My name is T.J., and I am currently a doctoral candidate in English at Syracuse University. My dissertation, tentatively titled “History’s Perilous Pleasures: The Historico-Biblical Epic and the Terror of History,” argues that the mid-century cycle of epic films sought to sublimate the experience of the terror of history–engendered by the advent of nuclear technology, burgeoning anxieties about the nature of human sexuality, and the rise and fall of imperial powers–even while expressing that terror in visceral and embodied form. As such, I argue, the epic should be seen as a genuine attempt to engage with serious historical questions, rather than a simply an object of camp humor or derision.
This blog is a space where you can read my take on a variety of subjects. While many posts deal with film and television in some way, I will also post book reviews of both fiction (primarily historical fiction and fantasy) and nonfiction (primarily history books and scholarly monographs dealing with some aspect of film, television, and feminist/queer theory). As a queer and feminist scholar, I will also post about issues related to social and political justice, which I see as inextricably connected to my own study of film, television, and other forms of popular media.
I also see this space as fundamentally participatory, and so I welcome (and eagerly invite!) my visitors to comment, whether to agree, disagree, or something in between. I strongly believe in the value of making the humanities accessible and relevant to the public, and I see this blog as contributing to that endeavor.
You can follow me on Twitter @tjwest3.