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Faculty Profiles: S to Z

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Faculty Specializations by Field

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John Samson

Associate Professor | Ph.D. Cornell

The author of White Lies: Melville’s Narratives of Fact, Samson is concerned with historical and theoretical approaches to American novels and non-fictional prose narratives. He currently coordinates the TTU Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society.


Schoenecke, Mike

Mike Schoenecke

Associate Professor | Ph.D. Oklahoma State

Schoenecke specializes in the classical Hollywood style, adaptation, and film in a cultural context.  He recently published Bobby Jones, Golf, and His Instructional Reels in Film & History, co-edited a book on cinematic sports narratives (University of Kentucky Press), and edited The World of Popular Culture Encyclopedia:  North America, Vol. 1.  He co-edited back-to-back special issues of Film & History (34.1, 34.2[2004]) focusing on Latin America.  He is currently working on a book on that addresses battlegrounds in American popular culture.  He is the Executive Director of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations as well Chair of the PCA/ACA Endowment Fund.


Shelton, Jen

Jen Shelton

Associate Professor | Ph.D. Vanderbilt

Shelton has published essays on incest as a narrative structure in works of Joyce, Woolf and Nabokov.


Shu, Yuan

Yuan Shu

Associate Professor | Ph.D. Indiana

Shu specializes in contemporary American literature with an emphasis on postmodern American fiction, Vietnam War literature, and Asian American literature. His research interest includes nationalism and globalization theory, technology and discourse, as well as critical and comparative race studies. He is the director of the Texas Tech Comparative Literature program and has published in journals varying from Cultural Critique to MELUS.


Snead, Jennifer

Jennifer Snead

Assistant Professor | Ph.D. Duke

Snead specializes in eighteenth-century British and transatlantic literature and culture. Her primary research interests within the field are print culture, religion, and popular literacy. She has published and presented articles and papers on the work of Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, John Wesley, and Edward Young (among others). Her current book project investigates the impact of the Evangelical Revival on popular literacy and the concept of literature during the second half of the century.


Spurgeon, Sara

Sara Spurgeon

Professor | Ph.D. University of Arizona

Spurgeon works in literatures of the American West and Southwest as well as nature/environmental writing, gender studies, and postcolonial theory.  She is the author of Exploding the Western: Myths of Empire on the Postmodern Frontier, co-author of Writing the Southwest, and editor of the forthcoming anthology Cormac McCarthy. She has published a monograph on Ana Castillo, and essays on Cormac McCarthy, Martin Cruz Smith, feminist theory in the borderlands, the relationship between literature, water policy, and public discourse in the American West, and a co-authored essay on the film Brokeback Mountain. She serves on the Executive Council of the Western Literature Association, the Advisory Board of the Western Writers Series, and the Editorial Board of the journal Western American Literature.


Brian Still

Associate Professor | Ph.D. University of South Dakota

Still's research interests include medical discourse, theories of technology, online communities, Internet activism, medical discourse, techno-pedagogy, theories of technology, and open source issues.


Wenthe, William

William Wenthe

Professor | Ph.D. Virginia

Wenthe has written three books of poems: Words Before Dawn (forthcoming LSU Press, 2012; Not Till We Are Lost (2003); and Birds of Hoboken (1995). Not Till We Are Lost won the Best Book of Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts, and two Pushcart Prizes. He has published poems in journals including Poetry, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, Tin House, Orion, TriQuarterly, and The Southern Review. In addition, he teaches 20th Century British Poetry and has written articles on Yeats, H. D., poetic form and literary theory. 


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James Whitlark

Professor | Ph.D. Chicago

Whitlark's field of specialization is Religions in Literature, and has won the New Professor and President’s Excellence in Teaching awards. His publications include two authored books, Illuminated Fantasy: From Blake’s Visions to Recent Graphic Fiction and Behind the Great Wall: A Post-Jungian Approach to Kafkaesque Literature, a co-edited book, and fifty-five articles in addition to the studies presented at his electronic journal http://human-threshold-systems.whitlarks.com


Whitney, A

Allison Whitney

Assistant Professor | Ph. D. University of Chicago

Whitney specializes in studies of film technology, genre cinema, and the relationship between technological history and film form.  She has published on race and class in American maternal melodrama, colonial narratives in science fiction, contemporary horror films, religion and cinema, sonic literacy, and dance in Weimar film culture in such journals as The Journal of Film & Video,Music, Sound and The Moving Image, and Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies. She is currently working on a book on the history of IMAX film, and she is engaged in research on the representation of space exploration in cinema. She is also developing a project on oral histories of film exhibition culture in Texas and the Southwest.


Zdenek, Sean

Sean Zdenek

Associate Professor | Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon

Sean Zdenek's research interests include disability and web accessibility studies, closed captioning, deaf studies, sound studies, and methods of rhetorical criticism. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in disability studies, web accessibility, document design, sound studies, report writing, multimodal composition, developing instructional materials, style, and rhetorical criticism. He has published articles in Disability Studies Quarterly, Technical Communication Quarterly, Computers and Composition Online, Discourse and Society, and others. His book, Reading Sounds: Accessing Popular Culture Through the Lens of Closed-Captioned Media, is scheduled to be published in 2015 by The University of Chicago Press.