Director, Journalism Program
University at Albany
My broad range of classroom and research interests have evolved over more than thirty years of teaching and writing, and strongly reflect my own interdisciplinary orientation in media, writing, culture, and history.
In teaching, I now tend to concentrate in undergraduate workshop courses in introductory and advanced reporting/news writing, opinion writing, and literary nonfiction, and lecture courses in such fields as journalism and media studies, cultural history, film, and documentary prose, photography, and film. In the past two years, I have served on the steering committee that finally has been successful in creating a major in Documentary Studies at UAlbany, and I am attracted to some of the possibilities there.
My research focuses on images of media in film, media in both contemporary and historical contexts, the culture of the Great Depression/New Deal, and creative nonfiction. I have published a wide variety of writings in a wide variety of places, including an historical novel, an academic monograph, a scholarly book chapter, academic encyclopedia articles, short ficiion, blog commentaries, and scores of other academic and general works. (See my Publications List at a separate page for the detailed list.)
Current projects? Continuing to circulate the book that is the revision of my dissertation. Submitting three academic articles (drawn from that book) to scholarly journals. Writing a group of short-short fiction stories (500 words and less) that will comprise a thematic book. Working on my second novel, a mystery set during the Great Depression.
In fact, my favorite historical period is the 1930s. I am not quite sure what that says about me, but I think the real reason for my draw to that period is that when I was quite young, sitting on the front porches of small Texas towns on muggy nights, my parents and their friends talked a great deal about the Thirties – which for them was not so far distant in the past, and still fresh, bitterly so, in their memories.