Associate Professor of English, University of Southern California2002—
Assistant Professor of English, University of Southern California1999-2002
Assistant Professor of Literature and of English, Harvard University 1995-99
Ph.D. in English, U.C.L.A. 1997
D.Phil.in English, Oxford University 1995
M.Phil. in British Literature 1880-1960, Oxford University 1988
M.A. in Humanities, Stanford University 1986
B.A. in English and Political Science, with Honors in Humanities, Stanford 1986
Marriage, Violence, and the Nation in the American Literary West
Cambridge University Press, 2002. Paper edition, 2009.
Reviewed in Transatlantica, Choice, Western American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies (Review Essay), Great Plains Quarterly, American Literature. Featured in Review Essay in American Literary History.
The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon
Reviewed in Kirkus, Choice, Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Western American Literature. True West: Authenticity and the American West (Co-edited with Nathaniel Lewis)
University of Nebraska Press, 2004. Paper edition, 2007.
Reviewed in the Los Angeles Times Book Review,Choice, Journal of American Culture, Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Western Historical Quarterly, Western American Literature (Review Essay), Journal of Arizona History, Great Plains Quarterly, American Literary History (Review Essay).
Western Time Frames: Representing Deep History, Prehistory, and the Accelerated Present in the U.S. West (contracted with the University of Nebraska Press; forthcoming, 2018).
Articles in Journals:
"Detecting the Fictions of History in Watershed." Callaloo 28: 2 (Spring 2005): 305-312. (Invited)
“Belonging(s): Plural Marriage, Gay Marriage, and the Subversion of ‘Good Order.’” Discourse 26:3 (Fall 2004): 85-109. (Invited)
“Distinctions Without Differences: Zane Grey and the Mormon Question.” Arizona Quarterly 57:1 (Spring 2001): 1-33. (Refereed)
“The House a Ghost Built: Nommo, Allegory, and the Ethics of Reading in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” Contemporary Literature 36:4 (Winter 1995): 676-701. (Refereed)
“The Housemaid and the Kitchen Table: Incorporating the Frame in To the Lighthouse.” Twentieth Century Literature 40:1 (Spring 1994): 15-41. (Refereed)
Riders of the Purple Sage, by Zane Grey. Introduction, Notes, and Bibliography by William R. Handley. Modern Library Edition. Random House, 2002.
Chapters in Books:
“A Whole without Transcendence: Isherwood, Woolf, and the Aesthetics of Connection.” The American Isherwood: Christopher Isherwood in the Twenty-first Century. Eds. Chris Freeman and James J. Berg. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. 63-78.
“The Pasts and Futures of a Story and a Film.” Introduction to The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon. Ed. William R. Handley. Lincoln: Bison Books, 2011. 1-23.
“ The Vanishing American.” America First: Naming the Nation in U.S. Film. Ed. Mandy Merck. Routledge, 2007. 44-64.
“Freeways in the City of Angels." Working Sites: Texts, Territories, and Cultural Capital in American Cultures. Ed. William Boelhower and John Leo. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2004. 178-207.
“Introduction.” Co-authored with Nathaniel Lewis. True West: Authenticity and the American West. Ed. Handley and Lewis. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004. 1-17.
“Willa Cather: ‘The West Authentic,’ The West Divided.” True West: Authenticity and the American West. Ed. Handley and Lewis. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004. 72-94.
“Introduction” to Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage. New York: Random House (Modern Library), 2002. xi-xxix.
“Mormonism and Other Narratives of the Living Dead.” One Nation Under God? Religion and American Culture. Ed. Marjorie Garber and Rebecca Walkowitz. Preface by Cornel West. New York: Routledge Press, 1999. 235-257.
“The Ethics of Subject Creation in Bakhtin and Lacan.” Mikhail Bakhtin: Carnival and Other Subjects. Ed. David Shepherd. (Critical Studies 3.2-4.1/2. Gen. Ed. Myriam Díaz-Diocaretz.) Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 1993. 144-162.
“War and the Politics of Narration in Jacob's Room.” Virginia Woolf and War: Fiction, Reality, and Myth. Ed. Mark Hussey. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1991. 110-133.
Other Versions of Articles and Chapters:
“Freeways in the City of Angels.” Rediscovering America: New Approaches to American Culture. Ed. Wolfgang Holtkamp. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler-Verlag, 2001. 37-73.
“Wister’s Omniscience and Omissions.” Reading The Virginian in the New West: Centennial Essays. Ed. Melody Graulich and Stephen Tatum. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003. 39-71.
“The Housemaid and the Kitchen Table: Judgment, Economy, and Representation in To the Lighthouse.” Virginia Woolf: Themes and Variations. Ed. Vara Neverow-Turk and Mark Hussey. New York: Pace UP, 1993. 309-320.
Essays and Entries in Literary Companions and Encyclopedias:
“The Popular Western.” Essay in A Companion to the Modern American Novel, 1900-1950. Ed. John Matthews. Blackwell, 2009. 437-453.
Entry on Mormon history in Twayne Literary Voices--American Literature in Historical Context, 1870-1920. Ed. Gary Scharnhorst and Thomas Quirk. Gale Press, 2005.
“Western Fiction.” Essay, with annotated bibliography, in TheOxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. Vol. 4. Ed. Jay Parini. Oxford University Press, 2004. 334-343.
Reviews and Notes:
Rev. of Reading the West, ed. Michael Kowalewski. Studies in the Novel (Spring 2000): 89-91.
Rev. of The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America, by James Wilson.
The Boston Book Review (June 1999): 12-13.
Rev. of Granite and Rainbow: The Hidden Life of Virginia Woolf, by Mitchell Leaska. The Boston Book Review (May 1998): 16-17.
Rev. of Representing Modernist Texts: Editing as Interpretation, ed. George Bornstein. Virginia Woolf Miscellany 38 (Spring 1992): 5-6.
“Can Modernism Have Soul? Virginia Woolf and Fyodor Dostoevsky.” Virginia Woolf Miscellany 31 (Fall 1988): 3-4.
Section in Instructor Guide for Anthology:
“The Literature of an Expanding Nation: 1865-1912.” Section 5 in Instructor's Manual for TheHarper American Literature, 2e. 1994. 285-312.
Virginia Woolf: The Politics of Narration. Stanford Honors Essay in Humanities. Number 31 [since 1951]. 1988: 67 pp.
Fellowships, Grants, and Awards
Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Fall 2016
Susan J. Rosowski Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentorship, Western Literature Association. 2016
Deb and Edith Wylder Award for Exceptional Service to the Western Literature Association. 2014
USC-Mellon Mentoring Award (for graduate student mentoring) 2014
Nominee for USC Parents Association Teaching and Mentoring Award 2010
Mellon Mays research award for mentoring undergraduate research (Matthew Broaddus) 2009
Annenberg award for mentoring graduate research (Josie Sigler) 2009
Honorable Mention for the Don D. Walker Award (WLA, for best essay) 2008 & 2002
Finalist for the Thomas J. Lyon Award (WLA, for best book) 2003
Multimedia Literacy Program Teaching Grant (USC, for English 350) 2001-02
James H. Zumberge Faculty Research and Innovation Grant (USC) 2000-02
W. M. Keck Foundation and Mayers Fellow (Huntington Library) Fall 1998
Hoopes Prize (given at Harvard to 70 undergards and their mentor/advior; honors theses) 1998 & 1997
Matthew Arnold Prize (Oxford; essay on W.H. Auden and Joseph Brodsky) 1989
Rhodes Scholarship (Connecticut ’86 and St. John’s College, Oxford) 1986-89
Michelle Z. Rosaldo Prize in Feminist Studies (Stanford; honors thesis) 1986
Executive Secretary and Treasurer, Western Literature Association Fall ’09-‘14
Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment (English, USC) 2007-09
President, Western Literature Association 2004-05
Director of Undergraduate Studies (English, USC) 2003-05
Invited Papers, Lectures, and Talks
“Framing Time.” Invited talk given to BYU environmentalist-affiliated faculty.
Provo, UT, December 2016.
“Re-photographic Juxtaposition and Westward Movment.” Invited talk given to BYU western-affiliated faculty. Provo, UT, November 2016.
“Environmentalist Genealogies.” Invited speaker on a plenary for the 50th anniversary of the Western Literature Association.” Reno, NV, October 2015.
“Pre-history and the Accelerated Present.” Invited Paper given at a symposium on “The Future of the Environmental Humanities: Art, Thought, and Action in the Anthropocene.” Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, September, 2015.
Speaker, for the publication of The American Isherwood. University of Southern California, March 2015.
Invited panel Participant, “Graduate Student Professionalization: Thoughts on Current Critical Dialogues.” Western Literature Association Conference. Victoria, B.C., November 2014.
“American Vanishing Acts.” Invited paper at a symposium on the U.S. West’s invisible histories. Toulouse, France, March 2014.
Introduction for Robert Hass. Invited by WLA president to introduce the WLA’s Distinguished Achievement Award Winner. Western Literature Association Conference. Berkeley, October 2013.
Panel Participant on the subject “To What Audience Do I Choose to Write? (And How Does Being Born Mormon Affect My Choice?).” Invited talk given at the Sunstone Symposium, Salt Lake City, July 2012.
“‘The Mormon Moment’ and LGBT Politics.” Invited talk given at the Autry Museum’s “Out West” series event, in conversation with D. Michael Quinn on his book Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example. Los Angeles, June 2012.
“Brokeback Mountain’s Broken and Unbroken Ground.” Invited talk for the Masters of Liberal Studies Program, U.S.C., March 2012.
Roundtable participant on “The Significance of the Frontier in American Culture since the End of the Cold War.” Invited talk for the International symposium on “The Significance of the Frontier in an Age of Transnational History.” Huntington Library, February 2012.
“The Fashioning of the Self and the Imagination of Geography in the Early Republic: Franklin, Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark.” Invited lecture for secondary school History teachers. Huntington Library, April 2011.
“Causality and Non-Separability in A Single Man.” Invited paper presented at a plenary at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Prescott, AZ, October 2010.
“‘Only in America’: Mormonism and Angels in America’s ‘National Themes.’” Invited lecture at New York University. September 2010.
Panel speaker. “What Ever Happened to Ennis Del Mar?” Inaugural event for Out West series at the Autry National Center of the American West. December 2009.
“Barbarians at the Gate.” Keynote address at the conference of the Thematic Option Honors Program. U.S.C., April 2008.
“The Canons and Canyons of Western Literature.” Talk given at the Huntington Library, February 2008.
“Having It Both Ways: Brokeback Mountain and Some Paradoxes of the Western.” Invited lecture at the University of Vienna, Austria, May 2007.
“The Vanishing American.” Invited paper presented at a symposium to mark the publication of America First: Naming the Nation in U.S. Film. University of London, U.K., February 2007.
“An Anatomy of Feeling Western; or, The Good News about Estrangement.” Past President’s Keynote Address given at the conference of the Western Literature Association. Boise, October 2006. http://www.usu.edu/westlit/pastpresadd2006.htm
“The Achievement of Joan Didion.” Remarks given at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Los Angeles, October 2005.
“Willa Cather’s Western Marriages and the Question of Nation-Building.” Paper presented at the Center for Feminist Research. U.S.C., April 2001.
“Teaching Literature of the American West.” Lecture given at the Harvard Seminar for Superintendents. Cambridge, July, 1999.
“Willa Cather.” Lecture given at Hamilton College, February 1999.
“Southern Californian Environments and their Literary Exploitation.” Paper presented at a Symposium on Nature and Environmental Writing for the American Literature Association. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, December 1998.
“On and Off the Road: Getting Places in Rhetorical Time.” Paper given at an Honorary Colloquium for Professor Martha Banta. UCLA, April 1998.
“American Cults of the Dead and the Deaths of Cults.” Paper presented at the Conference on Religion and Contemporary American Culture. Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, Harvard University, November 1997.
“Willa Cather: ‘The West Authentic,’ The West Divided.” Paper presented at the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies. Harvard University, December 1996.
“Re-photographic Juxtaposition and the Ruins of Westward Movement.” Paper given at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Big Sky, MT, September 2016.
“Wonder and Dread Underground.” Paper read at the conference of the Association of the Study of Literature and the Environment.” Moscow, ID, June 2015.
“Brokeback Mountain’s Broken and Unbroken Ground.” Paper presented at the Convention of the Modern Language Association. Los Angeles, January 2011.
“Allegory and Architectures of Abandonment.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Boulder, October 2008.
“Just Friends: The Unelected Affinities Between Modernism and Anti-Modernism.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Modernist Studies Association. Vancouver, October 2004.
“Authentic Extras: Playing Indian and Performing American in The Vanishing American.” Paper presented at the conference of the Western Literature Association. Big Sky, Montana, October 2004.
"Pleasing Form.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Houston, October 2003.
“Reimagining the American Road Narrative: Ethnicity and Destination.” Paper presented at the Conference of the European Association of American Studies. Bordeaux, France, March 2002.
“Talking About Coyote.” Paper presented at the Convention of the Modern Language Association. New Orleans, December 2001.
“Reading and Visualizing L.A.’s Rivers of Concrete.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Omaha, October 2001.
“L.A. Freeway: The Pastoral as Narcotic.” Paper presented at the Conference of the American Literature Association. Cambridge, May 2001.
“Those Queer Mormons.” Paper accepted for a panel at the Convention of the Modern Language Association. Washington, D.C., December 2000.
“Freeways in the City of Angels.” Paper presented at the Conference of the European Association of American Studies. Graz, Austria, April 2000.
“Getting Religion in Zane Grey.” Paper presented at a Conference on Literature and Belief. Provo, UT, March 2000.
“Accident and Destiny in Joan Didion’s West.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Sacramento, October 1999.
“Authentic Aridity: Willa Cather’s Invention of Authorship.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Banff, Canada, October 1998.
“The ‘Baptism of Ink’: F. J. Turner’s Literary Influences and Influence.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western History Association. Sacramento, October 1998.
“Allegorizing the Nation in My Ántonia.” Paper presented at the Conference of the American Literature Association. San Diego, May 1998.
“The West is Nowhere: The American West as National Symptom in Fitzgerald and Didion.” Paper presented at the Conference of the Western Literature Association. Albuquerque, October 1997.
“Empire Against Empire: Rescuing the American Family in Riders of the Purple Sage.” Paper presented at the Convention of the Modern Language Association. Washington, D. C., December, 1996.
“Rescuing the West for the American Nation: Zane Grey and the Mormon Question.” Paper presented at the Israel American Studies Conference, “The Americanization of America.” Jerusalem, November 1996.
“Allegorizing Imperialism in My Ántonia.” Paper presented at the joint convention of the Western Literature Association and the Western History Association. Lincoln, Nebraska, October 1996.
“The Housemaid and the Kitchen Table: Judgment, Economy, and Representation in To the Lighthouse.” Paper presented at the Second Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. New Haven, June 1992.
“Bakhtin and Lacan: The Ethics of Subject Creation.” Paper presented at the Fifth International Bakhtin Conference. Manchester, England, July 1991.
Panel Chair, “Drought and the California Imagination.” Conference of the Western Literature Association. Reno, October 2015.
Panel Chair, “Translations of Empire: (Re)presenting Westward Expansion.” Conference of the Western Literature Association. Berkeley, October 2013.
Panel Chair, Conference of the Thematic Option Honors Program. U.S.C., April ’10,’11, and ’13.
Panel Chair, “Bloomsbury Displaced.” Conference of the Modernist Studies Association. Long Beach, November 2007.
Panel Chair, “History, Memory, Nostalgia, and the Urban West.” Conference of the Western Literature Association. Tacoma, October 2007.
Conference Organizer, “Cultures of Memory and Forgetting in the American West.” 40th Annual Conference of the Western Literature Association. Los Angeles, October 19-22, 2005.
Panel Chair, “Apocalypse Now and Then.” Conference of the Western Literature Association. Los Angeles, October 2005.
Panel Chair, “Frontiers of Empire in American Culture.” Conference of the Western Literature Association. Big Sky, Montana, October 2004.
Panel Chair, "American Values, Christian Identities: Racial Socialization in Contemporary U.S. Society." First Annual Conference of Ethnic Studies in California. U.S.C., March 2003.
Panel Chair, “Gender and Sexuality in the West.” Conference of the Western Literature Association. Tucson, October 2002.
Panel Organizer and Chair, “Authenticity and the American West.” Conference of the American Literature Association. Long Beach, April 2002.
Panel Chair, “Spatiality, Mobility, and Travel: Resistance Movements.” Conference of the American Literature Association. Cambridge, May 2001.
Panel Organizer and Chair, “The Empire Strikes Home: Fictions of American Conquest.” Modern Language Association Convention. Washington, D. C., December 1996.
Co-Director, First International Virginia Woolf Conference. Sussex, England, June 1987.
Other Scholarly and Public Activities
General Editor, Postwestern Horizons Book Series 2002—
University of Nebraska Press. Since it was created in 2002, I’ve served as General Editor of this series. Since then, four of the ten books published in the series have been awarded the Western Literature Association’s Thomas J, Lyon Prize for Best Book in the field of U.S. Western Literary and Cultural Studies.
Speaker and Moderator for a panel marking the publication of The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon, ed. William R. Handley. Los Angeles Times Book Festival, U.S.C., April 2011.
Moderator, Working Group on Western Fiction and History. Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. 2005—
Panelist (with Richard Slotkin) on hour-long radio program “Imagining the American West.” “Odyssey,” Chicago Public Radio WBEZ, with host Gretchen Helfrich. June 16, 2004.
Speaker and Moderator for a panel marking the publication of Poets Against the War, ed. by Sam Hamill. Los Angeles Times Book Festival, April 2003.
Peer-reviewer of article and book manuscripts for PMLA, Western American Literature, Theatre Journal, American Quarterly, American Studies Journal, University of California Press, Oxford University Press, University of Nebraska Press, University Press of Virginia, Cambridge University Press, SUNY Press, Lexington Books, and others.
At the University of Southern California:
Chair, National and International Graduate Fellowships Advisory Comm. 2014--
Change in 1930s and 1940s Los Angeles.” (2013) (English)
Alexander Young, “‘Let Us Fake Out a Frontier’: U.S. Countercultural Literature and the Settler Colonial Imaginary.” (2015) (English)
Ryan McIllvain, “Ethics without God” (Literature and Creative Writing) In progress.
Wendy Witherspoon (English); Bridget Hoida and Jeffrey Chisum, Jennifer Clark, Stephan Clark, Emily Fridlund, Cody Todd, Chris Muniz, and Ryan Shoemaker (Literature and Creative Writing).
Dissertation Committee Member (in addition to committees chaired):
Brett Myhren, Dave Tomkins, Jeffrey Solomon, and Justin Bibler (English); Chris Abani (Literature and Creative Writing); Nick Hall, Elizabeth Logan, and Sarah Keyes (History); Amy Wertheimer (Education); Shiuh-huah Serena Chou, Colin Dickey, and Naomi Greenwald (Comparative Literature); Carolyn Dunn (American Studies and Ethnicity); and Ryan Hay (Philosophy).
Graduate Fields and/or Qualifying Exam committee member:
Wendy Witherspoon, Joshua Smith, Tanya Heflin, Kevin Pinkham, Brett Myhren, Jeffrey Solomon, Jonathan Hamrick, April Davidauskis, Justin Bibler, Meghan Boyle, Alex Young.
Literature and Creative Writing
Bridget Hoida, Chris Abani, Jeffrey Chisum, Katey Karlin, Jennifer Clark, Stephan Clark, Cody Todd, Jessica Piazza, Michael Busk, Emily Fridlund, Lisa Locascio, Ryan Shoemaker, Jackson Bliss, Anthony Abberono, Christopher Muniz, Ryan McIlvain, Vanessa Carlyle, Bruce Johnson.
Andie Reid, Nick Hall, Sarah Keyes, Elizabeth Logan
American Studies and Ethnicity
Shiuh-huah Serena Chou, Colin Dickey, Naomi Greenwald, Ricardo Wilson.
Directed Research (Eng. 590) for Graduate Students:
Spring 2010: Alex Young (English) and Michael Busk, Emily Fridlund and Lisa Locascio (Lit/CW); Fall 2012 and Spring 2013: Ryan McIllvain (Lit/CW)
Undergraduate Thesis Advisor for 19 undergraduates in English (since 2001)