Officers 2020


Martin Kevorkian  Martin Kevorkian, University of Texas, Austin

Born and schooled in California, Martin Kevorkian is Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has served as Associate Chair, Interim Chair, and (currently) Director of the English Honors Program.  Kevorkian earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, with Honors in the Humanities, from Stanford University, where he also received an MA in English before earning his PhD at UCLA. He is the author of Color Monitors: The Black Face of Technology in America (Cornell UP, 2006) and Writing beyond Prophecy: Emerson, Hawthorne, and Melville after the American Renaissance (LSU, 2013), as well as articles in American Quarterly, ELH, NLH, Renascence, Leviathan, and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review.  In addition to his work on technology and race in contemporary culture and on the literature of the American Renaissance, he has published essays on John Ashbery, Samuel Beckett, Tim Burton, and Alfred Hitchcock.

First-Vice President

 Jeremiah B.C. Axelrod, Occidental College

Jeremiah “Jem” Axelrod is Director of the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles (ISLA) at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he also serves as Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, History, and Urban & Environmental Policy. In addition to a number of articles, he is the author of Inventing Autopia: Dreams and Visions of the Modern Metropolis in Jazz Age Los Angeles, published by UC Press in 2009. His research generally probes the connections between visuality, urban topography, memory, gender, race, and transportation in twentieth century urban environments, with an emphasis on the history and representational discourse of Southern California. He has been a member of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association since 2003, serving from 2009 through 2011 on the Executive Committee. Over the years, he has created and subsequently helped usher to permanent status two special sessions: “Science Fiction in Literature and Film” and “Disney and Its Worlds.” Most recently, he has organized a new session on “Los Angeles,” which debuted at the 2018 conference.


Second-Vice President

Pacific Coast Philology Co-Editors

Roswitha Burwick  Roswitha Burwick, Scripps College

Roswitha Burwick is Professor Emerita at Scripps College where she has been teaching since 1971. She has published several books and numerous articles on German Romanticism, specifically on Achim von Arnim and science, and on women in Romanticism. She is one of the main editors of the Weimarer Arnim-Ausgabe, a historical critical edition of the complete works of the German Romantic poet Achim von Arnim. In 2007 she published a two volume edition on Ludwig Achim von Arnim. Naturwissenschaftliche Schriften 1 which contains his publications on natural science. She is presently working on the second volume of Arnim's scientific writings that contains his manucripts. In collaboration with Olaf Breidbach, University of Jena, she has published a collection of essays on Physics Around 1800: Art, Science or Philosophy? in German and English (2012/2013). She also directed a student-faculty project with the title Merry Sorrows. (Un)Happy Endings. Fairy Tales For Our Time. (2010).

Although retired, Dr. Burwick continues to teach "Once Upon a Time. Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Fairy Tale," a course in the Scripps Interdisciplinary Core program.  She is a member of many professional organizations and the Vice-President of the Internationale Arnim-Gesellschaft

Richard Sperber Richard Sperber, Carthage College

Richard Sperber is Associate Professor of German and Spanish at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington, and he has taught at Gonzaga University and Carthage College, where he has served as Chair of Modern Languages. His research interests include colonialism, the Spanish Civil War, and contemporary literature. He is the author of The Discourse of Flanerie in Antonio Muñoz Molina’s Texts (2015). Other publications include essays on primitivism and colonialism in early twentieth-century German popular fiction. Currently, he is working on informal social networks and friendship in colonial societies. 

Executive Director

Craig Svonkin, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Craig Svonkin grew up Southern California, where he received his B.A. from USC, his M.A. from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. He is a writer of flash fiction and prose poetry fragments, an Associate Professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a dedicated fan of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, David Wilson’s meta-museum discussed in Craig’s essay “If Only L.A. Had a Soul: Spirituality and Wonder at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.” He has had the pleasure of serving as PAMLA's Executive Director since March 2009.

Craig's published essays include "Postmodern Documentary: The Return of the Magus on Video" (2016), "From Disneyland to Modesto: George Lucas and Walt Disney" (2012), “Manishevitz and Sake, the Kaddish and Sutras: Allen Ginsberg’s Spiritual Self-Othering” (2010), “A Southern California Boyhood in the Simu-Southland Shadows of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room” (2011), “From Robert Lowell to Frank Bidart: Becoming the Other; Suiciding the White Male ‘Self’” (2008), and “Melville and the Bible: Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale, Multivocalism, & Plurality” (2001).

Craig has also co-authored "Introduction: The Metafamily" (2018, with Steven Gould Axelrod), "A New Parliament of Fouls: The 2015 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry" (with Lissa Paul and Kate Pendlebury), "Old Guard→Avant-Garde→ Kindergarde: The 2014 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry" (with Lissa Paul and Donelle Ruwe), “Outside the Inside the Box: The 2013 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry” (with Michael Joseph and Donelle Ruwe) and New Directions in American Literary Scholarship: 1980-2002 (with Emory Elliott), and co-edited the symposium “Why Comics Are and Are Not Picture Books” (with Charles Hatfield) and the special issue of Pacific Coast Philology (volume 53, no. 2, Fall 2018) on "The Metafamily" (with Steven Gould Axelrod).

Please email Craig Svonkin with any questions or suggestions about PAMLA: (or feel free to call: 626-354-7526). 

Treasurer/Advancement Officer

John Schwetman  John D. Schwetman, University of Minnesota, Duluth

John D. Schwetman is an Associate Professor of English in the Department of English, Linguistics and Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he specializes in twentieth-century US and world literatures. His article titled “’Shadowy Objects in Test Tubes’: Marking Grievance in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go” came out in the November 2017 issue of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies. A chapter titled “’I Was in Italy . . . and I Spoke Italian’: Fighting Other People’s Battles in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms,” appeared in Hemingway in Northern Italy (U Press of Florida, 2017). He is currently working on a book on twentieth-century US travel narrative titled Far from Home: Cosmopolitanism and the Unsettling of America in Twentieth-Century U. S. Travel Narrative. He received his Ph.D in English at the University of California, Irvine in 1999, he has taught and lived in Duluth ever since.

Executive Committee

Terms Expire 2020

Melissa Axelrod  Melissa Axelrod, University of New Mexico

Melissa Axelrod is a Professor and Regents’ Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. Her primary research areas are 1) morphosyntax and semantics in polysynthetic languages and 2) language preservation and revitalization in Native American language communities. She began work on Northern Athabaskan in 1981, and has published a book and many articles on the Koyukon language and has also collaborated on volumes of texts and pedagogical materials, as well as a comprehensive dictionary. She has been working on language revitalization efforts in the Southwest since 1995. She began working on projects with the Jicarilla Apache community in 1996, in particular, as PI of the NSF-funded Dictionary of Jicarilla Apache project (W. Phone, M. Olson, and M. Martinez. Abáachi Mizaa Láo Ilkee' Shijai: Dictionary of Jicarilla Apache. By UNM Press, 2007).  More recently, she has been collaborating, along with a UNM team of students and graduates, with the Language Program at Nanbé Pueblo on a dictionary and pedagogical materials. The comprehensive Dictionary of Nanbé Tewa will be printed for community use this year. She has also been working with colleagues on a documentation project for Ixhil Mayan since 2001, involving a trilingual grammar and pedagogical materials, and she has been participating in the O’odham Ñe’ok Revitalization Project since 2009. She was recently awarded the Linguistic Society of America’s Ken Hale Prize for her work on language documentation.

Peter Schulman  Peter Schulman, Old Dominion University

Dr. Peter Schulman is the author of The Sunday of Fiction: The Modern Eccentric (Purdue University Press, 2003) as well as Le dernier livre du siècle (Romillat, 2001) with Mischa Zabotin. He has edited a critical edition of Jules Verne's The Begum’s Millions (Wesleyan University Press, 2005) and recently translated  a meditation on waves by Marie Darrieussecq, On Waves (VVV editions, 2014) and Ying Chen’s Impressions of Summer (Finishing Line Press, 2016); Jules Verne’s last novel The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz (University of Nebraska Press. 2012) as well as Suburban Beauty from poet Jacques Reda (VVV editions, 2009) and Adamah from Céline Zins (Gival Press, 2010). He is currently co-editor in chief with Josh Weinstein of a new journal of eco-criticism, Green Humanities: A Journal of Ecological Thought in Literature, Philosophy and the Arts and is at work on a book on French filmmaker Alain Resnais for the University of Mississippi Press and a translation of Jules Verne’s unpublished plays, A Thousand and Second Night and Other Plays by Jules Verne (West Warwick, RI: Bear Manor Fiction, The Palik Series, 2017). In addition to his publications, he is also President and Producer of the Haberdasher Theater in NYC and Columbus, and is at work on a documentary titled American Cinemathèque with director Robin Paez. He translated Marie Nimier’s play Noel revient tous les ans which was performed in NYC and Columbus Ohio in November by the Haberdasher Theater Company. He has organized international film festivals and started a yearly Virginia Beach-Quebec Poetry Festival with the Maison de la Poesie in Montreal. He was elected to the MLA Executive Committee of the Division of Twentieth-Century French Literature (2004-2009) and the executive committee of the Societé des Professeurs Français et Francophone (SPFFA) since 2001. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of five different journals including The French ReviewNouvelles Francographies, and French Studies in Southern Africa.

Terms Expire 2021

Marta Albalá Pelegrín, California State Polytechnic Univ., Pomona

Marta Albalá Pelegrín is an Assistant Professor at Cal Poly Pomona, where she teaches courses on Early Modern Spanish Literature, Transatlantic Theater and Comparative Early Modern Drama. She holds a doctorate in Spanish and Luso-Brazilian Cultures and Languages from the Graduate Center, CUNY. She has taught at Queens College, and Princeton University, and has been invited to teach as Visiting Assistant professor at UCLA (Spring 2019). She is also an Associate of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (UCLA), Affiliated faculty of the center for 17th and 18th Century Studies (UCLA), an Associate of The Mediterranean Seminar and a member of Diversifying the Classics, directed by Barbara Fuchs (UCLA), which promotes the appreciation and translation of Hispanic Classical Theater in the Los Angeles area and beyond. Marta has been the recipient of several fellowships and grants sponsored by the NEH, Fulbright HAYS Program, Mellon Foundation, Folger Shakespeare Library and McGill University and she has been invited to present her work at Princeton University, UCLA, the University of Barcelona and CUNY, The Graduate Center. Her research focuses on the study of Spanish, Italian and French Early Modern Theater, Mediterranean Literary History, history of the Book, history of Diplomacy and Visual Culture. She has published articles and book chapters in Toronto U Press, Brepols,Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Journal of Royal Studies, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, E-Humanista, Celestinesca, and Pacific Coast Philology. Currently she is working on her book project Entertaining the Pope: International Diplomacy and Performance in the Roman Curia (1470- 1530), which analyzes the contributions of sixteenth-century "comedia” to Iberian and Mediterranean intellectual and humanistic discourses, with a keen eye on the importance that performance came to have for diplomatic and evangelizing enterprises. Marta is also co-translating with Mac Test the Hispanic Early Modern play La Monja Alférez (The Lieutenant Nun), based on the life of the female born Catalina de Erauso. This is probably the first play to portray a real-life transsexual character that fought (and won) for the recognition of his rights, after having sailed to Latin America and having served as a soldier and a conquistador.

Brigitte Prutti, University of Washington, Seattle

Brigitte Prutti is Professor of German and chair of the German department at the University of Washington, Seattle. She holds degrees in German literature and history from the Karl Franzens Universität Graz, Austria, and the University of California at Irvine. Her areas of research and teaching encompass modern Austrian and German literature since the 18th century, history of drama, modern prose fiction, and gender studies. More recent publications include a monograph on Viennese post-classical theatre and two book-length essays on the Austrian late modernist Thomas Bernhard and the mechanisms of literary distinction as well as on 19th century autobiographical prose. Current research interests include the recent surge of literary regionalism in the context of older practices of regional writing and the theatrical imagination of place with regard to 19th century Habsburg travel accounts to the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. She serves as guest editor for a themed journal volume on Literary Vienna and is on the board of the Austrian Studies Association.

Graduate Student Representative, Term Expires 2018

 Emily Butler-Probst, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Emily Butler-Probst is a Ph.D. student and Graduate Teaching Associate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her B.A. from Metropolitan State University of Denver and her M.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In her program at UT Knoxville, Emily studies the intersection of nineteenth-century American literature and religion. Her research focuses on the ways that Herman Melville and other nineteenth-century authors incorporate subversive biblical references in order to wrestle with the nature of belief and doubt. In a larger sense, she is fascinated by questions of epistemology, especially the ways in which faith, doubt, and delusion can dramatically alter that which individuals know to be true. Emily’s undergraduate thesis focused on Melville’s depiction of madness as a warning for individuals to avoid the obsessive pursuit of absolute truth, and her M.A. thesis explored Melville’s ongoing cyclical journey from skepticism to faith and back to skepticism. In 2017, Emily published “Raciocultural Union and ‘Fraternity of Feeling’: Ishmael’s Redemption in Moby-Dick.” This article analyzes Ishmael's personal adoption of Queequeg's cultural identity as a mock conversion narrative, one that provides multicultural salvation to Ishmael and protects him from ideological destruction.

Nominating Committee for 2020


Stanley Orr  Stanley Orr, University of Hawai‘i, West O‘ahu

Hailing from Riverside, California, Stanley Orr is Professor of English and former Chair of the Humanities Division at the University of Hawai‘i, West O‘ahu, where he teaches courses in writing, literature, and screen studies. Orr earned a B.A. in English at U.C. Riverside and a Ph.D. in English at UCLA. He has published a number of essays in critical anthologies as well as articles in journals such as American QuarterlyJouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Literature/Film Quarterly, and Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres. Orr’s book, Darkly Perfect World: Colonial Adventure, Postmodernism, and American Noir (The Ohio State University Press, 2010), charts a trajectory of the noir ethos from fin de siècle adventure through postmodernist parody and revision. This study has been recognized for its distinctive situation of hard-boiled fiction and film noir within the context of colonial discourse. Orr also serves as a co-editor of The Pearson Custom Library: Introduction to Literature. At present, Orr is writing a book on the teleplays of Pasifika dramatist John Kneubuhl. In his latest publication—“‘Welcome to the Fabled South’: John Kneubuhl’s Global Southern Gothic, 1959-1966” (forthcoming in Small Screen Souths: Interrogating the Televisual Archive [Louisiana State UP, 2017])—, Orr analyzes a number of the episodes that Kneubuhl contributed to Adventures in ParadiseThriller, and The Wild Wild West, including innovative adaptations of fiction by William Faulkner, Robert E. Howard, and Cornell Woolrich.

Katherine Kinney  Katherine Kinney, University of California, Riverside

Katherine Kinney is Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities and Associate Professor of English at the University of California Riverside, where she teaches courses in 20th century American literature and film. She received her B.A. in English and History from the University of Washington and her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. The author of Friendly Fire: American Images of the Vietnam War (Oxford 2000), she is currently writing a book entitled The Shock of Freedom: Acting, the Movies and the 1960s. Her most recent publication, “The Resonance of Brando’s Voice,” appears in Postmodern Culture (2014). She was Associate Editor of American Quarterly from 2003 to 2007 and on the editorial board of American Literature from 2002-2005.

Katherine Kinney has been an active participant of PAMLA for many years. She has organized and moderated panels and presented a number of papers at PAMLA conferences. In 2013, Katherine Kinney was selected as one of the speakers for the Special Forum: “Stages of Life: Age, Identity, and Culture” at the 111th Annual PAMLA Conference in San Diego, California.

Andrea Gogrof  Andrea Gogröf, Western Washington University

Andrea Gogröf is professor in the interdisciplinary department of Liberal Studies at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Her book is entitled Defining Modernism: Baudelaire and Nietzsche on Romanticism, Modernity, and Richard Wagner. The relationship between Romanticism and Modernity continues to inform her present research in philosophy, literature and film. She has published articles on Charles Baudelaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, Peter Handke, Emile Zola and Michael Haneke. Other focal points are aesthetic representations and cultural expressions of concerns with hygiene, surveillance and voyeurism understood in their widest manifestations: the encroachment of public and state promoted standards of hygiene and the practice of surveillance onto the personal, the private-sphere, (self-) supervision and control, shifting modes of self-invention and the ritualized presentation of self in contemporary culture. Currently she is working on aesthetic reflections of the latest surveillance methods in contemporary American, German and French cultures with a special interest in literary texts, films and blogs that reflect generational differences of attitudes and actions concerning media control, its push for absolute transparency and the ensuing debates on rights, needs and possible indifference to privacy.



Assistant Director

DavidBoyd David John Boyd, University of Glasgow

David John Boyd, PhD is the Assistant Director of PAMLA and a recent Ph.D. graduate in Comparative Literature (Text-Image Studies) at the University of Glasgow (UK). He received his B.A. in English Literature and European History at Metropolitan State University of Denver (2011), his M.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Literature from the University of Glasgow (2011), and is a recent doctoral graduate of  the University of Glasgow (2019). David has been a proud member of PAMLA since 2012, a member of the PAMLA Site Committee since 2013, and became the Assistant Director of PAMLA late in 2017. His duties include working with the Executive Director Craig Svonkin, Communications Officer Russell McDermott, and the PAMLA Site Committee in the administration and organization of the annual conference, and filling your Facebook feed with memes and conference updates. Email David at if you have any questions about the conference, and please like PAMLA’s Facebook page at for his stream of Facebook posts!

David’s primary research centers around the theoretical works of Walter Benjamin and Gilles Deleuze regarding discourses on world visual culture and media philosophies of temporality, modernity, and history, primarily in the scope of U.S.-Japan media exchanges. His other projects and interests include global youth culture and cosmopolitan fan cultures, and how they contribute to discourses on millennial Marxism, queer theory, and ecocriticism. David’s publications include “Hollowed Out: Exhuming an Ethics of Hollowing in Tite Kubo’s Bleach” (in Pacific Coast Philology, vol. 50.2, 2015) and“‘Nonsensical is our thing!’: Queering Fanservice as ‘Deleuzional’ desire-production in Trigger Entertainment’s Kiru ra Kiru / Kill la Kill” (in Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture, vol. 1.1, 2016). You can reach him at