About the Organizers

Jonathan Goldman, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of English at the New York Institute of Technology’s Manhattan campus. He is author of Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity (U of Texas P, 2011) and co-editor of a volume of essays titled Modernist Star Maps: Celebrity, Modernity, Culture, (Ashgate 2010).  He has published work about modernist literature and culture in the journals Novel and Narrative and the collection The Rise and Reason of Comics and Graphic Literature (McFarland 2010).  He is currently working on several projects, including a chapter for The Cambridge Companion to Ulysses and a book about modernism and trademark.


Tom Jacobs, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York Institute of Technology-Old Wesbury campus.  He received his B.A. from Carleton College and his Ph.D. from New York University.  Tom has published work on the post-Depression phototext and on the museum cultures of early New York City.  He is currently at work on a book length manuscript that how U.S. writers of the 20th and 21st century use material and visual culture to explore the ways that unexpected encounters with particularly evocative objects and images can reorganize one’s sense of self, the past, and social relationships.  From Flannery O’Connor’s investigations of how the mystifying experience of “grace” violently interrupts her characters’ mundane lives, to the ways the various artifacts collected by Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man transform his understanding of American history, to Walker Percy, Nicholson Baker, and David Foster Wallace’s intensive examinations of our affective attachments to everyday objects—all of these works examine how objects and images can defy and reorganize the ways we order and understand the world.  By examining the uneasy exchanges between the systems and structures that define the world and the forces that undermine those structures, Tom’s work emphasizes the importance of ritual and the sacred in the both secular and religious worldviews.

Tom also writes a regular column for the internet blog, 3quarksdaily.


Lori Jirousek-Falls, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English at New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan, whose research and teaching interests include American ethnic literature, literature and science, literature and ethnography, and women writers.  She has published in journals such as MELUS, African American Review, the Journal of Modern Literature, Modern Language Studies, and American Literary Realism.