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Dr. Randy Malamud

Dr. Malamud's book The Language of Modernism considers language as a venue for stylistic experimentation and the assertion of a modernist aesthetic identity; he examines modernist self-definition in Woolf, Eliot, and Joyce.

Two books about T. S. Eliot's drama–a critical overview and a bibliographical/production sourcebook–argue for the importance of this poet's lesser-known dramatic enterprise. Eliot spent decades involved in playwriting, production, critical studies of dramatists, and other activities that testify to his considerable interest and investment in drama. To understand fully the nature and trajectory of Eliot's oeuvre, Dr. Malamud argues, one must pay serious attention to the dramatic component of Eliot's career.

Dr. Malamud's fourth book, Reading Zoos, analyzes zoos as a cultural phenomenon. Bringing together the perspectives of cultural studies, ecocriticism, and postcolonial studies, Dr. Malamud looks at literary accounts of zoos and argues that these "zoo stories" help illustrate how real zoos resonate with a self-congratulatory imperial bravado that disqualifies them from offering, as they claim, valid or enlightening experiences of animals and nature.  The decontextualized convenience that spectators enjoy as they move from cage to cage and gawk at the inmates stands as a symptom of a degraded cultural imagination.

Poetic Animals and Animal Souls continues Dr. Malamud's research interests from Reading Zoos by addressing a wider set of tropes that human culture offers for the consideration of animals. This book posits some aesthetic ideals for transposing animals into art, and also includes a focused practical application of these ideals in a strain of animal poetry. This research was inspired by Mesoamerican conceptions of animals, and animals' parity with people, as embodied in their beliefs concerning animal souls. Poetic Animals extracts, from the Mesoamerican spiritual system, a standard that can be used to evaluate cultural inscriptions of animals -- animal poetry -- in our own society. This poetry may represent an ethos extant (albeit rare) in our own industrial-world culture that quietly celebrates -- as Mesoamerican culture does more unabashedly -- the sanctity and parity of nonhuman animals.

 

Dr. Malamud has edited two books: a volume of Eliot’s poetry through 1922, and a collection of essays about the cultural history of animals.

In his most recent book, An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture, he asks how and why people “frame” other animals so pervasively, and what the ramifications are of this habit. For animals, being put into a cultural frame (a film, a website, a pornographic tableau, an advertisement, a cave drawing, a zoo) means being taken out of their natural contexts, leaving them somehow displaced and decontextualized. Human vision of the animal equates to power over the animal. We envision ourselves as monarchs of all we survey, but our dismal record of polluting and destroying vast swaths of nature shows that we are indeed not masters of the ecosphere. A more ethically accurate stance in our relationship to animals, he argues, should challenge the omnipotence of our visual access to them.

Dr. Malamud has worked on several collaborative projects with photographer Britta Jaschinski, whose images appear on the cover of Reading Zoos, Poetic Animals and Animal Souls, A Cultural History of Animals in the Modern Age, and An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture.

Dr. Malamud is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. He is on the faculty of The Kerulos Center and the advisory committee for the Web of Life Foundation. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Society & Animals and Brill's Human-Animal Studies book series, and Palgrave Macmillan's Book Series on Animal Ethics. He is also an international associate of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury and a Patron of the Captive Animals' Protection Society.

In 2011, Dr. Malamud gave GSU's doctoral commencement address.

Selected Publications:



"Frankenstein's Monster: The Gothic Voice in The Waste Land,” English Language Notes 26.1 (1988), 41-45.

The Language of Modernism. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1989.

T.S. Eliot's Drama: A Research and Production Sourcebook. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1992.

Where the Words Are Valid: T.S. Eliot's Communities of Drama. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1994.

Reading Zoos: Representations of Animals and Captivity. New York: NYU Press, 1998.

Poetic Animals and Animal Souls. New York: Palgrave, 2003.

Editor, The Waste Land and Other Poems. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2005.

A Cultural History of Animals in the Modern Age. Oxford: Berg, 2007.

"Poetic Animals and Animal Souls." Society & Animals 6.3 (October 1998): 263-77.

"The Culture of Using Animals in Literature and the Case of José Emilio Pacheco." Comparative Literature and Culture: A WWWeb Journal 2.2 (June 2000).

“Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study.” Society & Animals 18.2 (2010), 126-138.

“Animals on Film: The Ethics of the Human Gaze.” Spring, 2010.

An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture.  Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Media

Listen to an interview with Dr. Malamud about Reading Zoos on the talk show Animal Voices and watch interviews with him on CNN: April 15, 2007, and June 13, 2007. Listen to him talk about futuresex on the BBC.

He has been quoted in The Bengal Post, the Atlantic, the Utne Reader, and Newsweek, and has written op-ed pieces for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the dangers of allowing people to swim in aquarium whale shark tanks, and about the sharks' deaths in captivity; he has also appeared in the New York Times talking about these deaths. He has written for the L. A. Times about elephants' suffering in zoos. And he is a frequent writer of letters to the editor in the N.Y. Times, about such topics as gorillas in the Bronx, deaths in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, standardized curricula, stolen Judaica, the Booker Prize, and tenured radicals.

He has written for truthout.org, and in Best Friends Magazine, he wrote "The Captivity Industry: The Reality of Zoos and Aquariums." He also writes about airports.

He is a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

"Teaching Freshmen: A Rite of Passage in Academe." 6 November 1985.

"How People and Animals Coexist." 24 January 2003.

"Animated Animal Discourse." 19 October 2007.

"A New Breed of Environmental Film." 25 April 2008.

"Life as We Know It." 25 July 2008.

"A Sustaining Environment for Environmental Art." 7 November 2008.

"Walking Forward in a Poet's Light." 6 February 2009.

"'You've Read the Book, Now Take a Look!'" 15 May 2009.

"Walt Disney, Reanimated." 26 March 2010.

"Eadweard Muybridge, Thief of Animal Souls." 2 July 2010.

“Monty Python’s Academic Circus,” 4 February 2011. (Ukrainian translation)

“Q & A With Photographer Ben Gest”

“In Dubai, a Cinematic Door to the Mideast.” 27 February 2011.

“Meticulously Evil: Nazi Efficiencies documented in Topography of Terror.” 22 April 2011.

“A Scholar Rises Above his Fear of Flying.”  4 December 2011.

“Not Your Dad's Science Films.”  19 February 2012.

"Sex 2.0."  25 June 2012.

“Vengeful Tiger, Glowing Rabbit.” 23 July 2012.


Read an interview with him in the Summer 2009 issue of Release.

 

Randy Malamud
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1989
Professor and Chair
Modern Literature, Ecocriticism, and Cultural Studies


Contact Information
Randy Malamud
Department of English
P.O. Box 3970
Atlanta, GA 30302-3970
rmalamud@gsu.edu
Tel: 404.413.5805
Fax: 404.413.5830
Curriculum Vitae