Modernism / the Ordinary / the Everyday / American literature / Italian literature / Popular Culture / Queer Theory / the Renaissance.
Medieval/renaissance French literature, history of emotions, War studies, Affect theory, Trauma theory, gender theory, cultural theory, French popular culture.
I am an editor for music books at Routledge, where I acquire textbooks, research monographs, handbooks, and professional titles. Among the areas in which I commission are music theory, popular music, music technology, music and screen media, musical theatre, music industry, and American music. I also commission research-based projects in medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and 18th-century music, and music and material culture. I’m interested in current directions in research and pedagogy.
This essay reconsiders a famous episode of anti-imperial modernism, Langston Hughes’ collaboration with the Afro-Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén. While the episode is often remembered in American literary history as an instance of the more famous Hughes tutoring Guillén in setting popular music in modernist verse, Cuban criticisms of the Harlem Renaissance show how the dynamics of anti-imperial politics, personal competition, and translation shaped hemispheric cultural practice. A comparative reading of the Renaissance and the Afro-Cuban revival underscores the importance in each of vernacular “folk” expression and experimentation. At the same time, English mistranslations of Guillén’s work have meant that his ironic critiques of the Harlem Renaissance—as both a product of American racial segregation and a medium of U.S. cultural imperialism—have been neglected by Americanists who, in emphasizing this case of cross-cultural solidarity, have overlooked the misapprehensions that also produce diaspora culture.
I am a historian of material culture, fashion, and everyday life, and an assistant professor of the History of Art and Culture at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki. Since I gained by my PhD at the University of Sussex in 2006, supervised by Evelyn Welch, I have held positions at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, the European University in Florence, Bard Graduate Centre in New York and Center for Textile Research in Copenhagen. I have been a principal investigator in two international projects, The Material Renaissance: Costs and Consumption in Italy 1350-1600 and Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800. In 2016, I received a 2m euro ERC grant to study early modern popular fashions and historical and digital reconstruction as a methodology for dress historians.
Early modern English drama, Shakespeare, masques, Early modern English literature, Irish literature, Irish drama, theories of space, popular culture studies, video game studies, monster studies
I am a musicologist specializing in cultural studies of early modern English music, music and disability studies, and the historiography of early music. I am currently pursuing an alternative academic career as an adjunct professor in New York City, a freelance editor and professional indexer, and I own and operate and teach at Stellar Music Space (a music studio in Brooklyn, NYC, where I teach private and small group music lessons) and Stellar Yoga Space (a yoga studio where I teach private and small group yoga classes).
I am a scholar of U.S. and Latin American literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In particular, my first book and my current projects reflect a transnational approach to the cultural history of capitalism. They address a common broad question: how are our local and national identities shaped by and through popular economic and political narratives? My book, A Cultural History of Underdevelopment: Latin America in the U.S. Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2016) explores how Americans have mapped the hemisphere from the mid-19th century to the end of the Cold War in terms of an economic geography in which the United States was a rich nation among poor ones. The most common term for this geography and condition of poverty has been “underdevelopment,” a term from the social sciences that has also drawn on cultural generalizations about the origins and the spaces of poverty. Since I arrived at Wayne State, I have also taught and writen about the history and culture of Detroit, especially in the ways its image circulates outside the city–as the Motor City, Motown, the Arsenal of Democracy, and the city of ruins. My new project, Keywords for the Age of Austerity, is an evolving online work of historical etymology and cultural criticism. I trace the history of economic concepts in the mass media, uncovering the history and common use of popular terms like “accountability,” “entrepreneur,” and “innovation.”
My primary areas of research are Augustine, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, Ordinary Language Philosophy (especially the thought of Stanley Cavell), and Philosophy and Popular Culture. Much of my research to date in the history of philosophy has focused on issues associated with questions about cognition in later medieval philosophy, for example, intentionality, sensation and knowledge of the singular. The reason for this focus is my suspicion that the precise contours of Descartes’ indebtedness to Late Scholastic thought are still not well understood due to a failure to appreciate some distinctive turns made in discussions concerning the intellect in the 15th and 16th centuries. My writing on popular culture–tv shows, music, comic books, etc.–allows me to explore some interests I have in contemporary philosophy, including the social context in which philosophy finds itself. Recent published work includes an essay on Zabarella and regressus theory (in the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal), an essay on comic book heroes and modernity in a volume of essays edited by William Irwin and Jorge Gracia, an essay on the Beatles and the practice of philosophy, an essay on Veronica Mars and Skepticism, and the volumes James Bond and Philosophy (co-edited with Jacob M. Held), Buffy Goes Dark (co-edited with Lynn Edwards and Elizabeth Rambo) and Mad Men and Philosophy (co-edited with Rod Carveth). My most recent published work, with Jacob M. Held is a co-edited book entitled Philosophy and Terry Pratchett for Palgrave-Macmillan. I sometimes blog at andphilosophy.com. For the last eleven years, I have edited the journal Philosophy and Theology. I have also begun coursework as an Academic Candidate at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. You can find more information about my publications at my bepress.com site. I regularly teach undergraduate courses in Social and Political Philosophy. My interests there are directed at the development of the modern tradition of political thought from Machiavelli to Mill and the criticism of that tradition begun by Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and others. I also regularly teach a course on the history and philosophy of crime and punishment. I have recently developed several new courses. One, “Philosophy and Popular Culture,” explores several philosophical issues associated with popular culture, while also looking closely at various ways of thinking about the discipline of philosophy. Another, “Philosophy and Film,” takes as its central text Stanley Cavell’s Cities of Words. Another, “Conceiving the Subject,” look at various texts from 20th century literature and thought to see how we can best approach the vexed question of the notion of ‘the subject.’ I am especially concerned in this course with making problematic the notion of ‘authenticity’ by focusing on several challenges stemming from the work of Freud, Wittgenstein, Adorno, and others. On the graduate level, I often teach a Plato course, specialized courses on Augustine, Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (“Franciscan Philosophy,” “Humanism and Platonism in the Renaissance”), and a course on Marx and Moral Theory. Most recently, I developed a course on the thought of Cora Diamond and Stanley Cavell. For many years I taught a freshman seminar in the honors program on the work of Joss Whedon.
Melanie is a musicologist with research and teaching interests in gender, sexuality and eroticism in music, and music of early modern Italy. Since joining University College Cork in 2005, Melanie has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels within the Music Department and on interdisciplinary programs within the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. From 2011-2014, Melanie held a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship to conduct research into music and eroticism in early modern Rome. During the fellowship, Melanie spent six months as a Visiting Scholar at UCLA Department of Musicology and eighteen months as a Visiting Scholar at NYU Department of Music. Melanie is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Music, Gender and Identity at the University of Huddersfield.