Doctor of Philosophy, Literary Studies
Georgia State University, 2015
Primary: American Literature, 1828-1900
Secondary: Critical Theory
Master of Arts, Literary Studies
Georgia State University, 2011
Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy
Miami (OH) University, 2007
Nineteenth-century American literature
American pop culture
History of American capitalism
Dr. Cantrell studies nineteenth century American literature and its relationship to labor in American culture. He has also written on Midwestern literature and on Bruce Springsteen and folk music. His courses include: “The Power of ‘Truthiness’: Thinking and Writing Empirically in a Post-Fact World” (ENGL 1101), “We Understand, Then, Do We Not: Narrative and Empathy in Fictional Forms” (ENGL 1102), “Imaginary Resolutions to Real Contradictions: American Popular Culture, 1828-present (PERS 2003), and “Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not After You: Paranoia and Pop Culture” (PERS 2003H). Additionally, Dr. Cantrell serves as a coordinator of the Georgia State University Prison Education Project and with Common Good Atlanta at Phillips State Prison.
- Recognitions and Awards
Teaching for Social Justice and Democracy Award, Georgia State University, 2021
Outstanding Junior Faculty, Perimeter College, 2020
Outstanding Honors Faculty, Honors College at Perimeter College, 2020.
Grantee (Georgia State University Prison Education Project), Experimental Sites Initiative, Second Chance Pell Grants, Department of Education (April 2019)
* Incarcerated students enrolled in college courses at Georgia State are eligible to apply for Pell Grants
- Committees and Organizations
University Senate, Georgia State University (2019-present)
Cultural Diversity Committee (2019-present)
Committee on Academic Programs (2020-present)
Faculty Affairs Committee (2019-2020)
Coordinator, Georgia State University Prison Education Project (2019-)
Committee Member, English Executive Committee, Perimeter College, 2019-present
“How to Watch a Flower Decay,” The Reach of Song 2020: Georgia Poetry Society, Ed. Michael Diebert, Georgia Poetry Society, pp. 44-45, 2020.
“‘Poverty Porn’: CBS’s The Briefcase and the Deserving Poor in Reality Television,” Representing the Other Half: Essays on Poverty in American Popular Culture, edited by Wylie Lenz, McFarland Press, pp. 228-246, 2020.
“‘Ya Got Trouble’: River City, Main Street U.S.A., and Nostalgia in the Imagined Midwest,” The Midwestern Moment: Pieces of the Heartland: Representing Early Twentieth-Century Midwestern Places, edited by Andy Oler, Hastings College Press, pp. 53-68, 2018.
“‘To Stand Shoulder to Shoulder and Heart to Heart’: Politics, Authenticity, Community, and Folk Music in the Recent Work of Bruce Springsteen,” Bruce Springsteen and Popular Music: Rhetoric, Memorial, and Contemporary Culture, edited by William I. Wolff, Routlege, pp. 147-161, 2017.
“‘It’s Not Polite to Talk About Yourself’: Regional Identity and Erasure in the Midwest from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Mad Men.” MidAmerica, volume 41, 2014, pp. 39-61.