G. M. Bettendorf


My CV details my past work. But it’s useful to articulate the direction of my future research.

My first interest deals with the spatiality of mainstream American prose and fiction. The most florid example of spatial fiction is Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, which has a number of nontraditional formal variations. George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo plays with setting and typographics more subtly, while David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest asks readers to thumb through three-dimensional space and scrutinize the novel’s 100 pages (a tenth of the book!) of small-font endnotes as they work their way through the main text. Recall Frederic Jameson: ours is “a visual culture,” he insists. Do these spatial innovations constitute a continuation of postmodernism’s preoccupation with formal play? Or are these works’ (and authors’) spatial innovations evidence of—and primary identifier for—whatever comes or is coming or has already come after postmodernism?

My second interest is rather broader, but nonetheless addresses these spatial poetics. Insofar as memes are the only collaborative, authorless (or author-neutral, in that content obliterates authorship’s relevance) poetic form, they are also the Internet’s love language. To that end, alt-right deep Internet culture has weaponized memes: the rhetorics of Internet warfare depend on this new poetic form. Clearly not within the well-documented tradition of state-sponsored propaganda, memes nonetheless have a demonstrably political use. So how does this politicized art practice fit into the long scheme of public art forms?


My firm belief in practice grounds my teaching philosophy. My discussion-based classes center around my students’ weekly 500-word seminar papers, due every Sunday evening via email and focusing on one of the upcoming week’s readings.

I invite you to learn more about my Fall 2018 “English Composition I” class, which put this belief in practice into praxis.


Before I started teaching, I was desperate to find sample handouts and resources. In addition to the lesson plans included in my interactive ENG 111 teaching module, I’ve also compiled a dossier of handout templates for free use—a resource I would have loved to exploit.