Dissertation Directors

Paul Armstrong

Paul's books, Play and the Politics of Reading: The Social Uses of Modernist Form and How Literature Plays with the Brain: The Neuroscience of Reading and Art.

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Lynette Hunter

Lynette Hunter is Professor of the History of Rhetoric and Performance, and Chair of the department of Theatre & Dance at UC Davis. She has written and edited over 20 books and many essays in a range of disciplines from the history of rhetoric and literature, to philosophy and feminist theory, to post/neo-colonial studies (especially in Canada), to the history of science and computing, to women’s history and gender studies (from the early modern period), to performance studies. She has scripted, devised, produced and toured, several theory performance installations in Europe and North America and explores alternative ways of disseminating modes of knowing within aesthetics and scholarship.

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Christopher Johnson

Chris Johnson is currently an independent scholar and more recently an Assistant Professor of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College in New York City. He received a PhD in American Studies received from New York University, attended the graduate program in History of American Civilization at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and received a B.A. in Music, Cultural Anthropology and Urban Studies from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His ongoing projects include ‘Social History and Bebop, Charlie Parker and the Blues Cadence’ an essay on jazz theory and performance. Dr. Johnson has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar teaching and doing research at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universitat in Münster, Germany and a Research Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University.

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Ellen Grabiner

Ellen Grabiner is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Communications Department at Simmons College. Her scholarly work explores an interstitial space: between art and philosophy, between high and low culture, between seeing and saying, between doing and undergoing. Publications include, "The Heideggerian Disruptions of Zippy the Pinhead," (Philosophy Now, 2011) and a recently completed book, I See You: The Shifting Paradigms of James Cameron's Avatar (2012). 

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Michael Stone-Richards

Michael Stone-Richards is a scholar-teacher of Critical Theory, comparative literature and the history and theory of modern and contemporary art practice. He has published widely in French and English on the avant-garde in poetry, critical theory and art. Since his arrival in Detroit he has become deeply involved in the various parts of its arts and performance community and is currently a member of the board of the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art at the DIA. His book of critical theory and literary criticism Logics of Separation: Exile and Transcendence in Aesthetic Modernity recently appeared with Peter Lang. He is currently working on a book/exhibition catalogue called The Care of the City: Detroit and the Art of Re-invention, and completing a book length study on The Wreck of Art: Studies in the Thought of Guy Debord which received a Graham Foundation grant. Stone-Richards is currently Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and a board member of the newly founded experimental letterpress / print-media shop-front Signal-Return in Eastern Market, Detroit.

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Philip Armstrong

Associate Professor Philip Armstrong has published widely in the area of contemporary visual arts and culture, as well as essays on contemporary political theory. Recent publications include Reticulations: Jean-Luc Nancy and the Networks of the Political (U of Minnesota P, 2009), Jean-Luc Nancy, Politique et au-delà: Entretien  with Jason Smith (Galilée, 2011), and (with Laura Lisbon and Stephen Melville) As Painting: Division and Displacement (MIT Press and Wexner Center, 2001). He is core faculty at Ohio State University, Department of Comparative Studies.

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Donald Wehrs

Donald R. Wehrs is the Hargis Professor of English Literature at Auburn University. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia. Dr. Wehrs specializes in novel genre and history, eighteenth-century studies, postcolonial studies, and comparative literature and has published articles in MLN, SEL and ELH. He is currently working on the relationship between ethics, cognitive science, and literary history. Recent publications include, Pre-Colonial Africa in Colonial African Narratives: From Ethiopia Unbound to Things Fall Apart , 1911-1958 (Ashgate, 2008), Levinas and Ninetheenth-Century Literature, co-edited with David P. Haney (University of Delaware Press, 2009), and “Postcolonial Sterne.” The Cambridge Companion to Sterne. Ed. Thomas Keymer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

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Sigrid Hackenberg

Sigrid Hackenberg is a visual artist and theorist. She grew up in Spain, Germany, Japan and Canada. She received a B.A. from San Francisco State University and an M.A. from New York University. Her work has been featured internationally, including Museo Laboratorio Di Arte Contemporanea, Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Rome; Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paolo; Stedelijk Musueum, Amsterdam; Aperto '93, XLV Venice Biennale. She teaches video art at New York University. Hackenberg lives in New York. She received a PhD in Media and Communication from the European Graduate School, Saas-Fe, Wallis. 

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Shelton Waldrep

Shelton Waldrep is a Professor of English at the University of Southern Maine where he teaches classes on Victorian literature, popular culture, film, and critical theory. He is the author of The Dissolution of Place: Architecture, Identity, and the Body (Ashgate) and The Aesthetics of Self-Invention: Oscar Wilde to David Bowie (University of Minnesota Press); the co- author of Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World (Duke University Press); and the editor of The Seventies: The Age of Glitter in Popular Culture (Routledge) and Inauthentic Pleasures: Victorian Fakery and the Limitations of Form (SLI). His latest book is entitled Future Nostalgia: Performing David Bowie (Bloomsbury).

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Shannon Rose Riley

Shannon Rose Riley is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar. She is Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Humanities, and Coordinator of the Creative Arts Program at San José State University, where she teaches courses in Creative Arts and American Studies. She has a PhD in Performance Studies and Critical Theory from the University of California, Davis, an MFA in Studio Art (Performance, Video, Installation) from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a BFA in Sculpture and Art History from Maine College of Art. She is co-editor, with Lynette Hunter, of Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research (Palgrave, 2009) and the author of Performing Race and Erasure: Cuba, Haiti, and US Culture, 1898-1940 (Palgrave, forthcoming 2016).

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