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Faculty Biographies

Listed here are professors who have taught, are teaching, or will teach for MALAS in the future.

Professor of Philosophy

Animal philosophy ethics and identityPeter Atterton's work focuses on various aspects of the philosophical, phenomenological (especially Levinas), and biological nature of human experience. Recently, he has started to ask questions about evolutionary psychology, the empathy-altruism hypothesis, animal rights, and the possibility that ethics is a blindsighted experience. He teaches classes in 20th-century Continental Philosophy, Existentialism, Environmental Ethics, Bio-medical Ethics, Social Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Technology, and Introduction to Philosophy. In Spring 2011, Professor Atterton developed and taught our BIOMEDICINE: Decomposing the Human seminar for our MALAS students.

Associate Professor of English | Chair, English and Comparative Literature

joanna bookgrandpaJoanna Brooks (Ph.D., UCLA 1999) teaches American literature, including African-American literature, Native American literature, and women’s studies. Her book American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures (Oxford, 2003) was the winner of the Modern Language Association William Sanders Scarborough Award for outstanding book in African-American literature.  
She is also the editor of The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Literature and Leadership in Eighteenth-Century America (Oxford, 2006). A fourth generation Los Angelino, Brooks grew up behind the Orange Curtain in Santa Ana, California.  Her favorite places on earth are Phillipe’s, the Original, LA; San Onofre, California; and Kolob Canyon, Utah.  Professor Brooks taught the memorable MALAS 600A seminar, U.S. of Catastrophe, Summer 2009.

Lecturer, English & Comparative Literature

Edith Frampton researches and writes about contemporary literature written in English from around the globe, with a particular focus on women writers and issues of gender, the body, and identity.  She is the author of Michèle Roberts, forthcoming in the Northcote House series Writers and Their Work, and an essay of hers on this prominent British writer also appears in the Winter 2006 issue of Textual Practice.  In addition, Dr. Frampton has published essays on Toni Morrison, in the Routledge journal Women: A Cultural Review, and on Melanie Klein and the “British School” of psychoanalysis, in the Taylor and Francis journal Australian Feminist Studies.  Her essay on the figure of the wet nurse – through history and as imagined in recent writing – is included in the 2007 anthology Back to the Future of the Body.  Contemporary women's writingDr. Frampton is on the Editorial Board of the new Oxford University Press journal, Contemporary Women’s Writing, and is an active member of the UK-based organization, Contemporary Women’s Writing Network.  For the past several years, she has divided her time between San Diego and London, earning her MA and PhD in literature from the University of London, after having launched her graduate studies at Yale.  As a Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU, Dr. Frampton has taught a range of British literary topics, from the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf  to Black British writer Zadie Smith’s 2005 novel, On Beauty.  She has also taught contemporary American fiction, drama, and poetry.  She can be contacted at  Dr. Frampton is presently developing a course on performance and theatre for the MALAS program.

ILYA KAMINSKY, JD, University of California
Associate Professor of English & Comparative Literature

ILYA KAMINSKY is a poet. Born in Odessa, in the former Soviet Union, he arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. His recent book, Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), won the Whiting Writer's Award, from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Kaminsky has served as a Writer In Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy, taught at California College of the Arts and at numerous literary centers and conferences.  Educated in English Literature at Georgetown University and the University of Rochester, he also has a graduate degree in Law from University of California, and has worked for several public interest organizations, including Bay Area Legal Aid and National Immigration Law Center. In late 1990s, he co-founded Poets for Peace which sponsored hundreds of poetry readings across the country with the goal of supporting such relief organizations as Doctors Without Borders and Survivors International. He is the poetry editor for Words Without Borders and was a Distinguished Visiting Writer 2006-2007 at Arizona State University--his colleagues? Zadie Smith; Michael Chabon; Ben Bova; and Walter Mosley, among others. You can find more information here: Kaminsky is currently in development of a seminar on Aesthetics for the MALAS program.


A San Diego-based filmmaker, artist, photographer, writer, and the Film Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), Neil Kendricks's award-winning short films like 2002's loop have screened at international film festivals including the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, the Havana Film Festival, and a special short-film screening at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival’s American Pavilion. His photography and artwork have also been exhibited in the San Diego Museum of Art, the African-American Museum of Fine Arts, London's Royal College of Art, and other venues. Museum of Contemporary Art San DiegoHis writing on film and the arts have been published in such publications as The San Diego Union-Tribune, Art Ltd. magazine, Moviemaker magazine, Art Week magazine, and numerous other publications. Kendricks is currently an adjunct photography professor at Grossmont and Southwestern Community Colleges, and he has been running MCASD's Film program since 2005. He is also the founder and ongoing participant of MCASD’s popular film event,alt.pictureshows , an annual short-film festival screening at the Museum since 2003. Kendricks will be teaching our English 570 Screenwriting classafter jetting back from the Sundance Movie Festival in January. Kendricks is currently developing a seminar on film and graphic narrative for the MALAS program

SEAN MEIGHOO, PhD, York University, Lecturer 

Assistant Professor, Emory University, 2011

Sean Meighoo received his Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought from York University (Toronto, Canada).  His current teaching and research interests include continental philosophy, literary theory, postcolonial and race theory, and feminist and queer theory.  His most recent publication is "Derrida's Chinese Prejudice" (forthcoming in
Cultural Critique 68, Winter 2008). Meighoo's piece is a true coup, as CCis known for its  "international and interdisciplinary explorations of intellectual controversies, trends, and issues in culture, theory, and politics. Emphasizing critique rather than criticism, the journal draws on the diverse and conflictual approaches of Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, political economy, and hermeneutics to offer readings in society and its tranformation."  Meighoo taught several MALAS seminars for our graduate students from  2004-2007.

Professor of English | Founding Father, MALAS

FredFred Moramarco is Editor of Poetry International, an annual poetry journal published by the Department and SDSU Press. He teaches courses in both Literature and Creative Writing, and has written extensively on 20th Century American Literature. Professor Moramarco is the co-author of Modern American Poetry (U of Mass Press, 1989) and Containing Multitudes: Poetry in the United States Since 1950 (Twayne, 1998). He is co-editor of Men of Our Time: Male Poetry in Contemporary America (U of Georgia Press, 1992) and is currently at work on an International anthology of men's poetry. He teaches undergraduate courses in Contemporary American Literature (Eng 525), the Contemporary American Short Story (527), Teaching Literature (510), Techniques of Poetry (570) and graduate courses in Contemporary Poetry as well as the Introduction to Graduate Study Course required of all MA students. He has also taught a course, on both graduate and undergraduate levels on "The Fiction and Poetry of Raymond Carver." Because of his interest in Gender Studies, he is also a member of the Associate Graduate Faculty of SDSU's Women's Studies Program. Along with Professor Jerry Griswold, he has pioneered various uses of technology in teaching literature and has developed a widely heralded multi-media presentation on "The Poetry of John Keats." His own poetry is published widely, both in print and on the WWW. You can discover more about his interests, classes, and publications. Dr. Moramarco, along with former CAL Dean Marilyn Boxer, Dr. Henry Jansen, Professor Anne Charlotte Harvey, Dr. Steve Roeder, and Dr. Howard Kushner, founded MALAS (then MALA) at SDSU.

annaWILLIAM A. NERICCIO, Ph.D. Cornell University 
Director, MALAS

A Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, William Nericcio also serves on the graduate faculty of the Department of Chicana/o Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies.  Nericcio's first book, Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of "Mexicans" in America, appeared with the University of Texas Press in February 2007. His newest book, an edited edition of playwright Oliver Mayer's The Hurt Business has also just appeared in April of 2008.  
my father Other recent essays include Nericcio's lurid meditations on the life of Pee-wee Herman (aka Paul Reubens) in the Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies and an illustrated survey of the cool graphic narrative Mestizo stylings of Gilbert Hernandez and his spiritual godmother, Frida Kahlo, for NYU Press'sLatino Popular Culture. Links to these works and more, too much, on Nericcio are available on his latest blog entries on stereotypes and American mass culture can be found at

HARRY POLKINHORN, Ph.D. New York University
Professor of English 

Harry Polkinhorn is an experimental poet/artist, translator, and editor whose works have been exhibited and published worldwide. He has published over thirty books of poetry, fiction, translation, and edited collections. His areas of scholarly interest focus on the international avant-garde and the culture of the U.S.-Mexico border region, as well as psychoanalytic theory. He is a training candidate in adult analysis at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and has a private practice. He has translated works from Italian, Portuguese, German, and Spanish. Blue Shift (a book-length poem) was published by Ex Nihilo Press, San Francisco (1999). He co-edited a bilingual English/Spanish anthology of poetry by Baja California poets published by Junction Press (2002). Educated at the University of California, SDSU, New York University, the Kunstgewerbeschule of the City of Zurich, and Pacifica Graduate Institute, he is a permanent visiting professor in the Ph.D. program in Semiotics and Communication of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil. He is Director of San Diego State University Press. Dr. Polkihorn is presently developing a course on Psychoanalysis and Sexuality for the MALAS Program.

Daniel Quirós, Lecturer, PhD Candidate, UCSD.

Daniel was born in San José, Costa Rica. He holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of California San Diego, where he is currently a PhD candidate in the Literature Department. His teaching and research interests include Central American literature, literature of the Southern Cone, and colonial and conquest literature. His dissertation deals with the influence of European and U.S. detective fiction on contemporary Latin American literature and film--in particular, how this genre emerges as an ideological and stylistic tool, challenging  neo-liberal agendas in a transnational age. His first collection of short stories, A los cuatro vientos, will be published by the National University of Costa Rica in 2009.  Dr. Quirós is presently developing a course on CSI/Latin America for the MALAS program.

joseph thomas at work with his computerJOSEPH THOMAS, PhD, Illinois State University
Assistant Professor

Reared on comic books, salacious playground rhymes, and stolen lascivious pulps, Assistant Professor Joseph Thomas is a fan of all things carnivalesque, reveling in, as Bakhtin put it, the “peculiar logic of the ‘inside out’ (à l’envers), of the ‘turnabout,’ of the continual shifting from top to bottom, from front to rear, of numerous parodies and travesties, humiliations, profanations, comic crownings and uncrownings,” even as he is, again in the words of Bakhtin, “hostile to all that [is] immortalized and completed.” Having written the first book-length study on U.S. children's poetry, Poetry's Playground: The Culture of Contemporary American Children's Poetry (Wayne State UP), Joseph is now working on a book concerning Shel Silverstein's life and work, tentatively titled, “The Devil's Favorite Pet”: Shel Silverstein, an American Iconoclast. His book of Oulipo-inspired poetry, Strong Measures, has recently been published by Make Now Press. Intrigued by all things queer and uncanny, his interests range from contemporary theory, to the avant-garde, to children's literature (broadly defined), to childhood studies, to image-text studies, to pedagogical theory, to 20th century and contemporary poetry, to Situationist theory, to Dada, to“creative” writing, to “uncreative” writing, to plagiarism, to LANGUAGE poetry, to nonsense poetry, to film, to jazz (particularly that of the avant-garde variety). He's especially fascinated by how these varied areas relate to and inform one another. Although he abhors consistency, we can count on him disavowing all of his completed work, while passionately defending works-in-progress. A chameleon of rapid and self-interested change, Joseph is against the high cost of living, against the future, and for the absurd. Dada is a virgin microbe. He can be reached at Dr. Thomas taught a seminar on ART, FILM, and LITERATURE for MALAS in Fall 2009.

Gloria Vallina, MFA, SDSU

Gloria splits her teaching time between the Department of English and Comparative Literature and Chicana and Chicano Studies. Her teaching and research interests include linguistic anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and ethnopoetics. She teaches world literature and various communication courses through Chicana and Chicano Studies. Her writing has appeared in Puerto Del Sol and Decades of a Woman Anthology. Vallina is working on a course on Chicana Feminist Aesthetics for the MALAS program.

ROY WHITAKER, MA, MA, PhD, abd, Claremont

Roy Whitaker is a Doctoral degree candidate at Claremont Graduate University in the philosophy of religion and theology doctoral program.  He holds two master’s degrees from Harvard University (2002) and Princeton Theological Seminary (2000) respectively and has traveled, studied, and worked in Jamaica, India, and Germany.  Whitaker's areas of interest include comparative religion, sociology of religion, 19th and 20th century continental philosophy of religion, philosophies of liberation, African-American philosophy, and religious thought, pragmatism, social theory, and literary criticism. This Spring he will be teaching one of our English 405 Bible as Literature courses.