FIMS Profile

Tim Blackmore
Professor

FIMS & Nursing Building Room 4019
Phone: 519-661-2111 x88513

University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7
Fax: 519-661-3506
tblackmo@uwo.ca

About Me

I work on all kinds of projects, and I love that. I read, see and write about popular culture, particularly science fiction (in prose, film, animation, jello...it doesn't matter to me what the medium is), but also comics and comic strips, science fiction film design (I know that sounds specific, but it's a huge field). I also focus a great deal on what Leo Marx called The Machine in the Garden, and the persistence of the pastoral in this weird age of post-everything and all-transparency. We need to stay grounded. Is that too Modernist to say? Robots, AI, cyborg bodies, all grist for my mill. I write a great deal about war, real actual war and also fictional war. I don't do that because I love it but because I believe it's a sickness we have to cure. (Better get started on that! Ouch!)

Teaching

I came here in 1997 to work with other folks on developing MIT. I've taught, and loved to teach, a first year Media Studies course. I now teach two courses about war: the first, MIT 3440 War for War, is about how Vietnam rolled into the two wars in the Middle East from 2002- the present; the second course, MIT 3215 Killer Culture, is about how we represent war (or don't).

I also teach MIT 4035 The Mechanical Flower, which is about the relationships between people, our myths of green worlds and the infinitely more mechanical one we inhabit, and our ongoing machine-human-environmental interactions. Recently I've been teaching MIT 4100 Rebel Knowledge, which is an attempt to give people what they might need before they go rocketing out into the world, baffled as to how to change it, overburdened by the demands my generation has placed on anyone born roughly 20 years ago. It's just no good for people my age to say "We broke it, you fix it." It's irresponsible.

I should also teach a course entirely driven by tangents. (This in itself could be one such!)

I've been trying to cram everything I think people might need to know into these and my other courses.You don't need to know particular factoids about world events or crucial theoretical ideas, but to understand how to be strong in what you believe, whatever that might be, and in your voice, however it might sound. How will you learn to know what you need, otherwise?

In the graduate programs I teach a media theory class for the MMJC program, and have offered a popular culture course to the LIS program. I also teach a graduate course on trauma and memory in the Media Studies program. I get that this doesn't sound like a lot of laughs, but we do have laughs.

I love to look at things, so if you take a course with me, you'll be looking at film, comics, art, posters, propaganda—you name it, we'll do it. You'll also be reading and writing because nothing replaces sharp analytical ability. The best thing about teaching is the conversations I have with students, those particular moments when everyone is suddenly alight, and the world seems suddenly more possible. There's never enough time for curiosity, I'm finding, so talking to people is an excellent way of finding out a lot about the world.

Research

I divide my writing time between work on cultural artifacts that interest me (what does a text say about us right here now? If we lived allegorically, what would the narrative be?), as well as science fiction, comics, art, film, bande dessinee, and war. Often, though, these two general interests (popular culture, war) overlap. It would be dull if they didn't.

I've written two books about war:

War X, Human Extensions in Battlespace (UTP, 2005)

Gorgeous War, the Branding War Between the Third Reich and the United States (WLP, 2019)

I am always interested in getting a worldview into motion, as Gene Wise would have called it (see his American Historical Explanations, 2nd Edition--don't bother with that first edition!). It's a lot of effort, but it's worth it for me. But if you want to work with me, you don't at all have to follow these routes, theories or modes! Don't surrender who you are--that's not how I see Grad school working. Grad school can be such a meat grinder and life is entirely too short for such drama.

Of all the things human beings do, art, art of all kinds, is probably the best.

Publications

Book Chapters, Encyclopedia Entries

2013    “Push 1 for Remote War.” Chapter in Ender's Game and Philosophy: Genocide Is Child's Play. Wittkower, D. E. and Lucinda Rush, Eds. Open Court: Chicago. 3-10.

2012    “Other Worlds, Other Wars: Science Fiction Reinvents War.” Chapter in Critical Insights: War, Alex Vernon, Ed. (Salem Press/EBSCO). 106-124.

2005       “Ender’s Game.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol 3: 1021-1023.

2005     “The Forever War.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol. 3: 1043-1044.

2005     “Gateway.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol 3: 1060-1062.

2005     “Slaughterhouse-Five.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol. 3: 1232-1234.

2005     “Starship Troopers.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol. 3: 1274-1276.

2005     “Space War.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol. 2: 744-746.

2005     “Violence.” Greenwood Encyclopedia of Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gary Westfahl et al. eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: Vol. 2: 864-866.

2001     “Stephen Becker.” Encyclopedia of American War Literature. Philip K. Jason and Mark A. Graves eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: 2001.24-26.

2001    “Vance Bourjaily.” Encyclopedia of American War Literature. Philip K. Jason and Mark A. Graves eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: 2001.39-40.

2001    “William Eastlake.” Encyclopedia of American War Literature. Philip K. Jason and Mark A. Graves eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: 2001. 100-102.

2001     “Dalton Trumbo.” Encyclopedia of American War Literature. Philip K. Jason and Mark A. Graves eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: 2001. 341-342.

2001    “Kurt Vonnegut.” Encyclopedia of American War Literature. Philip K. Jason and Mark A. Graves eds., Greenwood Press: Westport CT: 2001. 354-355.

1999    “Ender’s Beginning: Battling the Military in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.” Reprinted in Novels for Students. Vol. 5., Gale Research: Michigan, 1999.

1996    “Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination.” Magill’s Guide to ScienceFiction and Fantasy Literature. Ed. T. A. Shippey and A. J. Sobczak. 4 vols Salem Press: California, 1996. 884‑885.

1996    “Joe Haldeman: The Worlds Trilogy.” Magill’s Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Ed. T. A. Shippey and A. J. Sobczak. 4 vols Salem Press: California, 1996. 1075‑1077.

1996     “Lucius Shepard: The Ends of the Earth.” Magill’s Guide to ScienceFiction and Fantasy Literature. Ed. T. A. Shippey and A. J. Sobczak.4 vols. Salem Press: California, 1996. 305‑306.

 

Articles in Journals

2012     “Eyeless in America: Hollywood and Indiewood’s Iraq War on Film.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, August 2012, 32: 294-316.

2012     “Eyeless in America, the Sequel: Hollywood and Indiewood’s Iraq War on Film.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, August 2012, 32: 317-330.

2010     “Save Now [Y/N]? Machine Memory at War in Iain Banks’ Look to Windward.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, August 2010 Volume 30, No.4: 259-273.

2009      “Life of War, Death of the Rest: The Shining Path of Cormac McCarthy's Thermonuclear America.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, February 2009 Volume 29, No.1:18-36.

2007      “The Speed Death of the Eye: The Ideology of Hollywood Film Special Effects” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, October 2007 Volume 27, No.5: 367-372.

2007     “Mice Under the Machine: Survival Tips From Popular Culture” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, January 2007 Volume 27, No.1: 3-10.

2007     “The Lathe of Popular Culture: Turning Machine Artifacts Into Art.” Special Issue, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, guest editor. February 2007, Volume 27, No. 1.

2006     “Cyclic Gun-Human Evolution:  Soldiers, Guns, Machine Logic, and the Future” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, September 2006, Volume 26, No.5: 363-369.

2005      “Dead Slow: Unmanned Aircraft Loitering in Battlespace.” Bulletin of Science and Technology, June 2005, Volume 25 No.3: 195-214.

2004      “Agent of Civility: The Librarian in Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash.” SIMILE: Studies in Media & Information Literacy Education, 4.4 (2004) http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/journal/ejournals/simile

2004      300 and Two: Frank Miller and Daniel Ford Interpret Herodotus’s Thermopylae Myth.” International Journal of Comic Art. 6.2 (Fall 2004) 325-349.

2004      “High on Technology, Low on Memory: Cultural Crisis in Dark City and The MatrixCanadian Review of American Studies. 34.1(2004): 13-54.

2003      “Rotor Hearts: The Helicopter as Postmodern War’s Pacemaker.” Public Culture, Bulletin of the Center for Transnational Studies, 15.1 (2003): 90-102.

2002      “Hot for War: Jerry Pournelle and David Drake’s Regendered Battlefield.” War, Literature & The Arts.14.1-2 (2002): 194-213.

2002      “Play Your Cards Right: A Narrative of First-Year Students’ Reader-Responses.” The Journal of General Education, 50.1 (2002): 43-67.

2001      “Camelot’s Killers: Gordon Dickson’s Rhetorical Cleansing of America.” The Canadian Review of American Studies, 31.3 (2001): 167-199.

2001      “What a Picnic! Swamp Ecology in Walt Kelly’s Pogo.” International Journal of Cartoon Art, 3.1 (2001): 38-58.

2000      “The Lazarus Machine: Body Politics in Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun.Mosaic, 33.4 (2000): 1-18.

1998      “Animachinations: 24 Frames Per Second of Still Life.” Extrapolation, 39.4 (1998): 338-351.

1998      “McCay’s McChanical Muse: Engineering Comic‑Strip Dreams.” The Journal of Popular Culture, 32.1 (1998): 15-38.

1997      “Krazy as a Fool: Erasmus of Rotterdam’s Praise of Folly and Herriman of Coconino’s Krazy Kat.” The Journal of Popular Culture, 31.3 (1997): 19-46.

1996      “‘Is This Going To Be Another Bug-Hunt?’: SF tradition versus biology‑as‑destiny in James Cameron’s Aliens.” (long version). The Journal of Popular Culture, 29.4 (1996): 211-226.

1995      “Talking With Strangers: Interrogating the Many Texts that Became Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. Extrapolation, 36.2 (1995): 136-150.

1995      “Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk: The Role of Discourse in Joe Haldeman’s ‘The Monster’ and Lucius Shepard’s ‘Delta Sly Honey.’” (Long version) Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 6.2-6.3 (1995): 191-202.

1994      “Doug Murray’s The ‘Nam, A Comic Battle for Vietnam at Home and Abroad.” LIT Literature Interpretation Theory, 5 (1995): 213-225.

1994      “Warbody: Joe Haldeman’s Killer SF,” Dissertation.

1994      “Blind Daring: Vision and Re-vision of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus in Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Born Again.” The Journal of Popular Culture, 27.3 (1994): 135-162.

1993      “Cerebus: From Aardvark to Vanaheim, Reaching for Creative Heaven in Dave Sim’s Hellish World.” Canadian Children’s Literature, 71 (1993): 57-78.

1993      “Warring Stories: Fighting for Truth in the Science Fiction of Joe Haldeman.” Extrapolation, 34.2 (1993): 131-146.

1992      “The Hunchbacked Hero in the Fiction of A. J. Budrys.” Extrapolation, 33.3 (1992): 230‑244.

1991      “The Dark Knight of Democracy: Tocqueville and Miller Cast Some Light on the Subject” The Journal ofAmerican Culture, 14.1 (1991): 37‑56.

1991      “Ender’s Beginning: Battling the Military in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.” Extrapolation, 32.2 (1991): 124‑142.

1990      “The Bester/Chaykin Connection: An Examination of Substance Assisted by Style,” Extrapolation, 31.2 (1990): 101-24.

Other

If you got this far and you're still on the web, why don't you come to my office (room 4019) and we'll have tea and I'll serve you cookies and we can just chat, which, after all, is the real bonus of being in university. Come and TALK! Don't sit there and worry, to paraphrase Sally Bowles.

Courses Taught


JOU 562 Media Literacy 1997 Fall JOU 708 Media Literacy 2001 Fall , 1998 Fall JOU 791 Special Topic: Professing Popular and Mass Culture: a Midbrow Introduction 2000 Fall , 2000 Winter , 1999 Winter LIS 603 Professing the Popular: A Midbrow Introduction 2008 Winter , 2003 Winter LIS 691 Special Topic: Professing Popular and Mass Culture: A Mid-brow Introduction 2000 Fall LIS 692 Special Topic: Professing Popular and Mass Culture: A Midbrow Introduction 2000 Winter LIS 9102 Professing the Popular: A Midbrow Introduction 2012 Winter , 2010 Winter , 2009 Winter MIT 025 Media in Society 2007 Fall , 2006 Fall , 2005 Fall MIT 1200 Media in Society 2015 Winter , 2014 Fall , 2014 Winter , 2013 Fall , 2012 Fall , 2011 Fall , 2010 Winter , 2008 Fall MIT 2161 Special Topics: War for War: Mediation, Militarization, and Conflict 2015 Fall MIT 242 Killer Culture: War and the Mediation of Reality in the 20th-21st Century 2008 Winter , 2007 Winter , 2006 Winter MIT 3215 Killer Culture: War and the Mediation of Reality in the 20th-21st Centuries 2021 Winter , 2020 Winter , 2016 Fall , 2016 Winter , 2015 Winter , 2013 Winter , 2011 Fall , 2009 Fall , 2009 Winter MIT 3440 Special Topics in MIT: War for War: Mediation, Militarization & Conflict 2020 Fall , 2019 Fall , 2017 Fall (2 sections) MIT 4035 Special Topics in MIT: The Mechanical Flower 2014 Winter , 2012 Fall , 2012 Winter , 2009 Fall MIT 4100 Special Topics in MIT: Rebel Knowledge: Know What You Need 2021 Winter , 2020 Fall , 2020 Winter , 2019 Fall MIT 432 The Mechanical Flower 2007 Fall , 2005 Fall MMJC 9200 Doing Democracy Right or Doing Right by Democracy? Ethics, Critical Theory and the Public Right to Know 2018 Winter , 2017 Winter , 2016 Winter MS 720 Remember Forever: Memory, Trauma, Technology 2007 Winter MS 794 First Year Media Studies Research Colloquim 2006 Fall (2 sections) MS 9102 Second Year Media Studies Research Colloquium - Research Writing and Argumentation 2016 Fall , 2015 Fall , 2014 Fall , 2013 Fall MS 9220 Remember Forever: Memory, Trauma, Technology 2018 Winter , 2013 Winter , 2008 Fall

Theses Supervised


Schroeder, Ryan. Dead Men Walking: An Analysis of Working-Class Masculinity in Post-2008 Hollywood Film
Master of Arts in Media Studies, August 2019
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Kim, Kyunghee. Cultural Hybridity in the Contemporary Korean Popular Culture through the Practice of Genre Transformation
Phd in Media Studies, June 2018
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Hambleton, Jennifer. Industrial Stagecraft: Tooling and Cultural Production
Phd in Media Studies, May 2018
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Rashid, Shahad. Mapping the Arab Diaspora: Examining Placelessness and Memory in Arab Art
Master of Arts in Media Studies, October 2017
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Jackson, David. Becoming Sonic: Ambient Poetics and the Ecology of Listening in Four Militant Sound Investigations
Phd in Media Studies, September 2016
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
McFadden, Daniel. Viral Possibilities: Media, the Body, and the Phenomenon of Infection
Master of Arts in Theory and Criticism, August 2015
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Warren, Sarah Louise Kristine. For the Good of the Thing
Master of Arts in Theory and Criticism, May 2015
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Devlin, Matt. Cultivating Better Brains: Transhumanism and its Critics on the Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement Via Brain-Computer Interfacing
Master of Arts in Media Studies, April 2014
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Arntfield, Michael. Hypertext Epitaphs: The Digitization of Police Memorials and Funerary Writing
Phd in Media Studies, July 2011
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Hunt, Daryl. Terror Out of Context: Jacques Ellul's Technique Applied to National Security Problems from the Red Scare to 9/11
Master of Arts in Media Studies, October 2010
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Ting, Elle. Pax Americana : September 11 memorialization and nation-building mythologies
Phd in Media Studies, August 2009
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Luedecke, Patricia. The Guilded Goddess at the Gate: Idyllic Industry, Blooming Myths and Cybersilence in the Garden
Master of Arts in Media Studies, August 2008
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Preston, Jeffrey Michael. Augmented Ability, Integrated Identity: Understanding Disability, Adaptive Technology and the Construction of Identity
Master of Arts in Media Studies, June 2008
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Arntfield, Michael. Version 5.0: A Genealogy of Technological Determinism in Modern Law Enforcement & the Rise of the Television Police Drama
Master of Arts in Media Studies, August 2007
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Timmins, Rachel. Crisis, Collapse, Creation: A Virilian Examination of Technological Penetration and Its Effect on Identity
Master of Arts in Media Studies, June 2007
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Swain, Stephen. Mediated Heroism: A Discourse Analysis of the Hero Image of Pat Tillman
Master of Arts in Media Studies, April 2007
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Ward, Kadie. The Creative City and the Creative Class(es): How they restructure the local in the city of London, Ontario
Master of Arts in Media Studies, April 2007
Supervisors: Tim Blackmore and Joy Parr
Elias, Rebecca. Democratic Illusions: Mythic Heroism and National Fantasy in Post-9/11 Superhero Films
Master of Arts in Media Studies, December 2006
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Harris, Rhea. America in the End Zone: Football, Nationalism, and the New England Patriots
Master of Arts in Media Studies, April 2006
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore
Papayanis, Alena. Soldiering for President: John Kerry’s Vietnam Veteran Campaign in the Age of the Iraqi Frontier
Master of Arts in Media Studies, August 2005
Supervisor: Tim Blackmore