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Deborah Mix

Associate Professor

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RB 385  Phone: 765-285-8401  

Department of English
Robert Bell Building (RB), Room 297
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Since coming to Ball State in 2003, I have had the opportunity to develop a wide range of courses from introductory surveys to seminars. In each of those classes, I engage my students in historically-grounded conversations about literary traditions-how they are created, how they are mapped onto a chaotic body of texts, and how we might understand and perhaps challenge the results of such mapping.

My scholarship has been similarly concerned with issues of literary tradition and challenges to those traditions. My book, "A Vocabulary of Thinking": Gertrude Stein and Contemporary North American Women's Innovative Writing (U of Iowa Press, 2007), argues that our conventional understanding of avant-garde literary moments are grounded in gendered and racialized ideologies that cannot recognize counter-traditions, particularly those associated with feminist, queer, and non-white authors. Thus I position Stein-a Jewish, lesbian expatriate-as an ambivalent foremother to contemporary authors Harryette Mullen, Daphne Marlatt and Betsy Warland (who wrote collaboratively), Lyn Hejinian, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, simultaneously authorizing and impelling their experimental work in various genres. My recent article "Gertrude Stein's Currency," just published in the collection Modernist Star Maps (Ashgate, 2010), tracks Stein's complex relation to celebrity and identity in the context of both literary modernism and the Great Depression.

Right now, I'm working on a new book project considering the ways that bodies, minds, and spirits are represented in the works of four contemporary African American women writers: Toni Morrison, Lucille Clifton, Harryette Mullen, and Suzan-Lori Parks.

Areas of specialization: 20th-century American literature, U.S. Ethnic Literature, American poetry, the feminist avant-garde

Deborah Mix's curriculum vitae