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James Zeigler

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James Zeigler

James Zeigler

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2004

CV, select publications, and sample syllabi available on

Taking a "cultural rhetoric studies" approach, my research and teaching address several topics that fall loosely in or near the field of American Studies.  My first book, Red Scare Racism and Cold War Black Radicalism (UPM 2015) examines the influence of anticommunism on the politics of race in the United States in the two decades after WWII.  It begins and ends with discussion of how "Red Scare Racism" returned with the election of the first African American President. Read more about the book by taking the links at the bottom of this page.

I am currently working on a second book project that has developed from regularly teaching an undergraduate course at OU on graphic novels.  Entitled Comics, Cruelty, and the New Ecology, the book will examine recent graphic novels, comic book memoirs, and new works in critical theory that engage with the terrible confluence of two global phenomena: neoliberalism and climate change.

An article that introduces my ideas on cruelty in recent graphic novels can be read in the online media studies journal SCAN.

Graduate Seminar:
ENGL 5703 Cold War Sexuality, Queer Theory, and Cultural Rhetoric Studies

Graduate Advising:
I have supervised PhD qualifying exam prep, MA exam prep, and PhD/MA directed readings on the following topics:
5960 Directed Readings in Graduate Research

  • w/Chris Bennett on Queer Theory and the Visual Rhetoric of AIDS, spring 2015 
  • w/Erin Hampton on Sex Positive Feminism and the “Anita Blake” Vampire Novels, fall 2014 
  • w/Amanda Jeffers on Modernism’s Female Body, fall 2014 
  • w/Sarah Conard on Transatlantic Modernism and Gender Studies, fall 2013 
  • w/Jarrod McCartney on Modernism and Cultural Studies of Sports, spring 2013 
  • w/Andrew Shipley on Encyclopedic Novels and Narrative Theory, fall 2012 
  • w/Melissa Loucks on Visual Narrativity in US Literature of the Long Civil Rights Era & Theories of the Other, spring 2011 
  • w/Brian Hudson on Animal Studies, summer 2009

Undergraduate Courses:
ENGL 4013 James Baldwin: Literature and the Long Civil Rights Movement
ENGL 4233 Derrida and the Question of the Animal
ENGL 3403 The Graphic Novel: Comic History
ENGL 3883 Introduction to American Drama
ENGL 2883 American Literature, post-1865 (Literary Histories of Stupidity)
ENGL 2773 Early American Literature

Undergraduate Honors Advising:
I have advised Honors College research projects on the following topics.  Students interested in working with me for HON 3960/3980 should email me to propose a topic and request a meeting early in the semester prior to the term in which they will enroll for the Honors directed reading/research.

  • Postmodern Autobiography and Judith Butler's Performativity w/Emily Lewin, spring 2015
  • Anthropocene and the New Materialisms w/Tyler Tennant, spring 2015
  • Critical University Studies w/Sarah Conard, spring 2013
  • Moral Philosophy and the Question of the Elephant w/Becca Skupin, spring 2012
  • Neoliberalism and Left Critique w/Lauren Brentnell, fall 2011
  • Comic Books and the Critique of Corporate Personhood w/Jeff Clark, spring 2011
  • Race and Realism in the Era of Plessy w/Evin Groundwater, fall 2010
  • Historical Metafiction (post-45) w/Drew Shipley, spring 2010
  • Cold War Literature and Law w/Natasha Chaudry, spring 2010
  • Rhetorics of the New Left w/Chase Bollig, fall 2008

Office: Cate 2, Room 337

Research and Teaching Interests: 
cultural rhetoric studies; post-45 American literature; Cold War culture; Civil Rights Movement; literary and critical theory; queer theory; the graphic novel; environmental literature, ecocriticism, and the new materialism 

Red Scare Racism and Cold War Black Radicalism (University Press of Mississippi 2015)

(UPM site /