Faculty Profile

Gregory Steirer

Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies (2013)

Contact Information

steirerg@dickinson.edu

East College Room 409
717.254.8095

Bio

Professor Steirer’s teaching and research interests include film and television, media industries, genre fiction, comic books, video games, and digital culture. He has served three times as a researcher for the Connected Viewing Initiative of the Carsey-Wolf Center in Santa Barbara and his recent scholarship has appeared in the journals Postmodern Culture, Television and New Media, The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and Creative Industries. In the coming semesters, he plans to teach courses on the sitcom, the fantasy genre, media change, and video games.

Education

  • B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 2001
  • Ph.D., 2010

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

ENGL 101 The American Sitcom
Cross-listed with AMST 200-05 and FLST 210-02.From the 1950s until very recently, the sitcom or situation comedy has been one of American television’s most popular and emblematic genres. Network lineups have been determined by it, household rhythms organized around it, and legal and financial battles fought over its content. In large part, the sitcom’s popular significance and financial success have stemmed from its unique approach to the representation of social, economic, and political change. Both the genre’s strict stylistic conventions and its comedic approach to storytelling have allowed it to function as an unusual kind of “public sphere” in which contemporary debates about race, class, gender, and sexuality are represented through visual and narrative forms. In this course we will examine the sitcom from institutional, aesthetic, and historical perspectives so as to understand its role in the negotiation of cultural change.

AMST 200 The American Sitcom
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-04 and FLST 210-02.From the 1950s until very recently, the sitcom or situation comedy has been one of American television’s most popular and emblematic genres. Network lineups have been determined by it, household rhythms organized around it, and legal and financial battles fought over its content. In large part, the sitcom’s popular significance and financial success have stemmed from its unique approach to the representation of social, economic, and political change. Both the genre’s strict stylistic conventions and its comedic approach to storytelling have allowed it to function as an unusual kind of “public sphere” in which contemporary debates about race, class, gender, and sexuality are represented through visual and narrative forms. In this course we will examine the sitcom from institutional, aesthetic, and historical perspectives so as to understand its role in the negotiation of cultural change.

FLST 210 The American Sitcom
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-04 and AMST 200-05.From the 1950s until very recently, the sitcom or situation comedy has been one of American television’s most popular and emblematic genres. Network lineups have been determined by it, household rhythms organized around it, and legal and financial battles fought over its content. In large part, the sitcom’s popular significance and financial success have stemmed from its unique approach to the representation of social, economic, and political change. Both the genre’s strict stylistic conventions and its comedic approach to storytelling have allowed it to function as an unusual kind of “public sphere” in which contemporary debates about race, class, gender, and sexuality are represented through visual and narrative forms. In this course we will examine the sitcom from institutional, aesthetic, and historical perspectives so as to understand its role in the negotiation of cultural change.

ENGL 403 Literary Studies & Scholar Hab
In preparation for the writing of the senior thesis, this course aims to help students develop an advanced understanding of the practice of research in literary studies and related disciplines. Over the course of the semester we will explore how research has been conceptualized at different periods in history, by practitioners of different institutional affiliation, and at different junctures in the evolution of literary studies as a discipline. In exploring these issues, we will also query the concepts of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity themselves, in part by applying them to students’ own research ideas. By the end of the course, students will have developed an advanced understanding of what scholarly research is, how to practice it, and what it ultimately is for. Primary texts will be determined based upon students’ interests and prospective thesis topics.

Spring 2016

ENGL 220 Crit Approaches & Lit Methods
In literary studies, we explore the work texts do in the world. This course examines several texts of different kinds (e.g., novel, poetry, film, comic book, play, etc.) to investigate how literary forms create meanings. It also puts texts in conversation with several of the critical theories and methodologies that shape the discipline of literary study today (e.g., Marxist theory, new historicism, formalism, gender theory, postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, etc.). This course helps students frame interpretive questions and develop their own critical practice. This course is the prerequisite for 300-level work in English.

ENGL 339 The Video Game
This course will introduce students to the nascent field of game studies, exposing them to foundational debates between two branches of scholarship—narratology and ludology—over what the video game is and how it should be studied. Should the video game be considered a variation on the forms and genres of traditional literary and film texts or is it better seen as a non-textual medium rooted in competition and play? Is the concept of authorship relevant with respect to video games—and if so, who should we identify as the author? Students will read theoretical and historical texts about games while also playing a variety of console, mobile, and computer games, which may include Heavy Rain, Spelunky, Mortal Kombat X, Fallout 3, Proteus, Puzzle and Dragons, and Grand Theft Auto V.

ENGL 404 Senior Workshop
A workshop requiring students to share discoveries and problems as they produce a lengthy manuscript based on a topic of their own choosing, subject to the approval of the instructor. Prerequisites: 300 and 403.

ENGL 500 Independent Study