A recognized specialist in literary and media studies, Dan Yezbick, Ph.D., professor of English at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood, continues to demonstrate his publishing prowess as he celebrates the release of three book chapters in highly regarded anthologies.
Coupled with these publications, Yezbick remains steadfast in his commitment to contribute to academia through his work as a teacher and scholar.
“It is important for our students to know that they are learning from professionals who are actively involved in the disciplines that they teach,” Yezbick said. “I, like so many of my STLCC colleagues, have been fortunate to have had many of my own writing and research projects accepted, appreciated and encouraged by the national and international community of scholars, writers and teachers. Students and their teachers learn and work best when we do it enthusiastically, and it is especially fun to share good ideas about issues that make our diverse world so exciting.”
Yezbick’s most recent publications include an essay for Salem Press’ innovative collection, “Critical Insights: Isaac Asimov” (2017). This 300-page volume, edited by M. Keith Booker, explores the cultural and historical influences present in Asimov’s works, as well as his impact on the evolution of world literature in the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.”
Yezbick’s “Cosmic Candy: The Otherworldly Flavors and Infinite Varieties of Isaac’s Asimov’s Pulp Fiction” is one of 14 essays in the collection. It discusses the overarching political, scientific and ethical contexts that influence the author’s formative work in the 1940s and 1950s. According to Yezbick, Asimov’s stories provided readers with ethically-minded citizen scientists who strive to develop better worlds and safer futures.
Another of Yezbick’s recent essays breaks new ground in the burgeoning fields of children’s media and material culture studies. Titled “Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Action Figure,” his two-part analysis blends critical theory and creative non-fiction. It appears in Jonathan Alexandratos’ McFarland compilation, “Articulating the Action Figure: Essays on the Toys and their Messages.” This book is the first of its kind to collect serious research on toy culture and its impact on consumers of all ages.
Yezbick’s contribution examines the socio-political influence of toys from a variety of perspectives, including child psychology, industrial design, environmental risks and multimedia franchises. Yezbick and Alexandratos have collaborated on several projects and panel presentations, and are planning to release a co-authored essay about toy culture in American history in another anthology from Routledge Press next year.
Yezbick’s most ambitious scholarly article to date is slated to appear in the highly anticipated Bloomsbury anthology, “Animal Comics: Multispecies Storyworlds in Graphic Narratives,” edited by David Herman. Titled, “Lions and Tigers and Fears: A Natural History of the Sequential Animal,” the essay surveys more than 500 years of animal imagery to examine how non-human life has been perceived, idealized and exploited by numerous media through the centuries. The culmination of several years of research, the essay is expected to see print before the end of 2017.
Finally, Yezbick continues to provide scholarly annotations to Fantagraphics Books’ archival series of classic Walt Disney comics, “The Carl Barks Library.” To date, his critical notes have been included in five volumes alongside a number of respected international critics and scholars. The most recent two volumes, “The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan” and “The Secret of Hondorica,” include his commentaries, as will the forthcoming 2018 volume, “The Lost Peg Leg Mine.”
At STLCC-Wildwood, Yezbick teaches a variety of English and mass communications courses; from American literature and horror films, to urban legends and college composition. In addition to his recent scholarly work, he has been published in “Comics through Time,” “Icons of the American Comic Book” and the Eisner-award winning, “The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art.” He is also the author of, “Perfect Nonsense: the Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson,” (2014) from Fantagraphics.
Outside of the classroom, he enjoys spending time with his family. He often can be found at the St. Louis Science Center’s popular First Friday programs, where he presents on various topics ranging from gender issues in mass media, to Harry Potter and Marvel/DC Comics. He also serves as the faculty advisor for STLCC-Wildwood’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two–year colleges.