Gregory Stephens

Gregory in office 2-5-14
  • Rank: Associate Professor
  • Education: PhD in Communication, University of California: San Diego
  • Research Areas: Cultural Analysis, Writing Studies, Ethnography, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing (emphasis on literary nonfiction), Generic Transformation in Literature and Film, Second Language Learning, Curriculum Reform Emphasizing Transferable Skills, Visual Narrative, Rhetorical Theory
  • Additional Interests: Applying Creative Writing Pedagogy to Writing and Communication Courses; Ethnographic Methods in Teaching, Research, and Cultural Analysis; Anglophone and Caribbean Literature.
  • Office: OF-211.
  • Emailgregory.stephens@upr.edu
  • Website

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: GREGORY STEPHENS (May 2018)

Gregory Stephens is an Assistant Professor of English, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. He teaches Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction, first-year English, survey courses in literature and film, and grad seminars in Cultural Studies, Literary Nonfiction, and Theory & Practice of Composition. Stephens has taught film, literature, and media/cultural studies at the University of South Florida, the University of West Indies (Jamaica), and the University of California.

His book of literary and cultural criticism, Trilogies: Re-imagining Sea Crossings, Animals, and Fathering, is under contract with Cambridge Scholars Press. A chapter, “Fathering Rescripted: The Shadow of the Son in Coetzee’s Late Fiction,” was published Frame.

The monograph-length work “Three Birds Sing a New Song: A Puerto Rican trilogy about Dystopia, Precarity, and Resistance” is forthcoming in Intermezzo.

A collection of Writing Studies research done at UPRM and in Saudi Arabia, titled Ethnographic Voice and Transferable Skills in ELL Writing Studies, has been solicited by University Press of Colorado. This is co-authored with Janice Cools. One already published chapter is “Transferable Skills and Travelling Theory in Creative Writing Pedagogy.”

Stephens earned a doctorate in Communication from the University of California-San Diego. He is the author of On Racial Frontiers: The New Culture of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Bob Marley (Cambridge UP, 1999). Follow-up work often takes a transnational approach to American Studies. One example is “Arguing with a monument—Frederick Douglass’ resolution of ‘the white man problem’ in his ‘Oration in Memory of Lincoln’.”

Stephens has written a book-length manuscript about “The Romance of Revolution in Literature and Film.” Published chapters include studies of Carlos Fuentes and Giaconda Belli, and Che Guevara.” Stephens has also published widely about environmental film and visual narrative.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

Before grad school I was an award-winning songwriter and journalist in Austin, Texas, and on the border with Mexico in Laredo.

My writing fuses literary nonfiction, communication studies, cultural criticism, and ethnography. Recent work in a literary nonfiction mode includes “Split-Screen Freedom,” in Writing on the Edge (Fall 2017), “Raw Meat (Sexy Mama),” in Smaeralit 3 (2017), and “Che’s Boots: Discipline and the flawed hero,” forthcoming in Intraspection.

Other interests include human-animal relations, visual narrative, and Cultural Studies. My work on cultural analysis as “repeating patterns” has been published as “Beyond the Romance of Resistance: Translating Stuart Hall, and Re-imagining Cultural Analysis.”

Curriculum reform is central to my work. I’ve designed Freshman English and Creative Writing courses that emphasize transferable skills. The curriculum I first designed in Riyadh, and further developed in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, has been taught to over 1,000 Advanced English students in Puerto Rico by Stephens and Dr. Janice Cools. I explore how Creative Nonfiction and other non-academic genres can “travel” to other disciplines, into the workplace, into civic life, as well as inter-personal relations, where self-presentation is important.

I’ve published in the Los Angeles Times and other journalism forums. While doing my PhD in California and then teaching at institutions including UC-Berkeley, I published in various non-academic genres, including political commentary, literary journalism, on-line creative cultural criticism, as well as “edutainment specials” on radio, in partnership with DJ-RJ in Austin.

During four years (2004-08) as “Lecturer of Cultural Studies and Film” at the University of West Indies-Mona (Kingston, Jamaica), I did a second Masters in Spanish literature. One published excerpt is “Pertenencia Mútua: Dignifying Death and Honoring Mother Earth in Zapatista Discourse.” Writings on Latin American culture include “Sacrifice, Faith, Mestizo Identity–Three Views of Che’s New Man” (Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 2016), and “Giaconda Belli on Women in Love and War: Unfinished Revolutions in the Revolutionary Process,” as well as studies of Carlos Fuentes’ Old Gringo, and Esmeralda Santiago’s When I Was Puerto Rican. A fully revised study of Santiago’s classic memoir will appear in Trilogies.

My studies of American literature include “Out too far”: Half-Fish, Beaten Men, and the Tenor of Masculine Grace in Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea,” (Hemingway Review, 2013). Work in Anglophone lit includes “Feeding Tiger, Finding God: Science, Religion & ‘the better story’ in Life of Pi,” as well as my work on Coetzee.

I have completed a memoir titled “Further Fathering.” Already published excerpts include “Father’s Day Blues.”

 

 

 

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