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Dr. Michael Devine

Professor of English
Director, Center of Interdisciplinary & Area Studies

Michael (M.I.) Devine is an interdisciplinary writer, teacher, artist and pop practitioner. Most days you’ll catch him spinning signs at the intersection of the public humanities and pop culture, where the nickelodeon meets the art museum (just down the street from the library). 

Author of an award-winning, genre-defying book that mixtapes literary and cultural history with memoir and poetry, Warhol’s Mother’s Pantry: Art, America, and the Mom in Pop (“pops off the page” – Los Angeles Review of Books), Devine received his Ph.D. in English literature from UCLA. He’s been a Dickson Fellow in Art History, a National Endowment for the Humanities recipient, and his work on literature, early cinema, and the arts was a finalist for the University of Pennsylvania’s national Zuckerman Prize for the best research on American Studies and visual culture. 

Devine has won critical attention for the deeply literate, playful sensibility he brings to the poetics of pop forms. You’ll find him reviewed, interviewed or published in Commonweal, Talkhouse, American Songwriter, Chicago Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Tupelo Quarterly, Seven Days, The Millions, About Larkin, Measure, American Literature, Adaptation, Literary Matters and in many collections on subjects ranging from early cinema and literary modernism to experiential education. A believer in the power of the humanities to serve the public good, he’s designed many large-scale events, exhibits, and gatherings, including The Lake Champlain International Film Festival, Pop for the People (Plattsburgh State Art Museum), and the ongoing viewpoints: Human (flow) project. 

Devine is co-founder, with Julia Devine, of Famous Letter Writer, an interdisciplinary pop arts collective. FLW makes artisanal pop music, experimental cinema and produces creative experiences and events. A debut record, Warhola, premiered through American Songwriter, was featured nationally on NPR’s Songs of the Week, and was named one of the best records of 2020 by Burlington’s Seven Days. Short films have screened internationally, and the Devines were awarded the North Country Filmmaker Award by the Snowtown Film Festival. They recently won a 2023 New York State Council on the Arts Support for Artists grant with the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts for DADAMAMA, a music and film project.

In 2018 Devine won the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2021 he was appointed director of the Center for Interdisciplinary and Area Studies.

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