Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

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Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock.jpg
EducationB.A., English; M.A., American Literature; M. Phil., Human Sciences; PhD, Human Sciences[1]
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania, The George Washington University
OccupationUniversity Professor
Years active1994–present
EmployerCentral Michigan University
Known forAnalyses of monsters, the Gothic, and cult media in American and popular culture
TitleProfessor of English Language and Literature

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock (born January 24, 1970) is an American literature, film, and media scholar who has been teaching in the Department of English Language and Literature at Central Michigan University since 2001. He has authored or edited twenty-one books and a range of articles focusing on the American Gothic tradition, monsters, cult film and television, popular culture, weird fiction, pedagogy, and goth music. He is also an editor for the academic journal The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.[2]

Education[edit]

Weinstock graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English.[3] He then earned an M.A. in American literature and both an M.Phil. and PhD from the Program in the Human Sciences at The George Washington University.[3] He joined the faculty of the Department of English Language and Literature at Central Michigan University in 2001.

Research[edit]

Weinstock's academic work has covered a variety of research areas, but clusters around theorizing the ways in which Gothic texts and practices give shape to culturally specific anxieties and desires.[1]

Monsters[edit]

Of particular interest to Weinstock have been the roles that monsters play in enforcing social norms while also highlighting desires to transgress those same norms. In an early article on freaks and freak shows, "Freaks in Space: ‘Extraterrestrialism’ and ‘Deep-Space Multiculturalism’," Weinstock adapts Edward Said's concept of Orientalism to address the ways in which contemporary racial stereotypes find expression in science fiction film and television through the role of the extraterrestrial.[4]

In the introduction to the Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters, the 2014 encyclopedia he edited, he draws upon the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas to discuss monsters as violations of established cultural categories whose transgression of conceptual frameworks creates anxiety.[5] This work won the 2014 Rue Morgue Magazine "Best 2014 Non-Fiction Book" award, as well as the 2014 "Golden Ghoul" award for "Best 2014 Non-Fiction Horror Book" from the Serbian Cult of the Ghoul publication.[citation needed]

In "Invisible Monsters: Vision, Horror, and Contemporary Culture," his contribution to Asa Mittman and Peter Dendle's Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous, Weinstock proposes that twenty-first century Western culture has decoupled monstrosity from appearance creating concerns that monsters cannot be identified in advance of their attacks. To develop this argument, he focuses on serial killers, terrorists, faceless corporations, viruses, and natural phenomena such as global warming.[6] In "American Monsters," a chapter included in Charles L. Crow's A Companion to the American Gothic, Weinstock addresses the cultural construction of American monsters paying attention to the roles of race and religion in creating monstrous others.[7]

Ghosts[edit]

Weinstock's interest in ghosts and hauntings began with his doctoral dissertation, Dead Letters: Ghostly Inscriptions and Theoretical Hauntings, an analysis of the "spectrality of language" indebted to the post-structural theorizing of Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan and focusing around the idea of the "dead letter" in the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Toni Morrison.[8]

The dissertation became the springboard for two later book publications related to ghosts: 2004's Spectral America: Phantoms and the American Imagination and 2008's Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women. In the introduction to Spectral America, Weinstock refers to the "spectral turn" of twenty-first century culture, a formulation that has resonated in later publications on ghosts and culture.[9] In Scare Tactics, Weinstock argues for the existence of a little-acknowledged feminist tradition of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American women writing ghost stories to contest various forms of legal and social oppression. Among the authors addressed in this study are Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edith Wharton, Alice Cary, Mary Austin, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Harriet Prescott Spofford.[10][11]

Vampires[edit]

Weinstock is perhaps best known for his 2012 work, The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema, which surveys the history of the vampire in film and addresses their persistent popularity in relation to the themes of sex, technology, and race.[12] In the introduction to this book, indebted to the work of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Henry Jenkins III, he asserts seven principles governing the cinematic representation of vampires:

  1. The cinematic vampire is always about sex
  2. The vampire is always more interesting than those who pursue it
  3. The vampire always returns
  4. The cinematic vampire is an overdetermined body condensing what a culture considers ‘other’
  5. The cinematic vampire is always about technology
  6. The vampire film genre does not exist
  7. We are all vampire textual nomads[13][14]

The Vampire: Undead Cinema was the winner of the 2013 International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Lord Ruthven Assembly Award for Best Nonfiction Title.

Weinstock has focused on the popularity and importance of vampires in twentieth and twenty-first century culture in a number of articles and book chapters, including a chapter on American Vampires in the Edinburgh Companion to the American Gothic.[15]

The Gothic[edit]

Weinstock's interests in monsters, ghosts, and vampires are specific manifestations of his broader interest in the American Gothic tradition—an interest that runs throughout his body of work and is reflected by his research on Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Toni Morrison, among others. Of note in this respect is his 2011 monograph on American Charles Brockden Brown arguing for the late eighteenth-century author's centrality in establishing American variants of four Gothic subgenres: the frontier Gothic, the urban Gothic, the psychological Gothic, and the female Gothic.[16][17] In 2017, Weinstock published The Cambridge Companion to the American Gothic.[18]

Cult film and television[edit]

Weinstock has also published research on cult film and television, including both a monograph and an edited collection on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, edited collections on directors Tim Burton and M. Night Shyamalan, edited collections on Twin Peaks and the film The Blair Witch Project, and articles and essays on films including The Evil Dead and Bubba Ho-tep. Weinstock's 2007 book, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, one of the first three titles published as part of the now well-established "Cultographies" series from Wallflower Press (now an imprint of Columbia University Press), offers a survey of the film's history, considers its sexual politics, examines its interweaving of references to other cinematic texts, and theorizes the audience's famous response as a vacillation between empathic and ironic behavior.[19]

Popular culture[edit]

Weinstock's research often seeks to theorize contemporary popular culture. Tangential to his emphasis on the Gothic, he edited a 2008 collection for SUNY Press on the animated program South Park.

In 2018, Weinstock published Critical Approaches to Welcome to Night Vale: Podcasting Between Weather and the Void, a collection of scholarly essays devoted to the popular podcast, Welcome to Night Vale. The book holds the distinction of being the first scholarly book publication related to a particular podcast.[20]

Weird fiction[edit]

Together with Carl Sederholm of Brigham Young University, Weinstock edited a 2016 scholarly collection on American author of weird fiction, H. P. Lovecraft. Weinstock's own chapter contribution to the volume, "Lovecraft's Things", utilizes the insights of contemporary object-oriented ontology to consider the roles of material objects in Lovecraft's fiction.[21] The collection received the 2016 Ray & Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Popular Culture and American Culture. Weinstock had previously edited three volumes of the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft for Barnes & Noble.

Pedagogy[edit]

Weinstock has expressed an interest through his career in pedagogy in general, and ways to teach the Gothic in particular. His 2003 edited collection, The Pedagogical Wallpaper: Teaching Charlotte Perkin's Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-paper," addressed approaches to using Gilman's short story as a tool for teaching in the classroom. This collection became the subject of a round-table discussion in the Spring 2004 issue of the journal Pedagogy.[22] In 2009, as part of the Modern Language Association's "Approaches to Teaching World Literature" series, Weinstock co-edited the volume Approaches to Teaching Poe's Prose and Poetry with Anthony Magistrale of the University of Vermont. His own contribution focuses on Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, and charges of plagiarism surrounding it.[23]

Music[edit]

An extension of Weinstock's interest in the Gothic, as well as a channeling of his interest in goth, industrial, and experimental electronic music, and his twenty years as a DJ of these genres,[24] Goth Music: From Sound to Subculture is a study authored by Weinstock with musicologist Isabella van Elferen of Kingston University, London. Making use of the theories of Bruno Latour and M. M. Bakhtin, Van Elferen and Weinstock assert in this book that the diversity of styles encompassed by the generic rubric goth find their consistency through shared chronotopes—aural time-spaces that serve as the settings for shared fantasy narratives.[25]

Publications[edit]

  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2003). The Pedagogical Wallpaper: Teaching Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-paper." New York: Peter Lang Publishers. ISBN 978-0820463056
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (ed. with Sarah Higley) (2004). Nothing That Is: Millennial Cinema and the Blair Witch Controversies. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0814330647
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2004). Spectral America: Phantoms and the National Imagination. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0299199548
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2007). The Rocky Horror Picture Show. London: Wallflower Press. ISBN 978-1905674503
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2008). Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women. New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0823271887
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2008). Taking South Park Seriously. New York: SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0791475669
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2008). Reading Rocky: The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Popular Culture. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1137525031
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (ed. with Anthony Magistrale) (2009). Approaches to Teaching Poe's Prose and Poetry. New York: MLA. ISBN 978-1603290128
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2010). Critical Approaches to the Films of M. Night Shyamalan: Spoiler Warnings. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0230104082
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2011). Charles Brockden Brown. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 978-0708324196
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2012). The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0121818807
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2013). The Works of Tim Burton: Margins to Mainstream. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1137370822
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2014). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1409425625
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (ed. with Catherine Spooner) (2016). Return to Twin Peaks: New Approaches to Materiality, Theory, and Genre on Television. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-1137563842
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (authored with Isabella van Elferen) (2016). Goth Music: From Sound to Subculture. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415720045
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (ed. with Carl Sederholm) (2016). The Age of Lovecraft. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0816699254
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2018). The Cambridge Companion to the American Gothic. New York and London: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107539785
  • Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2018). Critical Approaches to Welcome to Night Vale: Podcasting Between Weather and the Void. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-3-319-93090-9

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "jeffreyweinstock".
  2. ^ "Colophon – Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts".
  3. ^ a b "Dr. Jeffrey Weinstock on vampires, gore and other frightening things – Grand Central Magazine – Your Campus. Your Story".
  4. ^ "Freaks in Space:'Extraterrestrialism'and 'Deep-Space Multiculturalism.'".
  5. ^ "Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters".
  6. ^ "Invisible Monsters: Vision, Horror, and Contemporary Culture".
  7. ^ "American Monsters".
  8. ^ Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (January 1, 1999). "Dead Letters: Ghostly Inscriptions and Theoretical Hauntings" – via PhilPapers.
  9. ^ "Spectral America: Phantoms and the National Imagination—Introduction: The Spectral Turn".
  10. ^ "Scare Tactics".
  11. ^ "Dissections Horror E-Zine".
  12. ^ "Jeffrey Weinstock, The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema, Reviewed by Xavier Aldana Reyes – The Gothic Imagination".
  13. ^ "The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema—Introduction: The Vampire Cinema".
  14. ^ ""Vampires, Vampires, Everywhere!" by Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew – Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Vol. 90, Issue 3, Fall 2010 – Online Research Library: Questia".
  15. ^ "American Vampires".
  16. ^ "Review of Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock's Charles Brockden Brown by Michael Cody".
  17. ^ "Charles Brockden Brown: A Polemical Introduction".
  18. ^ The Cambridge Companion to American Gothic. Cambridge University Press. November 2017. doi:10.1017/9781316337998. ISBN 9781316337998.
  19. ^ "Cultographies – Reviews".
  20. ^ "jeffreyweinstock | NEWS & CURRENT". jeffreyweinstock. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  21. ^ "Introduction: Lovecraft Rising".
  22. ^ Karla J. Murphy, "The Pedagogical Possibilities of Covering Gilman's Wallpaper." Pegagogy 4.2 (Spring 2004): 337–343.
  23. ^ "What Difference Does It Make? Pym, Plagiarism, and Pop Culture".
  24. ^ "jeffreyweinstock".
  25. ^ "Goth Music: From Sound to Subculture (Hardback) – Routledge".

External links[edit]