syllabi, conference abstracts, unpublished papers, and more

curriculum vitae
about me
[Teaching] [Conference Abstracts] [Unpublished Papers]

For my most current conference talks, academic articles, and teaching materials, please see my profile at


Teaching Philosophy -- Statement of my aims and methods in teaching writing, religion, and literature.

WR100 D2: Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Literature (Syllabus, 2006) -- Freshman writing seminar presented at Boston University.

Annotated Bibliography of Histories and Ethnographies of Interest to Neo-Pagans (2005) -- Designed especially for the smart and skeptical contemporary Pagan practitioner who is frustrated with the bad history that is rampant in so many Pagan books.

Conference Abstracts

Alan Moore’s Promethea: Comics as Neo-Pagan Primer and Missionary Tool (2006, 2007) -- Charming & Crafty: Witchcraft and Paganism in Contemporary Media, Harvard University; God and the Graphic Novel, Northeast Modern Language Convention, Baltimore, MD.

From Het Polarity to Queer Eros: The Development of Ritual Sex in the Twentieth-century Novel (2006) -- God & Sexuality Conference on Religion and Issues of Sexuality and Gender, New York City.

Most Her Own, Yet Most Taken Away: Sexuality and Desire in Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2005) -- Comic Books and Graphic Novels: Feminist Approaches. Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Coeur D’Alene.

Gender Essentialism in Matriarchalist Utopian Fantasies: Are popular novels vehicles of sacred stories, or only sacred propaganda? (2005) -- New Religious Movements Group. American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Philadelphia.

Self and (M)other: Apocalypse as Return to the Womb in Neon Genesis Evangelion (2004) -- Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Group. American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio.

Unpublished & Class Papers

"Every cloud has a silver lining": Eroticized violence against women in Hitchcock (Frenzy) (2004) -- Hitchock's Frenzy is not just about a single psychopath, but about a patriarchal and misogynistic tendency that pervades Western culture.

The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler: A Review (2004) -- Examines Eisler's problematic research and second-wave feminist ideals.

The Uncooperative Body: Portrayal and Exploitation of the Transgendered in Film (2003) -- A critical discussion of the films Paris is Burning and Boys Don't Cry.

Feminism and Alternative Religions in America: An Historiographical Study (2003) -- An overview of five recent academic works on feminism and alternative religions, including books on Spiritualism, New Thought, feminist spirituality, and contemporary Paganism.

"Neither one thing nor the other": Joyce’s Leopold and Molly Bloom as two examples of liminal consciousness (2003) -- A reading of the Blooms as representing two different types of liminality: the excluded third option and the ability to encompass opposites.

Channeling the Great Mother: Gender Dualism in Heaney’s "Bog Queen" (2003) -- A short essay on a poem by Seamus Heaney that paradoxically both embraces and problematizes gender dualism.

"Mind-Forg’d Manacles": Self-Imprisonment and Self-Liberation in Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell (2002) -- An examination of the liberative potential of Blake's "infernal" philosophy.

That Mind Which Has No Beginning: A Reading of Hesse’s Glass Bead Game with Gadamer’s Truth and Method (2002) -- Reading Hesse's novel with Gadamer's philosophy clarifies the spiritual meaning of the former while bringing out the religious undertones in the latter.

Cybernetic Synapse: A Snapshot of a Developing Virtual Community (2001) -- This is a study of a small, private virtual community, completed under the auspices of a class in Cyborg Anthrology with Dr. Robbie Davis-Floyd. Co-authored with Michael Cohn.

Undergraduate Thesis (2000) -- My senior thesis was entitled The Creative Apocalypse: Post-WWII Representations of Death, Rebirth, and Transformation. It examined three visually-oriented works that dealt with the nuclear bomb as symbolic of a postmodern existential crisis of meaning. This also represents my first major attempt to make a case for both Japanese animation and comics as significant art forms. Works treated include Beat poet Gregory Corso's "Bomb," Alan Moore's Watchmen, and Hideaki Anno's Neon Genesis Evangelion. I have included the abstract, introduction, and conclusion here. Supervised by Dr. Betty Sue Flowers; second reader, Dr. Susan Napier.

Miyazaki v. Disney: Why Western Girls Need Japanese Animation (2000) -- A comparison of some supposedly feminist 1990's Disney films with the work of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.

Out of Many, One: The Fragmented Self in Orlando and Steppenwolf (1999) -- An exploration of identity issues in these two classic modernist works.

More Than Wo/Man: Androgyny in the Poetry of Aphra Behn (1999) -- A short examination of the 17th-century libertine's "To the Fair Clarinda."

Manifest Destiny Made Flesh: Imperialism in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1998) -- A reading of Twain's Connecticut Yankee as a critique of American imperialism.

If these were silenced, the very stones would cry out: Meehan's Virgin speaks (1997) -- Analysis of Irish poet Paula Meehan's "The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks."

She giveth and she taketh away: Portia, masculinity, and power (1997) -- Women and power in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.