Todd A. Comer, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Director of Composition
"I completed my MA and PhD in literature and film at Michigan State University, and now work as a Professor of English at Defiance College. My PhD focused on postmodern literature and film, but in the last decade I have begun to write on comics and radical politics as well. What drives my work is ethics, in particular the ways in which narrative augments violence and, at certain excessive moments, humans and their narratival nets open up to others. Such ‘multicultural’ moments, grounded in death or birth, are crucial to many of my recent papers on Pacific Rim, Fargo, and Chris Ware’s Building Stories."
In the spring of 2017, Todd gave the keynote address at the SAGES Fifth Annual Interdisciplinary Student Conference (Akron, Ohio). His talk was entitled “Birth and the Mourning After: Posthumanism.” He is also, with Dr. Christine Junker, currently co-editing a journal issue for Studies in the Humanities focused on the intersection of disability studies and ecocriticism.
Todd’s next book, a monograph under contract with Bloomsbury, involves an ecological analysis of the films (The Truman Show, Master and Commander, etc.) of Peter Weir.
M.A. and Ph.D. in English, Michigan State University
At the Limit of Subjectivity: Ethics, Community, Birth, and the Posthuman in the Narratives of Thomas Pynchon, Samuel R. Delany, Steven Spielberg,and Joel and Ethan Coen. Committee: Dir. Patrick O’Donnell, Eyal Amiran, Scott Michaelsen, A.C. Goodson.
Edited or Co-edited Collections
- Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore: Critical Essays on the Graphic Novels (McFarland, 2012).
- Terror and the Cinematic Sublime: Essays on Violence and the Unpresentable in Post-9/11 Film (McFarland, 2013).
- What Comes After Occupy? The Regional Politics of Resistance. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. The introduction is online here.)
Single Author Monographs
Peter Weir, a volume in the Bloomsbury Guides to Contemporary Directors series. Series edited by Scott Wilson. Under contract.
Recent Articles and Book Chapters
- “The Politics of Disability in Octavia Butler‘s Kindred” (JNT). 48.1 (2018 - forthcoming).
- “The Disabled Hero: Being and Ethics in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings” (Mythlore). 35.1 (2016).
- "The Hidden Architecture of Disability: Chris Ware’s Building Stories," in Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives. Chris Foss and Zach Whalen, eds. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016.
- "Being Singular Plural on Main Street," introduction to What Comes After Occupy?: The Regional Politics of Resistance. Comer, editor. CSP, 2015.
- "A Mortal Agency: Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds." Journal of Modern Literature 31.2 (2008).
- "Playing at Birth: Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren." JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory 35.2 (2006).
- "This Aggression Will Not Stand: Myth, War, and Ethics in The Big Lebowski." SubStance, a review of theory and literary criticism 34.2 (2005).
- "Who needs family? I’ve got the whole world on my shoulders: How the Doctor’s Non-Domesticity Interrupts History," a chapter in Peregrinations, Ruminations, and Regenerations: A Critical Approach to Doctor Who. Chris Hansen, editor. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010.
- "Body Politics: Unearthing an Embodied Ethics in V for Vendetta," a chapter in Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore: Critical Essays on the Graphic Novels. Comer and Sommers, editors. McFarland, 2012.
- "The Indigestibility of the World; or, Birthing the Posthuman in Spielberg’s A.I.," in Terror and the Cinematic Sublime: Essays on Violence and the Unpresentable in Post–9/11 Films. Comer and Vayo, editors. McFarland, 2013.
Book Review Editor, Studies in the Humanities
- Literary and Cultural Theory
- Modern and Contemporary Literature
- American Literature
- British Literature
- Postcolonial Literature
- Introduction to Language and Literature
- Literature and the Ecological Self
- History of Rock and Roll
- Topics in Film
- World Issues
- Composition 1
- Composition 2