I am the founder and executive editor of the scholarly journal, Philip Roth Studies, as well as the founder and former president of the Philip Roth Society. I am also the co-creator and co-host of the weekly podcast The Comics Alternative, a show of “two guys with PhDs talking about comics.” I received my B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and both my M.A. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. In terms of my scholarly focus, I am primarily an Americanist, working in contemporary American fiction as well as comics studies. Other areas of reading and research include American ethnoracial narrative, film studies, Jewish American fiction, late nineteenth-century American literature, and narrative theory.
Right now I am in the middle of several larger projects. The first is a book manuscript on narrative and identity in the later fiction of Philip Roth–basically, from The Counterlife to his most recent Nemeses tetralogy. Another is a collection of interviews with the Hernandez brothers–Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario–for the University Press of Mississippi’s “Conversations with Comic Artists” series. I am also guest editing, along with Christopher Gonzalez, a special issue of the journal ImageTexT devoted to the Hernandez brothers. In addition to this, I’m working on turning the fall 2007 special issue of MELUS that I guest edited into a book-length collection of essays (you can get a copy of this special comics issue by going here). The working title of the book is “Coloring American: Multi-Ethnic Engagements with Contemporary Comics,” and it will include essays on a variety of comics and graphic novels that concern, in one way or another, issues of race and ethnicity in the United States. Another edited collection I’m working on concerns Jewish comics and graphic novels. This will be an expansion of the the Winter 2011 special issue of Shofar that I pulled together. I’m also about to begin work on a Blackwell Companion to the graphic novel.
Other current projects of mine include essays on ethnicity and geographic space in Ben Katchor’s The Jew of New York, autobiography and narrative framing in Kim Deitch’s recent comics, recent issues surrounding celebrity and Philip Roth, and a survey of Jewish American comics.
My motto: Ambiguity is sacred. As Pierce Inverarity tells Oedipa Maas, “that’s all the secret, keep it bouncing.”