I am an Associate Professor in, and Chair of, the Department of English at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2003 and a second MA in ELL, also from Kentucky. My first MA was from California State University, Long Beach, where I was lucky enough to study under Charles E. May, the influential short story critic and now friend. After first attending Orange Coast (Community) College, I graduated from UCLA in 1993 as an English major. My major interests lie in American and world short stories; food; Modernism; and, cultural criticism, especially post-9/11 narratives. I try to break walls between the classroom and the world. For example, watching a plane crash into New York’s World Trade Center live on television led, for me, to a conference and then a class (co-taught with anthropologist David Price) and then a book: _Reframing 9/11: Film, Pop Culture and the “War on Terror”_ (Continuum 2010), co-edited with Anna Froula (East Carolina University) and Karen Randall (University of Bedfordshire, UK). Another example: a successful eater for my entire life (except for those scorpions in Beijing), I use these diverse experiences when teaching a course called “Food & Fiction,” which has, in turn, led to more writing, more traveling, more team-teaching and, of course, more good eating. My most recent book, out Spring 2013 from Columbia UP/Wallflower P, with my same beloved co-editors, is _The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It’s a Mad World_.

Jeff Birkenstein

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