Associate Professor of English
My primary interest is in the relationship between mass culture and the masses—the dialectical relationship between our institutions of television, film, radio, the internet and our social/political formations. My first book on these questions, Radio-Active: Advertising and Activism 1935-1947, was published by University of California Press in 2004. I am also a regular blogger for Working Class Perspectives. My larger body of work engages critical theory, historical materialism, literature, visual art, and music. I have published articles on Civil War medical photographs, the image of the graduate student in popular culture, black radio stations in the South in the 1950s, and the challenges of being a junior professor ("Nice Work if We Can Keep It"). I am currently finishing a book that combines cultural analysis with labor history, How the Fifties Worked: Mass Culture and the Decade the Unions Made. During the 2017-2018 school year I am working with the Humanities Center at CMU to curate a year of lectures, performances and art that engage with capitalism as an economic and social system as we approach the 200 the birthday of Karl Marx (May 2018). When I am not professing I am a wife, a mother, a political activist and a political artist!