- (765) 455-9372
- Department of English and Language Studies
- IU Kokomo
Main Building (KO), Room 235
As an undergraduate, I once complained to a teacher that I didn’t find some of their selections for our class “interesting,” and then inquired how I might ever survive graduate school if I was turned off by certain texts. “Easy,” the professor responded, “Be interested in everything!” Taking those words to heart, I find myself interested in a wide-range of literary theories, genres, and modalities.
An Americanist by training (and a southerner by birth), my research largely revolves around literature of the American South. I’m particularly interested in questions of identity and how one’s experiences with traumatic events (especially weather-related traumas) necessitate new paths of self and community understanding. Within the geographic region defined as the “South,” I find myself particularly drawn to narratives of Appalachia and the Gulf Coast (so, you’ll often find Ron Rash or Jesmyn Ward on my syllabi). I also serve as Editor-in-Chief of IU Kokomo’s student journal Field: A Journal of Arts and Sciences (speaking of, you should totally submit your art, fiction, poetry, music, research, or prose here: iuk.edu/field). Beyond my interest in southern literature, I teach and research environmental literature and ecocriticism, comics and graphic novels, American realism and naturalism, science fiction, and contemporary American literature.
I’ve recently published articles on Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation and Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. I have a forthcoming interview with horror author Nathan Ballingrud, and articles about Faulkner, the Gulf South, and “weird” fiction forthcoming or under review. With my colleague, Dr. Joanna Davis-McElligatt, I am editing a collection of essays entitled BOOM! #$%! SPLAT!: Violence in Comics for the UP of Mississippi. In short, I’m interested in everything! You can find more information about me, my courses, and my research at jimcoby.com
“Reading Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation in the Anthropocene.” Journal of Science Fiction 4.1 (2020): 15-16.
“Rural Spaces and (In)Disposable Bodies in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones.” Representing Rural Women, Lexington Books (2019): 83-98.
“‘I ain’t goin’ the jailhouse if I can help it’: The Thriller Impulse in Ron Rash’s One Foot in Eden.” Clues: A Journal of Detection 37.1 (2019): 19-29.
“‘Nothing alive here but us and the plant’: Ecological Terror and the Disruption of Ontological Order in Scott Smith’s The Ruins.” Supernatural Studies 5.1 (2018): 74-95.
“Open Roads, Open Topics: The Virtues of Open-Ended Assignments in Contemporary American Travel Literature Courses.” Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice 8.3 (2016): 1-13.
“Engaging Students and Fostering Multiple Literacies: A Brief Defense of Comics in the Classroom.” Pennsylvania English 38.1 (2016): 25-34.
“‘—it’s pretty easy to forget what it feels like to be a have-not’: Envisioning and Experiencing Trauma in Josh Neufeld’s A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.” South Central Review 32.3 (2015): 110-123.
“Crisis-Dictated Gender Roles in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans.” The Explicator 72.1 (2014): 32-33.
“‘Love is an energy from a hellish thing’: An Interview with Nathan Ballingrud.” Submitted to the North Carolina Literary Review. Under Review.
“Art, Inspiration, and Family: Interviews with Three of Ellen Glasgow’s Relatives, Part II.” Invited submission in preparation for the Ellen Glasgow Journal of Southern Women Writers 8.1 (2021): Forthcoming.
“Art, Inspiration, and Family: Interviews with Three of Ellen Glasgow’s Relatives, Part I.” Invited submission for the Ellen Glasgow Journal of Southern Women Writers 7.1 (2019): 20-35.
“‘The things they have to endure to stay together’: An Interview with Matthew Griffin.” North Carolina Literary Review 26.1 (2017): 174-187.
“Weirding the Gulf Coast: Reading Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation in the Anthropocene.” Proposal accepted to the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association’s 2020 Conference. (Boulder, CO; October 2020/1). Conference pushed to 2021 due to COVID-19.
“‘Bodies tell stories’: Shame in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones.” Proposal accepted to the Society for the Study of Southern Literature’s Bi-Annual Conference, “The Uses and Abuses of Shame” Panel (Fayetteville, AR; April 2020). Conference cancelled due to COVID-19.
“‘That’s what I mean by it’s like something’s trying to get at you’: Slow Violence in Ann Pancake’s Strange As This Weather Has Been.” Paper presented at the Appalachian Studies Association’s 2019 Conference (Asheville, NC; March, 2019).
“It’s (Not) the End of the World: Disaster, Hybridity, and the South in the Honors Freshman Seminar Classroom.” Paper presented at the Society for the Study of Southern Literature’s Bi-Annual Conference, “South 101” Panel (Austin, TX: February, 2018).
“‘Make them know’: Reclaiming Undomesticated Landscapes and Disposable Bodies in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones.” Paper presented at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers International Conference (Bordeaux, France: July, 2017).
“‘It is hard to fall in the love in the middle of a hurricane; however, that’s exactly what I did’: Trauma as Catalyst in Barry Hannah’s Nightwatchmen.” Paper presented at Auburn University-Montgomery’s “Southern Studies” 2017 Conference (Montgomery, AL: February, 2017).
“An Affective Turn in the South: Affect Theory and the New Southern Studies.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association’s 2016 Regional Conference, “Society for the Study of Southern Literature” Panel; Panel Moderator (Salt Lake City, UT: October, 2016).
“Slouching Towards Richmond: On Discovering Ellen Glasgow’s Library.” Paper presented at the American Literature Association’s 2015 National Conference, “Ellen Glasgow Across the Canon” Panel (Boston, MA: May, 2015).
“‘—it’s pretty easy to forget what it feels like to be a have-not’: Envisioning and Experiencing Trauma in Josh Neufeld’s A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.” Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association’s 2015 National Conference, “Comics and Graphic Novels” Panel (New Orleans, LA: April, 2015).
Indiana University Kokomo765-453-2000