Gregory Stephens’ research and writing interests are varied, rooted partly in his non-academic backgrounds in songwriting, journalism, and public relations, and PhD in Communication (University of California-San Diego). These are the main areas in which he is teaching and writing:
- Writing Studies (including Creative Writing, and rhetorical analysis)
- Cultural Analysis (an ethnographic approach)
- The theory of Communicative Cultures
Stephens has several recently published books, and more in the pipeline, including:
“Three Birds Sing a New Song: A Puerto Rican trilogy about Dystopia, Precarity, and Resistance.” Intermezzo (April 2019).
Trilogies as Cultural Analysis: Literary Re-imaginings of Sea Crossings, Animals, and Fathering. Cambridge Scholars Press (2018)
“Three Birds” is a Puerto Rican book. One section of rhetorical analysis is of professor columns that either celebrated student resistance during the 2017 strike, or questioned the romance of resistance.
Since 2014, Stephens specialized in two branches of Creative Writing: the pedagogy (i.e., Creative Writing Studies), and his own publications in fiction and literary nonfiction.
Literary prose: fiction
“Close to the Bone,” Obelus Journal (2019) [from Pt. II of A Terrible Racket]
“Taming the Mountain: Two Views of Gabriel,” Wild Roof Journal (May 2021);
“Making Do with the Residue,” [from A Terrible Racket Part I)–Iris Literary Journal (Fall 2020);
“Caiseas Blues” [A Terrible Racket excerpt], The Esthetic Apostle (June 2019), reprinted in in Best Small Fictions of 2020 (Sonder Press);
“Making Love to an Angel,” Meat for Tea: The Valley Review (June 2020);
“A Team of Mules,” San Antonio Review (Dec. 2019);
“Letting Go of America,” Millenial Pulp (Fall 2020);
“Wrestling with an Angel: Marked by the Afterlives of Scripture as Literature,” Still Point Arts Quarterly (Spring 2020);
“Going South,” Barely South Review (Fall 2020);
“Through the Window in St Lucia.” Janice Cools & Gregory Stephens. Rigorous: A Journal by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (Jan. 25, 2021);
“Still Life in Motion,” iō Literary Journal (Spring 2020);
“Spanking the Baby: Second Thoughts on Discipline,” Showbear Family Circus (Sept. 2019).
“Tied to the Mast: Connecting the Dots of Sea Crossing Tales,” saltfront: studies in human habit(at) (Spring 2020).
Stephens is currently focused on growing the Writing and Communication minor into a full track at UPRM. To that end he is teaching two new courses:
- 4107—Rhetorical Theory
- 4066—Research in Writing and Communication
He teaches Rhetorical Theory as it intersects with ethnographic research (the best way to get to know an audience). 4066 serves as a capstone course in the Writing/Com minor. Stephens has re-designed the grad seminar 6030, with a focus on teaching texts to context, and backward design through learning Outcomes.
Writing Studies scholarship/Creative Writing pedagogy out of Stephens’ curriculum design in UPRM:
“Footnotes from the ‘Margins’: Outcomes-based Literary Nonfiction Pedagogy in Puerto Rico.” By Gregory Stephens with Christian Fernandez, Andrés Padró, and Gabriela Ruiz. Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies (Spring 2020).
“Transferable Skills and Traveling Theory in Creative Writing Pedagogy,” New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing (Fall 2017).
“Food Stories as Embodied Writing: Practical Creative Writing Pedagogy,” Wisconsin English Journal (Fall 2017), special issue: Approaches to Teaching Creative Writing, K-12 to Higher Ed.
In addition to creative expression (from songwriting to novel writing), Stephens biggest ongoing passion is cultural analysis. Here are two new/forthcoming publications in that domain:
“Halfies, Half-Written Letters, and One-Eyed Gods: Connecting the Dots of Communicative Cultures.” Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy (Fall 2021).
“Beyond the Romance of Resistance: Translating Stuart Hall, and Re-imagining Cultural Analysis,” Culture in Focus 1.1 (2018): 63-79.
Stephens has also published lots of literary criticism and film analysis. That gets folded into every class he teaches, in one form or another. Here’s a few highlights:
“Fathering Rescripted: The shadow of the son in Coetzee’s late fiction.” Frame: Journal of Literary Studies, 30.1, special issue on “Aging” (Spring 2017).
“Living with Coyotes: Rethinking Human-Animal Relations, from Aesop to Prodigal Summer.” Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies, 1.2 (2016). Co-author Janice Cools.
“Out too far”: Half-Fish, Beaten Men, and the Tenor of Masculine Grace in Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea.” Co-author Janice Cools. Hemingway Review 32.2 (Spring 2013).
“Feeding Tiger, Finding God: Science, Religion & ‘the better story’ in Life of Pi,” Intertexts: A Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflections, (Spring 2010).
“Sacrifice, Faith, Mestizo Identity: Three Views of Che’s New Man,” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture # 34 (2016).