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Robin Walz , Ph.D.

Professor of History 
Arts and Sciences - Social Sciences / History /

796-6433

796-6406

Soboleff Annex Rm 104 , Juneau Campus

Walz

Education:

Ph.D. History, University of California at Davis (1994)
M.A. History, San Francisco State University (1988)
B.A. History, Whitworth College (1979)

Biography:

Bonjour! I’m pleased that you have found your way to this page. I’ve been at UAS since 1997, and I am very happy here at our “Little Liberal Arts College in the Woods.” I teach surveys in World History, Early Modern Europe, and Modern Europe, and upper-divisions courses in European Intellectual History, the Holocaust, and European Popular Culture as part of the B.A. in Social Science. I also offer courses in the History of Women in Modern Europe and the History of Gender and Sexuality in the Women’s and Gender Studies Minor program. In May of alternate years, I help lead a UAS study tour of France as part of the Minor in French.

The history of popular culture in modern France is my area of research specialization. In 2000, the University of California Press published my Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century France , and I translated a Surrealist crime story parody “Death of Nick Carter,” by Philippe Soupault, from French into English for the literary review McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern issue 24.  I also write scholarly essays on French criminals, detectives, and avengers,  most recently on the criminal-turned-avenger Rocambole for The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age, eds. Joshua Landy and Michael Saler (Stanford University Press,  2009).  In terms of my interests in intellectual history, I have written a book on Modernism (Pearson/Longman, 2008) as part of the series “Short Histories of Big Ideas,” and have an essay on “Modernism” in the edited collection Blackwell Companion to Europe 1900-1945 (Blackwell, 2006). 

My interest in French popular culture has spilled into various realms of mass media.  In 2005 I wrote the catalog preface for the exhibition Pulp Surrealism and Other Visions by the contemporary Australian painter Beric Henderson.  “The Genius of Crime” is my introduction to the Dover reissue (2006) of the classic French crime novel, Fantômas , by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain (1911). If you want to know more about the surreal “Lord of Terror,” I encourage you to visit The Fantômas Website which I co-edit with my friend, Elliott Smith.  I was also invited to write the introduction, “Vidocq: Rogue Cop,” to the AK Press reissue of the Memoirs of Vidocq: Master of Crime (2003), and I got to be a “talking head” on a documentary short, “The Fugitive and the Pursuer: Vidocq” for the 20th Century Fox “Cinema Classics Collection” DVD (2007) re-issue of two Hollywood versions of Les Misérables (1935, 1952). 

In my spare time, I read contemporary French crime fiction.  Some of my favorite French polar (“hardboiled” crime) writers are Léo Malet, Didier Daeninckx, and Jean-Claude Izzo. My favorite bande déssinée (graphic novel) artist is Jacques Tardi. And I have a special fondness for the St. Cyr/Kohler crime series by Canadian author J. Robert Janes, set during the Nazi Occupation of France.

When not engaged in matters academic or French, for musical pleasure I play cello in the Juneau Symphony Orchestra and piano in the privacy of my living room. For physical activity I run, bicycle, and play squash, although I much prefer the leisurely pace of pétanque (or boules). My sweetie, Carol, provides me with emotional nourishment on a daily basis. Although more accustomed to reading bus schedules than tide tables, we love the natural beauty of mountains, sea, verdant flora and cached fauna that emerge from our temperate rain forest home.

Curriculum Vitae

 
 

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