Professor Emeritus




Research interests:

Asemic writing; liminal literature (between waking and dreaming); narrative and the physical object; nature of the book


Selected publications:



At the Borders of Sleep: On LIminal Literature. University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects. University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Fantasm and Fiction: On Textual Envisioning. Stanford University Press, 1999.

Letter Bomb: Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Phallic Critiques: Masculinity and Twentieth-century Literature. Routledge, 1984.

Selected articles

“Haim Steinbach.” BOMB, September 2012.

“Abstract Comics and the Decomposition of Horror.” Horror Studies 2.2 (2011), 265-289.

“The Obbligato Effect.” New Literary History 42.1 (Winter 2011), 115-128.

“Writing in the Night.” Gothic Studies 11.1 (Spring 2009), special issue on Theorizing the Gothic. 9-15

“The Part that is a Whole.” Catalog Essay for R.S. Pennee, Alter Ego: Anatomical Studies of a Natal Male. Mount St. Vincent Art Gallery, 2009.

“The State of Inauthenticity.” Triple Canopy 1 (2008).

“Writing Hypnagogia.” Critical Inquiry 34.3 (Spring 2008), 423-439.

“The Dream of Writing.” Postmodern Culture 19.2 Online review of Herschel Farbman, The Other Night: Dreaming, Writing, and Restlessness in Twentieth-Century Literature. New York: Fordham University Press, 2008.

“Outside the Interior.” English Studies in Canada 31.1 (March 2005), 1-9.

“Chili Pepper Pedagogy.” English Studies in Canada 31.4 (2005). 30-33.

“The Desiring” George Steeves: Photographs [Exhibition Catalog], Mount St. Vincent Art Gallery, 2007. 39-43.

“Gothic Optics.” Gothic Studies 7.1 (May 2005):102-109.

“The Dream Narratives of Debris” SubStance 100 (2003), 75-89.

“Red Cannas, Sardine Cans, and the Gaze of the Object” in Mosaic 35:3 (September 2002): 55-71.

“Still Life: A User’s Manual.” Narrative 10:2 (2002):149-164.

“Words and the Murder of the Thing.” Critical Inquiry 28 (Autumn 2001): 99-113.

“Corpsing the Image.” Critical Inquiry 26 (Spring 2000): 395-413.

“Uncanny Reading.” English Studies in Canada 21:3 (1995): 333-345.

“Agrippa, or, The Apocalyptic Book.”South Atlantic Quarterly 92:4 (1993): 617-26.

“Prospero’s Books and the Visionary Page.” Textual Practice 8.2 (1994): 268-278.

“Circling Ground Zero.” PMLA 106 (1991): 251-261.

“The Masculine Mode.” Critical Inquiry 5 (1979): 621-633.


Co-editor, with Melinda Guttman, of L’imaginaire du nucléaire, a special double issue (41/42) of the Paris journal Les Cahiers du Grif, November, 1989.

Editor of Interiors, a special issue of ESC (Vol. 33.1).

Conference Essay On-Line:

Codex Seraphinianus, Hallucinatory Encyclopedia.” British Council Symposium, Seeing Things: Literature and Visuality, Tours, 2001.