Research Interests20th-21st Century American Literature, Queer Theory, Literary Celebrity, Camp, Mass Media & Communication
Matthew Helm is a PhD candidate in English studying 20th-21st century American literature. His dissertation explores questions related to media technology and the archive in the works of Christopher Isherwood, John Rechy, Audre Lorde, Andrea Lawlor, Harvey Fierstein, and Tony Kushner. He is the recipient of two research fellowships from the Graduate College, as well as the Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowship. Matt’s scholarship has appeared in or is forthcoming in Religion & Literature, The Nathaniel Hawthorn Review, and Studies in the Novel.
Matthew is as passionate about pedagogy as he is research. He most recently taught General Education Literature, where he offered courses on genre/gender bending in the Gothic, the literary journey, and self-discovery. Previously, he taught the reading, writing, and speaking skill-building course Rhetoric, for which he won the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2018. Matthew has also earned a Certificate in College Teaching from the College of Education.
In the summer of 2020, Matthew was selected for an internship with the Humanities for the Public Good Initiative through the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, where he worked with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development to produce a book about food history and culture along the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway.
In 2022-2023, Matthew will serve as a Graduate Teaching and Research Fellow in the American Studies department at TU Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany, where he will continue his dissertation research and teach graduate and undergraduate classes of his own design.