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Being in liberal studies means having a dedicated team of faculty members ready to help you find your perfect major design. With our help you'll not only get to meet us, but spend time with a variety of faculty members across multiple disciplines and areas on campus. Get to know us, so we can help you design your very own major.
As a professor, my primary field is African American literature. My faculty peers in English would probably describe my approach to teaching as “New Historicism” or “Cultural Studies.” For me, historical and cultural contexts are just as important as literary expression, and in a typical class of mine, nonfiction readings supplement works of poetry, fiction, and drama. Some of the courses I teach have conventional titles such as “Making Sense of the Movies,” “Survey of American Literature,” etc., but you can get a stronger sense of my teaching interests from more specialized courses I have taught:
Whenever I get the chance to write for publication, I greatly enjoy the opportunity. My publications tend to examine U.S. cultural history in relation to social movements, group identities, and popular trends in literature, film, and public politics. Recently, I’ve published a book chapter on the film 12 Years a Slave (published in 2014 in the collection, Movies in the Age of Obama) and a book chapter in 2016 on strategies for improving diversity and equity in Honors programs. Going further back, there are two book projects that I am proud to have completed: a book on the Black Arts Movement (A New Breed of Black Consciousness) and a collection of essays that I co-edited with Dr. JoAnne Juett (Coming Out to the Mainstream: New Queer Cinema in the 21st Century).
I am also a professional musician (a vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter) who performs under the names Davey J & Friends and Davey J and the Jones Tones. Music is definitely a passion, as I have published five original music CDs with my own independent label, B Major Productions (the most recent CD is called Chippewa Love). In music industry language, our style would probably be “Americana” or “Roots,” but there are elements of rock, blues, reggae, indie, folk, and even jazz in my music. You can hear some of my music and see my live show calendar at www.chippewalove.com.
In my past creative work, I also produced and hosted two radio programs on popular music and Wisconsin culture for Wisconsin Public Radio: Jazz, Blues, and Beyond and Wisconsin Wealth. I really enjoy maintaining a flexible and relevant range of academic interests, and I’m so thankful that innovation is welcome in our English Department!
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