John F. Cline

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., American Studies, 2012                                                       The University of Texas

Dissertation: Permanent Underground: Radical Sounds and Social Formations in 20th Century American


Committee: Mark C. Smith (Chair), Karl Hagstrom Miller, Shirley Thompson-Marshall, Randolph Lewis, Steven Hoelscher

M.A., American Studies, 2005                                                         The University of Virginia

Thesis: “American Myth Today: O Brother Where Art Thou? and the Language of Mythic Space”


B.A., English (honors) and Philosophy, 2002                                  The University of Iowa

Fellowships and Awards

Continuing University Fellowship, presented by the University of Texas for 2011-2012 (award total: $26,000).

Michael H. Granof Outstanding Graduate Student Award, presented by the University of Texas (nominated 2010).

The Ellen Clarke Temple Graduate Award for the Study of Women in History, presented by the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, May 2009 (award total: $1,500).

Louann Atkins Temple Presidential Scholarship in American Studies, presented by the American Studies Department at the University of Texas, 2006-2007 (award total: $1,000).


Edited Collections

Cinema Inferno: Celluloid Explosions from the Cultural Margins. Collection co-edited w/ Robert G. Weiner.  Scarecrow Press, 2010.

From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse: Highbrown and Lowbrow Transgressions in Cinema’s First Century.  Collection co-edited w/ Robert G. Weiner.  Scarecrow Press, 2010.


 “The Act of Hearing With One’s Own Ears: A Guided Tour Through 20th Century American Listening Practices,” under review by American Quarterly (submitted October 2012)

“Atomic Protest Music,” essay in The Routledge History of Social Protest in Popular Music, ed. Jonathan C. Friedman. Co-written with Robert G. Weiner (forthcoming 2013).

“Music and Science Fiction,” essay in The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction, ed. Rob Latham (forthcoming 2013).

“The Perfect Threat: Arch Hall Jr., The Sadist, and the Ideal Teenager”. Co-written w/ Robert G. Weiner. In From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse. Scarecrow Press, 2010.

“Bernie’s ‘Deathwish’: History and Transgression in New York”.  In Cinema Inferno. Scarecrow Press, 2010.

“Bazin’s Action Hero?,” essay on the post-humanism of contemporary films like Rambo (2008), published online by Flow ( (August 8, 2008)


Review of Recording Culture: Powwow Music and the Aboriginal Recording Industry on the Northern Plains, by Christopher A. Scales, published by American Indian Quarterly (Forthcoming 2013). (Under contract)

Interview with Michael Taussig, published by The Los Angeles Review of Books (forthcoming November/December 2012). (Under contract) 

 Review of Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop, by Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen, published by The Los Angeles Review of Books (forthcoming November 2012). (3,000 words)

Review of The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King, a biography of United Fruit president Sam Zemurray by Rich Cohen, published by The Los Angeles Review of Books (, October 8, 2012.

Review of My Song: A Memoir, by Harry Belafonte and Michael Shnayerson, published by The Los Angeles Review of Books (, July 1, 2012.

Review of Forever, a documentary about the Pere-Lachaise cemetery. Film and History, Fall 2008.

Review of Absolute Wilson, a documentary about theater director Robert Wilson, Film and History, Winter 2007/2008.

Encyclopedia Entries

“Folkways Records,” “Harry Smith,” “Outsider Music,” “John Fahey,” “Olu Dara,” and “Sonny Sharrock” entries in The Grove Dictionary of American Music (forthcoming 2013).

“Steelband Music,” “Reggae,” and “Hawaiian Music” entries for The Encyclodpedia of American Music and Culture, ed. Jacqueline Edmondson, Greenwood Press (forthcoming 2013).

Selected Popular Press Articles

“When a Knife is More than Just a Knife,” an essay on the dual tool/weapon nature of the machete and its potency as a political symbol, under review by The Atlantic. (4,000 words)

“Primer: Ethnic Music,” a guide to rereleases of the music of American immigrants and recordings made by British and French recording companies for sale in the colonies prior to WWI, under review by Wire. (4,000 words)

“The Populist Who Wasn’t Exactly Popular,” The Oxford American, Issue 67, Winter 2009/10.  Article about the composer and performer Henry Flynt for the magazine’s annual Southern Music Issue.

“Combat Bluesman,” The Oxford American, Issue 56, Spring 2007.  Article about country music, Merle Travis, From Here to Eternity, and southerners in the military.

Editorial Work

Special Guest Columnist and Editor,, August 2007-May 2009

Work in Development

“Of Bomb Pops and Beethoven: History, Commodity Fetishism and the Ice Cream Truck,” article intended for Critical Inquiry.  (Planned Submission: Fall 2012)

“The Now Sound From Way Back: “Novelty” as Concept in Popular Music History,” article intended for The Journal of Popular Music Studies.  (Planned submission: Fall 2012)

“Electric Cowboy Atom Test: Intersections Between the Western and SF in 20th Century American Popular Culture,” article co-written with Carly Kocurek and Jeannette Vaught, intended for Science Fiction Studies.  (Planned submission: Fall 2012)

Aural Autonomy: The Quest for Sonic and Social Freedom, book manuscript revised from dissertation.  (Planned completion: Fall 2013)

Beyond a Beach: Calypso and the Caribbean in the U.S. Imaginary, second book project. (Planned completion: Spring 2015)


“Familiar Islands: The U.S., the Bahamas, and the Permeable Boundaries of ‘Folk’ Music,” American Studies Association conference, San Juan, PR, November 2012.

“The Other Side of the Garage: The Los Angeles Free Music Society and Suburbia,” joint Experience Music Project/International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference, New York, NY, March 2012.

“Carib Terror: ‘Voodoo Horror’ and America's Fearful Fascination with the World beyond the Cabana,” SW/TX meeting of the PCA/ACA, Albuquerque, NM, February 2012.

“Let Me Clear My Throat: Dissecting the Human Animal at Mid-Century,” American Studies Association conference, Baltimore, MD, October 2011.

Dumpster Diving Auteurs: The Cinema of Joseph Cornell, Bruce Conner, and Craig Baldwin,” joint meeting of regional SW/TX and national PCA/ACA, San Antonio, TX, February 2010.

“The Now Sound from Way Back: The ‘Novelization’ of the Musical Past,” International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference, Cincinnati, OH, March 2011.

“The ‘Zine in the Archive: The Politics of Bibliography in Trash Cinema Studies,” SW/TX meeting of the PCA/ACA, Albuquerque, NM, February 2010.

“It’s in the Prefix: Post-Punk and Proto-Third Wave Feminism in Lower Manhattan,” Cultural Studies Association conference, K.C., MO, March 2009.

“The Perfect Threat: Arch Hall Jr., The Sadist, and the Ideal Teenager,” SW/TX meeting of the PCA/ACA, Albuquerque, NM, February 2009.

“Does Snuff Film Really Exist?: A Theoretical Approach to the Limit of Film Studies,” SW/TX meeting of the PCA/ACA, Albuquerque, NM, February 2008.

“Apprenticeships and Apertures: Subway Graffiti’s ‘Crisis of Representation,’” American Studies Association conference, Philadelphia, PA, October 2007.

“Watching Decay: Critical Approaches to Cinematic ‘Transgression’ and the City of New York, 1970-1985,” SW/TX meeting of the PCA/ACA, Albuquerque, NM, February 2007.

Panel Chair, “The Contemporary American Horror Film,” American Studies Graduate conference, The University of Texas, October 2007.

“Bomb Pops and Beethoven: How an Ice Cream Truck in Texas Taught Me About the Limits of Gramsci’s Notion of an ‘Inventory of History,’” Cultural Studies Now conference, The University of East London, July 2007.

“Give and Take: Blondie, Basquiat, and Downtown 81,” American Studies Department graduate student conference, The University of Texas, October 2006.


“Arterial America,” a web-based, multimedia project documenting a trip between New Orleans in Chicago.  It can be found at:  (Ongoing)

Hey, Dollar Dollar!, a series of field recordings of American auctioneers being prepared for release by Mississippi Records of Portland, OR. (In progress)

“Dick Tracy: The Ethics of Violence and the Legacy of an American Comic Strip,” a website created while part of the American Studies MA program at UVa (2005).  Can be accessed here:

“Industrial Worker of the World: Wobblies in Myth and Function,” a website created while part of the American Studies MA program at UVa (2004).  Can be accessed here:

Teaching Experience

As Instructor:

“The Culture and Politics of the Western,” AMS 311S, August 2010-May 2011

(Writing Intensive course, 25 students per section: 2 sections Fall semester, 1 section Spring semester.)

This class combined film analysis of movies from the Western genre with written texts highlighting the details U.S. foreign and domestic policy current at the time of the films’ releases, and charted historical parallels between screen narratives and the news.

“The Global Power of the Funk,” AMS 311S, August 2009-May 2010

(Writing Intensive course, 25 students per section: 1 section Fall semester, 2 sections Spring semester.)

This class covered the music of the “Black Atlantic” (jazz, highlife, reggae, hip-hop, etc.) and connected the sonic texts to both the pathways of migration that helped create them and the political context surrounding their origin.

As Assistant:

“Main Currents in American Culture Since 1865,” AMS 356, January-May 2009

Instructor: Nhi Lieu

(Fulfills the University of Texas U.S. History requirement.)

“Intro to American Studies,” AMS 310, August-December 2008

Instructor: Elizabeth Englehardt

“Main Currents in American Culture Since 1865,” AMS 356, January-May 2008

Instructor: Julia Mickenberg

(Fulfills the University of Texas U.S. History requirement; also led a supplementary discussion section.)

“Texas as American Studies Project,” AMS 310, August-December 2007

Instructor: Jason Mellard

“Engineering Communication,” ME 333T, August 2005-May 2009

Instructor: Christy Moore

(Charged with running one 3 hour workshop per week of 20 students per section, 1-3 sections depending on semester.  Workshop entailed both a lecture component and direct interaction with students regarding their research projects.)


Additional Professional Experience

Web Editor, PRiME Project, The University of Texas School of Engineering, August-December 2005

Supervisor: Christy Moore

  • Maintained online learning module for engineer-specific writing courses
  • Edited and published new content
  • Coordinated with instructors for the courses using the PRiME modules in the various engineering departments, who both contributed the new content and required regular maintenance of the old.

Research Assistant, The University of Virginia Folklore Archive, August 2004-May 2005.

Supervisor: Charles Perdue 

  • Worked a librarian for the archive, locating and checking out material to professors and students
  • Catalogued the archive’s collection of 78 rpm blues and country records
  • Digitized the archive’s collection of field recordings on ¼” magnetic tape.

Professional Service

Area Chair, “Transgressive Cinema,” SW/TX of the PCA/ACA, 2008-2012.

Coordinator, American Studies Film Series 2011-2012

Special Advisor for an Urban Studies Senior Project for Micah Stroup, 2010

Keynote Speaker Committee, American Studies Graduate Conference, 2008-2009.  (Helped bring in Eric Lott and Dick Hebdige as keynote speakers.)

Coordinator, American Studies Theory Reading Group, January 2007-May 2009


Curriculum consultant for Diana Bassi on American Studies in the classroom, Franklin High School, Franklin, IL (Fall 2012)

Professional Associations

American Studies Association

American Historical Association

Popular Culture Association

American Culture Association

International Association for the Study of Popular Music

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