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MemberDavid Melbye

My recent book, Irony in The Twilight Zone (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), explores the thematic use of irony in the original Twilight Zone anthology series and similar television programs, with reference to concurrent Cold War science fiction films and literature. As in my first book, my work here historicizes methods of social critique, this time according to irony’s philosophical groundings in Schlegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, and Rorty. Embarking from this trajectory, I argue the series functions as an aggregate system of ironic communication, whose metaphysical, moral universe mobilizes a critique of 1950s America’s characteristic fears and weaknesses. Instead of perpetuating popular patterns of reception, Irony in The Twilight Zone seeks to re-contextualize the series specifically in terms of irony, since more than any element of science fiction or fantasy, irony becomes the most formulaic aspect of the episodes’ diverse narratives, and even in cases where no climactic twist occurs at all. In other words, Twilight Zone episodes always feature ironic circumstances, wherein characters and/or events turn out to be something other than what was expected, but, otherwise, the series’ eclectic range of contexts ultimately defies genre classification. Also, the show’s host and creator, Rod Serling, referred to as television’s “last angry man,” sought to preserve his aggressive agenda for social consciousness by couching his and other contributors’ critiques in unrealistic scenarios that would evade any censorial scrutiny. Thus, this study probes the larger relationship between irony and social critique, even considering the philosophical legacy of ironic communication, in order to affirm how the former served in The Twilight Zone to mobilize the latter, toward exposing the shortcomings of postwar American culture. Another fundamental aspect of The Twilight Zone too often overlooked is its overarching moral universe, which establishes itself through ironic, often metaphysical circumstances. This study, then, repositions the classic series as an aggregate system that uses ironic circumstances to project an idealized society, resistant to technologization, Cold War paranoia, suburban mythmaking, and other ills of postwar America. Each of several chapters focuses on a particular such aspect, so that the series’ breadth of attention is systematically subdivided and clarified. Ultimately, this is a book providing fresh insight into the richness and complexity of The Twilight Zone, perhaps the greatest of all anthology television series, which really hasn’t had the thorough consideration it deserves until now. The book is peer-reviewed favorably in Journal of American Culture.      My previous book, Landscape Allegory in Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan 2010), explores the topic of landscape in avant-garde and mainstream cinema from the silent era to the present. I specifically identify cases where natural settings transcend their conventional roles as backdrop and become outward manifestations of inner subjective states. Such a range of films includes Nanook of the North, La chute de la maison Usher, Duel in the Sun, L’avventura, Dog Star Man, Lawrence of Arabia, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Apocalypse Now, Fitzcarraldo, and James Benning’s El Valley Centro. The study examines the critical history of landscape depiction in literature, painting, and photography, from medieval allegories like Roman de la Rose to the European Sublime, and from the American Hudson River School and Poe’s landscape sketches to Steichen’s Pictorialist images. Eventually, I illustrate the appearance of psychological landscapes in culturally cathartic films of the 1960s and ‘70s, such as Zabriskie Point and El Topo, and chart the decline of this tendency. My research first appeared in the article, “The Life and Death of the Contemplative Landscape,” in Spectator. I also continue to present my research on landscape-oriented media at academic conferences, including the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and Film & History.  Landscape Allegory in Cinema provides a systematic overview of landscape-oriented films across the history of the medium, showing specifically how and when natural settings function as characters. The study also explores a larger cultural context for the narrative representation of landscape across the humanities, by tracing cultural trajectories of landscape depiction through time. For example, I argue that 17th century Dutch schools of Naturalist and Italianate painting evolved into a modern cinematic context where realistic and idealized settings are coterminous. Eventually, the study analyzes the use of landscape allegory as a means for social critique, particularly in films targeting Western imperialism, such as Aguirre: The Wrath of God and The Man Who Would Be King. The book was nominated for Theatre Library Association’s Wall Award, and is peer-reviewed favorably in Film & History.

MemberJessica Carniel

Jessica Carniel is a Senior Lecturer in Humanities at the University of Southern Queensland, where she teaches on the history of Western ideas, ethics and human rights, and global migration. Her broad research interests include Australian and global immigration, cosmopolitan cultures, sporting communities and identities, cultural studies and gender studies. She has published widely on gender and ethnic identities in literature and sports cultures in multicultural Australia. Her study of Eurovision in Australia will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in late 2018.

MemberJason Bruner

I am a scholar of religious history with a particular interest in the intersected histories of Christian missions, European imperialism, and the growth of Christianities in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. I am intrigued by the religious and cultural exchanges between European missionaries and those who converted, with a focus upon the agency of African peoples. My first book, Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda, which is forthcoming with the University of Rochester Press, is a history of the East African (Balokole) Revival in Uganda from the early 1930s to the early 1960s. While the revival was a conversionary movement that proclaimed a Christian message of salvation, this project examines the ways in which salvation was not simply a personal, eternal aspiration for the Balokole, but rather a comprehensive way of life. This book will illuminate the many ways in which the revival created a new lifestyle for those who converted through its message, which had profound impacts upon revivalists’ understanding of themselves and how they ought to relate to their families, communities, societies, and nations.

MemberTim Bulkeley

Past: Vice recteur, Facultes Protestantes au Zaire; Carey Baptist College; University of Auckland; Laidlaw-Carey Graduate SchoolHonours:Distinguished Teaching Award 2001 (University of Auckland)22nd Annual William Menzies Lectureship (five lectures) with the title “God as Mother?” 2014 (Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio, Philippines)Unsung Heroes Award 2016 (for teaching on marriage and family) New Zealand Christian Network

MemberGreg Hollin

My name is Greg Hollin and I’m a Wellcome Research Fellow based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at The University of Leeds – before this I was a lecturer in social theory at the same school. Before that I was based in the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham. I’m interested in the sociology of science and medicine and my work is largely focused around two areas. Firstly, I’ve studied the role of cognitive psychology and neuroscience in emerging diagnoses. Much of my research here has focused upon autism but my current project (see below) is examining Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in the context of contact sports. Secondly, I’m interested in new materialism and more-than-human research. I’ve examined these questions in relation to of the consolidation of Beagles as a breed of choice within laboratories but am also working on other cases.

MemberCaroline Edwards

20th and 21st Century Literature Science Fiction, Utopian Literature, Utopian Studies Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School Philosophy of Time Environmental Humanities, Petrocultures, Energy Humanities Open Access Publishing Dr Caroline Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature in the Department of English & Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is actively involved with Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Literature. Her research focuses on the utopian imagination in contemporary literature, science fiction, apocalyptic narratives, and Western Marxism. She is author of Utopia and the Contemporary British Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2019), which examines temporal experience and utopian anticipation in contemporary texts by British writers including Hari Kunzru, Maggie Gee, David Mitchell, Ali Smith, Jim Crace, Joanna Kavenna, Grace McCleen, Jon McGregor and Claire Fuller. Her work on contemporary writers has also led to two co-edited books: China Miéville: Critical Essays, co-edited with Tony Venezia (Gylphi, 2015) and Maggie Gee: Critical Essays, co-edited with Sarah Dillon (Gylphi, 2015). Caroline is currently working on her second monograph, Arcadian Revenge: Utopia, Apocalypse and Science Fiction in the Era of Ecocatastrophe, which considers how fictions of extreme environments (such as Mars, Antarctica, the deep sea, and the centre of the Earth) have allowed writers to imagine creative responses to real and perceived disasters about climate change, from the late 19th century to the present day. Caroline has written a number of journal articles for publications such as TelosModern Fiction StudiesTextual PracticeContemporary LiteratureASAP/Journal, the New Statesman and the Times Higher Education Supplement. Her book chapter contributions on science and utopian fiction and contemporary literature include chapters for The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction, 1980-2018 (ed. Peter Boxall), The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, 2nd edition (ed. Niall Harrison, Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James), Science Fiction: A Literary History (ed. Roger Luckhurst, for the British Library Press), The Routledge Companion to Twenty-First Century Literary Fiction (ed. Daniel O’Gorman and Robert Eaglestone), British Literature in Transition, 1980–2000: Accelerated Times (ed. Eileen Pollard and Berthold Schoene, Cambridge University Press, 2019) and the Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literature (ed. Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Fátima Vieira and Peter Marks). In addition to her public engagement work, Caroline has also been invited to lecture at a number of academic and public institutions, including Harvard University, the European Commission in Brussels, the LSE, King’s College London, the National Library of Sweden, the University of Durham, the Academy of the Fine Arts in Vienna, UCL, the University of Cardiff, the Royal Irish Academy, SOAS, the University of Warwick, the Literary London Society, the British Library, Queen Mary, University of London, and the Institute of English Studies. She has given media interviews for the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Times Higher Education, the Austrian national broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) and the Guardian. She is regularly involved in public speaking and has been invited to share her research in events at the Wellcome Trust, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, Hillingdon Literary Festival, the Museum of London, BBC One South East, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and the LSE Literary Festival. Caroline is known for her advocacy in open access publishing. She is Founding and Commissioning Editor of the open access journal of 21st-century literary criticism, Alluvium, and is Founder (with Prof. Martin Eve) and Editorial Director of the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) – a leading open access publishing platform for humanities journals, which is also working with numerous international partners including: Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Open Book Publishers, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Public Knowledge Project, the Wellcome Trust, the British Library, the Creative Commons, RCUK, Jisc Collections, and the Modern Languages Association. As part of her campaigning for open access and work in publishing, Caroline regularly gives invited keynote talks and lectures at open access conferences and publishing events. Caroline supervises several PhD research students working on contemporary literature and science fiction, as well as digital humanities, projects. She welcomes PhD applications on the following topics: 21st-century literature, utopian and dystopian narratives, science fiction (particularly feminist SF, ecocatastrophe narratives, the New Weird, and contemporary slipstream), apocalyptic literature and culture, literary and critical theory, Western Marxism and the philosophy of the Frankfurt School. Caroline was on grant-funded leave from teaching for 2015-2018. Between 2013 and 2015, she was Director of the MA Contemporary Literature and Culture and taught on the BA English, MA Contemporary Literature and Culture, MA Modern and Contemporary Literature and MA Cultural and Critical Studies. Caroline joined the department in September 2013, having previously worked as Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln (2011-2013), Tutor in English Literature at the University of Surrey (2010-2011) and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Nottingham (2008). She was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2016 and was a founding Secretary of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS). Contact details: Email: caroline.edwards@bbk.ac.uk Twitter: @the_blochian Website: http://www.drcarolineedwards.com/

MemberGuy Burneko

Born and raised in central New York State, life/work/school/travel from there to the Bronx to Fairbanks, Bethel and Anchorage, Alaska,  Atlanta, Dalian, China, Asheville, NC, Roanoke, VA, San Francisco, Seattle, Whidbey Island, WA, with sojourns, wanderings and fellowships in several other delightful places….All transdisciplinary, intercultural, hermeneutic and naturalistic in character.