James E. Dobson

Lecturer in Writing
Lecturer, Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies

I am a literary and cultural critic who specializes in intellectual history and U.S. autobiographical writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My broader intellectual interests include phenomenological accounts of lived experience and how early psychology, sociology, and historiography contributed to and were influenced by literary accounts of the self. In my most recent manuscript project, "The Awkward Age of Autobiography," I examine the partial, repetitive, and nonlinear forms taken by American fin-de-siècle autobiography and the relationship between these formal shifts to questions of historiography within the period. Another project looks at what I’m calling discourses of ‘empowering embarrassment,’ including amateurism and awkwardness. My writing courses focus on the intellectual history of ideas—in the past, the University and theories of mind—and the way in which these ideas are interpreted, reproduced, and transformed in culture.

(603) 646-8612
442 Moore
HB 6207
Department(s): 
Institute for Writing and Rhetoric
Education: 
B.A. University of Massachusetts
A.M. University of Chicago
Ph.D. Indiana University

Selected Publications

"What does the ‘Temporal Turn’ Mean for Autobiography? Mark Twain, Memory, and the Failures  of Historicism." The Mark Twain Annual 11 (Fall 2013): 62-76.

Pandey, S., Voorsluys, W., Rahman, M., Buyya, R., Chiu, K., and Dobson, J. “A Grid Workflow Environment for Brain Imaging Analysis on Distributed Systems." Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience (2009).

Pandey, S., Voorsluys, W., Rahman, M., Buyya, R., Chiu, K., and Dobson, J. “Brain Image Registration Analysis Workflow for fMRI Studies on Global Grids," Proceedings of the 23rd IEEE International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications (AINA-09), Bradford, UK, (May 2009).

Van Horn, J.D., Dobson, J.E., Woodward, J., Wilde, M., Zhao, Y., Voeckler, J., Foster, I. “Grid-Based Computing and the Future of Neuroscience Computation.” in Methods in Mind (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006).

Dobson, J.E,Woodward, J., Schwarz, S.A, Marchesini, J.C, Farid, F., and Smith S., “The Dartmouth Green Grid,” ICCS 2005 Conference Workshop on HPC in Academia (2005).

Van Horn, J.D., Wolfe, J., Agnoli, A., Woodward, J., Schmitt, M., Dobson, J.E., Schumacher, S., and Vance, B. “Neuroimaging Databases as a Resource for Scientific Discovery,” International Review of Neurobiology 66C (2005).

Zhao, Y., Dobson, J.E., Foster, I., Moreau L., Wilde, M. “A Notation and System for Expressing and Executing Cleanly TypedWorkflows on Messy Scientific Data,” ACM SIGMOD Record 34 (2005).

Zhao, Y., Wilde, M., Foster, I., Voeckler, J., Dobson, J.E., Gilbert, E., Jordan, T. and Quigg, E. “Virtual Data Grid Middleware Services for Data-intensive Science.” Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience 18 (2004).

Zhao, Y., Wilde, M., Foster, I., Voeckler, J., Jordan, T., Quigg, E., and Dobson J.E, “Grid Middleware Services for Virtual Data Discovery, Composition, and Integration,” ACM Middleware for Grid Computing Workshop (2004).

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Speaking engagements

"The Value of Old Criticism: Periodization and Passé Critique." Panel: Here and After: Periodization and American Literary Studies. MLA Convention, Vancouver, BC. January 2015.

"The Telephonic Self: A Non-Systemic Systems Theory of Autobiography." American Circuits, American Secrets. Banff, Alberta. September 2014.

Panel Chair. "American Traumas: History, Memory, Violence." International Conference on Narrative. Cambridge, MA. March 2014.

"Newer New or Coming After?: Americanist Literary Criticism at the Present Moment" Organizer and Presider. MLA Convention, Chicago, IL. January 2014.

“Autobiography in Neuroscience and Neuroscience in Autobiography” NeMLA, Boston, MA. March 2013.

“What does the ‘Temporal Turn’ Mean for Autobiography? Mark Twain, Memory, and the Failures of Historicism” Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College, Elmira, NY. October 2012.

“Experiences with Distant, Computer-Aided Reading: Imagining a NewWay of Reading a New Century." C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, State College, PA. May 2010.

“Digital Humanities, Desire, and the Ends of Reading." Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. March 2010.

Works in progress

"Knowing and Narration: Shirley Jackson and the Campus Novel" (forthcoming)

"'Of the Meaning of Progress': American Fin-de-Siècle Autobiography and Modernity" (in progress)

"Bits of Autobiography: Radical Deindividualization and Everydayness" (under review)

"Lucy Larcom and the Time of the Temporal Collapse" (under review)