Teacher and critic of British Romantic and 18th-century literature, Irish literature and French cinéma; Documentary filmmaker

Christopher Flynn is a documentary filmmaker and English professor. He started his professional life as a trombone player, spent a decade writing and editing on daily newspapers in New York, Connecticut, California, and Texas, and has taught and worked on literature and film since 1996. His book, films, and articles tend to explore the outcast, the other, the wanderer in imaginative works. His most recent project, a film about the spaces and places of Romanticism, blurs the lines between artist and critic, documented subject and documentarian. He has taught abroad in France and England, and teaches classes in British and Irish literature and French film.

I have been fortunate to teach at St. Edward's since 2004. I teach classes in British and Irish literature and French cinéma, and am currently working on a documentary film about following the footsteps of the Romantic writers.

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, 2008-present

Assistant Professor, 2004-present

Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 2002-2004

Year Started

2004

Languages Spoken

French

English

Education

Ph.D. in English at University of California, Los Angeles, 2002.

M.A. in English at University of California, Los Angeles, 2000.

M.A. in English at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 1997.

B.S. in Music and History at Indiana University, Bloomington, 1987.

Degree student in music performance, The Juilliard School, New York, 1982-83.

Achievement & Involvement

Honors and Awards

2015, 2013, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, Presidential Excellence Award, St. Edward's University

2003, National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar for College Teachers

2003, William Andrews Clark Library Fellowship

2003, C. Allan and Marjorie Braun Fellowship, The Henry Huntington Library

Organizations, Boards and Memberships

  • North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
  • British Society for Romantic Studies
  • The Coleridge Society
  • Keats-Shelley Association
  • Daniel Defoe Society
  • Modern Language Association
  • Austin Poetry Society

Conferences

  • Daniel Defoe Society, Board of Directors, 2007-11
  • Sigma Tau Delta, National English Honors Society, Board of Directors, 2005-2009

Research

Research

My research interests include British Romantic literature, Irish literature, and film. Many of these works focus on the figure of the other or outsider. I have published a book and several articles. Recently I have been working on documentary films.

Creative Expression

Creative Expression Statement

I have published poetry and creative nonfiction. My creative essays have focused on travel. They have appeared in The Montréal Review, Sport Literate, Argestes, Identity Theory, and elsewhere. I studied creative writing at the University of New Orleans, and music at The Juilliard School.

Publications & Articles

Publications

Swimming with Byron: A Documentary Film, New Eyes Films, forthcoming. 

Americans in British Literature, 1770-1832: A Breed Apart. Burlington: Ashgate, 2008.

Articles

“Super Bowl Sunday on the Seine.” The Montréal Review, March 2013.

“A Bicycle in Paris.” Sport Literate. Fall 2011.

“SE VENDE/FOR SALE: Searching for Signs in Central Mexico.” The Montréal

Review, 2011.

“Les Houches is Very Complicated.” The Montréal Review, July 2011.

Defoe’s Review: Textual Editing and New Media.” Digital Defoe. Spring 2009. Invited multimedia project. http://www.english.ilstu.edu/digitaldefoe.

“Frances Trollope’s America: From Enlightenment Aesthetics to Victorian Class.” Enlightening Romanticism, Romancing the Enlightenment, ed. Miriam Wallace. Burlington: Ashgate, 2009.

“Challenging Englishness from the Racial Margins: William Charles Macready’s The Irishman in London; Or, The Happy African.” Irish Studies Review. May 2008, 159-72.

“Dismembering Anglo-America: The Body Politic and the First English Novel about the American Revolution.” Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations. Fall 2005.

“Body Waxing, Lord Byron and the Long Way Through Turkey.” Identity Theory. February 2005. Reprinted in The Pamphlet of Exciting Thought. October 2005.

“Coleridge’s American Dream: National Genius, Natural Language and the Sonnets of 1794-95.” European Romantic Review. Fall 2002, 411-25.

“This Land Is Our Land: Nationalism, Commerce and Imperial Anxiety in Defoe's Later Works.” Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. Fall 2000, 11-24.

“ ‘No Other Island in the World’: Mansfield Park, North America and Postimperial Malaise.” Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations. Fall 2000, 173-86.

Presentations

Presentations

  • “The American: Richard Linklater’s Expatriate in the Before Trilogy.” Symbiosis 2015, Essex University, Colchester, England, July 2015.
  • Defoe in the Pillory. Film premier and plenary session at the Daniel Defoe Society Conference, Bath Spa University, Bath, England, July 2015.
  • “ 'The Shortest Way with the Dissenters' and Public Credit.” Daniel Defoe Society Conference, Normal, Illinois, August 2013.
  • “From Newgate to Virginia: America as Prison and Purgative in Defoe’s Moll Flanders.” Symbiosis 2013, Brunel University, London, England, June 2013.
  • “Lost Love and the Gallows: Portals to the Sublime in Moll Flanders.” Trauma and the Sublime Conference, University of Wales, Swansea, August 2008.
  • “Defoe’s Review: Textual Editing and New Media.” South Central Association for the Study of Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, New Orleans, February 2008.
  • “Byron's American Heroes: Daniel Boone, George Washington and the Limits of Republican Simplicity.” Symbiosis Conference, Brunel University, London, England, July 2007.
  • “Defoe’s Review: The First Blog?” Midwestern Society for the Study of the 18th Century, Minneapolis, October 2006.
  • “Defoe’s Cross-Dressing Pirates and the Revaluing of Sexuality in the Early 18th Century.” South Central Modern Language Association Conference, Houston, October 2005.
  • “Cabins, Closets and Laboratories: Architecture and the Queering of Space in Frankenstein.” North American Society for the Study of Romanticism Conference, Montreal, August 2005.

For Students

Class Preparation

Active reading is crucial in all of my classes. You need to read carefully, take notes, mark up your texts, and show up prepared to take an active part in class discussions. 

Why I Teach

Literature is an artistic record of the way societies have explained themselves to their own members and to others. We figure ourselves out by telling these stories. I am passionate about guiding students through these explorations of our own society and those of other peoples, about helping them see the beauty of the construction of literary texts. We become our best visions of ourselves through a deep study of the liberal arts, and literature is at the core of that study.