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Dr. Michael Devine

Associate Professor of English

Fluent in Whitman as well as Warhol, Michael Devine brings a deeply literate, playful sensibility to the poetics of pop forms, from early cinema to new media. An interdisciplinary scholar, artist, and teacher, he received his Ph.D. in English literature from UCLA, where he studied with Michael North and Mark McGurl. Winner of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, he has been a Dickson Fellow (Art History-UCLA), a National Endowment for the Humanities recipient, and a finalist for the University of Pennsylvania’s national Zuckerman Prize for the best dissertation in American Studies.

Devine has placed critical and creative work in leading publications such as American Literature, Adaptation, Measure, and the Journal of Experiential Education, and his own films on the poetics of place have been screened regionally and nationally. His recent experimental essays in the Los Angeles Review of Books explore contemporary writers Michael Robbins and Hanif Abdurraqib, pop anthems (Khalid’s “Let’s Go”) and poetry (T.S. Eliot: “Let us go then…”), challenging what we think we know about high and low. Archival and timely, essays like “Early Cinema and the Post-9/11 City” (chosen for the Routledge Introduction to American Postmodernism selected bibliography) embody the approach of his first book project, a cinematic literary history from the late nineteenth century to today.

A former high school teacher, Devine developed and coordinates the Film Minor, and piloted the Common Problem Pedagogy Project. Former programmer for the Lake Champlain International Film Festival, Devine cultivates experiential learning opportunities for his students; he has been an invited curator for the Lake Placid Film Festival, and Burgh, his own civic film-poem, has been screened widely, recently at the University of Iowa. Co-directed with a former student, The Michigan was previewed on Mountain Lake Journal (PBS): it is a meditation on migration, meat sauce, and the end of family farms in northern New York. Both films are part of AdironDocs, Devine’s regional film initiative.

A pop practitioner, Devine is a noted performance artist, lyricist, composer, and co-founder of the music collective Famous Letter Writer (FLW). Praised by New York City arts journal Two Coats of Paint for “a compelling and extraordinary sound,” FLW has been invited to festivals headlined by popular musicians such as tUnE-yArDs and Noname, and was invited to join a roster of avant-garde musicians at the New York Electronic Music Summit. Recorded at Brooklyn’s historic Pencil Factory, FLW’s upcoming debut is about expression and erasure in American culture. Produced by NYC underground legend Keith Zarriello (The Shivers/Sonny Santos), WARHOLA is part of a larger intermedial project scheduled for release in 2020-2021.

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