Dr. Milo Obourn
- Associate Professor
- (585) 395-2034
Office: 237 LAB
Teaching and Creative Interests: Contemporary American Literature, Cultural Citizenship, Gender and Sexuality, Critical Race Theory.
Assistant Professor of English, English Department (2007-present)
State University of New York, College at Brockport
Adjunct Profesor, School of Liberal Studies and Continuing Education (2007)
State University of New York, Purchase College
Adjunct Professor, Gallatin School for Individualized Study (2006-2007)
New York University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Women's Studies and Department of English (2006-2007)
Instructor, Department of English (2004-2005)
New York University
Teaching Assistant, Department of English (2001-2003)
New York University
Research & Teaching Specializations
- American Literature and Culture, 19th and 20th Century
- Multi-ethnic Literatures of the United States
- Literary Interpretive Methods and Theory
- Gender and Sexuality
- Critical Race Theory
- Critical Writing
“Octavia Butler’s Disabled Futures,” provisionally accepted, Contemporary Literature.
“Speaking with the Same Weapons: Voice Work in Wright and Hurston,” forthcoming, Twentieth Century Literature.
“Arturo Islas’s La Mollie and the King of Tears,” Hispanic American Literature Volume of The Encyclopedia of Ethnic American Literature. Ed. Luz Ramirez. Facts on File, 2008. 185-86.
“Hybridity, Identity, and Representation in La Mollie and the King of Tears,” American Literature, Volume 80, Number 1 (March 2008): 141-66.
“Audre Lorde: Trauma Theory and Liberal Multiculturalism,” MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, Volume 30, Number 3 (Fall 2005): 219-45.
Reconstituting Americans: Liberal Multiculturalism and Identity Difference in Post-1960s Literature, August 2011, Palgrave.
“White Guys in Wheelchairs: Lost, Avatar, and the Appropriation of Disability” (looks at representations of white masculinity as a “wounded” subject position in the recent TV series Lost and film Avatar)
Disabled Futures: Disability Theory and the Legacies of Identity Politics (book project)
This project looks at how writers including John Okada, Susan Choi, Audre Lorde, Miriam Engelberg, Arturo Islas, Cherrie Moraga and Octavia Butler utilize narratives of disability to represent a future-oriented politics of social identity in a non-idealist framework. Critics have challenged the identity politics model of the late 20th and early 21st centuries as being overly invested in histories of pain and oppression—what Wendy Brown has called “wounded attachments.” This project expands upon Lennard Davis’s suggestion that disability theory allows us to revalue wounds and thereby revalue the wounded attachments of social aspects of identity. The works I discuss exemplify disability theory’s insights that 1) Perhaps something that is wounded is not necessarily something we want to be rid of, 2) wounds can be a site for social identity and pride, and 3) that an ethical politics of identification aims to ameliorate the pain of these wounds without erasing them from existence or memory as a site of identity and identification. It also works to break down the apparently dichotomous nature of queer and disability approaches to futurism and kinship by examining literary texts that rethink and revalue parenthood (and particularly non-white motherhood) by using the limits of ability to expand the limits of intelligibility.
Awards & Fellowships
Nuala McGann Drescher Research Leave Fellowship (Spring 2011)
United University Professionals Individual Development Grant (2009)
Discretionary Salary Increase for Excellence in Teaching, SUNY Brockport (2009)
Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, NYU (2005)
Tuttleton Dissertation Fellowship, Department of English, NYU (2004)
MacCracken Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, NYU (2000-2004)
Selected Presentations and Invited Lectures
“Queering Through Cripping: Butler and Butler,” MLA, Los Angels, CA, January 2011.
“Economies of Race in the Political Psyche,” co-presented with Annie Lee Jones, Psychoanalysis, Money and the Economy Conference, Birkbeck College & Freud Museum, London, July 2010.
“Jamaica Kincaid’s International Geographic,” American Studies Association of Korea, Seoul, October 2009.
“Rethinking Subjective Universality: Aesthetics and Politics in a Post-post-Kantian Moment,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, Harvard University, March 2009.
“A Critical Race Analysis of Intrapsychic Space,” Invited lecture, co-presented with Annie Lee Jones, Mental Health Service Grand Rounds, NY Harbor Health Care System, Brooklyn, NY, December 2008.
“Abstract Embodiment and Allegories of Asian Americanness,” MLA, Chicago IL, December 2007.
“Liberal Multiculturalism and the Aesthetics of Internal Distantiation,” SAMLA, Atlanta GA, November 2007.
“Audre Lorde’s Zami: Queerness and Culture in the City,” Invited lecture, Faculty Resource Network on Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism and Contemporary New York Writing, NYU, June 2007.
“Licensing Whiteness: the Raced and Gendered Metaphorics of the Dead Mother,” Psychoanalysis and Democracy, Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, Columbia University, New York NY, October 2004.
“Narrative, Trauma, and the Liberal Multicultural Subject,” Narrative Conference, Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, UVM Middlebury, April 2004.
SUNY Brockport: Courses Designed and Taught
- Asian American Literature (graduate seminar)
- American Literature 1920-1950: Lead-up to Civil Rights (graduate seminar)
- Critical Approaches to Literature (senior capstone & MA "swing" course)
- American Literature after 1950 (senior & MA "swing" course)
- Race, Sex, Gender and the Public Sphere (senior seminar)
- African American Women Writers (cross-listed with Women’s Studies)
- American Women Writers: Women with Weapons (cross-listed with Women’s Studies)
- Sex and Gender in Literary Theory (cross-listed with Women’s Studies)
- American Literature II Survey: 1865-present
- College Composition
SUNY Purchase: Courses Designed and Taught
- The Search For Equity: Race, Class, and Gender in America Since 1945
Gallatin School for Individualized Study, New York University: Courses Designed and Taught
- Multiculturalism in American Political Thought and Literature
- Freshman Writing Seminar: Self-Representation in Writing
Departments of English and Women’s Studies, Pace University: Courses Designed and Taught
- Women’s Bodies: Violence and Resistance (Freshman Writing component to a Learning Community, interdisciplinary pairing with Introduction to Women’s Studies)
- Women in Literature (cross-listed with Women’s Studies)
- Introduction to Women’s Studies Through Civic Engagement (Women’s Studies)
Department of English, New York University: Courses Designed and Taught
- Representations of Women
- Literary Interpretation (English major gateway course)
- Writing New York, Teaching Assistant
- American Literature I Survey: beginnings-1865, Teaching Assistant
Teaching and Creative Interests
American Literature and Culture, 19th and 20th Century
Multi-ethnic Literatures of the United States
Gender and Sexuality
Critical Race Theory
Literary Interpretive Methods and Theory
Professional Activities and Service
Faculty Sponsor, SOUL (Sexual Orientations United for Liberation) (2011-present)
Faculty Sponsor, English Department Club, SUNY Brockport (2008-present)
Chair, Academic Convocation Committee, SUNY Brockport (2009-2010)
Member, Women and Gender Studies Board, SUNY Brockport (2007-present)
Member, Women and Gender Studies Cirriculum Committee, SUNY Brockport (2008-present)
Member, English Department Curriculum Committee, SUNY Brockport (2008-present)
Organizer, Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC/UAW), NYU (2006)
Research and Writing Assistant, Professor Jerome Bruner, NYU (2005-2006)
Research Assistant, Professor Elizabeth McHenry, NYU (2000-2004)
- Modern Language Association
- Soceity for the Study of Narrative Literature
- Soceity for the Study of Multi-Ethnics Literature of the US
- American Comparative Literature Association