Max Cassity (Jan 2017, Feb 2016)

Maxwell Cassity is a PhD candidate studying 20th- and 21st-century American and world literatures with a specific focus on novels, short fiction, and the influence of minority writers on critical conceptions of modernism and postmodernism. Although Mr. Cassity’s scholarship primarily concerns the American novel, his other scholarly interests include fiction, poetry, film, and narrative games. His proposed dissertation will examine how works of fiction have approached epidemic disease and cultural understandings of illness, contagion, and virality. Finding its foundation in the concepts of biopolitics and biopower, this project seeks to investigate how race and class difference have been incorporated into the discourse of disease and how structures of power mobilize the ideology of racialized disease to reinforce social hierarchies, isolate minority populations, and justify power over life and death in 20th-century U.S. society.

To read and comment on his posts individually, click on the links below:

January 2017

Messages of Power: Epidemic Disease and Metaphor

Know Your Zombie: Understanding the Living Dead

“Build that Wall!”: Studies in the 21st-Century Plague Zombie

The Eco-Zombie: Using Biology to Imagine Zombies Beyond the Human 

February 2016

Don’t Eat the Flatware: Balancing Instruction and Interpretation in the Classroom (5 February 2016)

A Ghost in the Machine: The Specter of Literature in EA’s Middle-Earth: The Shadow of Mordor (12 February 2016) 

Zen and the Art of the Course Description (19 February 2016)

Adaptation Nation: Popular U.S. Film Originality 2010-2015 (26 February 2016)