I am Associate Provost and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Governors State University, south of Chicago, responsible for faculty affairs. Since January 2020, I have also been the Interim Dean of the University Library. I first joined the GSU community as a member of the faculty, teaching upper-division and graduate courses in literature and popular culture for GSU’s English programs. In 2015, my teaching, research, and service were recognized by a Faculty Excellence Award, one of three given campus-wide each year. Between 2001 and 2013 I served five times as co-director and teaching faculty on Michigan State University’s English Department Summer Program in Dublin and the West of Ireland. I am an elected member of the Executive Council of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, and I have been on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Popular Culture since 2008. Find me on Twitter: @johnsenrm
Book on public humanities: I am co-editor of the collection of essays entitled Public Scholarship in Literary Studies. Three of the book’s contributors and I enjoyed a March 22 book panel and discussion: see my website’s events page for more information about that event. The volume, published in late April, concludes with my essay, “Literary Study Writ Large,” and the cover design uses my photo. I am excited to bring out work on this topic via the Amherst College Press peer-reviewed, digital-first, open-access platform. Click on the title above to access the book directly; click below to read more in the Amherst College Press 2020-21 Catalog.
News: I am the 2021 winner of the George N. Dove Award, bestowed annually by the United States Popular Culture Association’s Mystery and Detective Fiction Area for “outstanding contributions to the serious study of mystery, detective, and crime fiction.” I am honored to be recognized by the PCA’s career scholars of crime fiction and to join the illustrious ranks of Dove Award winners.
Guest editor for Clues: Clues Historical Crime Fiction cfp I am delighted to be guest editing a theme issue on historical crime fiction for Clues: A Journal of Detection, the oldest US scholarly journal on mystery/detective/crime fiction. The call for papers received a robust international response, and I look forward to serving as editor for a diverse yet interconnected set of articles which together will make an important contribution to scholarship on the subgenre of historical crime fiction. After contributions undergo the peer review and editorial processes, the theme issue is scheduled to be published as Clues 40.1 (Spring 2022). For more information about Clues, visit the website of Managing Editor Beth Foxwell at elizabethfoxwell.com
Research overview: I have published a book, Contemporary Feminist Historical Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan), and articles on crime fiction, Irish literature, and public scholarship (see “Public Scholarship: Making the Case” in Modern Language Studies). Moving into the contemporary period from a foundation in the Anglo-American tradition, my crime-fiction research also includes Irish, Swedish, and Norwegian writers. I have published on Tana French, Gene Kerrigan, Louise Phillips, and other Irish crime novelists, and I wrote an essay on the feminist worldviews of Swedish women crime writers Camilla Läckberg, Liza Marklund, and Helene Tursten for the the Los Angeles Review of Books. In Contemporary Feminist Historical Crime Fiction, I examined the feminist historiography of women crime novelists who fused historical research, a feminist effect, and carefully-constructed crime plots to teach readers about women’s history. Since then, my focus has been on crime fiction’s representations of contemporary urban spaces and on the emerging subgenre of domestic noir.
My dissertation was the first in North America on the English novelist and playwright Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962), and I published an essay on his 1938 play Gaslight: A Victorian Thriller as the source text for the phenomenon known as gaslighting in the Los Angeles Review of Books: “On the Origins of Gaslighting.” The inter-war period remains one of my teaching and research areas; recent publications include Dorothy L. Sayers and Virginia Woolf: Perspectives on the Woman Intellectual in the late 1930s in the Virginia Woolf Miscellany (2015) and “Thinking Through Crime: F. Tennyson Jesse” in the Mystery Tribune (2017).