Texas Tech University

Faculty Profiles

Several faculty in the Department of English treat film as a primary area of scholarly and teaching activity. Others incorporate film meaningfully into their research on various literary fields, particularly in modern and post-modern literary studies. These faculty and their areas of expertise include:

Scott Baugh

Scott Baugh (Ph.D. Oklahoma State, 2001) specializes in film/media studies with emphases in Chicana/o & Latina/o cinema and Latin American cultural studies. He is the author of Latino American Cinema (Greenwood, 2012), the co-editor with Victor A. Sorell of Born of Resistance: Cara a Cara Encounters with Chicana/o Visual Culture (U of Arizona P, 2016), and the editor of Mediating Chicana/o Culture: Multicultural American Vernacular (Cambridge Scholars, second edition, 2008). His current research projects include a collection of writing by and about luminary Chicano experimental artist Willie Varela; a critical monograph on Alfonso Cuáron's landmark film Y Tu Mamá Tambíen; a study of cultural mestizaje and multicultural aesthetics in American cinema; and a study of contemporary Latin American media culture, cinema, and manifestoes.

Fareed Ben-Youssef

Fareed Ben-Youssef (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2017) specializes in global genre cinema. Before arriving at Texas Tech, he served as a Global Perspectives on Society Teaching Fellow at NYU Shanghai. His forthcoming book, No Jurisdiction: Legal, Political, and Aesthetic Disorder in Post-9/11 Genre Cinema, probes the slippages and conflicts within the ongoing dialogue between Hollywood entertainment and mainstream political discourse, emphasizing the multivalent purposes of genre: sometimes as a tool to normalize state violence and other times as a critique of that violence. His teaching and research encompass Hollywood, animation, documentary in addition to surveillance, postcolonial film, comics, genre and trauma studies. As part of his efforts to teach outside the classroom, Ben-Youssef has also organized myriad university film series and hosted master classes with award-winning directors such as Ari Folman, Naomi Kawase and Ryûsuke Hamaguchi.

Wyatt D. Phillips

Wyatt D. Phillips (Ph.D. New York University, 2013) specializes in the political-economic and industrial histories of American cinema, with a special focus on the development of genre. He has published on early cinema's links to popular literature and its reliance on adaptation, on the translation of form and ideology from American Westerns to Brazilian "Northeasterns," and on the first generation of film industry studies. His recent and upcoming teaching includes courses on the road film genre, American independent cinema, the media landscape of the late 19th/early 20th century, and literature-film adaptation. His current research projects include an eco-critical study of dammed rivers in American cinema, the political history of the drive-in theater, and the business of early mass media.

Allison Whitney

Allison Whitney (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2005) 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, contemporary horror films, religion and cinema, sonic literacy, and dance in Weimar film culture. She is currently working on a book on the history of IMAX film, and is engaged in research on the representation of space exploration in cinema. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Film & Video and Music, Sound and the Moving Image.

Ben Rogerson

Ben Rogerson (Ph. D. University of North Carolina, 2014) specializes in Hollywood cinema and post-1945 American literature, with a focus on how social, political, and economic conditions shape aesthetic production. His teaching has included courses on film analysis, the history of film, New Hollywood cinema, and the political economy of U.S. literature. His current research projects include a study of 1970s Hollywood cinema as a self-reflexive endeavor to reconstruct the social legitimacy of film as a profession, as well as a study of the widespread political miscalculation made by midcentury artists who mistook conformity as the central dilemma of American capitalism. He has published articles on film and literature in Arizona Quarterly and the Journal of Modern Literature.

Related Faculty in the English Department

Cordelia Barrera (Ph.D., University of Texas San Antonio) specializes in Latina/o literatures and the American Southwest as well as U.S. border theory, third space feminist theory, popular culture, and film. She writes movie reviews for the borderlands journal LareDOS, and has published articles and reviews in The Quarterly Review of Film and Video and the Journal of Popular Culture. She is working on a book project that explores cybertechnologies, social justice, and forms of oppositional consciousness in borderlands fiction.

Michael Borshuk (Ph.D., Alberta, 2002) specializes in African American literature and cultural studies.  He is the author of Swinging the Vernacular: Jazz and African American Modernist Literature (Routledge, 2006), for which he won the President's Book Prize in 2009, and various essays and encyclopedia entries on African American literature, music, and American modernism.  His current book project focuses on jazz, performance studies, and visual culture.  As well, he writes on jazz regularly for Coda magazine.

Yuan Shu (Ph.D., Indiana, 1999) 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.

Sara L. Spurgeon (Ph.D. University of Arizona, 2000) works in literatures of the American West/Southwest as well as nature/environmental writing, gender studies, and ecocritical 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.