the signs placed upon the (black) body. My most recent project, “Iterations of Identity: Black Diasporic Poetics and the Politics of Form,” positions these interests in a comparative aesthetic perspective, with a focus on examining avant-garde poetics through a primary lens of close-reading and aesthetics, including a study of the politics of aesthetics as dictated by neo-colonialism in West-Africa and the Caribbean, and racialized climates constructed by the global white gaze.

MemberJosh Epstein

I am currently an Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University. I research and teach classes in 20th-century Anglophone modernism, critical theory, sound studies, film, musicology, and adaptation studies. After receiving his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, I served as an academic adviser, as an ACLS Fellow at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and as an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. My first book, Sublime Noise: Musical Culture and the Modernist Writer, explores the relationships among modernist literature, music, noise, and aural culture. In addition to publications forthcoming in Modern DramaStudies in the Novel, and The New Ezra Pound (ed. Mark Byron), I’ve published in Textual PracticeJames Joyce Quarterly, and Victorian Literature and Culture, and present regularly at the Modernist Studies Association conference. I am currently at work on a new project about the documentary filmmaker and amateur anthropologist Humphrey Jennings, focusing on how Jennings’s filmic, literary, and anthropological work addresses the media ecology and material culture of post-WWII Britain, producing newly textured ways of reading and narrating citizenship. At PSU I teach a range of classes, including undergraduate and graduate modernism courses; general education courses on modern British lit, race and melodrama, film history, and critical film theory; major authors courses on James, Conrad, and Joyce; and advanced topics courses on aesthetic and cultural theories of failure. Further information and selected syllabuses can be found on my personal webpage, http://joshepstein.net .