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Thom Swiss

Professor
M.F.A., University of Iowa
culture and teaching

Curriculum and Instruction
152A Peik Hall
159 Pillsbury Dr S E
Tel: 612/625-7509

Office hours:
by appointment

Areas of Expertise

Interdisciplinarity in research and teaching, popular culture, digital media, creative writing

Research Summary

My writing and teaching focus on interdisciplinary subjects, including new media, creative writing, and the cultural studies of education. Like other members of the Culture and Teaching (CaT) faculty here at the University, I'm dedicated to issues pertaining to equity and social justice in both research and teaching.

Cultural studies in education—collection of interdisciplinary texts, theories, and practices—can help us understand many of the things we do in the field of education, starting with the ideological production of "education" as a concept. Said another way, I'm always interested in the question: what are we talking about when we talk about education? And how does the answer to that question shape how we think about our everyday lives, about teaching and learning?

Many of my masters and Ph.D. students are involved in questioning (and writing about) how pedagogy works within and across a variety of sites—not only the formal spaces of education (the classroom), but sites that are embedded in popular culture in general, including, for example, non-profit institutions, dot.orgs, community centers, and so on. My students tend to have an investment in how pedagogical practices emerge out of specific histories, projects, and revelations of power. One of the leading journals in this field isThe Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies.

I write and publish across disciplinary boundaries (digital media, popular music, cultural journalism, and the discourses of education) and encourage my graduate students to do so—that is, I encourage them to read materials from a range of fields and perspectives. I'm also a poet and I teach a course on teaching creative writing for graduate students. My most recent book of poems is Rough Cut, published by the University of Illinois Press. 

I joined the education faculty in 2006; Previously I taught at a private university emphasizing the arts, humanities, and education, and at the University of Iowa in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.

Selected Publications

  1. (2012) Chapters and articles in: 

    Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies

    The Participatory Cultures Handbook

    ... and other journals and books

  2. BOOKS

    Anson, C., Beach, R., Breuch, L., & Swiss,T. (2009). Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and other Digital Tools. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

  3. Sheehy, C., & Swiss, T. (2009). Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  4. Morris, A., & Swiss, T. (Eds.). (2009). New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

  5. Swiss, T. (Ed.). (2001). Unspun: Key concepts for understanding the World Wide Web. New York: New York University Press.

  6. Swiss, T., & Herman, A. (Eds.). (2000). The World Wide Web and contemporary cultural theory: Magic, metaphor, power. Oxford: Routledge.

  7. Swiss, T., and Horner, B. (Eds.), (2000). Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. Boston, MA: Blackwell.

  8. Swiss, T. (1997). Rough Cut: Poems. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

  9. Swiss, T. New media collaborative poems.