Professor of English
Office location: Neville Hall 213
Office phone: 864.833.8373
BA, University of Montevallo
MA, PhD, University of Tennessee
Joined PC in 1987
Courses taught: Survey of American Literature II, Introduction to World Cinema, Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction, Film and American Culture, Holocaust Literature, Southern Jewish Literature, The Modern British and American Novel, Media and Society
Personal interests: Comic Book Culture; Alternative Graphic Novels; Independent Film; any novel by Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, Philip Roth; Live Music (Wilco, Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Neil Young); Writing; Jewish Culture; Cooking (Cajun especially!!!); The now-defunct Six Feet Under and The X-Files (still love it); my wife, daughters, and 2 cats
My teaching philosophy is, and has always been, to persuade and give opportunities to students to see their world from as many perspectives as possible. I believe it is important to challenge the pre-existing views of students, to help them form their world views, and to encourage them to use literature in this process, as it is a true window to the world and into their hearts, minds, and souls.
In the past few years, particularly in my American and Jewish-based courses, I have asked students to participate in the ongoing American narrative which means, in my view, that we must examine the stories, the mythos, that America has been writing about, and which it has come to believe about itself. In doing so, we must examine closely the issues of race, culture, and religion in America and try to determine if our country has been fulfilling its promise and living up to its own expectations. So as we read works by Faulkner, Capote, Michael Chabon, or examine the reality of Jewish life in the American South, or see how America responded (or didn’t respond) to the gathering storm clouds of the Holocaust, or how multi-racial Americans are still coming to terms with their pasts and legacies, we attempt to answer questions about ourselves, our views, biases, and prejudices. And in this process, both my students and I continue to grow and re-evaluate ourselves and what it means to be an American.