MICHAEL LECKER (CV-PDF)
EDUCATIONPh.D. Candidate (ABD) in Cultural Studies, anticipated graduation December 2014 George Mason University, Fairfax, VA Dissertation: Genealogy of Choice: The Radical Faeries, Kinship, and Queer Culture-Making Dissertation Committee: Dr. Roger N. Lancaster (Chair), Dr. Alison Landsberg, and Dr. Timothy Gibson Field Specializations: Contemporary Theories of Sexuality & Mass Culture and Urban Space Masters of Arts in Popular Culture, May 2007 Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH Thesis: Treacherous, Deviant, and Submissive: Female Sexuality Represented in the Character Catwoman Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Sociology, minor in History, May 2005 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA Senior Project: Gay and Bisexual Male Viewing Habits of MTV’s The Real World
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
Elmer L. Andersen Research Scholars Program. University of Minnesota, 2012-13.
“Superhero Fantasy in a Post 9/11 World: Marvel Comics and Army Recruitment,” In Ages of Heroes, Eras of Men, edited by Julian Chambliss, Thomas Donaldson, and William Svitavsky. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013: 229-240.
“In the Shadow of the Progress Narrative: The Problems and Potentials within GLBTQ and Intellectual Biographies.” Politics and Culture 11, no. 2 (2010).
“‘Why Can’t I Be Just Like Everyone Else’: A Queer Reading of the X-Men.” International Journal of Comic Art 9, no. 1 (2007): 679-687.
Gordon, Ian, Mark Jancovich, and Matthew P. McAllister. Film and Comic Books. University Press of Mississippi, 2007. Journal of Popular Culture 42, no. 2 (2009): 374-376.
“Building Bonds, Sustaining ‘Home’: Theorizing Queer Stability.” Cultural Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2013.
“The Fools Speak The Truth: The Creation of Queer Archetypes in the Radical Faerie Community.” Radically Gay: The Life and Visionary Legacy of Harry Hay, New York, NY, 2012.
“Faerie Futurity: The Social and Material Production of Queer Communalism.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, QC, 2011.
“Using Helpless to Reimagine the LGBT Community: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Community Justice.” Reinstating Transgression: Emerging Political Economies of Queer Space, Washington, DC, 2010.
“Negotiations Between Gay/Lesbian and Queer Aesthetics in Liz Baillie’s My Brain Hurts.” American University 4th Annual GLBT Studies Colloquium, Washington, DC, 2009.
“‘You Made Them Strong, We’ll Make Them Army (Avengers) Strong’: Marvel Comics and Army Recruitment.” Florida Conference of Historians, Fort Myers, FL, 2009.
“Experiencing the Post-Colonial: Queer Subjectivity through Comic Book Readership.” Queer Art/ Queer Action (Politics of Possibility), Asheville, NC, 2009.
“Bashing the Queer Clown: Frantz Fanon, Queerness, and the Never-Ending Battle Between the Batman and Joker.” Comic Book in Popular Culture Conference, Bowling Green, 2008.
“Sacrificing the Queer Soldier: Gender Implications in the Israeli Film Yossi and Jagger.” Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2008.
“Treacherous Whores: The Costumed Bodies of Feline/Female Hybrids in the Superhero Genre.” Battleground States: The Body and Culture, Bowling Green, OH, 2008.
“Looking for Ohio Foodways.” Foodways Expo, Bowling Green, OH, 2007.
“Masculinity and Homosexuality in Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather.” Battleground States: Intersections of Poetics & Politics, Bowling Green, OH, 2007.
“An Examination of American Dark Play.” Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2007.
“Feeling Yummy: The Allure of Catwoman.” Popular Culture Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2006.
“A Queer Reading of the X-Men.” Battleground States: Scholarship in Times of Crisis, Bowling Green, OH, 2006.
“In Character: Catwoman.” Interviewed by Allison Keyes. National Public Radio. January 19, 2008.
COURSES DEVELOPED AND TAUGHT
SOC 285: That’s Not Natural: Masculinity, Rural, and Nature (Spring 2014, 20 students, Hampden-Sydney College)
Often societies use nature as a way to justify cultural beliefs and social hierarchies. What is not often considered is that a culture interprets and creates its own version of nature (including genetics, ecology, and evolution). To counter this, students will critically engage with U.S. masculinity and the constructions of nature and the rural (a civilized, yet natural space) that underpins it. Students will be asking themselves repeatedly what assumptions our culture draws upon when we label phenomena natural and unnatural. Topics that will be explored include the intersection of gender and sexuality studies with popular culture and popular science discourse, the American Frontier, settler colonialism, and separatist movements.
INDS 185: Masculinity and Creativity (Spring 2013, 21 students, Hampden-Sydney College)
Masculinity and creativity: in contemporary US culture, the two terms seem to be in opposition. In this course students will think about how men in general approach creativity and also about their own relationship to creativity. What kinds of activities are considered acceptable for men? What attitudes or assumptions prevent (or seem to prevent) men from being creative? In what ways are you creative in your everyday life? Is it possible that you engage in creative activities that you don’t recognize as “creative?” Through guest lectures, films, and site visits, students will ask and attempt to answer questions like these. We will also seek ways to redefine creativity and to jumpstart creative projects for all participants. As part of the work required for the class, students will design and complete a creative project related to the course.
SOC 185: Men on the Hill: An Introduction to Qualitative Methods (Fall 2013, 15 students, Hampden-Sydney College)
This course introduced students to various qualitative methods used in the social sciences, including observation, mapping, participant observation, and interviewing. Students learned these methods by applying them as they study groups on the Hampden-Sydney campus. They interviewed men lived on campus and alumni who once did, examined different subcultures existing on campus, and studied the construction and use of campus space in order to understand how time, place, context, and generation affect gender performance and one’s understanding of gender.
SOC 285: Superheroes and Psychos: Masculinity in the Media (Fall 2013, 19 students, Hampden-Sydney College)
This course investigated masculinity as depicted in the masculine-oriented superhero and horror genres. By examining idealized (superhero) and repulsive (horror) depictions of men, students gained an understanding of the complex and contradictory beliefs that exist about masculinity in the U.S. Related topics included nationalism, power, violence, race, sexuality, and the urban/rural divide.
NCLC 395: Problematizing Justice (Spring 2012, 18 students, George Mason University)
This course asked students to engage with the question “What are we asking for when we demand justice?” Students engaged in political economy, queer, feminism, and psychoanalytic theory to trouble the concept of justice and how and when it is used. For final projects, students chose one community, did extensive literature reviews, and then volunteered within that community.
NCLC 101: Narratives of Identity (Fall 2009 & Fall 2011, 22 students, George Mason University)
Narratives of Identity, the first course in New Century College’s (NCC) Cornerstones Learning Communities, explored how individual and cultural identities are shaped and communicated. Course assignments help students understand a variety of identities including religion, race, class, age, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Credit distribution: oral communication (3) and literature (3).
NCLC 475: AIDS and Culture (Spring 2011, 25 students, George Mason University)
This course examined HIV/AIDS and its intersections with politics, communities, culture, government, medicine, education, and commerce. As just illustrated, this epidemic has left little untouched. Students learned how people and structures were and continue to be impacted by and reacting to the epidemic.
NCLC 375: Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood (Spring 2011, 40 students, George Mason University)
This course examined fairy tales in the broader context of children’s literature and childrearing practices. Students examined how the child is represented within tales, looked critically at the possible effects of that representation on the child outside the book, identified and reinterpreted gender roles, and discussed issues regarding the culture of childhood.
NCLC 295: Community & the Capital (Fall 2010, 10 students & Spring 2012, 42 students (2 sections), George Mason University)
This experiential learning course provided insight into the cultural, economic, and political realities of the city Washington, DC. Through site visits to DC neighborhoods, guest lectures on urban politics, the local music scene, and governance, students gained an introduction to the complexities of the nation’s capital.
NCLC 391: Introduction to Integrative Studies (Fall 2010, 25 students, George Mason University)
A required introductory course for students who transferred into the Integrative Studies program at New Century College (NCC) where students received an introduction to key components of NCC’s curriculum, including the learning community pedagogy, experiential learning, the nine competency areas, group work and collaborative scholarship, portfolio writing, learning style awareness, and career planning.
NCLC 275: Understanding Integrative Studies (Fall 2010, 25 students, George Mason University)
A course designed specifically for freshman students coming into the New Century College’s (NCC) Integrative Studies program where students received an introduction to key components of NCC’s curriculum, including the learning community pedagogy, experiential learning, the nine competency areas, group work and collaborative scholarship, portfolio writing, learning style awareness, and career planning.
NCLC 490: Experiential Learning/ Internship (Summer 2010, 46 students, Summer 2008)
Supervised undergraduate students doing internships for academic credit. The class sought to tie students’ practical experiences with their classroom learning.
NCLC 381: When Cultural Worlds Collide (Spring 2010, 40 students, George Mason University)
This course examined cultural texts (films, comic books, and novels) surrounding issues of colonization, cultural meetings, internal cultural conflicts, and their aftermath using racial and sexual community conflicts domestically and internationally as a way to examine theories of conflict, identity, and culture.
NCLC 200 Visual Thinking and the Creative Impulse (Spring 2009, 25 students, George Mason University)
This class investigated modes of visual and textual creativity through art, literature, films, and variety of other cultural texts. Students experimented with the creative process and reflected on how theoretical and other artists’ discussion of creativity compare to their experiences.
NCLC 110 Community of Learners (Fall 2007 & Fall 2008, 20 students, George Mason University)
A First-Year Experience course designed to help students develop essential college skills, particularly communication (reading, writing, speaking) for critical thinking and problem solving, information literacy, statistics, and probability. Issues such as transition to college life, cultural diversity, and personal freedom and responsibility are explored. Credit distribution: composition (3), communication (2), math/analytical reasoning (1), and information technology (2).
NCLC 130 The Social World (Spring 2008, 20 students, George Mason University)
A First-Year Experience course focused on the social world and its cultural origins. Students investigated how that world is both model and mirror of social behavior. Credit distribution: Western Civilization (3), Global Understanding (3), Literature (1), and Fine Arts (1).
POPC 160 Introduction to Popular Culture (Spring 20006- Spring 2007, 35 students, Bowling Green State University)
A basic introductory course that introduced theories and approaches surrounding the study of popular culture in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of our roles as both its producers and consumers.
“Beyond Marriage and Military: The Queer Critique.” GSS 212: Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, Anne Arundel Community College. 2013.
“The Mutant and the Gendered Bodies of the X-Men.” ENGL 319: Twice-Told Tales, Georgetown University. 2008.
“Mass Production, Mass Consumption, and Our Everyday Lives.” NCLC 130: The Social World, George Mason University. 2008.
“Catwoman and Comic Books.” POPC 462: Comics and Culture, Bowling Green State University. 2007.
ACADEMIC SERVICE/EMPLOYMENTVisiting Assistant Professor and Quality Enhancement Plan Scholar Sociology and Men’s Studies, Hampden-Sydney College, 2013-Current. Chair, Gender and Sexuality Faculty Reading Group Hampden-Sydney College, 2013-Current. Member, Men’s Studies Committee Hampden-Sydney College, 2013-Current. Member, Everyday Heroes Project Subcommittee Hampden-Sydney College, 2013-Current. Academic Advisor New Century College, George Mason University, 2008-12. Graduate Teaching Assistant New Century College, George Mason University, 2007-12. Graduate Portfolio Assessment New Century College, George Mason University, 2010-12. Graduate Teaching Assistant Representative, Dean’s Advisory Council New Century College, George Mason University, 2010-11. Co-Chair, Graduate Student Conference Committee: Manufacturing Happiness Cultural Studies Program, George Mason University, 2009. Secretary, Student Organizing Committee Cultural Studies Program, George Mason University, 2009-2010. Member, Dean’s Scholarship Selection Committee New Century College, George Mason University, 2009-2010. Program Assistant and Folklore Lecturer Great Books Summer Program, William and Mary University, 2008. Member, Graduate Student Conference Committee: Histories of Violence Cultural Studies Program, George Mason University, 2008. Member, Battleground States Conference Committee Bowling Green State University, 2007. Intern, Northwest Ohio Foodways Traditions Collection Project Wood County Historical Center and Museum, Wood County Chamber of Commerce, and the Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University, 2006 – 2007. Graduate Teaching Assistant Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University, 2006-2007. Intern, Cataloguing Bob Dylan Material Music Library and Recordings Archive, Bowling Green State University, 2006. Research Assistant Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University, 2005. President, Edinboro Student Sociology Society Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2003-2005. Member, Diversity Funding Board Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2003 – 2005. Member, Iota Iota Iota Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2003 – 2005. President, Identity (LGBTQ student organization) Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2003 – 2005.