Scholarship

Presentations/Conferences

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Areas of Specialization

  • General: Sacred Texts, Graphic Novels, Afterlife Narratives, Digital Humanities, Genre Theory,
  • Religion: World Religions, Islam, North American Religions, Eschatology, Thanatology, Online Communities
  • Literature: English Literature (American & British – 16th c.-Modern), Composition, Classic Literature, Media Studies, Literary Theory, World Narratives

American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero AfterlifePublications (abridged)

  • Scholarly Texts
    American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion: The Superhero Afterlife (Palgrave, 2014)
    Digital Death: Mortality and Beyond in the Online Age (Praeger, as Editor, in press)
    Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (Continuum International Publishing, as Editor & Contributor)
  • Articles/Chapters
    “Save the Day” – What Is a Superhero? (Oxford Press)
    “Batting Praxis: Time & Eternity in Augustine’s Confessions and  Baseball” – International Journal of Religion and Sport
    “(Ir)reverence after Rapture: Mocking and Maintaining Christian Doctrine in Battle Pope, The Chronicles of Wormwood, and Therefore, Repent!” – The End Will Be Graphic: Apocalyptic Themes and Images in Comics and Graphic Novels (Sheffield Phoenix)
    “The Militarism of American Superheroes after 9/11” in Comic Books and American Cultural History: An Anthology (Continuum International Publishing)
    “Shape of Comic Book Reading” – Studies in Comics 1:1
    “New Jerusalem Postponed” – International Journal of Comic Art 12:1
    “Ibn Mujāhid’s Seven Readings, Sab’ati Ahruf, and Their Proposed Application as a Qur’ān Hypertext” – Watermark 1:1
    “The Secret, Untold Relationship Between Biblical Midrash and Comic Book Retcon” – The International Journal of Comic Art 4:2
  • Encyclopedia Entries
    “Comics and Comic Books” – Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (Macmillan, in press)
    “Comics and Graphic Novels” – The Routledge Companion Religion and Popular Culture (Taylor & Franics/Routledge, in 2015)
    “The Death of Captain Marvel” and “Kingdom Come” for Graphic Novels encyclopedia, Bart Beaty and Stephen Weiner, eds.
    “The Authority,” “Black Widow,” “Images Comics,” and “Religion in Comics” for The Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, M. Keith Booker, editor
  • Reviews
    Using Games to Enhance Learning and Teaching: A Beginner’s Guide – Edited by Nicola Whitton and Alex Moseley.” – Teaching Theology and Religion, December 2014. 
    “Another Abraham: The Exegesis of Douglas Rushkoff’s Testament: Akedah.”– Modern Language Studies, Summer 2009.
    “Big Heroes in Tight Spaces: A review of Greg Garrett, Holy Superheroes! Exploring the Sacred in Comics, Graphic  Novels, and Film – Revised and Expanded Edition.” – Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 9:3
    “Deepak Chopra Presents ‘India Authentic.’” Beliefnet.com.
    “Book Review: Making Comics by Scott McCloud.” The Journal of Popular Culture, Sep. 2007.

Professional Affiliations

  • Comics Studies Society
    Executive Board Member, Web Editor
  • Sacred and Sequential
    Founding Member
  • American Academy of Religion
    Death, Dying, and Beyond Group, Steering Committee member 2011-2014; Co-Chair 2014-present
    New England/Maritimes region, Steering Committee member 2009-2012
  • Boston University Graduate Student Association, Departmental Representative 2007-2009
  • Modern Language Association
  • Northeast Modern Language Association
  • Popular Culture Association
  • Midatlantic Popular/American Culture Association
  • Institute for Comics Studies
  • National Association of Comic Arts Educators

Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic BookConference Papers (abridged)

  • “From the Lamed-Vav Tazdikim to The Thirty Six” – Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 9 April 2015.
  • “The Muslim Superhero in Contemporary American Popular Culture” – American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, 23 November, 2013.
  • “A Spandex Quota System? The New Muslim Protagonists in American Superhero Comic Books” – Colloquium in American Literature and Culture, New York University, New York, NY, 11 April 2013.
  • “Graven Images: Religion in Comics” – The Morning Forum, Los Altos, CA, 15 January, 2013.
  • “Religion in Comic Books & Graphic Novels” – Authors Out Loud! Series, Cedar Rapids, IA, 8 June, 2012.
  • “On the Scholarship of Religion and Comic Books” (Chair) – Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA, 14 April, 2012.
  • “Muslim Superhero Comic Collection and Trends for the Genre” – Using Film and Literature to Further a Global Studies Agenda in the Humanities Classroom, Harvard University Center for Middle East Studies Outreach Center, Cambridge MA, 15 August, 2011.
  • “Depictions of Muslim Identity in the Superhero Genre” – Comics and Muslim Identity, Harvard University Center for Middle East Studies Outreach Center, Cambridge MA, 30 March, 2011.
  • “Ever-Ending Battle: The Superhero Afterlife Subgenre and the Rupture of Narrative Character” – American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta GA, 30 October – 1 November, 2010.
  • “Reclaiming the Comic Book Canon” (Chair) – Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA, 26 February – 1 March, 2009.
  • Conference organizer – Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Boston MA, 13-14 April, 2008.
  • “Stealing Ilithyia: The Early Christian Fathers’ Appropriation of ‘Birth-Pangs’” – Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature, Vancouver, 10-12 May 2007.
  • “The Exegesis of Douglas Rushkoff’s Testament” (Chair) – Popular Culture Association Annual Conference, Boston, 4-7 April 2007.
  • “Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and the Bible” (Panelist) – American Academy of Religion & Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 18-21 November 2006.
  • “The Shape of Comic Book Reading” – International Comic Arts Festival, Washington DC, 30 September – 2 October 2004.
  • “A New Frame for Comic Books: Literary Synergy.” Image and Imagery Conference, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, 5 October 2001.
  • “‘The Same as Yesterday?’: The Relationship of Midrash and Retcon.” – Comic Arts Conference, International Comic-Con, San Diego, 19-21 July 2001.
  • “The Nightmare and the Dream: A Literary Survey of Watchmen and Sandman” – Comic Arts Conference, International Comic-Con, San Diego, 20-23 July 2000.

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What is a Superhero? (Hardcover)
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