Associate Professor English
(Gender & Women's Studies)
20th-Century American Literature; Gender & Sexuality Studies; Cultural Studies
Department of English
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331
Office: (269) 387-2572
605 Sprau Tower
Ph.D. University of California, Riverside (2000)
Jon R. Adams' research forms a confluence of studies in American representations of war, gender and masculinity, and American culture. Specifically, Professor Adams studies the cultural meanings of manhood and heroism as they inform American national identity. Adams is the author of Male Armor: the Soldier-Hero in Contemporary American Culture (University of Virginia Press, 2008), and his work on the subjects has appeared in Studies in American Culture, Harrington's Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, and Gender Forum. Professor Adams is currently at work on his second book, entitled Prosthetic Manhood: Heroism in Contemporary American Culture, which labels as "prosthesis" anything necessary to instantiate heroic signification, from fabricated stories to actual prosthetic devices. The book then analyzes these culturally-labeled instances of heroism to evidence the general disintegration of the signifying function of the label "hero" and contends that the proliferation of these prostheses threatens the definitional capacity of heroism at a moment American culture might need it most—the regular civilian appearance of a new generation of permanently war-wounded. A sometimes poet, Jon's work has appeared in The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review, The James White Review, Evergreen Chronicles, The Portable Wall, and Queer-e.
At Western Michigan, Jon Adams teaches upper-division, graduate, and special topics courses in American and Contemporary World Literatures, and upper-division and graduate courses in Critical Theory and the Novel.
A 2007 nominee for the WMU Distinguished Teaching Award, Adams is also an Honorary Faculty Inductee to Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.