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Michael Devine

Associate Professor of English

Michael Devine received his Ph.D. in English literature from UCLA, where his work on early film, literature, and the visual arts earned the Dickson History of Art Fellowship and was named runner-up for the University of Pennsylvania’s 2013 Zuckerman Prize for the best dissertation in American Studies. The National Endowment for the Humanities recognized his research in Summer 2016. He writes about literature’s relationship to other arts, especially film. A former high school teacher, he models an interdisciplinary approach in his classroom practice. At SUNY Plattsburgh, he coordinates the Film Minor.

In addition to completing a book on poetry and early film, he has a second project underway on the turn from the panorama to the attraction, with recent essays on Frank Norris and the “Literature of Attractions,” on Stephen Crane, and on early cinema in post-9/11 literature and film. Both book projects tell a larger story of poets, novelists, painters, and filmmakers critiquing and collaborating with emerging media forms—a literary/cinematic history, from the late nineteenth century to today, of efforts to locate the transcendental heritage in an age of new technologies.

He serves as Poetry Editor for the Saranac Review. Both his creative and critical work explore modernism’s afterlife. His civic film-poem, Burgh, kicked off the 2015 Lake Champlain International Film Festival, and has been widely screened, most recently at the University of Iowa. The Michigan, previewed on Mountain Lake Journal (PBS), examines American migration and meat sauce in northern New York: a cultural history spanning from 1920 to today, and from Coney Island to the Canadian border. Both films are part of AdironDocs, his regional film initiative.


  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (2011)
  • M.A., Villanova University

Teaching Areas

  • ENG 101, College Writing II
  • HON 152, Outsiders in American Film
  • ENG 163, Introduction to Film and Literature
  • ENG 195, Fundamentals of Literary Study
  • ENG 301, Expository Writing
  • ENG 305, Teaching Writing to Adolescents
  • ENG 343, American Literature (Civil War to WWI)
  • ENG 346, American Literature (1900-1960)
  • ENG 375, Literature for Classroom Teachers
  • ENG 422, International Film
  • ENG 448, Irish Literature

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

  • "From Manhatta to Burgh: Film, Poetry, Place," Upper Jay Arts Center, March 2016.
  • “Reading in the Flipped Classroom: In-Class Strategies for Boosting Reading, Writing, and Discussion,” Center for Teaching Excellence Conference, SUNY Plattsburgh, April 2013.
  • “Electric Anthology: Screening American Literature in 1895,” Modernist Studies Association Conference, Las Vegas, October 2012.
  • “Salome/Topsy/Pearl: Dance in the Age of Early Cinema,” Victorian Interdisciplinary Society of the Western United States Conference, SUNY Plattsburgh, October 2012.
  • “Anthology/Machine,” Tuesday Reflections Series, SUNY Plattsburgh, April 2012.
  • “Epics of the Air: World War I in Film and Poetry,” Film & History Conference, Dallas, November 2006.
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