Oh hey internet, remember that time I said I wanted to showcase the personalities of Trent’s English MA Public Texts faculty, and then I did by asking my professor a bunch of questions which demonstrate my lack of boundaries? Well I did it again, and this time I’d like to thank Dr. Michael Epp for indulging my social ineptitude. The Public Texts program is the brainchild of Zailig and Mike, and Mike will actually be taking over as Director next year! This year Mike bravely helmed the “Public” part of our program’s core course which—despite its focus on a lot of theory that made me go “derp”—spilled surprisingly over into my personal life, particularly where my Irish heritage was concerned. So that was cool. Honestly, Mike’s just a really interesting guy to talk to, but you can see that for yourself in his answers below:
So what’s keeping you busy lately?
Work and play. Teaching this term has been as heavy and complicated as it has been in years. Music and politics have been unusually active. (Mike’s the President of the NDP Peterborough Riding Association Executive; if you’re interested in learning more, check out the site here.)
Describe your perfect day. Feel free to be creative, i.e. does Ryan Gosling show up at your front door?
A big breakfast followed by a game of slo-pitch; followed by patio beers with my brother in Montreal, and with my PhD supervisor in Berkeley (where we once did research together). This would be followed by front porch beers with my friends here in Peterborough. All would involve discussion of politics, philosophy, literature, and sports. Then I’d jam with my bands, head out to hear REM play at the Spill, and finally we’d all celebrate something til the sun came up.
What are the last three books that you read? Did you enjoy them?
Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns. Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo. Currently reading Joost Augusteijn, From Public Defiance to Guerrilla Warfare: The Experience of Ordinary Volunteers in the Irish War of Independence 1916-1921. Yes, I enjoyed them!
Name your top three favourite films. Be honest 🙂
Greengrass Bloody Sunday; Independence Day; The Great Escape.
What kind of music do you like? Do you have any favourite artists/groups?
I tend to listen to what old timers like me called “alternative” music back in the day, and is now called, or so I hear, “the indie music.” I guess I just killed it with that previous sentence, but some kids will come up with a better name for it anyway. REM, Son Volt, The National. I also like hearing what the local bands are up to, even if they’re not always that good, but especially when they are good.
You’re handed a free ticket to anywhere in the world. Where do you go, and why?
The Aran Islands. A peaceful and unnerving place.
What do you think is the most valuable and/or unique aspect of the Public Texts program?
The chance to participate in the genesis of a field of critical inquiry.
Choose three words to summarize your own experiences as a graduate student.
Wonderful; uncertain; energizing.
Any advice for those currently pursuing their own graduate degree?
Make it your own – and submit on time!
And finally: if you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?
A “healing factor” like Wolverine has, as long as it didn’t put me into some kind of devil’s bargain scenario, the way superpowers always seem to do since the 1970s.