Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Matthew Mcgrady

Myfyriwr ymchwil, Critical and Cultural Theory, Yr Ysgol Saesneg, Cyfathrebu ac Athroniaeth

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

I'm currently in the fourth and final year of my PhD in Critical and Cultural Theory. In addition to my academic interests, I'm an independent game designer and short story author.

Education

Master of Arts in the Humanities, University of Chicago (2010)
Thesis: ‘Story “Line”: The Inextricability of Rules and Narrative in New Super Mario Brothers Wii

Bachelor of Arts in Modern Literature, University of California Santa Cruz (2008)

Publications

McGrady, M.C. (2017). The bricolage of a myth: Re-reading Derrida reading Lévi-Strauss fifty years after. Word and Text. 7. 235-242.

Presented Papers
‘The Half-Hidden History of Women’s Labour in the Comic Book Industry’
Assuming Gender
Cardiff University, November 2016

Multiversity: The Failure of the Superhuman in the Age of the Human Superorganism’
Fantasies of Contemporary Culture
Cardiff University, May 2016

‘’This is how the game is meant to be played!’: Utopian Models of Player Agency in Fallout 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution
ExRe(y): Spaces of Expression and Repression in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, April 2016

‘Criticism and Occult(ure)’
Global Adorno
Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research, March 2016

Diddordebau ymchwil

I'm interested in uncovering and critiquing the systems and relationships that tie academia and higher education to Western imperialism, the police state, and those genocidal policies common to settler colonial powers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. My thesis primarily deals with the way Western academia has unwittingly contributed to fascism's resurgence, but I'm also interested in more explicit examples of the Humanities' collaboration with and complicity in the United States' genocidal empire, from the CIA's historical interest in abstract expressionism, poststructuralist theory, and creative writing programs to DARPA's contemporary funding of narratological research and computer-assisted narrative analysis. These interests are all part of my larger concern with the power of stories to affect material conditions, with an emphasis on media traditionally ignored (or condemned) by academics and theorists. 

Branching out from my thesis work, I'm also researching the epistemological implications of videogames, and specifically how history is taught to and remembered by a generation for whom near-perfect virtual recreations of people, places, and events is not beyond the realm of possibility. I'm particularly interested in critiquing the way the Holocaust is remembered in and out of videogames, because (for example) in contrast to extant approaches that consider representations of the Holocaust to be impossible or improper, today it is not uncommon to find recreations of the Auschwitz concentration camp in the game Minecraft, often created as part of junior high school history projects intended to give students 'creative' options for reporting on historical events. I hope to examine these projects and their wider implications in a future research project. 

Traethawd ymchwil

The Weird History of USAmerican Fascism (1981-2017)

My thesis considers how US and UK academics' ignorance of comic books, videogames, and 'nerd' culture has been a necessary component of fascism's resurgence in the United States over the last four decades, with a particular focus on the way British authors writing for American comic book companies since the 1980s both predicted and precipitated this resurgence even as comic books were mostly ignored by critics and theorists (despite their being the defining medium of the twentieth century). Adapting the term 'blowback' from histories of the United States' imperial misadventures, I argue that this academic complacency and disciplinary myopia has created a kind of cultural blowback whose logical endpoint is the current US administration. Recognizing that the recent legitimizing of 'comic studies' in academia is merely an instance of late capitalism accepting another genre for the benefit of an exploitative academic publishing industry, the thesis demonstrates that the most productive criticism comes from comic books themselves, which can still point the way toward an effective means of resisting fascism in the United States. By critiquing both the causes of this cultural blowback and its consequences in the form of the contemporary USAmerican police state, my thesis finds in the mythopoetic figure of the superhero-as-superorganism a conceptual counterpart to the socialist, communist, and anarchist organizers that have been the only forces to effectively confront the 21st-century fascists marching in the streets.


Supervised by Josh Robinson & Laurent Milesi

Josh Robinson

Dr Josh Robinson

Lecturer