One more example -- not egregious but run-of-the-mill -- of these last days of academic mankind, as reflected in syllabi and courses and the comically solemn "research interests" of thrusting young academics, and the prose and poses and poisons which these times produce:
From the faculty website at the University of Chicago:
On Leave: Academic Year 2012-2013
Neubauer Family Assistant Professor
Department of English
Office: Walker 516
I am interested in the ways people address history and understand their lives through cultural invention. My current teaching and research interests lie in contemporary American literature, specifically in how public and private histories take shape in the form of innovative narrative work. I am particularly interested in the relationships between word and image, fiction and nonfiction that we see in contemporary comics, a field with roots in the 1970s that is also connected to deeper histories of drawn reportage and visual witnessing.
My book Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics, which examines the graphic narrative work of five authors, including Alison Bechdel and Marjane Satrapi, argues that the medium of comics has opened up new spaces for nonfiction narrative—particularly for expressing certain kinds of stories typically relegated to the realm of the private. My next book, on comics as documentary, will look at the post-World War II environment in which Art Spiegelman in America and Keiji Nakazawa in Japan concurrently developed comics as a form for addressing the fallout of war, as well as exploring current graphic reportage by figures such as Joe Sacco on the Balkans and the Middle East.
I am Associate Editor of a book by Spiegelman called MetaMaus (Pantheon, 2011), about the making of his terrain-shifting graphic narrative Maus, and I have recently written on "Graphic Narrative" for The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature, and on historical postmodernism for a special issue of Twentieth-Century Literature, as well as on the subject of archives and comics for a special issue of e-misférica. I write on issues of form and history in many different kinds of venues and have published essays and interviews in magazines including The Believer. As a Contributing Editor, I worked on the latest edition of the Heath Anthology of American Literature (Contemporary Volume), and I founded, in 2009, the MLA's Discussion Group on Comics and Graphic Narratives.
I am a Faculty Fellow at the the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and director of the Artists' Salon project there, as well as faculty co-sponsor of the American Literatures and Cultures workshop. I recently collaborated in 2012 with inaugural Mellon Fellow Alison Bechdel, through the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and organized the "Comics: Philosophy and Practice" conference at the University in May 2012. See my Critical Inquiry interview with Alison Bechdel here. See me and Art Spiegelman talk about MetaMaus at the 92nd St. Y here.
For the academic year 2012-2013, I will be a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
You may find instructive -- I did -- the interview conducted by Assistant Professor Hillary Chute with Alison Bechdel here.