Above: Krista Comer, English and Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Rice University. Houston, Texas.
Professor Comer is a scholar of contemporary literature and cultural politics at Rice University with interdisciplinary interests in problems of place, space, and their theorization. Her books include Landscapes of the New West: Gender and Geography in Contemporary Women’s Writing (University of North Carolina Press, 1999), and Surfer Girls in the New World Order (Duke University Press, 2010). Her essays have appeared in book collections and journals like Occasion, Journal of American Ethnic History, American Literary History, Frontiers, Western American Literature, and Arizona Quarterly.
In 2014, Professor Comer co-founded the Institute for Women Surfers (IWS), a grassroots educational initiative in the Public Humanities. IWS brings together activist women surfers and their allies to create spaces of peer teaching, learning, and mutual aid. To date, two Institute trainings have taken place (2014, 2015) and another is slated for Winter 2017. Her current book-in-progress, Feminist States of Critical Regionalism, synthesizes Public Humanities activism with studies in contemporary literature and film to investigate new democratic geographies and state imaginaries.
Professor Comer teaches literature, culture, and theory courses with an emphasis in interdisciplinary approaches informed by critical race, indigenous, and feminist thought. Recent undergrad and grad courses include the US West and its Others/Borders, Asian American Cultural Forms, Literatures of Diaspora in the Américas, Feminist Engaged Research Methodologies, and Matters of Space: Place Ethics Under Globalization. Upcoming: Literatures of Environmental Justice, and a grad seminar entitled “How Do Literature Professors ‘do’ Public Humanities?”
IWS 2015, from participant Beth O’Rourke of SeaLevelTV.