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James Caron

Professor
Director Honors ProgramMore

James Caron

My research and teaching center on two broad areas. The first is American literature, especially from the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Under this heading I have special interests in popular culture, comic writers in general and Mark Twain in particular, as well as Realist and Modernist novelists.  The second broad area includes the tradition of comic forms of literature in the West as well as non-literary comic arts in a variety of cultural settings. This second interest has lead me beyond literary criticism and aesthetics to study what other disciplines--such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, and medicine--have to say about the phenomenon of laughter, its value to a social group as well as to an individual, and the various cultural practices and arts which express a comic attitude.  As well as theories about comic art and comic laughter, I also have an interest in literary theory, particularly reader response theory.

My publications include essays on the tall tale; on the role of evolution in comic laughter; antebellum comic writers in general as well as antebellum comic writers George Derby and George Washington Harris in particular; Mark Twain; Frank Norris; Hunter S. Thompson; Charlie Chaplin, and Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.  Several of my articles can be accessed here, and a review of my book, Mark Twain, Unsanctified Newspaper Reporter, can be accessed here.

Areas of Interest

19th-century American Literature, Mark Twain, comic art and literature, popular culture, realism and modernism, literary theory

Awards

College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012

Education

BA, Loyola University, Los Angeles
MA, PhD, University of Oregon

Courses

Fall Semester 2014

Course Title Time  
ENG 320(2) Intro to English Studies TR 9:00-10:15 Edit
ENG 320(3) Intro to English Studies TR 10:30-11:45 Edit

Spring Semester 2014

Course Title Time  
ENG 440(1) SINGLE AUTHOR: WILLIAM FAULKNER MWF 9:30-10:20 Edit

Session 1 2013

Course Title Time  
ENG 271(2) Comic Spectacles MTWRF 10:30-11:45

Spring Semester 2013

Course Title Time  
ENG 427(1) St/Lit Crit Theory (Theorizing the Comic) TR 9:00-10:15 Edit

Fall Semester 2012

Course Title Time  
ENG 100A(2) Composition I Honors TTH 10:30-11:45 Edit

Session 1 2012

Course Title Time  
ENG 440G(1) Mark Twain MTWRF 9:00-10:15

Spring Semester 2012

Course Title Time  
ENG 735R(1) Sem AM Lit (American Realism/American Modernism) (LSE/pre-1900) W 3:30-6:00 Edit

Fall Semester 2011

Course Title Time  
ENG 320(3) Intro to English Studies TTH 9:00-10:15 Edit

Session 1 2011

Course Title Time  
ENG 270(1) Intro to Lit:Lit Hist, Am Lit MTWRF 9:30-10:15
ENG 270(2) Intro to Lit:Lit Hist, Am Lit MTWRF 10:30-11:45

Spring Semester 2011

Course Title Time  
ENG 337(1) American Literature mid-19th to mid-20th Century MWF 11:30-12:20 Edit
ENG 440G(1) Mark Twain MWF 9:30-10:20 Edit

Fall Semester 2010

Course Title Time  
HON 495(1) Intro to Research Hrs. arranged
ENG 625B(1) Theories and Methods of Literary Studies W 6:30-9:00 Edit

Session 1 2010

Course Title Time  
ENG 270(1) Intro to Lit:Lit Hist, Am Lit MTWRF 10:30-11:45
ENG 270(2) Intro to Lit:Lit Hist, Am Lit MTWRF 12:00-1:15