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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature

Faculty and Staff Directory

Debra Rae Cohen

Associate Professor
Department of English Language and Literature

Phone Number: (803) 576-5961
Office: HUO 316


PhD, University of Mississippi, 2000
BA, Yale University, 1976

Areas of Specialization 

   Modernism and Media
   Twentieth-Century British Literature
   Modernism and Gender
   World War One
   Popular Music Studies

Recently Taught Courses 

ENGL 825F   Modernism and Media
SCHC 352J   Women and Modernism
ENGL 385     Modernism
SCHC 365R  Modernist Women as Public Intellectuals
ENGL 413     Modern English Literature
ENGL 419R   In the Streets of the Modern City: London 1880-2012
ENGL 730     Imperial Modernism

Current Research Projects 

I spent many years as a journalist and critic before returning to academe, and much of my current work is concerned with the conversations and intersections between Modernist literature and the mass media of the period. My co-edited collection, Broadcasting Modernism, examines the centrality of radio to Modernist literary culture. I am now at work on "Sonic Citizenship: Intermedial Poetics and the BBC," which extends the work of Broadcasting Modernism to explore the relations between the BBC and interwar print cultures. Other projects include a pedagogical volume on the teaching of World War I literature, a short volume on Modernism and Media, and a series of pieces on Rebecca West, focusing on her significance as a limit case for modernist historiography.

Selected Publications 

Remapping the Home Front: Locating Citizenship in British Women's Great War Fiction. Northeastern University Press, 2002

Broadcasting Modernism. Co-edited with Michael Coyle and Jane Lewty. University Press of Florida, 2009.

   • “‘Police and Thieves’: Citation as Struggle in the Punk Cover Song.” (With Michael Coyle.) Social Text 116 (2013): 111-22.
   • “Sound Bites: Vampire Media in Orson Welles’s Dracula.” Sounding Out! 2 September 2013.
   • “Getting the Frame into the Picture: Wells, West, and the Mid-War Novel.” The Space Between 8:1 (2012): 85-107.
   • “Intermediality and the Problem of the Listener.” Modernism/modernity 19.3 (2012): 569-92.
   • "Modernism on the Radio." A Handbook of Modernisms, edited by Peter Brooker, Andrzej Gasiorek, Deborah Parsons and Andrew Thacker. Oxford University Press, 2010.
   • "Rebecca West's Palimpsestic Praxis: Crafting the Intermodern Voice of Witness." Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain, edited by Kristin Bluemel, Edinburch University Press, 2009.

Recent Presentations 

   • It’s That Medium Again: ITMA’s Radio Crossings.” The Space Between. London, July 2014.
   “‘There’s no such thing as reet’: Reclaiming Region in “Burbleton.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Seattle, March 2014.
   “‘If our air is to be free, how free?’: Tom Harrisson, the BBC, and Mid-War Morale.” Modernist Studies Association. Brighton, August 2013.
   “Anticommunism Is the Culture of Celebrity: Rebecca West and the Pontecorvo Pattern.” “Anti-Communism: Culture, Literature, Propaganda.” Institute of English Studies. London, August 2013.
   “‘Ah’ll tell ye aboot it’: Ventriloquizing the BBC.” Modernist Studies Association. Las Vegas, October 2012.
   “Materializing the Immaterial: The BBC Yearbooks as Radio Souvenirs.” The Space Between. Providence, June 2012.
   “The Power of Adaptation: Rebecca West and the Scenario Institute.” International Rebecca West Society. New York, September 2011.
   "Intermediality and the Problem of the Listener." Modernist Studies Association. Montreal, November 2009.

Other Information 

   Co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity.