Professor of Humanities & Cultural Studies, USF. Interests: digital humanities, film & history, perceptions of the past, student success, great danes!
My current research projects center on Vietnam War films as histories. Part of this is a book project that analyzes how this genre (if we can call it that) presents a range of making histories that are as worthy of our attention as traditional written analyses. Each chapter begins with a description of the historical context, analyzes the film as an aesthetic object, explores how key themes in the course of the war are presented and interpreted, provides close readings of crucial scenes, and discusses the interpretive questions that the film raises about how we can critically present history through the medium of film.
I was trained originally in Southeast Asian history and culture, about which I published three books and numerous articles. My first book won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies for its exploration of how the advent of literacy changed perceptions of the past in seventeenth-century Indonesia. For some time after that my research and teaching interests focused on cross-cultural encounters, translation, non-Western conceptions of history, and the spread of Islam.