2016 Speaker Biographies: Pop Culture in World History

Esther Clinton is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. She received her Ph.D. in Folklore at Indiana University with a focus on narrative, proverbs, comparative mythology and Old Norse and Old English literature. Her research interests include popular literature (especially mystery, fantasy, and science fiction), folk religion, folktales and legends, monsters, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Clinton has also written about heavy metal music and was one of the organizers of the BGSU Heavy Metal and Popular Culture International Conference in 2013. Her work has appeared in Asian Music, Journal of the National Medical Association, Proverbium, and in the collections Archetypes and Motifs in Folk Literature and Modern Heavy Metal: Markets, Practices, and Cultures.

Ahmed Kanna is associate professor of international studies at University of the Pacific. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, his research and teaching focus on the Middle East, cities and urbanism, race, class, and empire. He is the author of Dubai, The City as Corporation (2011).

Jeremy Prestholdt (PhD, Northwestern University) is a professor of African and Global History at UC San Diego. He is the author of Domesticating the World: African Consumerism and the Genealogies of Globalization and the forthcoming book Icons of Dissent: The Global Resonance of Che, Marley, Tupac, and Bin Laden.

María Luisa Ruiz is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures and Director of Global and Regional Studies at Saint Mary's College of California where she teaches courses for Spanish for Spanish speakers and classes on Latin American Women Writers, Mexican cinema, Latin American New Historical novels and survey courses in Latin American Literature. She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish and the Humanities from Stanford University. Her scholarly interests include contemporary Mexican Literature, Mexican popular culture of the 1940s and present, intersections between U.S and Latin American feminist studies, film studies, and sociolinguistics with a focus on Heritage Language pedagogy.

Frederik L. Schodt is a veteran writer, translator, and conference interpreter based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written numerous books about Japanese history, technology, and popular culture, and translated numerous novels and non-fiction works. He is perhaps best known for his translations and work related to manga, or Japanese comics, and is sometimes said to have triggered the current popularity of manga in the United States. He has won numerous awards, including, in 2009, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his work in the introduction and promotion of Japanese contemporary popular culture in the United States of America. His website is at http://www.jai2.com

Alice Underwood is a PhD candidate in the Comparative Literature Department at Stanford University and writes snarky blogs about Russian current events on the side. Her research on the intersection of culture and political ideology in the late Soviet Union covers literature, alcoholism rates, and the preservation of Lenin's corpse. She writes about poetry, Putinism, and Russia's favorite cat memes for Russian Life magazine.

Jeremy Wallach is Professor and Acting Chair in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. A scholar of popular music and globalization, Dr. Wallach has written or co-written more than 20 research articles, co-edited a journal issue, and published an influential book on contemporary music in Indonesia. In 2011, he co-edited a collection of academic essays on heavy metal scenes in diverse national contexts titled Metal Rules the Globe and in 2013 chaired the organizing committee for the BGSU Heavy Metal and Popular Culture International Conference. Dr. Wallach received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania (2002); his other research interests include postcolonial theory, phenomenology, semiotics, and aesthetics.

Eli Weaverdyck received his PhD in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology from UC Berkeley in May, 2016. His doctoral thesis examined the economic relationship between Roman army bases and the countryside on Lower Danube. He is interested in the variety of forms that Roman urbanism took in the provinces and the impact of the Empire on the lives of peasants and has developed a method of spatial analysis informed by Landscape Archaeology that derives evidence for economic behavior from settlement patterns.

Darren Zook has been a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, since 2000. He teaches in International and Area Studies and in Political Science. He has taught previously at the University of California, Davis, and at the Claremont Colleges in southern California. In 2012, he was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Singapore working on a project that focused on cybersecurity in the Asia-Pacific region.

During his time at the University of California, Berkeley, Darren Zook has taught and published on a wide variety of topics, including the politics of Asia-Pacific region, human rights and international law, terrorism and security studies, multiculturalism and diversity, and economic policy with a focus on anti-corruption programs. His research interests have continuously grown into an unusually broad portfolio of international and comparative projects, and his work has taken him to various parts Asia, the Pacific Islands, and northern Europe.