My name is Merrill Cole and I am running for a seat on the executive committee of TC Sexuality Studies. I would like to introduce myself, my academic work, and my plans for the next few years. I am thrilled to have received the nomination, and I look forward to meeting more members of the group.
I have taught in the Department of English at Western Illinois University since 2007, now holding the rank of Professor. In 2014 and 2015, I spearheaded the development of the university’s Queer Studies undergraduate interdisciplinary minor, for which I currently serve as Advisor. I also teach graduate course in queer studies. I am a member of the University Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, and I serve on the University Diversity Committee.
The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality, published in 2003, aims to reestablish an interest in poetry by integrating questions of aesthetics with political inquiry. Elaborating the political significance of poetic experiment in the works of Arthur Rimbaud, T. S. Eliot, and Hart Crane, The Other Orpheus explores the extent to which male homoeroticism influences formal innovation and how commodification informs such poetic practice. The poetry under consideration rewrites the dominant representational economy of Western poetry, which centers on sacrificial love and depends upon the nostalgia effects of traditional mimesis to articulate the profundities of interpersonal feeling. The Other Orpheus was reissued by Routledge this year.
Much of my more recent work has focused on women modernists and in German. I have written on the Dada photomontages of Hannah Höch and published, in 2012, the first-ever full translation into English of the 1923 naked dancing magnum opus, Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy. I am in the beginning phases of an anthology project, in collaboration with Gary Schmidt, to translate contemporary German-language LGBT*Q fiction into English, most of which is currently inaccessible to Anglophone audiences.
My essay, “The Queer Repression of Jacques Lacan,” forthcoming in After Lacan, perhaps represents the start of a new project on exploitation, repression, and revolution.
I am also a creative writer. My poems have recently appeared in such magazines as Bellevue Literary Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, The Good Men Project, and Trickhouse. I am readying a memoir for publication, Accidental Berliner.
I would like to bring my dedication to diversity, interdisciplinary, and international exchange to work for TC Sexuality Studies.
Please log in to the MLA website to vote. If you have questions or comments, please contact me via this form or email: email@example.com. Thank you for your consideration.